M3 – Sono Kuroki Hagane Ep. 17: All because of a single boy

M3 - Sono Kuroki Hagane 1701

More M3 goodness! Even though, honestly, I think there are less than ten people still watching this trainwreck…

— Oh man, I hate it when anime can’t stop “anime’ing” it up. Iwato dives on top of Raika because one of the Admonitions is still alive. Raika insists that he’s too injured to be protecting her. When the Admonition just ups and flies away, she blushes and shoves him off of her. I thought he was injured, lady. So why are you shoving an injured person around like a ragdoll? Obviously, it’s because she’s embarrassed, and uguu, male-on-female contact is so hazukashii! But c’mon, who acts like this in real life? It’s frustrating when an anime series cares more about upholding its shitty conventions and cliches than just having its characters’ actions make sense. She obviously cares about him. She obviously sees he’s injured. So can we just forget about the whole “Love is so embarrassing!” bullshit?

— So blah blah blah, Tsugumi re-iterates her belief that her former friends are children of sin. As a result, it’s, uh… all their fault? Where I come from, something’s usually not your fault unless you had something to do with it. Sure, the girl’s crazy, so she has crazy logic. Even so, however, this is just another missed opportunity by the anime. I mean, I barely know anything about Tsugumi, so the fact that she’s unhinged just doesn’t have any impact, y’know? If you’ve known a character this entire time, and he or she turns out to be nuts, then it’s like, “Fuuuuuuuuuuck. I used to like that character! Maybe the signs were there all along!” So you go back and rewatch the old episodes, hoping to see how the story had subtly hinted at said character’s craziness. That’s how good storytelling might unfold. But in our case, Tsugumi has gotten almost no character development. She just shows up, saves Akashi’s life, then we get this flashback where she goes all yandere on us because people failed to finish playing hide-and-seek with her. It’s just dumb.

— Akashi: “It’s true that we all left this place without telling you.” That’s just it, though. That’s really just it. All this stupid angst simply because they ran away. It’s just not a satisfying story. The whole “torching your village” stuff at least makes sense. Yeah, if you murder my entire village, sure, I’ll go crazy and take revenge on you guys.

M3 - Sono Kuroki Hagane 1707

But this wasn’t enough for Okada. She just had to include this ridiculous subplot where the kids didn’t finish playing hide-and-seek with Tsugumi, so Tsugumi calls them children of sin!!!! And just like that, her character motivations go from understandable to looney tunes.

— From this angle, it looks like Raika has no right arm. But anyway, we see her treating Iwato, so I guess he won’t become a LIM module quite yet. Hell, I wonder if last week’s events were a fake-out, and Raika will ultimately be the one to sacrifice herself.

— So the Corpse is back, and it’s now fighting both the Sable and the other mecha (I’ve forgotten its dumb name already). Just standard mecha fare, honestly. Nothing to write home about.

— The good guys are failing to stop the Corpse because, apparently, Minashi and Sasame feel guilty about having ditched Tsugumi all those years ago. Tsugumi then goes, “Yeah, my sister also stole my man away from me!” So dumb. This is just so, so dumb. She literally knew him for what? A week? And she’s acting as though her sister had slept with her longtime husband and stolen him away. Man, I don’t particularly enjoy soap operas, but at least their drama makes sense. And yeah, this is basically soap opera-level drama. In the realm of adults, however, this shit makes sense. In a soap opera, maybe Tsugumi and Akashi would’ve actually been together for years, so Sasame’s betrayal would actually be a betrayal. Between kids just playing hide-and-seek, Tsugumi being this worked up over a week-long non-romance is just the dumbest thing ever. It’s just kids playing at being adults without understanding the very adult problems they’re attempting to mimic. Uguu! You stole my man! He plays hide-and-seek with me, hussy!

— We then get a flashback that is, uh, supposedly supports Tsugumi’s position. Akashi was sitting there with the two sisters at his side. Tsugumi says, “It’s pretty, huh?” Then Sasame looks awkward, and runs off… Seriously? It’s “love” between a bunch of kids. It’s so fucking meaningless.

