I expect nothing and I’m still disappointed. I thought we’d finally get to see some action after episodes and episodes of exposition and backstories. But all you’re going to get this week is Monkey karate-chopping some zombie birds. Seriously.
The cold opening reveals the tournament’s true purpose: a proxy war wherein the results will redraw the world’s borders. Once the number of inhabitants have been whittled down, representatives from the world’s strongest countries will start placing their bets. How you go about redrawing boundaries so freely and easily, I dunno. But then again, we have a warrior who can resurrect the dead as zombies to do his bidding, so I’m not really going to give the tournament’s premise a second thought.
Back in the tournament, Rat splits off to deal with Snake’s headless corpse. Meanwhile, Monkey tries to team up with Rabbit once more, but the latter merely distracts her long enough for the flock of undead birds to escape from the sewers. And that’s pretty much the extent of their encounter, because the episode would rather have us listen to Sheep prattle on and on and on about how he’ll use trickery to form his own team.
Sheep’s backstory is probably the worst yet. It’s so boring, it doesn’t even take up the full length of the episode. It’s so uninteresting, there’s really nothing to comment on. He was a weapons dealer, then he settled down with a family. He reentered the tournament so his grandson wouldn’t have to. That’s pretty much it. In the present day, he acknowledges that the top three fighters are Ox, Rabbit and Monkey. Monkey? Really? Oh well. Sheep is too old to take those three head-on, so he’ll have to convince the mid-tier guys to join up with him. He’s also got what he believes to be a trump card: he never swallowed the poisoned gem, and he thinks other warriors are dumb enough to believe he can use quantum tunneling to extract the gems from their bodies. Unfortunately, he doesn’t know that Dog and Boar are already dead.
We see Horse and Ox walking around. Nothing interesting going on with them either. Eventually, Ox stumbles upon Sheep’s hideout, so the old man detonates a bomb and makes his escape. Oh yeah, he apparently has another ace up his sleeve: an even bigger bomb! During his getaway, he bumps into Tiger, who looks harmless. After all, she’s busy getting drunk off her ass on a park bench. But she senses Sheep’s presence anyway, and the episode ends there. You can bet your ass she’s not as harmless as the old man thinks.
Oh my god, pretty much nothing happened. Best of all? Next week’s episode will dive into Horse’s backstory. Gosh, I can’t wait.
Kekkai Sensen & Beyond Ep. 4
I really miss White. In a vacuum, she wasn’t much of a character; she was also an anime-only addition. But even so, she was the plot thread that kept the first season from falling apart. As it stands, Kekkai Sensen & Beyond has nothing to offer but side stories. Maybe the “& Beyond” part of the title says more about the show than I had originally assumed.
This week’s episode focuses on Chain and her role as an Invisible Werewolf. She and her team can dilute their existence to almost nothing, thereby allowing themselves to slip past conventional defenses. You need a token to keep yourself anchored in reality, because it’s possible to dilute yourself too far. A token is personal; it’s something that carries a lot of emotional weight so it keeps these girls from erasing their existence entirely.
Velved, a former teammate of the Invisible Werewolves, are out for revenge, and she’s made a deal with the King of Hypersensitivity (man, just typing this stuff out makes it sound so dumb). I’d make a joke about him being easily offended, but that’s a low-hanging fruit. Normally, the Invisible Werewolves are practically incorporeal, but if your senses are, uh, hyper, then you can interact with them anyway. Velved’s her new abilities thus gives her the upper hand against four of the five Invisible Werewolves. Well, all Chain has to do is make herself even more diluted! Mission. Accomplished.
In the epilogue, everyone sends the oblivious Steven Starphase to Chain’s apartment. Is he her token? When he opens the door, however, the girl is in the process of cleaning up her pigsty of a home. Anime girls are prone to violence when they’re embarrassed, so you can pretty much guess what happens next. Steven’s still as clueless as ever, but it doesn’t look like Chain really minds as we find her blushing in the after credits scene. What an uninspired, throwaway episode. I like Chain’s character, but it feels like nothing important has or will happen this season.
Evil or Li–… unfortunately, I didn’t get around to watching this week’s episode in time. I’m not too worked up about it, though. I also have a feeling you guys aren’t too worked up about it either. I might catch back up next week, I might not. We’ll see.