M3 – Sono Kuroki Hagane Ep. 22: Get serious

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Yeah, I can’t take this seriously if Tsugumi’s just going to stand there and flash the audience like that. As if I haven’t questioned the show’s judgment enough, it feels the need to give us fanservice during what is supposed to be one of the show’s more important scenes. M3 has always been somewhat questionable, especially with its penchant for semi-rapey scenarios. Remember Heito forcing himself upon Emiru? Or Natsuiri ripping Sasame’s shirt off, and everyone just stared? So not only does Tsugumi moon us as she swears she’ll destroy the world, the rapey undertones are back. For Minashi and Tsugumi to become one, it is necessary that he wrestles Tsugumi to the ground. Yeah… yeah… I swear this is the only way to save her! Then when the Lightless Realm expands and makes everyone its victims — the keyword here is ‘everyone’ — the anime focuses primarily on what the Lightless Realm does to the female characters. Oh no, look at all these black arms reaching out for Kasane! Then for some reason, Susan’s cleavage is showing their her mental torture. But this was what she looked like before. And this is what she looked like after. So during the psychic encroachment, we just got to see her cleavage as arms restrained her. Hm. Like I’ve said, the show is semi-rapey, and I wonder whose decision it was.

Anyway, like most generic anime stories, we have three possible solutions to the problem at hand. Minashi represents a route that’s almost lawful. He wants to knock down all the barriers between people, and in doing so, we will become one. By becoming one, there will no longer be any misunderstandings… that’s the theory, anyway. And you can take your privacy and fuck off, because there won’t be any in Minashi’s ideal world. Surely, this extreme position is not an ideal solution except for creepy bastards like Minashi who feels the need to pin a girl down and force his mind upon hers. But speaking of Tsugumi, she seems to represent the other end of the spectrum, a.k.a. the chaos route. If Minashi wants everyone to become one, Tsugumi simply wants to destroy everything. Like a selfish child, she takes no responsibility for her actions. She claims that she was merely following orders, so it’s so unfair that everyone is blaming her for the whole Lightless Realm nonsense. And just to show those fools how wrong they are, she will expand the Lightless Realm! Hey, they asked for it! Last but not least, I guess our heroes represent the neutral route, but in reality, it’s just restoring thing to the status quo. It’s just kind of boring and predictable.

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If you hadn’t noticed, Heito came back in last week’s episode, but he really stretches his arms and legs now. With Mahmu on the ropes, trying to survive as she attempts to lure the Corpse away from the center of the Lightless Realm, Akashi and the Argent return just in time to save the girl. And yes, the Argent is now powered by none other than Heito himself. My problem is that it just feels like a dumb asspull. The guy hasn’t had a single line for weeks and weeks on end. All of a sudden, Aoshi conveniently bites the dust, and Heito reaches out to Akashi at just the right time? Why didn’t this happen before? Why was Heito silent until now? In fact, why even bother? Why not just keep Aoshi alive and finish the story out that way? It feels like Okada wanted to shoehorn Heito back into the plot, but she couldn’t figure out how to do it organically. So Heito practically disappears from the story until we simply kill Aoshi out of nowhere. Then bam, it turns out Heito was capable of lucid thoughts all along. He was just in some other realm, waiting for Akashi to need him. Or, if you really wanted to use Heito that badly, then we should’ve just found an excuse to make him a LIM a long time ago. I just really dislike it when characters drop off the face of the planet just to come roaring back when it’s convenient for the writer.

And if you thought that was an asspull, when it looked like everyone was going to go crazy from the expanded Lightless Realm, an Arbornine shows up out of nowhere at the IX headquarters. So the expanded Lightless Realm doesn’t mean anything. Our heroes don’t have to retreat and set up shop elsewhere. Everything’s the same as it has always been. We can still continue to operate directly out of our headquarters like normal. It’s almost like the Lightless Realm expanding doesn’t even matter! It’s all just for show! And of course, the explanation for the Arbornine is that it was just a normal tree that had somehow evolved to protect itself and other creatures from the Lightless Realm. Okay, whatever. It’s anime, so I’m not surprised that nature rules again, and technology drools again. But still, the whole thing with the chirping birds is silly, because what now? Even if the birds are safe around the Arbornine, what are the birds going to do? Just stick by the tree? How will they eat? I mean, I get it, it was supposed to be a scene that shows us how nature will overcome everything in the long-run, but merely pausing to think about the logistics of the anime is enough for the whole sand castle to come crumbling down.

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M3 tries and tries to be serious, but it just doesn’t work. It’s full of pretentious Mahmu voiceovers, a vengeful girl who moons the audience, semi-rapey moments for no good reason, and a scenario that just doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. Plus, Mahmu’s role in the story feels a bit “self-inserty.”

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6 thoughts on “M3 – Sono Kuroki Hagane Ep. 22: Get serious

  1. John Barnes

    Well… like I said last week, they’re gonna make Tusgumi’s fate meaningless.

    If they save her, it’ll make little sense because they have done a very poor job in presenting her flaws yet keeping her sympathetic, and if she is killed, it won’t be satisfying at all since the show has done a poor job balancing whether or not she’s an emotionally frayed girl, a nutcase, or an unsympathetic monster.

    Also, I forgot to mention this show’s conclusion when I replied to the latest Captain Earth post about our mecha nightmare being finally over (since nobody bothered with SoA). M3 is, hands down, the dumbest mecha of 2014.

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    I have been saying for a long time pretty much everything Okada write feels like it’s to fill so self satisfaction, I mean it’s not a coincidence that every time there is a strong female character that show promise that viewers like or care about she ends up being dragged through the mud and abused (Emiru, Zessica) while the ones that are shallow as hell (Sasame, Mikonos) just stand there doing nothing with everything going their way as if the world revolves around them.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      I forgot how shit Zessica is. Almost everything about her character made me face-palm; her character design and just her character.

      Reply
    2. E Minor Post author

      Well, on the bright side, Sasame hasn’t really been around for weeks now. Unfortunately, we have to deal with Mahmu while Raika hasn’t been able to do anything all season long. Well, except for all in love, I guess.

      Reply
  3. akeem

    Tsugumi mentions that the dead are always blaming her in this episode. Now I can imagine that someone might go crazy when those voices are things they would hear for years. Instead of presenting that first she did the whole “you took my man” crap. I actually thought Minashi was going to try and kiss her or something.
    Can’t wait for this and Captain Earth to finish.

    Reply

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