M3 – Sono Kuroki Hagane Ep. 5: Hang in there, emo kid

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When the episode opens, we find that the students are back in the confines of a classroom. I guess it just isn’t important how the rest of the tropical island getaway had gone even though last week’s episode ended on such an unpleasant note. If you’ll recall, the last thing we saw was Heito sexually assaulting Emiru. What happened afterwards? How did Emiru deal with it? How is she continuing to deal with the fact that her attacker is in the same room with her? I guess none of that matters. Instead, we learn about something called the “synchronization of thoughts,” which allows Heito to hear what the rest of his teammates are thinking. Spoiler: they don’t like him. Shocker, I know. Nevertheless, we’re told this “synchronization of thoughts” thingamajig is what will keep these kids safe in the Lightless Realm. After all, it had allowed the wayward students to unite on the island through a series of annoying “Minna~~~~~~ DOKOOOOOOO???”

Not only are the students grouped together as eight, some of them are also paired up as well. As you’ve already guessed, Raika is linked to Iwato, Sasame is linked to Minashi, Mahm is a loner, and our antisocial lead is in love with his mecha. Unfortunately for Emiru, that leaves her with the deranged Heito. We thus get to watch an incredibly dumb situation devolve even further. Y’see, Emiru and Heito have the highest synchronization of all the pairings. As a result, they will be the first to board their Vesses and investigate a region just outside the Lightless Realm. The adults want to see whether or not this strong synchronization between the two will protect them. Nevertheless, it’s plainly obvious to any outsider looking in that Emiru is hardly comfortable with the situation. She’s been quiet lately when she used to be talkative. She constantly looks to the ground nowadays too. These are clear signs of a withdrawn individual, but man, fuck our eyes! The computers say she and Heito have the highest synchronization!

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I realize the evil-looking head researcher doesn’t give a fuck about the kids. As such, there’s no reason why he should care about Emiru’s feelings. It’s just sad how nobody else seems to care either. Agura even sees a footage of Heito sexually assaulting Emiru on the island. Oh, I’m sure from such her distant vantage point, Agura probably mistakes Heito’s attack on Emiru as a lover’s tryst, uh huh. But even so, you’d think someone — anyone — would take Emiru aside and ask her how she feels about being paired up with a known murderer. It’s just laughable that the only person who’s even come close to reaching out to the girl is Akashi. Naturally, Emiru turns him away out of shame since the black stuff on her body is spreading. We then get this angst-ridden fest where she pushes him away, but when he walks away as a result, the girl calls out to him desperately. Ugh. It’s likely that even if Agura thinks it’s a bad idea to pair Emiru and Heito up, she doesn’t have the authority to cancel the mission. Even so, she could at least reach out to the poor girl. But instead, she goes and gets drunk the night before the mission instead.

Akashi continues to try to reach out to Emiru, so in the end, it falls upon the hero to do everything since the adults are either incompetent or heartless. Now, although Emiru had turned Akashi away before, she now spills her guts to him: “The only thing I can be proud of is this body of mine… and this face…” Too bad her pretty face doesn’t really come across thanks to the shoddy animation. Nevertheless, at least somebody cares. Still, all the best intentions in the world doesn’t prevent Emiru’s black mark from going nuts in the middle of the mission. I’m still perplexed as to why these researchers have seemingly forgotten to give each of the students a physical check-up despite their love for data. Hell, the way I see it, this is only common sense! Let’s stick these kids in mechas and put them under duress, but nah, let’s not bother to see if their physical health is up to the task!

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So yeah, Emiru is slowly becoming an Admonition, and as a result, the deranged lunatic taunts her. He tells her all about how the researchers will tear her body apart in the name of science. He tells her all about how he relishes her terror. Gee, who would’ve thought that inserting an insane guy into the team would be a bad idea? But in silly anime land, I’m sure the evil researcher calls all the shot, and the rest of the adults — even the auditor from the government — are just helpless observers on the sidelines. An Admonition then appears to prevent Akashi from pulling the girl out of her mecha. Everyone is wrong! Admonitions aren’t just negative emotions left behind by dead people. Lo and behold, the evil researcher is watching everything from afar, and cackling like a generic mastermind. Meanwhile, Heito is having an orgasm in his mecha. I think I’ve seen fanfiction less ridiculously over-the-top than this.

That’s my primary problem with this anime. It just tries too hard to come across as a dark and horrific show, but the results are laughable. Not only that, no one seems to have any brains whatsoever. People just go through the motions, which allows for contrived situations to exist. For example, a known murderer teams up with a group of students. Like really? Nobody seems to give a shit about their safety enough to complain about Heito? Oh sure, the kids pay lip service to the idea. They kind of bristle at the sight of him, but that’s about it. No one even tries to put their foot down and go, “Yo, this isn’t safe. I refuse to do anything until you explain to me why I have to work along side a lunatic.” As such, it’s hard to get into this story, because it just feels so dumb. No one acts believably enough for me to care about them.

Miscellaneous notes:

• These lines are silly: “Somehow the scenery makes me feel like I’m dreaming. A dream I despise — a nightmare.” C’mon, man…

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Still, I’ll grant that the scenery looks okay. I mean, this anime isn’t much to look at, so I guess we have to appreciate the little things.

• When Akashi is in the Reaper, he claims to see “aberrant images” that makes him think the mecha has taken a human life before. Agura is strangely defensive about the mecha though. I get Akashi’s frustration, but he goes too far as always: “When you become a researcher, do you start lusting after mechas?”

• The students oddly have no memories of the time when the Lightless Realm was created. Iwato thinks that maybe they have repressed those memories since they were just kids at the time. Even so, this is probably just a convenient way for the kids not to realize that they all used to be childhood friends or something.


4 Replies to “M3 – Sono Kuroki Hagane Ep. 5: Hang in there, emo kid”

  1. Emiru’s characterization now kinda feels like how Valvrave’s Saki Rukino’s story played out, down right to the part where no one gave a fuck (not even the writers) that she was sexually assaulted.

    This show really has the same problem as Captain Earth. The “I don’t know what the fuck is going on anymore” kind.

    1. This show really has the same problem as Captain Earth. The “I don’t know what the fuck is going on anymore” kind.

      I don’t know, I don’t get that feeling from either show anymore. With M3 in particular, it’s a bunch of angsty kids, they’re linked somehow, and they’re training to investigate the Lightless Realm. Unless I’m missing something, I think it’s pretty straightforward.

      1. Yeah, I do get the basic premises for both of them. It’s just that the other aspects of these two just don’t add more to those to make better sense of them. M3 has a lot of elements that are just there for the sake of being dark and doesn’t really create that feeling of being disturbing. And then there is CE with its “symbolism” that don’t go anywhere.

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