Like always, we’ll start with Pet.
— The episode begins by telling us how Satoru ended up with the Company. They probably caused his parents to die in an accident, didn’t they? Then Katsuragi ripped any last shred of happiness out of the grandmother to keep her from interfering as they took custody of the kid. These guys are scum. Sure, Hayashi took Satoru under his wing and treated the kid like one of his own, but his hands are just as bloodstained as the rest of them. As someone who has been working for the Company for so many years, who knows how many innocent people he’s killed. Caring for one child doesn’t absolve him of anything. There isn’t a single damn soul that I would root for in this anime. They’re all nasty people.
— Fast forward to the present and we see Hayashi hiding out in his dingy apartment. He never goes out. He orders the same bowl of char siu ramen everyday. What a miserable existence. How does he avoid going crazy from boredom? But that’s how it is for people like him, isn’t it? Hayashi is too valuable to the Company; he knows too much. Either they drag him back into the fold or they kill him. It isn’t like being a rank and file in the Yakuza where you can leave by giving up a finger or two. Once you’re in, you’re in.
— Life ain’t much better for Satoru and Hiroki. They’re constantly under surveillance. I guess the former is somewhat pitiable, because the Company essentially stole him from his family. Hell, maybe they all have tragic backstories and that’s how they ended up in this business.
— Take Katsuragi, for instance. We delve into the his past near the end of the episode. He was the result of his father’s infidelity and thus the black sheep within the family. But then there’s this thing about how he liked to play with dolls… and maybe he was targeted by a cat-loving pedophile? Okay, so Katsuragi has deep-seated traumas as well. Should I feel bad for him? Does this make him less of a fuck when he destroys a mother’s cherished memories of her dead son? That’s the thing, y’know. Pet’s storytelling is not bad. With each episode, we peel back another layer to these characters. The problem, however, is that it’s a rotten onion.
— I just have a difficult time relating to these characters. Satoru isn’t clueless; he knows he’s being watched. He’s also capable enough to break free from his cage. But what does he do with his freedom? He goes and sees Hiroki. Why? Is that the only pressing issue for him?
— We also learned that he had recently changed his appearance in order to take his mind off of Hayashi’s sudden disappearance. He doesn’t know that his mentor is trying to escape from the Company’s clutches. Satoru puts his head down and does his job as he’s told, because he thinks Hayashi is doing the same. Even if he’s the nicest person out of this entire bunch, he’s a rather simple guy, isn’t he? He isn’t all that bright.
— On the other end of the spectrum, Hiroki doesn’t know he’s being watched, but it’s not like it really matters. All the guy does is sit in his stupid aquarium shop and cry about Tsukasa. Dude is hella co-dependent, and that’s probably how his partner likes it. Keep them attached and they’ll never run away.
— But it’s just so annoying to watch this guy moan and wail over Tsukasa every episode. With each passing week, Hiroki seems to become more and more unhinged. Four weeks into the anime, and he hasn’t really been developed at all. I guess they’re saving him and Tsukasa for last, but at this point he’s also a rotten onion. I don’t necessarily want to peel those layers back.
— The episode ends with a cliffhanger. Tsukasa is probably going to try and use Hayashi’s painful past against him. So again, everyone has a deep-seated trauma, and everyone also seems to know about everyone else’s deep-seated trauma.
— This poor woman is still fixated on that arowana. Just sell her the damn fish.
Murenase! Seton Gakuen Ep. 4
— Ever since that lion dude stepped down from his throne in order to romance an impala, the school has turned into one giant turf war. Like usual, there aren’t any adults around to keep these rowdy “kids” in line.
— The first half of the episode deals with Ranka’s gigantic sister. Why is she so big? The anime points to Bergmann’s rule, which only states that animals in colder climates tend to be bigger than their cousins in warmer climates. The anime’s supremely liberal interpretation of the same rule suggests that big sis magically got bigger by constantly giving Ranka her coat.
— I’m also grossing myself out by imagining a wolf tearing its own coat off.
— Big sis wants Ranka to stop associating with all these weird animals. Instead, she should come home and rejoin the pack. Not very interesting, right?
— So let’s talk about wolf packs. Wolves are actually monogamous animals. Packs consist of a male and female at the top, and their children at the bottom. So when you hear things like, “Wolf packs are led by the alpha male,” that’s like calling your dad the alpha.
— The second half of the episode deals with a female spotted hyena who thinks she’s male. When Jin calls her out, she tries to show him her penis… so we soon learn that this won’t help because female hyenas have pseudo-penises.
— What we don’t learn is that spotted hyenas are very much matriarchal. Even the weakest female hyena is ranked higher than the strongest adult male in their social hierarchy. The only exception is if you’re a cub. Unlike a lot of mammalian species, female hyenas are bigger than their male counterparts.
— The girl tries to show off by chewing on a bone. The anime goes on and on about how hyenas have powerful jaws, which isn’t wrong. But the reason for this is that female hyenas (along with their cubs) get first priority when it’s time to feed. This often leaves the male hyenas — especially the lowest ranking ones — with just meaty bones.
— Like a lot of species that form clans or packs, the male hyena will eventually depart their natal clan in order to mate (unlike anime fans, even hyenas know better than to mack on their sisters). When they try to join another clan, however, they get hazed and picked on a lot by the larger female hyenas. So this episode is kinda weird to me, cause it tries to do the trope where all the girls swoon over the cool guy.
— Also, the confused hyena in question espouses a lot of traditional male values. She seems to think that being a female hyena is a sign of weakness or something.