In this modern society, a new kind of “illness” is striking young boys and girls; Loneliness, disbelief and outrage push this generation to get more or more attached to Internet and technologies. The experts called those symptom “Net Addiction”. To prevent that, a certain Rehabilitation Facility has been set up to “Lead the young man back to the right path”. Enrolled to treat is addiction, Hibiki had no idea that this Rehabilitation Facility is nothing more than a prison. In this place where it’s not permitted to escape, how will Hibiki challenge despair in this hell?
– From Crunchyroll
I read a number of reviews of this before I watched the episode so I kind of knew what to expect. At the same time, a lot of those reviews were by people who found the basic violent nature of the setting off-putting. While the thought of any school actually embracing such actions as a means of ‘reeducating’ is despicable and clearly the violence in this episode is there for shock factor, the basic setting isn’t a deal breaker for the show so far, mostly because this episode didn’t seem to want to have the audience side with the instructors in instigating the violence but also didn’t make much effort to try to get us to sympathise with the ‘students’.
Unfortunately what that leaves us with is an unsympathetic lead who so far has moved between horrible, delusional and pathetic at various points in the episode and while that actually makes the events somewhat more palatable it doesn’t really help get you into the story. Mostly because the synopsis claims Hibiki is going to try to challenge things and yet this episode seemed to imply he was merely going to be another character’s patsy and he could later come into his own but so far he seems too pathetic to ever succeed in that sort of role.
While I’m not really sold on the characters or the premise (though haven’t been thrown off by them either), the visuals do some interesting things. Note, in this case interesting doesn’t actually mean good because while there are some great shots and cuts at times that actually help the story along, a lot of the visuals leave you feeling like they were trying for a look they haven’t quite pulled off.
Still, I kind of feel this one is worth at least another episode though if they actually start trying to justify the instructor’s cruelty I am definitely checking out.
Thanks for reading.
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