Score: A-

It is good to have this show back! Fair enough that they didn’t try to match the insanity of the original with that absolute movie of a first episode! But this was a solid way to get back to the story. They made some interesting choices via opening with the play itself. I have no idea how much of this season will be focused on the play itself, but if it’s a huge part then this isn’t a bad way to drop us into the show. I was curiously watching out for the familiar faces during that introductory scene to figure out who everyone is playing, but it wasn’t all that difficult. With the way this episode ended I’ll be curious to see how that play actually turns out!

Very curious about Aqua in this arc

Aqua obviously isn’t focused on the play itself. He would much rather get to know the Director for this play. This guy is a huge source of information about Ai and anyone that got close to her. He wouldn’t be here if not for revenge. It does make me wonder if Aqua will be ok in the play itself. Everyone else is so fired up over their performances and doing a great job, but his objective is just not the same. I do wonder if he’ll eventually start to accept the actor side of himself. He’s got more than he believes and has continually gotten work as a result. But right now, he’s just not seeing himself that way.

Part of me thinks the only reason he spoke up for Akane was because it was an excuse to speak with the Director. If he can’t find excuses to talk to the man, how can he get any information out of him? I won’t say he doesn’t care at all about Akane, but with Aqua I just never know how much of his concern is legitimate. The only thing that I think is truly real is his attention directed towards Kana. She’s got nothing to contribute to his revenge, but he does keep his eyes on her a lot of the time. Maybe it’s the actor side of himself that he won’t face or just a genuine interest in her as a person. But even Akane is picking up on that.

I feel a bit for Akane here

This role does seem to be a difficult one for Akane. She’s very much an actress that inhabits the character. Her strength is putting the pieces of a person together and just becoming them. We saw that when she channeled Ai during the first season. But in this case her interpretation, the source material, and the role asked by the play’s script aren’t nearly the same. It’s hard for her to match up to Kana at all with the mixed-up nature of her character’s situation. Princess Saya seems like an interesting character and I get why Akane is frustrated at her character being simplified.

Maybe the author being brought into the equation will change things up. It’s hard to say though. Even the source material responded to the audience demand of more going towards Kana’s character. But it could allow Akane to shine more than the current script is allowing her to. I can’t help but think the story will find a way to leverage the rivalry between Akane and Kana (both professionally and romantically) compared to what the story seems to be doing right now.

Adaptations can be a trial

It’s not a bad thing to delve into the world of adaptations. They are difficult to pull off. Even in adaptations that are considered excellent there are going to be things that fans of the original will take issue with. And I think this episode broke down how tempting it is to simplify things. With Princess Saya it’s possible to shave multiple seconds by eliminating the inner turmoil (and the need to express that). And they do need to consider the audience both close to the action and in the back. The people in the back aren’t going to be able to get the facial expressions as much. It’ll work great for the people up front but those in the back might get bored/frustrated at the parts without action or dialogue! The scriptwriter really has a villain-like role in trying to make the adaptation work.

Honestly, I’d watch an anime about this

Kana was the star of this episode! Full credit as well to Himekawa for helping Kana. The guy may look normal but he’s an absolute star of an actor! You could just see the light in Kana’s eyes with having someone that allowed her to go all out. It had to suck for her to lower her performances to match lesser talents around her. But this show isn’t one of those times. And with these two going all out it will pull the performances of the rest of the cast up. Because this is a cast with talent. Once Kana got rolling you could see the energy in the rest (minus Aqua) rise as a result. Kana is adorable, talented, and I’m happy to see her hard work paying off. This role could be huge for her. Anyone that’s forgotten how good she is should be reminded through the play.

Creators onboard now!

It was cool to see Kichijouji again. I like the friendship she has with Kana. It makes sense. She knows how much Kana put into helping adapt her work and how she nailed that last episode. Equally hilarious was how cold she was to Melt. He isn’t a bad guy, but I get it. He really did a terrible job with a character she created. But this play is a good chance for him to grow. He’s clearly working harder for this role, even if that doesn’t change how Kichijouji thinks of him.

The interesting thing will be the creator of Tokyo Blade. I didn’t expect that Akibo would be the type to really push for an overhaul of the script! That’s a pretty insane ask considering they are well into rehearsals. Plus, that’s putting a lot of pressure on the scriptwriter. He’s pretty much being tossed into the fire with being asked for massive rewrites and basically being told he’s done a terrible job! I’m curious to see if they’ll actually go along with that. I’m guessing they’ll mostly go along with it since otherwise that scene wouldn’t mean much as a cliffhanger.

Gotta love this rivalry!

This episode was solid. My gut feeling is that the OP/ED combo for this one isn’t anywhere close to as iconic as the first season. That was probably a given though. Matching up to songs that good and visuals to match isn’t easy. The OP started a bit awkwardly but it did improve as it went along. Not my favourite, but it was ok.

Bold choice to focus the ED on Ruby. She is a major character in this story even if it doesn’t always feel that way! I’m honestly not sure what I think of the ED so far. It’s not bad, but I’m not sure if it’s great either. I may end up watching it each week just to try and gauge my feelings about it!

I’ll be happy to see more of Ruby

I enjoyed getting back into this series once again. The season is so packed that I can’t be sure if I’ll cover this or not. But there’s no doubt that it’s a good show! I’m both interested in the situation around this play and the continuing investigation Aqua is undertaking in order to find out who got Ai killed. I’m not sure what will happen with Ruby since B-Komachi wasn’t a huge focus in this episode. I’ll definitely be watching no matter what!

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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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