Score: A-

In some ways I think this was an even better episode than last week. A much more serious tone that delved into the characters themselves and setting up what should be a dramatic finale to the season. A very Hoshino focused episode, but one that also gives Shiroko quite a bit of attention. That ending moment to the episode opens so much speculation and things to ponder. I’m curious how they are going to handle certain events. Just an episode that gave me a “here we go” feeling. It’s not going to be sunshine and rainbows right to the end.

When Hoshino is ready to crush someone!

I love opening the episode with the flashback to Hoshino’s meeting with the mysterious Black Suit. It wasn’t something they needed in the last episode, but it’s perfect for this one. The best part is how Hoshino just gets fully serious right away with this guy. She’s pissed and not hiding it. No playing the “oji-san” card with this guy. It says a lot about how unsettling this guy is and says some things about Hoshino herself. There was good reason for Hina to regard her seriously when she showed up at the end of the last episode. Hoshino has plenty of skills and there’s quite a bit hidden underneath that lighthearted facade. And returning to her getting out of bed shows how absolutely cornered she appears to be right now.

The animators just love Hina!

Hina doesn’t mess around when it comes to punishments! Technically Ako signed herself up for it with both her actions and claiming she’d sign 1,000 sheets. But Hina’s not going to let her back out on her own words either. Especially since she’s likely legitimately upset at how Ako handled things. Plus, she is giving her a stern warning about underestimating people. If Hoshino was both at that fight and acting like she was in the past…it would have been a total disaster. I’m sure Hina is confident enough in herself to go up against Hoshino, but it wouldn’t be anything easy. Some forgiveness can go to Ako since Hoshino’s combat data dried up over the past couple of years. But it just shows how important it is to be thorough if you are going to do something drastic.

It was a good excuse to show off Hoshino’s skills via flashback. She was and likely is still a beast. Just one that has very seriously worked to hide her claws. It seems doubtful that her fellow students all know what kind of powerhouse Hoshino was in the past. If she was, they would want to lean on that more instead of mostly using Shiroko as their offensive ace.

Sensei can look serious

Even Sensei is getting a few serious moments in this episode. The talk on the roof was light enough, but it was the talk with Arona that really got interesting. Stopped himself from asking her to do some digging about Hoshino’s past since that really is something he should find out about himself. But he knows enough that there is something up with Hoshino to want to investigate. At least he was on top of using Hina’s tip to get Arona looking more into what the Kaiser Corporation is up to in the desert. We might start getting a more serious Sensei for the remainder of the season. Since honestly you can only get so far with a Sensei who is being goofy and light about everything.

Make the most of those photo opportunities

PS68 had their moments and I’m glad for how most of that played out. Frankly Haruka needed that serious apology moment because that situation was her fault. She acted without thinking and a lot of harm was done as a result. More than anyone else she had to apologize. The other characters had their moments too. I’m always enjoying how much of an imp Mutsuki is or how Kayoko tries to be the voice of reason in most situations. Aru is a fun girl that really does want to be the kind of outlaw of her dreams. Things aren’t good for them, but on the positive side they aren’t a threat to Abydos anymore. They’ve messed up too much that their own clients are after them so at most they might return to the story as an ally. Giving up that money to repair the ramen shop was good.

Hoshino can read the room

The cast is steadily realizing how screwed they are. They thought it was just a simple debt that they were up against. But long before they even started paying it off the whole district was pretty much lost to a private corporation! Even the buildings and businesses are at serious risk because Kaiser can just evict them if it chooses to. No wonder they can go around finding “something” in the Abydos desert because they pretty much own Abydos. The only person that might know how all this happened is Hoshino who is the only third year. But she’s not talking if she does know.

Familiar gun…

What really caught my eye was the ending of the episode. That was surprisingly tense. Sure, it had fanservice with Shiroko getting a shower. But the bigger thing was her room being “attacked” and her having to get a small gun and head out there in less than full dress. It was only a bird (or someone used it as cover) but it had her heart racing. At the start of episode 1 when we saw Shiroko there was that metronome sort of thing on her shelf. And now it ended up broken at the end of this episode. Whether it’s just symbolic about things getting serious from here or something else I’m not sure.

It does honestly feel like the show is getting serious about all this. No more fun of fighting the helmet gang. Whatever Kaiser is plotting is bound to be serious. And whatever “deal” that shadowy guy offered Hoshino can’t be too positive for the cast. I just get the feeling that we’re in for a ride here.

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An older member at 25, yet a new addition to Anime Evo. Recently graduating University and in the difficult point between school and a true career. Anime being a salvation and blogging a good way to put all those hours of writing essays to some use. Enjoys talking about series, yet not taking on so many that the quality dips. A Canadian who enjoys his anime and hearing what others think about the series he enjoys watching.

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