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The Severing Crime Edge Episode #06 Anime Review

6 min read

The Severing Crime Edge Episode 6
The Severing Crime Edge Episode 6
Who knew that a quiet night of stargazing would require such trials and tribulations to be survived first?

What They Say:
Episode 6: “Waltz of Stars”

Will Iwai’s voice reach Kiri before he is command to do the unthinkable? Will the outside observers use this chance to make a play for the Queen?

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Kiri is walking in a daze. He doesn’t fully understand it but he is aware that he is under another’s control. Meanwhile, Iwai is running for her life. Sadly, Kiri captures her and a voice in his head tells him to kill her. But her tears and pleas seem to stop him for the moment, and Shihoudou loses patience, whipping him out of the way. Outside, Zaiga is waiting with even more zombies. And right on cue, we learn that it’s actually Shihoudou who is the Author, the one with the whip hand.

And then, we have a boring Villain Exposition where Shihoudou lays out her sick nature and some crap about domination. I’m sorry, but I lost interest. In the meantime, Yamane is on the move, as her sister tells her…not to save Iwai, but to make sure no other Author kills her. Shihoudou continues to play her boring mind games, though thankfully Iwai is holding up to them and isn’t wetting herself with fear this time around.

Then, we reach a new depth of ridiculousness when Kiri snaps out of his trance because Shihoudou orders him to cut her hair. Apparently, her hair is full of split ends and is a very poor specimen compared to the beautiful and lustrous locks of Iwai. Okay, the real reason is that Iwai calls him an idiot for falling for Shihoudou’s commands and says that she hates him. That seems to break the mind control the whip had.

A fight ensues. Monochrome ensues. Of course Kiri is able to fight off Zaiga and the zombies. But it’s not over as now Nakajima and his lethal book come and try to pass judgment on Kiri, as he claims that Kiri is now the greater evil, even if his evil is cloaked in the honorable cause of protecting the Queen. It looks bad for Kiri, but then Kozakura, speaking through Yamane’s cell phone and a bullhorn, gets his attention. She manages to break his concentration, releasing Kiri from the otherwise fatal noose he was in.

So, Nakajima is stopped and goes away. And then…we get a moment of self-pitying and a sympathetic backstory for Shihoudou, as Iwai shows her some pity.


For the end, Kiri and Iwai slip away to go dancing with the stars.

If there is one aspect in which many shows fall down, it is execution. The premise may be sound. The characters are well drawn and contain just enough hints of depth not to be two-dimensional (though sometimes two-dimensional is an upgrade from the depth of some anime characters). The visual design is good. The general plot has merit. But where the show falls down is in execution. The characters are not shown to contain the depth that they were planned to have/develop. The plot progression is rushed or drawn out too much, so that in either case holes develop or expectations are not reasonably met. If the story contains various elements, they are not balanced properly, leading to mood whiplash or what I call Comedic Drama Derangement Syndrome, where a show that is primarily comedy suddenly makes a desperate dash to include drama, or vice versa, which would be Dramatic Comedy Derangement Syndrome, where a drama suddenly needs to be a comedy.

Perhaps the worst failure of execution, however, is when the more interesting elements or characters in a story universe are underused while the most cliched and trite ones are given too much prominence, whether it be from staff laziness or their desire to stay within their comfort zone in terms of execution. New and interesting can be very hard to pull off. Old, stale and boring, but well known, can be done with little chance of slipping up. The rather more interesting Author we met a couple episodes ago, the blind pianist Hitomi Karuko appears and disappears. The far less inventive Segi Nakajima, who is nothing but a self-righteous extremist, hiding under the mask of speaking for Justice, is sadly given more prominence, as he has now been appearing regularly since his introduction. As in many cases throughout history, the lesser has prevailed.

The Author we met during this two episode arc is also on the boring and cliched side. A young woman who met a personal set back in her even younger days, and so tries to grab for power so that she can never feel hurt again. Oh boo [you know what] hoo. Disappointment and pain are part of the equation if you live and breathe. Perhaps she will learn this lesson as she may have lost completely to Kiri and Iwai (as well as Nakajima), but also discovers that Zaiga truly does follow her lead not because of the magical whip she bears, but of his own free will. But even then, the writers cannot restrain themselves from a cliche, as we are given a though image by Kiri, as he thinks that Shihoudou is really the one who is bound by the relationship she has with Zaiga. Ooh, didn’t see that coming five thousand miles away.

Then to top it off, extremist Nakajima is not stopped by Kiri or anyone else but by the deus ex machina of Kozakura rushing into the Professor’s office, where conveniently Houko is, talking to her little sister who is on the scene. And where did Yamane get that megaphone?

It’s not that the story idea, Kiri under an Author’s mental control, Iwai on her own, is bad at all. I’ll even give a small pass to using a Student Council President and Vice President as the villains, even though I think it would be nice, once in a while, to have an anime set in high school not have any members of the Student Council ever appear. But the way this arc was executed was disappointing in many respects. While Shihoudou was built up as being rather fearsome, she fell apart quite quickly, not like a balloon slowly deflating but more like one that has been popped. The behavior of Nakajima was also pretty much straight out of Cliches 101: it’s not even hard to see his ulterior motive. It’s pretty obvious, to me at least, that the real reason he was trying to kill Kiri was not because his “crime” (of getting caught up in using the Severing Crime Edge) was more severe than what Shihoudou had done (which, after all, is kidnapping, attempted murder, use of an illegal mind-controlling device). He wanted to kill Kiri since it’s pretty obvious that he wants to remove any Author who would be strong enough to stop him from killing Iwai. Yes, as Keima Katsuragi might say, I can already see the ending, at least the ending as Nakajima would have it. After killing all of the other Authors, he would then kill the Queen himself. Sure, I may be wrong, but it seems like a plausible line of development for the plot.

It would also be a rather boring one. Let’s hope they find a better path ahead.

In Summary:
The night of terror for Iwai ends as Kiri breaks free of the S&M pair’s mind control. The real Author is revealed, but Kiri, reunited with his Severing Crime Edge, saves Iwai. It’s not all triumph for Kiri as his victory is almost foiled by Nakajima, the self-righteous vigilante. Only a cheap plot trick saves Kiri from certain death, and he gets to have his time stargazing with Iwai. The execution of the show was not too bad up to now. They’re really going to have to get back on the right track or else this show is going to have to resort more and more to ridiculous coincidences and sudden lucky breaks to keep the protagonists alive.

Episode Grade: B-

Streamed by: Crunchyroll

Review Equipment:
Apple iMac with 4GB RAM, Mac OS 10.6 Snow Leopard

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