Listeners Ep. 5: Denka and his weird brand of sexiness

I never got into Prince. I’d like to say I was born a little too late to appreciate him, but this sort of statement is never really true. There are plenty of people younger than me who think he’s brilliant. What I can say is that since contemporary music artists like The Weeknd are inspired by Prince, I suppose you could argue that I like Prince indirectly. Oh well, onto the episode…

— So we begin with a flashback. As we already know, Project Freedom was an attempt to rid the world of the Earless. We learn this week, however, that there are people who actually want to coexist with the Earless. They are known as the Mystics. Unfortunately, Denka (a.k.a. Prince) told his team that they’ll just have to lie to their allies. Ah, the classic “the good guys aren’t so good” heel turn.

— Ever since the failure of Project Freedom, it seems as though Prince has been moping around in his floating palace. Seriously, this is like supervillainy stuff. He also has this ridiculous painting of Jimi. Yup, he was basically in love with the guy.

— Oh hey, I get that reference! Also, how exactly is this man supposed to exude sexiness? I mean, I know this stuff is subjective, but c’mon.

— Also, you can’t just communicate with Denka directly. You have to play this ridiculous game of telephone. You start at the bottom of the stairs and work your way up. Eventually, the information gets to the man himself, but does it make it there in one piece? Shrug. So, uh, what do these people do? Do they really just around all day in order to deliver messages to Denka?

— Right after the OP, we see that the kids have run into some relationship woes. Echo is mad that Mu spent their money on a futon, but she only did it for him. So like always, the real issue here is a lack of communication.

— But as much as they would like to go their separate ways, fate conspires to bring them together.

— Man, look at that 80’s hairstyle.

— Echo and Mu take on part-time jobs in order to try and see Denka. Mu is Girl Six whereas Echo is Boy Nine. Oh, I get it. Hah, it’s a sex joke. ‘Cause sexy, am I right?

— They have Mu doing some sort of sexy telephone service. I guess guys pay money to ask you questions about dumb shit? I dunno, I think this was a minigame in one of the Yakuza games. Are kids even allowed in these establishments? I guess they are in this universe, ’cause Echo also visits the joint later in the episode.

— Speaking of Echo, at least he gets to do something he’s actually passionate about. But when he gets his first paycheck, his supervisor pretty much runs off with it. While the kid despondently wanders through the streets, he runs into Mr. Kid, a.k.a. Totally-Not-Denka. I’m sorry, but how does Echo not recognize the guy! Didn’t he and Mu get a photo of Denka and Jimi? Yes, they did! And doesn’t Echo study the players’ almanac forwards and backwards? Yes, he does! So how does he not recognize Denka standing right before him? Later in the episode, Totally-Not-Denka will reveal himself to be Totally-Denka, and both kids act as if they never saw it coming. Shrug.

— In any case, the two of them have a private chat in a secluded park. Totally-Not-Denka pretty much implies that he feels guilty for his actions ten years ago. They did betray the Mystics… and perhaps more. He also blabbers on and on about how love has been at a standstill since that day. I don’t know what that means, but there’s a lot about this show that I don’t understand. Nevertheless, we’re supposed to believe that Echo and Mu can somehow bring a revolution to this world. Totally-Not-Denka seems to believe that the love between them — platonic or otherwise — is meaningful. Maybe if this show had more episodes to develop their relationship, I might see that…

— Totally-Not-Denka argues that Echo isn’t really being honest with himself. After all, he decided to leave his hometown just to travel with her. But I dunno… maybe that’s love, but it’s not like passionate, “Babe, I’d do anything for you” love. But eh, what do I know?

— Eventually, Echo and Mu sorta make up, but they were never really fighting in the first place. They just needed a little bit of space from each other, because this sort of thing happens to all friends and couples. And as soon as they put their differences behind them, they are challenged by these two ladies. Basically, just more badass Players… but these Players haven’t exactly done anything meaningful in the past ten years, so I don’t know if they can really be considered badass anymore.

— Echo and Mu lose the match pretty badly, so Totally-Not-Denka gives them some advice for the rematch. Something about facing each other, i.e. be open and honest, take your relationship to the next level, etc. I dunno, take your pick. Listeners doesn’t slow down to develop its ideas, because I don’t think it has the time to do so. As soon as the rematch begins, Echo and Mu quickly have the upper hand. What exactly did they change? How exactly did they face each other and thus improve their teamwork? Why is their love stronger than their opponents’ love? I have no clue. We just have to put our trust in the results.

— All of a sudden, the Earless are here. Emboldened by the kids’ victory, Denka finally jumps into action. In doing so, he reveals that his entire city is his Equipment. Welp.

— In the aftermath, he also reveals quite a few juicy tidbits about his days with Jimi. Not only did they betray the Mystics, they also betrayed Jimi. Hm, so the guy is all about peace and love. Like the Mystics, he wanted to embrace the Earless with open arms, but us humans were too close-minded and scared to accept his “revolution.” Okay, okay.

— Also, the reason why Mu looks so much like Jimi is because she might be his little sister? Hm, let’s see about that.

— In any case, the kids’ journey continues. Denka tells them that the Mystics have retreated into hiding after the betrayal, but maybe the kids’ love can touch their hearts or whatever. Man, this shaping up to be quite a quest.

— Oh yeah, I haven’t mentioned this before, but MAPPA went through the trouble to give these episodes a unique ED. It’s kinda cool I guess.

2 thoughts on “Listeners Ep. 5: Denka and his weird brand of sexiness

  1. Derrick Smith

    If you aren’t a deep music fan overall you won’t get the inside jokes that are laced within the plot lines. The episode before this basically pointed out how Courtney Love (Hole) ruined Nirvana but they were supposed to be friends. Courtney only cared about herself. The Teen Spirit as a drug reference was funny as well,

    In this episode, the 6 is a reference to Vanity 6. It wasn’t just a 69 reference.

    Prince was a multi-instrumentalist that owned the rights to his own music and he only respected people that could actually play and write. He would write hit songs for other people and give them as gifts. He didn’t let the industry push him around which is why he changed his name to a symbol so he could still make music. He will be missed.


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