What They Say:
A Brother’s Determination, Smile, and The Burning Past
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The theme of the family comes heavily in these episodes as Shinra battles his brother Sho in order to save him. Shinra struggles in his role as a brother but refuses to see his brother as an enemy. He makes it into a game of tag similar to how he pretended to play with when Sho was a baby. Shinra thinks back to how he has acquired a new family with Squad 8 and the other Squads. It does feel like they have become family as the different squads end up celebrating Shinra’s release from the hospital.
Shinra and Sho’s emotional battle was well thought out as Shinra does everything he can to convince Sho of his love for him. Sho constantly rejects Shinra as his brother and could only see him as an enemy. Shinra uses the Adolla Link to show Sho of their past and of his suffering growing up. Shinra comes close to saving his brother and showing him his love but is interrupted by the Evangelist army and Sho is taken away.
I like how Licht is a commentator based on science and breaks down Shinra and Sho’s fight as he deals with the world beyond science possibilities. Shinra finds a way to go beyond the speed of light and I feel that it’s too early in the series to be breaking science. In some way, it had to happen since Sho can go into his own universe but I would like it to feel a bit more natural since Shinra just had a training arc for one ability and now he is able to push that ability even further without training.
Episode 24 finally succeeds in its comedy. Shinra is facing Company 1 leader, Leonard Burns, and is about to call him a naughty word, which is probably the f word, and the way he holds back from saying is funny. The two spectators commenting on it just adds to the comedic effects of what Shinra started.
People have always called Shinra a devil because of his smile but I never saw him smile as a devil till the last two episodes. As Captain Burns reveals more of the truth of what happens to Shinra’s family, Captain Burns tell him the lie that his mother and brother died in the family and his smile becomes grotesque and transforms into the devilish smile. If that smile is what people see when they look at him, then I could understand why he is called a devil. I do wonder why this is the first time in the show that his smile has been demonstrated in that manner.
One thing I would like the show to expand more is the Adolla Burst and the Evangelist. Shinra forms an Adolla Link with Sho and is able to steal some of the Evangelist power. I would like for the second season to touch upon how these powers work because it feels too magical without any explanations.
One aspect the show wants to address in its second season is Internals. Internals were a hot topic at the beginning of the season but kind of disappear as the focus shifted on the White Clad. There is still a bit of mystery behind the Infernals and it would be interesting as Shinra looks for a cure to turn his mom back to a human.
I am disappointed that nothing was done with the Nether. It was previously built as a place of unknown horrors. Company 8 went in there and just fought with the White Clad and that was it. It was an underground train track and had no special meaning.
The mystery of Shinra’s family comes to light in order to set up season 2. Shinra’s reason to fight is renewed as he has new hopes of reuniting his family. The fights in these episodes are well portrayed but I have to wonder how Season 2 will top these fights since Shinra and Sho broke the laws of science in their fight. The show has moments where the animation is gorgeous and a sight to look at and these animations come at moments where it can make the show shine more brightly. This show had left more questions unanswered then it has answered that it could have answered easily.
Season 1 Grade: B
Streamed by: Crunchyroll and Funimation