Why, Lacia, why, why?!
Honestly, I don’t know where I’m going with this. I don’t know what’s going on with this anime either. Lacia is up to something. I know that. And yet, she’s betting everything on Arato: “I believe that you will meet my expectations.” But let’s start from the beginning.
Apparently, things have been awkward between Arato and Lacia since her modeling gig in Shibuya. Lacia doesn’t like that. Nope, she doesn’t like that at all.
So we get some odd scene in which she tries to seduce him…
…but in that innocent anime sort of way…
…where the only action you’ll ever get is the guy resting his head in the girl’s lap. Yawn. But after five minutes, she asks him if he wants to extend the session as though he’s calling a sex hotline. Like what?
Nevertheless, the experience is enough to weird the kid out. He wakes up the next morning looking haggard. But before you know it, tragedy strikes. Lacia and Yuka were outside the home for whatever reason when a car ran into the hIE. Yes, just straight up ran into the android. Then she gets kidnapped.
Arato tries to report the crime to the police, but they don’t care. Since hIEs aren’t considered people, this is a theft and not a kidnapping in their eyes.
As a result, it’s time for Arato to get down to business…
…eh, yeah… business.
He asks his two dear friends for help, and I guess you can track hIEs through something called the antibody network. I’m not sure what that is. Has the story ever mentioned this before? In any case, Kengo and Ryo manage to help Arato chase down Lacia’s kidnapper. This results in a super exciting chase scene through empty, sterile streets. But all of sudden, Ryo becomes suspicious. Isn’t this all just a little bit too easy? In fact, Lacia’s giant black shield thing has gone missing from Arato’s home. It’s almost as if Lacia engineered this whole incident to get Arato to come chasing after her. But for what? Is she testing him? Testing his worth? Ryo then suggests that perhaps Lacia is a Red Box. Again, more jargon from the story. I don’t know what a Red Box is other than that it was apparently created by yet another AI. So an AI created an AI. This is getting out of hand.
As for Lacia, she was apparently kidnapped by some weirdo hIE serial killer who is obsessed with finding the perfect woman. Naturally, he’s dissatisfied with real women, so he’s been combing the antibody network for hIEs instead. If they don’t measure up to his standards, he basically murders them. Of course, in this story, people don’t consider hIEs to be alive, so is it really murder or just destroying another person’s property? Eh, you decide. Unluckily for Lacia, he caught sight of her during the modeling gig, and he’s been stalking her ever since. He’s one big creeper. Unluckily for him, however, the van starts swerving all because this oh-so-intimidating kid is chasing him, and he loses Lacia out the back of the vehicle. Whoops.
Lacia suddenly stands up and triumphantly escapes from… whatever that black cloth was. She was never in trouble. She’s too strong for some random dude to just kidnap her.
Not that Arato would know that. When he catches up to the killer, he goes totally psycho. Like holy shit, kid, chill.
But just look at Lacia. Look at her facial expression. She’s pleased. She engineered this whole scenario to get this reaction out of the kid. Who owns who?
Time to go home, right? No. The stalker isn’t done. He’s got a flamethrower to fight back. So Lacia goes and opens the door to some nearby warehouse and pulls out that black monolith thingy (what’s with the other android?). She’s prepared for this. She wants to kill this stalker. She’s wanted to kill him from the start. She picked this isolated location just to dispose of the guy. Naturally, Arato doesn’t want to take someone’s life. He may have lost himself for a moment there, but he doesn’t want this guy to die. Let’s just call the cops on him, and let society throw him in jail. But no, Lacia starts rattling off a bunch of reasons to justify executing the stalker here and now. And yet… she won’t pull the trigger herself. She argues passionately for eliminating this guy, but at the end of the day, she wants Arato to take full responsibility for her actions. Huh? Does she have a soul or not? Well, if she won’t take responsibility, what good is a soul? Does she want him to trust her or not? But what’s there to trust if, ultimately, everything is left up to him?
Meanwhile, the guy’s just breaking down. WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO BECOME ARGHGHGHGHG… yeesh, I don’t know what to think of this story. It’s oddly paced, has some weird elements, and feels a bit over dramatic all at the same time.
That’s when a shot suddenly comes flying in from the sky.
It’s none other than Kouka. But she reveals that she’s a Lacia-class hIE. Hm, okay. She also considers Lacia to be her older sister. Most importantly, she is not pleased with Arato. She thinks the kid is useless, so he doesn’t deserve to own Lacia. Like, if all he wants to do is have his hIE cook meals for him and his sister, then he’s squandering her potential. I mean, I suppose that’s true, but what exactly is her potential meant to be used for then?
In any case, Lacia gets thrown around a bit by her imouto. It’s not because she’s weaker than Kouka or anything. Oh no…
…it’s because there’s a limiter on her weapon, and she needs Arato’s permission to let her go hog wild. Again, she claims that he needs to take full responsibility. He finally relents and tells her to fight with him.
But he doesn’t do any of the fighting. He doesn’t even really give her orders. He just stands back and watches. Lacia unlocks her weapon, which becomes a shield that can block Kouka’s attack. The animation is pretty unimpressively Pepto-Bismol-like.
Then it looks like her weapon can now transform into a cannon that will vaporize anything in front of her. Again, Arato is concerned about the psycho stalker dude.
But Kouka seems pleased with the results. It feels like she only wanted to provoke Lacia into fighting back, so she takes her leave but not without saying how much she loves Lacia. Okay…
In the post-credits scene, Kouka blackmails Kengo. Apparently, using the antibody network is a big no-no. If he doesn’t want any harm to come his family’s way, then he’ll have to help her. With what? Blowing up some android who collects political opinions? She wants to be a terrorist?
Eh, I guess Beatless’s story is finally getting started after three weeks, but the end result is a mixed bag. I suppose the main thing keeping me at least somewhat interested in the anime is Lacia’s motives. What exactly is she after? What is she really trying to achieve with Arato? It certainly feels like she’s manipulating him into becoming the sort of person that she wants him to be. Again, she was pleased to see a kid lose control of himself and bloody some guy. Yes, the guy was a criminal, but you have to wonder if making Arato mentally unstable is actually part of Lacia’s overall plans.