Oh man, I thought they had saved Hondomachi by the end of last week’s episode, but she’s still stuck in Narihisago ID Well. To be more accurate, she’s stuck in a well within his well. As a result, this episode is all about two men attempting to save her… as… slowly… as… possible…
— Naturally, they can only rely on the Perforator. After all, we’re told that we can’t send someone into their own ID Well. This rules Narihisago out… or does it? Frankly, I’d still like to see it. C’mon, do it, you cowards!
— As for the Perforator, he’s failed over 20 times. He can’t even make it to the cockpit. He makes absolutely no attempt at solving the lightning puzzle. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t either. This is all fun and games for an anime — for something that we watch for fun — but why would any person honestly expect to encounter a video gamey puzzle within someone’s unconscious mind? It’s silly.
— This is getting a bit out of hand. Nishimura speculates that Momoki’s ID Well might also have a cockpit, it might also be loaded with Kiki Asukai’s data. Finally, said cockpit might also be used to save Hondomachi… even though the girl is currently trapped in Narihisago’s ID Well. Wha…? Somehow, our two besties’ unconscious minds are linked? It’s just too wild to me. It almost makes me think that Momoki’s ID Well has potentially been tampered with. Yeah, there’s a cockpit in there because someone put it there. Plus, didn’t the technology suspiciously fail to extract Hondomachi in last week’s episode?
— Who’s Kiki Asukai? A former victim of the Challenger. She was saved by Momoki, but she mysteriously disappeared afterwards. The nurses at the hospital also mysteriously fell into a coma. We’ll just leave it at that, though.
— What also annoys me is how Togo has no skeptical bone in her body. As an investigator — a detective of sorts — she’s supposed to have a mind that naturally tries to question everything. Nevertheless, her superior just posed an outlandish theory, and she didn’t even bat an eyelash. She’s far too trusting.
— We’re just breaking all sorts of new grounds now. Both Narihisago and the Perforator are gonna be sent into Momoki’s unconscious. But why are they attempting this? Do they honestly think that this will increase their chances of success? How do they even know that the Perforator is stable? He’s never lived long enough for them to see him in action. How do we know we can trust him to do the right thing within the ID Well (like saving Hondomachi)? This just all seems very risky for a room full of professionals.
— Meanwhile, the Perforator delays the inevitable by going on and on about how two brilliant detectives might fundamentally clash within the unconscious mind. Not that they’ll fight and argue. Oh, nothing like that. He actually theorizes that the world might become unstable or one of them will disappear. There’s nothing to really support this idea, though. Nothing other than this flimsy supposition that mystery novels can’t have more than one brilliant detective (I’m sure we’ve had crossover fiction). Anyways, let’s just hope this isn’t some sort of foreshadowing.
— A vast, open desert for Momoki, huh? But luckily, we still only have one Kaeru. Still, the desert is suspicious. Why would Momoki’s unconscious mind be so barren? And especially if he’s the true mastermind behind this entire series? On the other hand, if you constructed an ID Well, you might not care about filling it with lots of detail and flourishes…
— Anaido, a.k.a. the Perforator, doesn’t seem very brilliant to me, and I think Sakaido agrees. The latter is doing all of the mental work while his colleague is goofing around. For now, I don’t think anyone should worry about an existential crisis causing one of these detectives to disappear.
— I’m not even gonna comment on these two men urinating on their owns clothes.
— Luckily for Anaido, this is the one ID Well that he can survive in… until he dies of dehydration anyways. But hey, progress! Still, the complete and utter desolation — not to mention the fact that sun doesn’t even move — in Momoki’s ID Well continues to seem suspicious to me. I’ll probably be completely wrong, but I’m still leaning towards the idea that what our two detectives are exploring has potentially been faked or manufactured somehow by the actual villain. After all, I still don’t believe for a second that Momoki is John Walker, and I don’t know why anyone would. Evidence can be planted and he has no motive for the crime.
— The two detectives eventually split up, because Sakaido wanted to spend more time examining Kaeru for clues. Still, it didn’t take long for him to catch up to his “partner.” I don’t know if the former was just hurrying or if the latter is just lazy and unreliable.
