“Kiss me, big brother” never sounded so innocent and sweet.
What They Say:
Airi finds her existence threatened when major maintenance is scheduled for the IRUO. server. While Airi clings to the hope of a snowy miracle, Kaito learns more about her past.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After an arc of sorts wrapped itself up pretty conclusively last time, there’s a little bit of uncertainty about where the series is headed now. Obviously we have our main overall plot, but the exact direction it would take was less clear than it has been for a while. This time, we get a relatively self-contained story in that it begins and ends in a single episode, but it also affects the composition of the main cast more than any episode for a while. In fact, it’s the first time a significant character has exited the series, although it’s not quite as sad as that might sound.
This episode focuses on one character in particular, and of course on the relationship with Kai as well, since that’s basically a given at this point. The character in question is Airi, and a great deal of it revolves around how much of a “person” she really is, and how much of a different character she is from Geji.
For an episode seemingly about the product of a bunch of zeros and ones, it actually carries a great deal of human emotion in it. Although stories of artificial intelligence becoming more human than some actual flesh-and-blood people have been told in anime series since they started being made half a century ago, this episode uses the opportunity of Airi’s fate being in danger to reveal that she is in fact a lot more human than anyone could’ve guessed.
The concept of someone programming in the personality of a terminally ill young girl for whom he cares about greatly so she can continue to live on in the virtual world isn’t entirely original either, but it still tends to make for some pretty sweet content. As it becomes more likely that Airi likely won’t exist for much longer, the mood gets very somber, but with as adorable and upbeat as Airi is, even though it’s obvious that she’s not nearly as oblivious to the reality of the situation as she may act most of the time, the episode never gets overly depressing.
There’s no great surprise to how the episode ends, but it was nice to see Airi get this episode to herself, and the way it shows some residue of her memory intact in Geji is a very cute way to close it out. Despite how integral Airi, Geji, and Kimijima are to the main plot at hand, there’s actually a lot less progress made than there has been since things got especially serious.
Like the previous one, this episode ends with no hints of what it will be immediately followed by, but its story has clearly been concluded, so I’d think it’s safe to assume that there will be a return to focusing on the big picture. It was important to send off Airi like this, but with the number of episodes the series has left and the enormity of what’s at stake, I don’t think there’s much more time to be spending on full episodes that don’t add much to it like this. Still, this episode delivers emotion in a way that can hopefully be replicated for our more human characters in the future.
Streamed By: FUNimation
Toshiba Satellite L655-S5191 PSK2CU-1C301U Notebook PC.