Beatless – Episode 9 Review (Flash Anime-tion)
Almost to the halfway point. And, at last, it looks like we might have some semblance of direction.
To be fair, the series hasn’t been completely aimless, thus far. But there wasn’t much going on to really tie things together. We know that five androids escaped from the super-mega-corporation with the silly name. Evidently, they all sought out owners for various reasons. Though we’ve yet to see much regarding Snowdrop’s own search for an owner. Furthermore, we don’t even really know why they wanted owners or what the end goal of all of this is. What little action the show’s thrown at us thus far has had very little to do with the actual plot. Or, rather, they’re connected to the plot but we have no real way of knowing how, just yet.
Alas, before we even bother getting to the point, the episode spends a large amount of time on other things, most of it was just more waxing philosophical. The girl who owns the company that Arato and Lacia work for becomes a student in Arato’s class. It’s here that we learn she was frozen in the 20th century and recently woken up. But it’s treated as a far greater deal than I think it really would be. It isn’t like the woman was asleep for centuries. They even directly state that she’s someone from the last century. And, I dunno if ya know this, but any legal adult watching this series is technically from “last century” as well. Myself included. Hell, if we wanna get really cute, we’re from the last millennium.
Anyway, they have an interesting discussion about the role of objects and characters, calling back to the episode where Arato’s dumb friend was forced by Kouka to work alongside a terrorist group. Mikoto, the android that Kouka was there to destroy, has become rather popular as something of a “character” due to the video being shown. People hadn’t really heard of her prior to that, but now she’s become something of a sympathetic figure. People have come to associate her with the role of a tragic heroine. The odd thing is that the girl makes this point by comparing Mikoto to… a Hello Kitty mug. And the conversation just sorta gets away from me at that point. But it’s still something of an interesting subject regarding something we tend to take for granted. I even like how the subject got turned over to what happens when the same kind of importance is bestowed upon actual human beings.
There’s also a largely unimportant scene involving the android that’d showed up in her home at the end of the previous episode. Here we learn about that whole interaction. She’s the last of the five escaped hIE units and has sought this girl out as her owner. But not before being forced to alter her appearance to the girl’s liking. Why? It goes in hand with what they were talking about before. The matter of objects being defined by their shape. Also, the girl named the android “Marriage.” Dunno why. Just run with it.
All the interesting stuff in terms of actually moving the story revolves around Shiori, however. After making a deal with Methode in the last episode, we get more or a look at the internal logic. And I was basically right. She did it for leverage. That way she’d no longer be a pawn in this company’s game. She’s now a player, with power of her own… but is it really her power? Methode is clearly playing at some other game, here. And I still don’t think it’s going to be a game that ends even remotely well for Shiori.
After some shady talk between her and the man presumably in charge of the company, she has a sit-down with Arato and Lacia. Earlier in the episode, it was again brought up that Lacia might be mind controlling him. And, at this point, I’m honestly not entirely certain if she is or not. And neither is he. It actually causes him a lot of grief when he thinks about all the trouble they’ve managed to cause (or at least, the trouble he believes they’ve caused. I, the rational one, would point out that they directly caused exactly none of this). Honestly, she may not be. But if she isn’t, their relationship has taken a very sudden shift towards being far… closer. And it is rather suspicious at times. Her verbiage, at times, comes on rather strong as a result of this.
Anyway, I’ll be honest. The next part is… confusing. Shiori asks Arato if he’d consider returning Lacia to the company. Obviously, that’s a negative. She proceeds to point out that they can’t claim ownership of her without filing a suit against him, which they don’t want because then the matter would be made public. Okay. That seems… simple enough. And then they introduce something about another hIE in Egypt that has the same number as Lacia. Oookay. Where is this going? Well, you tell me. Lacia mentions that they’d have to officially investigate this and Shiori confirms that this is what she and the company want them to do. Why? I… honestly haven’t the foggiest idea.
Then there’s a conversation on the bridge where Arato’s concerns about the mind control thing come out. Lacia insists that she’s with him because she wants to be and feeds him the usual schtick about only him being able to determine if his actions are the doing of his own free will. Which, I will remind you, is inherently suspicious. But then comes the most confusing dialogue found in the entire event. They talk about “stopping” the company and Shiori. Stopping them from… what, exactly? Suing him? But they don’t want to do that. Or maybe his not agreeing to turn Lacia over is forcing their hand? It might just be that the subs are funky. But the best I can honestly gather is that this other hIE with Lacia’s number would be what they use against Arato in a suit if he refused… but then, why would they show him this? Yes, Shiori’s in love with him. But if she wanted him to herself and to get Lacia away from him, I can’t see any reason for her to actively warn him about something that could be used against him to get Lacia back for the company.
Honestly, the episode had a lot of interesting ideas to talk about, but most of the episodes from the beginning have at least that going for them. This one tops it off by convoluting the plot quite a bit, and that doesn’t work in its favor. The absence of humor or action makes nothing better. And I honestly don’t think this show has enough of a handle on intrigue to try to let that, alone, carry the whole thing. It could try to let the romance carry it, but it’s obviously trying to downplay that element, at least for now, while there’s still the question of whether Lacia’s hacking him or not. Overall, the episode just wasn’t especially satisfying. I can’t really call it “bad,” because there is some interesting stuff going on, so it isn’t anything I’d say to Pass, but it’s definitely on the lower rung of Harmlessness. If you want something maybe a little easier to follow, I’d say to check out EvilBob’s recaps of Hakyu Hoshi-
I’m kidding, I’m kidding. But seriously do check out the recaps of Mahoutsukai no Yome. All of the intrigue, none of the headaches, and it has dragons! What’s not to like? Aside from the main villain, anyway. He’s a bit of an arse, it seems. But if you think you can decipher this one, be my guest. Beatless is available on Amazon Prime! That’s all for me, here, folks. As always, thanks for reading. Keep up the awesome.