— Like his real world counterpart, Anaido spends too much time and energy thinking about unnecessary stuff. When informed that the sun has stopped moving relative to their position, he wonders whether or not this earth’s revolution has been sped up. I mean… maybe? But who cares?
— Ah, quicksand. With Anaido’s help, Sakaido simply crawls out of the hazard. This works because quicksand is denser than water, so unless you panic and thrash, your body won’t completely sink into it. That’s just pure physics. Not that Anaido knows anything about physics. He subscribes to a different school of thought. Whatever you say, buddy.
— Back in the real world, Momoki snaps when he hears that Narihisago and the Perforator are exploring his ID Well. He insists that they be extracted immediately. Sounds like he knows something. At the very least, he knows that those two are in real danger. And guess what? He won’t tell us what he knows. He’ll just look like a psycho and scream at the top of his lungs instead. Yep, that’ll get people to listen to you — people who think you’re a serial killer. It’s ridiculous. He’s supposed to be an intelligent man. You wouldn’t otherwise lead a team of investigators. But all of a sudden, when it’s convenient for the plot, Momoki can’t find a pair of working brain cells.
— Back in Momoki’s ID Well — if it even belongs to him — our detectives finally catch up to their “watch thief.” The culprit seems to have fallen victim to quicksand… well, not really. Why happened to his eyes? Why are chunks just missing from his face?
— It’s kinda odd how buddy-buddy Anaido comes across here. Like he’s lonely and thus yearning for companionship.
— Just like Nishimura “speculated,” our brilliant detectives soon discover a Mizuhanome nearby. It is also loaded with Kiki Asukai’s data. We have to assume, then, that Hondomachi can be found by using the machine, right? C’mon, just think about it… Nishimura getting one thing right? Okay, sure. Even if you’re blindfolded, if you throw enough darts, one will eventually hit the bullseye. But he got everything right. Everything. That’s not suspicious to anyone? We’ve got an entire room full of investigators and they don’t question anything? Sadly, the only person who might have an inkling that something is wrong is Sakaido.
— Sure enough, Sakaido is gonna climb into the cockpit and use it. I’m not sure why they didn’t take more time to examine the culprit’s body. Aren’t they rushing a bit? It’s not like the Mizuhanome is gonna go anywhere. Considering how much time he used to stare at Kaeru’s body, you’d think he’d do the same with the “watch thief.” Plus, the culprit’s body just looks so suspicious. Even Sakaido noted that it looked more macabre than he expected… but he’s not gonna examine it? Sigh…
— Nevertheless, Sakaido tells Anaido to hit the eject button after ten minutes, but I’m not sure how the latter is supposed to tell time without a watch or a moving sun. Hell, even with the latter, it’d be difficult. Without a sundial, I can’t hope to tell how much actual time has passed just because the sun moved. Can anyone? Oh well, I guess Anaido can simply count to 600, I guess.
— If Momoki was still in charge, he probably wouldn’t risk his former BFF’s like like this. But there no reason for Togo to care about Narihisago, right? Well… I dunno. Maybe she thinks this is the only way to save Hondomachi, so they have to risk it no matter what. Even so, I’m frustrated with her. It’s one thing to forge ahead into danger, but it doesn’t even seem like she finds anything potentially troubling about this scenario. She’s cold and clinical; she lacks Momoki’s instincts.
— Right before we hit the credits — and thus right before we see Sakaido dive into yet another ID Well — we cut back to Momoki, who still hasn’t changed his tune. He’s still just screaming like a madman. Well, this time, he adds that it’s a trap. But why is it a trap? Sorry but you’re gonna have to wait an entire week to find out the answer to this question.
— Man, this episode was so slow. And this would be fine if it was a slow burn. If there was a creeping sense of dread, then the lethargic pacing would actually be a good thing. But there is no dread. There is no tension until Momoki starts raving near the end of the episode And as a result, it just feels like we’re buying time, because we’re not ready to move the story along. We want that cliffhanger even if it doesn’t feel organic.