M3 - Sono Kuroki Hagane 1705

— Elsewhere, Suzaki is preparing to enter the Lightless Realm by herself. She thinks if she only stays in there for an hour, she’ll be fine. Seems foolhardy to me. Sure, it’s their last resort, but if these kids and their fancy mechas can’t go in and out of the Lightless Realm in a timely matter, it doesn’t make much sense that some lady can just waltz in and out of the place herself.

— Meanwhile, the Corpse continues to brutalize Minashi and Sasame, and naturally, this means we get to see a naked Sasame writhing in pain. Seems kind of cheap and exploitative, y’know? That’s why I wonder if Raika wouldn’t sacrifice herself instead, so we could see her naked as well.

— Tsugumi: “Crybaby Minashi and spoiled little Sasame. Neither of you could do anything without me.” Yeah, says the girl who’s been sitting here in the Lightless Realm for the past ten years and doing nothing. Says the girl who is still hung up over some childhood puppy love.

— Then, of course, another flashback shows us Tsugumi getting progressively crazier and crazier as she ages before us. Meh. It’s just sad. This whole Lightless Realm thing comes down to a petty squabble over a boy. Like yeah, this whole thing started because the village got torched, but the primary conflict right now is all because of Tsugumi’s jealousy. It’s just sad. Even when a woman writes this shit, the story is still about girls getting all irrational with each other over a boy.

— So Akashi finds the Reaper and races back to his friends with it. He and his bro now have a strong link simply because Akashi is determined to save Sasame. Of course, this just means the mecha is highlighted in white.

M3 - Sono Kuroki Hagane 1704

— So Akashi beats down the Corpse, and tries to convince the crazy girl to leave the Lightless Realm with him. Lemme see… oh, it’s just the 17th episode? Yeah, naturally, Akashi’s plan doesn’t work. But that’s it. The good guys finally leave the Lightless Realm after being in it for… what? The past five episodes? Still, we’ve got to be coming up on the final end stretch, right? The thing is, the story just feels small. There are no grand ideas here. No big thematic significance between the Lightless Realm. It’s just a love triangle gone bad.

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3 thoughts on “M3 – Sono Kuroki Hagane Ep. 17: All because of a single boy

  1. Herr Regisseur

    Hmm, I dunno. While I admit the show is more trainwrecks than any actual actual trains we’ll be seeing in Rail Wars!, putting the focus on a much more smaller-in-scale, much more human conflict at the core of the story has always been somewhat a winner to me. It goes without saying, however, that the execution must be well done, and I think that’s where M3 is failing.

    Not that the show can be completely redeemed at this point, but I hope we at least see some justifiable justification for Tsugumi’s tattered psyche in the last 7 episodes. Getting your home village and everyone you love (save your sister and one friend) killed should have done something to her.

    Also, Tales of Xillia when? ;_;

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      Also, Tales of Xillia when? ;_;

      Probably next week. Yesterday was the first time in a while I could sit down and play more than two hours.

      Reply
      1. akeem

        Worry not E Minor I am one of those 10 people watching with you. Yaay can’t wait for Tales of Xillia, gosh what a bad sounding name Xillia is. I just realized Millia is Xillia… just with a ‘M’. Hmm maybe it’s a hint. Anyway just caught up with this and there really isn’t much to say on it. Your short post is proof of that.

        This lady is something else really. Her stories get worse each time but its interesting that this and Nagi no Asakura have such an interesting world as the backdrop to romance stories. She tricked me twice with that, at first I didn’t want to believe she wrote this in the first few episodes but it’s her alright.

        Pet girl is the best she’ll probably ever do, which I really enjoyed btw but it’s sad that it didn’t get more episodes. Well I had fun watching at least, I just love seeing yanderes and Tsugumi’s voice actor does such a good job. What a disappointment this has turned into.

        Reply

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