Last post for a while aaaaaaaand it has to be Caligula. Ah well, at least we get a major plot twist in this penultimate episode. Let’s save some for the finale too, though.
— If you’re spirited away to Mobius, this is how you’ll end up in the real world. Fun. I think Astral Syndrome is a strange name that doesn’t really say anything at all about the weird affliction, but whatever.
— As we all suspected, Ritsu’s company is responsible for the creation of Mu, and thus, they are also responsible for all these cases of Astral Syndrome.
— As our hero leaves the press conference, however, he’s being followed by this hooded fellow whose face is annoyingly obscured by some random source of light. Great. His real identity must be a huge plot twist.
— Man, this guy hates ramen. Who the fuck hates ramen? He’s obviously a villain.
— On the news, we hear that someone has finally died. They must be referring to Shadow Knife, since he’s the only dork to actually die in Mobius.
— Exciting shots of the hero walking through empty hallways! Hot!
— As he walks through the office, he remembers the good ol’ days of celebrating with his team. You can’t tell me that the team was this small, though. C’mon, something as complex as Mu was built by less than ten people? Gimme a break.
— One of the team members, however, was a huge, antisocial loner. This must be the hooded fellow from earlier.
— Back in the present, Ritsu is suddenly accosted by the hooded fellow… who he refers to as Ritsu… wut?
— Yes, that guy is really Ritsu. When he entered Mobius, I guess he just decided to assume his team leader’s face and voice. We’ll get to his team leader’s real name in a bit. For now, however, we have to check up on the Go-Home Club.
— Oh good, they’re still keeping themselves busy with Marie. Thanks to Naruko’s shielding powers, they’re not in any real danger… yet.
— Outside the school, however, Mu decides to go nuts again and absorb everyone’s unhappiness. Yeah, that doesn’t sound like a good idea.
— I rolled my eyes hard at this line.
— As Marie gets the upper hand on the Go-Home Club, Mu beams with approval. But I don’t get it… if she can tell that Wicked is having a blast, why can’t she tell that the Go-Home Club are suffering? If Mu is so concerned with everyone’s happiness, why doesn’t she seem to give a shit about the bad guys? I guess we’ll just hand-wave this away and blame it on Mu’s corruption. I mean, if that’s seriously the explanation, then it’s fine but the story should’ve done a better job of conveying the AI’s gradual fall to madness.
— Out of all the good guys, Marie is not allowed to touch Shogo for obvious reasons. He belongs to Thorn. He stares her down and refers to her as Ichika, but according to last week’s episode, that girl is dead in the real world. Either she survived the suicide attempt somehow or someone is assuming her identity in Mobius. Or maybe Mu detected Shogo’s unhappiness and created a fake Ichika that is hellbent on punishing him because he hates himself, but this is probably a little too farfetched.
— Back in the real world, we learn that the guy who looks and sounds like Mobius Ritsu is actually named Shingo. I imagine he’s a Product Manager of some sort, so it would make sense that he leads a team of programmers. And being a PM, he’s absolutely useles–… well, nevermind about that.
— The real Ritsu stutters and stammers. He’s a total loser who hates everyone and everything around himself. Most of all, he hates himself for not being able to fit in. No wonder Mu is so fucked up. Not only is she programmed by someone who needs serious mental help, her understanding of happiness comes from him.
— And it’s no wonder why he has no real reason to leave Mobius. He’s only one of the good guys because he doesn’t like to see Mu in her current state. As a result, we get to watch the guy type a bunch of gibberish code on three different terminals at the same time. Gotta patch’em all!
— Back in Mobius… er, let’s just not.
— Well, I guess I have to give a shit about Marie and the rest of the Go-Home Club. Despite all these explosions, nobody ever dies. I know it’s fiction, but then why did Shadow Knife die so easily if bombs literally can’t kill you?
— Plus, Marie is really that strong? All of these kids put together can’t subdue one Bomber(wo)man?
— Going by this line, maybe Marie is paralyzed in real life. Or a paraplegic.
— Kensuke just now manages to achieve his Catharsis. God, that last sentence sounds so stupid when I read it back to myself.
— Anyways, he turns the table on Marie, and uh… now the bombs can do real damage? Does this mean Marie’ll lose her legs in real life too? Or has she already lost them and this is just Mobius finally imitating real life?
— Elsewhere, Shogo finally realizes that Thorn can’t be Ichika, so he demands to know who the villainess really is. Y’know, Thorn kinda has a deep voice for a woman… I wonder if it’s some guy obsessed with Ichika, so he followed Shogo into Mobius just to get his revenge.
— Back in the real world, Ritsu insists on unfucking everything by himself. After all, Mu is his everything. It kinda sounds like he’s in love with an AI that he created. I dunno, if that were me, Mu would seem more like a daughter to me than anything.
— Ritsu reveals that Mu never spirited him away. For some reason, her song doesn’t work on him and his unhappiness. He had to force himself into Mobius. Woo, what a stalker!
— But after seeing what we saw, he’s now determined to save not only Mu but his nakama at all costs! This outburst would be a lot more powerful if the show ever established any sort of strong friendship between Ritsu and the rest of the Go-Home Club. I never felt as though they were all that close, however, so the strong emotions here don’t resonate. I can understand why Mu means so much to him, but the rest of the club? Eh.
— Nevertheless, this determination somehow reaches Aria, and he starts hearing her voice out of nowhere. All of Ritsu’s computer screens fade to white, so I assume the chibi AI is going to drag him back to Mobius to confront Mu once and for all. That about does it for this week’s episode, but I’m still confused about Aria. I mean, what is she? Neither Ritsu nor Shingo mentioned Aria once in their conversation. They just talked about Mu. So who created Aria?