Hope and betrayal.
What They Say:
Episode #9: “To Destroy and to Save”
Episode #10: “Humanity’s Strongest Tag Team”
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Senku has a very high probability of not being able to pull off a hail Mary moment in this episode. With his original shock and awe plan demolished in front of him, he’s almost out of tools to stave off disaster. Chrome is the one who has enough foresight to grab the rest of the materials from outside the cave in order for Senku to build one more weapon of science.
Why go small when you can go big? When you can’t make gunpowder, why not nitroglycerine?
Now, this is one of those moments where it’s probably a good thing the show skips a few steps in the making process because you really don’t want anyone attempting this at home. Nitro is highly unstable and honestly, there’s likely no way Senku could have manufactured some in a cave with impure ingredients in the ten minutes he had. Once Senku has the dangerous chemical he needs a way to deliver the payload, which is where Gen steps up.
Could a paper airplane deliver a dangerous nitro blast? Probably. Here’s a nice video showing off what even a droplet is capable of. Needless to say, the resulting explosion makes an impact.
With a standoff achieved the time for action has ended and the time for diplomacy has arrived. Tsukasa agrees to a truce and Senku shakes on it.
The resolution to this conflict feels far too tidy considering what came before. The death of Tsukasa’s previous warriors is never addressed, and although both sides are working together the show is quick to point out that this isn’t peace but a truce. The entire crew drops everything else they were doing in order for Senku to mount a rescue of Tsukasa’s comatose and petrified sister. Senku is aware that the effects of prettification have a healing property from having experienced it first hand. So the whole team starts to excavate and through the miracle of science, they find Tsukasa’s sister.
Who somehow hasn’t aged since being comatose. I don’t understand this at all. Maybe she was very, very young when hospitalized. She somehow recognizes her extremely changed brother upon awakening. It’s a touching moment, one that is quickly tempered by a betrayal we all saw coming.
Hyoga makes his move against Tsukasa. While Tsukasa had a revenge-motivated reason for distrusting adults and not wanting to see them returned to the world, Hyoga is just a lunatic. He truly believes in survival of the fittest and has no redeeming qualities. When Tsukasa’s sister is used as bait and Hyoga destroys the cave, things look bleak. Even bleaker still as he attacks Tsukasa and Senku is set downriver with the other two.
It’s easy to forget that Senku spent months living with Tsukasa after he woke. There was an absolute level of trust there for a short time before Senku realized Tsukasa was harboring some dark thoughts. Senku can be oblivious but he’s not stupid. That’s how he knew he could turn Tsukasa back around to the side of good. Tsukasa is operating on pure adrenaline after suffering a punctured and probably collapsing lung. Senku is not a physical fighter and has to try to hold it together as the two battle it out against Hyoga. It’s a great little conflict, and even though Senku’s counterattack seems impossible it’s great fun to watch the two boys fight alongside each other against a common enemy.
With the cave destroyed and Tsukasa badly injured, things don’t look great for a happy resolution to this conflict.
That was a quick turnaround. From victory comes a truce, from a truce, an alliance. A swift shifting of priorities brings two unlikely allies together against a foe who is misguided and bloodthirsty. I find it hard to believe that the villagers on both sides would just trust their leaders to agree to peace after all this time, but it’s been mostly a cold war. Hyoga is a bit too mustache-twirling crazy to be a believable antagonist, but it’s a great shorthand for forcing two competing sides into a friendship. There’s a nice ‘return to the beginning’ feeling in this episode. Now the question becomes where do they go from here?
Episode 9 Grade: B
Episode 10 Grade: B +
Streamed by: Crunchyroll & Funimation