I didn’t pick the title of this post. That’s the actual title of the episode. It’s like the writers of this show and I finally got in sync. I’m a little scared…
I really don’t hate where the story is taking us, namely towards an inevitable showdown between all the remaining image users. Well at least the ones that aren’t apparently brain dead. It’s really a pretty decent and logical progression of the story. The unfortunate thing is that in order to get us there, they are using Tsukasa’s mental unravelling as a catalyst and that’s really shaking foundation.
Ultimately, we are lead to believe that everything that’s happened, all the events of the show, well at least of the main story arc, were set into motion simply because Tsukasa was jealous of Satoru and held a grudge against his old mentor. Except that just feels unearned.
It clashes with the Tsukasa we are presented with in all other situations and sort of goes against everything the show tells us about image users. It’s behaviour that’s much more suited to Hiroki’s character yet this episode went out of it’s way to establish the opposite.
And there was an extremely easy way out of it. Have the company force Tsukasa to choose between Hiroki’s life or Hayashi. Tsukasa could still have dubious morality, choosing Hiroki because he is more useful to him but the decision would have been difficult and left him rattled to the point of PTSD. The plot could essentially have been in the exact same place now but the lead up would have been more logical in my opinion and everyone’s motivations would have been established.
It’s just easier for me to get invested when I understand why characters act the way they do.
On the other hand I do quite like Hiroki and the story is setting him up for a rather drastic character moment in the last episodes. In fact, Pet had been rather protective of the ultimate Pet, showing him in a generous light throughout the series and making him and Satoru out to be rather heroic innocents despite their situations.
That’s why a confrontation between the two could have been interesting if set up properly. Otherwise it would just feel forced and rather sad.
This said, Satoru is about to find out about Hyashi and it is quite possible that his reaction will be aggressive enough to force the turf war after all. And I can buy that. Satoru has been shown as something of a gentle giant up until now but he’s also always been nurtured by Hyashi. Even though they’ve been separated for a long time, his childhood was comparatively loving and he has never had to faced open betrayal before. That would make it more likely for him to snap.
Basically episode 10 was just more groundwork for a big final confrontation but since they started off on the wrong foot, I think they would have been better off glossing over it and just getting to the action.
Contributed by Irina
from I Drink And Watch Anime!
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Images from: Pet. Geno Studeio. 2020. Oomori, Takahiro.