The team catches the serial killer of the week pretty easily in this episode, which gives us ample time to see what happens to them. This is where the show kinda loses me, but before we get to that, let’s dial it back a bit. When Kokuryu visits Koharu (Hondomachi) in the hospital — she confesses that she isn’t exactly scared of serial killers. Rather, she’s angry at them. She’s angry at all of them, and this emotion motivates her to jump back into action. The girl seems so kind-hearted, however, that we don’t think much of it. After all, catching bad guys is a good thing. Akihito, on the other hand, is still tormenting himself over the death of his daughter, so he has the extreme version of Koharu’s affliction. He hates serial killers and for good reason. One of them stole his little girl’s life. As a result, Akihito feels no remorse when these villains end their own life. But does that make our protagonist a murderer? That’s something I have to think about a little more. I mean, I can see how if you talk a child — a young, still developing mind — into suicide, there are thus lines of culpability. But Akihito saying a few words to a serial killer makes him responsible for a death of their own making? Hmm. But I digress, because I still haven’t gotten to the part that pisses me off about the episode.
What pisses me off is how easy it is for the Pyrotechnician to kill himself. What also pisses me off is how easily preventable his death should have been! When the killers are arrested, do they get sent to jail? Sorta. Like the Perforator, the Pyrotechnician is housed in the same facility as Akihito. But here’s the kicker: they assign the Pyrotechnician to a room directly across from Akihito. And just to top it all off, they allow these two to carry on a conversation like it’s no big deal. Now, the story already established last week that our protagonist is “guilty” of murder. He doesn’t directly murder them, though. He allegedly drives them to suicide, and we get see him in action in this week’s episode. Akihito kinda breaks the Pyrotechnician down, I guess. He exposes the serial killer’s vulnerabilities, so the guy ends up offing himself in the night. It’s dumb enough that they jailed him in such close proximity to Akihito, someone who is known for these murders. But they don’t even try to prevent the suicide. There’s nobody doing any surveillance. It almost makes me think that they want Akihito to do the dirty work. But again, we know that people aren’t happy with Akihito’s actions… so why do you guys keep giving him these golden opportunities?
When it comes to storytelling, there’s the emotional story, which helps me understand how the characters are feeling. Then there’s the metaphorical story, which helps me understand the ideas and concepts that the author or authors are trying to convey. Finally, there is always the literal story — the story of what literally happens. This has to make sense because the world has to make sense. In other words, don’t be dumb. The rest of the facility is practically empty! Why put the guy right next to Akihito? While I can appreciate Akihito’s hatred and resentment, and I can appreciate his forays into the dream worlds of killers, I can’t appreciate the immense stupidity that led to the Pyrotechnician’s death.
Random thoughts & observations:
— When we visit Koharu in the hospital, she informs us that she lost a bit of her frontal lobe, but it doesn’t sound like there are any side effects. Maybe they just haven’t materialized, but I don’t know much about brains. I know I have one and that’s about it.
— Kokuryu shows up again to deliver more exposition about the whole diving thing. Apparently, you shouldn’t dive into your own well, because your unconscious will just expand infinitely until you are completely lost. Uh huh.
— We’re also told that the body can die, but the mind will continue existing within the machine. Uh-huh. This is on par with the whole cognition particles thing.
— He and Akihito also used to be partners. I guess he blames himself for his former partner’s current mental state, so he dotes on Koharu a bit. It’s also easier to give a shit about cute girls.
— There isn’t much to say about the Pyrotechnician that hasn’t already been said. He’s not very interesting to me. The former soldier is obsessed with hellscapes, so he keeps trying to reproduce them albeit with some added flourish. My only question is how he can afford all that plastic surgery. Soldiers don’t tend to make a lot of money. They also don’t tend to come from rich families either. Oh well, maybe plastic surgery is cheap in the near future. In any case, this is a one-off episode, so the Pyrotechnician isn’t meant to be very fleshed out.
— The same applies to his dream. It’s just a tower full of people being sniped. And like always, Kaede serves as a token to keep Sakaido grounded.
— The only juicy bit of information is how these investigations can be impeded by the government, so at some point, I guess we can expect to see our investigators bump head with the State (even though they themselves are a limb of the State).