What They Say:
Sota deals with his feelings of guilt and regret for not being able to save Setsuna Shimazaki, and vows to stop Altair. Altair is different from ordinary Creations: Altair’s powers grow with each new spin-off story made about her, but Meteora’s powers are limited to her character description. Meteora comes up with a plan to revise their character descriptions and get the support of the viewers.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Sota’s tale of Setsuna Shimazaki may have left off on a note that seemed to tell us everything we needed to know about her and why Altair is such a manifestation of despair, but he wraps up the loose ends to let everyone know the ugly specifics. What’s a little hard to believe is that he had no memory of Altair given her importance to Setsuna’s legacy, but I suppose the rationale is that Sota put everything into trying to forget her as much as possible. I can’t quite buy it, but it has to work for plot convenience. The more interesting piece from this is why Altair is so ridiculously overpowered, and it fits with her doujin origins. However, it also calls into question how she could’ve been so unknown for so long, since she’s now made out to be an online phenomenon. Additionally, while the fact that anyone can canonically augment Altair is surely meant to be justified by the fact that her creation was on the same level of amateur independence, simply leaving the cause of all of this madness to the last feelings of spite that a young girl felt before ending her life requires a bit more suspension of disbelief than even fictional stories coming alive.
While the majority of the episode is spent with the brain trust, Alicetaria takes the opportunity to reflect on which side she truly stands on. The fact that Sota’s words may have led to her changing her outlook give him a little too much credit simply because he’s the protagonist, but an Alicetaria who would rather think about good and evil with some semblance of logic than continue to be Magane’s naïve little puppet is an Alicetaria I’m much happier to have in the story. While the villains are nearly all-powerful, the trend seems to be one very common in anime, with most of the initial antagonists who displayed some doubt about their actions coming over to the good side and aiding in the battle against the one or two who prove truly evil. There’s really only one more Altair follower who hasn’t shifted toward that pattern, although they also seem to have a new recruit who could compromise one of the most important characters and fighters on “our” side.
But how can you counter a character who will continue to gain new powers whenever anyone comes up with some new video idea? If there’s one thing in the entertainment industry that’s like a government, it’s a production committee. And if there’s one thing a production committee will do to try to get a ton of fans on board, it’s a crossover. The concept is so laughably believable as the solution that would arise from these circumstances, while also serving its own purpose on a meta level, because even though these characters only exist in the same story to us, a combination of their distinct worlds is still roughly on the same level as if they were being crossed over for the first time. Does that mean it will hold up any better than any shoehorned crossover? Who knows?
While the previous episode ended on the halfway point of the series by episode count, this one clearly serves that role better. Each side has decided their plan of attack for the second cour, and the idea of the heroes literally using a crossover to save the world is bizarrely appropriate for this story where cultural significance is everything. Now let’s see if it can actually be a good attempt.
Streamed By: Anime Strike
Roku 3, Sceptre X425BV-FHD 42″ Class LCD HDTV.