There is only one word to be said about episodes like today’s. …D’awwwww.
See, the whole Mai and Sayaka friendship is just adorable and heartwarming. I gave her a hard time, early on, but I do really like Mai as a character. She’s just so nice. And I like how they’re actually using her being a big sister to sort of help inform her decisions and attitude towards Sayaka. I do wish we’d actually gotten to see her interacting with her little sister in the series at some point prior to now. But it’s still a nice little detail.
This episode was basically the Sayaka + Mai hour, starting out with Sayaka rejecting an injection of that weird Aradama stuff from the Renpu principal. Also, could that woman be any more of a tool? Seriously, I can’t wait for her to just be out of the picture. Anyway, right after that we actually get a little bit of exposition, which isn’t really all that important for understanding the state of things. It might become important later, but this is really a Mai and Sayaka episode, so back to them.
We learn that Sayaka ran away after rejecting the treatment and called Mai, since she was the only friend Sayaka could reach, after exchanging info at the end of a previous episode. But she hangs up before saying anything. Mai, having heard a convenience store clerk over the phone, tracks her down. And all that does is make me like Mai even more, though I have to question if the girl has trackers on people. Because she’s a friggin’ bloodhound. Regardless, I already stated that I liked the dynamic going between the two characters, and this scene really was a huge reason for that.
Alas, it’s not long before things get complicated a Yume, you know, the scary one, shows up, exercising her own inhuman ability to just magically find people. Full disclosure, I actually really enjoy this character. The character type is just incredibly fun, but it requires a really good performance to work as well. It demands the ability to convey a very keen emotional range, including unhinged (borderline psychotic) highs and subtle, understated lows.
Luckily Yume is voiced by Inori Minase, who has contributed her vocal talents to some of my favorite characters over the past few years, including Rem from Re:Zero, Meteora from Re:Creators (making her the best part of a show I otherwise wasn’t a fan of), and Hestia of DanMachi (aka waifu). Yume is very much in capable hands.
The subsequent fight is actually a lot of fun to watch, even despite the probably unnecessary CG. And a large reason for it being so entertaining is the involvement of Yume. Put plainly, if characters in the fight are having fun, as long as it isn’t forced, then the audience should be having fun. That said, Yume is still an antagonist (albeit one who clearly is more interested in her own agenda), so there is room to be concerned for the heroes of the fight.
Ultimately the fight ends and Yume does something that’s honestly a little puzzling. She lets them get away despite having them very convincingly beat. Heck, for all I can tell, she legitimately does it purely to spite the Renpu president. Which would only make me even more a fan of the character. Yet at the same time she seemed to almost sympathize with Sayaka at one point, so who knows? Could’ve been a sense of connection.
One thing this series has done a relatively good job of is making sure all the characters feel like their own entities, rather than just engines to drive the plot forward. Yume is no exception. In fact, for the longest time, the exception seemed to ironically be the main character, Kanami. But that’s since been rectified.
Overall I quite enjoyed the core of the episode. The exposition scene was a bit off since none of the information seemed all that crucial. But the other stuff involved some solid character interactions, a fairly enjoyable fight sequence, and the fulfillment of the unification of the main cast at last. It’s a nice little bit of Junk Food entertainment that I’d have no problem watching again. But if you’re more interested in something that’s entertaining for… other reasons, check out EvilBob’s latest recap of Hakyu Yoshin Engi.
Or if you want to continue to follow the adventures of cute girls with swords, Katana Maidens: Toji no Miko is Simulcast on Crunchyroll, Fridays at 10:00am EST. That’s all for me, here, folks. As always, thanks for reading. Keep up the awesome.