The tables have turned about as much as possible.
What They Say:
Ryuko is awake and she’s not happy. Intent on killing Ragyo and Nui, she heads out, leaving her allies behind. Without her power, Nudist Beach must decide what their next step is, but a new piece of intel spurs them to action!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Ryuko is back in action, but she’s even less happy than might be expected. That even Mako’s usual attempt to “hallelujah” all the problems away doesn’t affect Ryuko whatsoever proves that this is serious business, and something that will take some hard beating to get over. The only ones pleased with her current state of mind are Ragyo and Nui, knowing that they can easily take advantage of her with such instability. They go ahead and give Ryuko the invitation to come back to Honnouji Academy to exact her revenge, and much to their glee she takes the bait despite all pleas to think about how screwed she’ll be.
If Ryuko can’t be trusted and stands no chance as she currently is, Satsuki is the best hope, and her Elite Four make sure to start the attempt to rescue her. With as many problems as Ryuko is having, Satsuki is a very welcome asset, and she continues to prove that, no matter the situation, she can handle herself nearly perfectly.
As Nui is still around, she’s of course the one Ryuko has to try fighting first, but even with all the Ragyo focus we’ve had lately, it’s important to not forget just how dangerous Nui is, and feeling a bit left out herself, Nui takes the opportunity to give her backstory that I was just wondering about as the fight started. From what we’ve seen, it’s no surprise that she’s got some Life Fibers in her own body, but the details still make her a unique subject, fitting of her role in the series. Ryuko’s comment that she doesn’t need any more sudden family members really is telling of how hectic these past few episodes have been, and is a humorous little way to remind us of why Ryuko is as shaken up as she is right now.
Needless to say, Ryuko is in exactly the position Ragyo and Nui planned on, and so it’s just a matter of continuing the plan to manipulate her into even more of a liability for the other protagonists. This episode does a lot more with vocal background music that hasn’t been used as much in the series, and the sequence in which Ryuko’s mind is being altered actually feels somewhat moving in its own bizarre way, thanks in part to that musical backing. In the end, Ryuko is certainly not our protagonist for the being, and this presents the perfect opportunity for Satsuki to take on that role. The two switch positions in the most perfect way possible given everything that’s come before this between the two of them, and seeing it come together is likely to leave a big old grin on your face.
Ryuko and Satsuki spend the episode getting in place to carry out one more fight before taking on the real enemies, and seeing the way in which they ultimately end up trading spaces is so literal it’s almost poetic. Ryuko looks like more of a villain than Satsuki ever did, and with the backing of the rest of the protagonists, Satsuki looks downright innocent and proper. It’s all still the opening act before we can really get down to business with the two real villains, but it should be a fun way to give these two the chance to settle things once and for all and form their eventual alliance in a very typical but appropriate way.
Grade: Definitely not a B
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Toshiba Satellite L655-S5191 PSK2CU-1C301U Notebook PC.