Now that’s what I call a cliffhanger.
What They Say:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The sleepy little werewolf murder mystery has quickly distanced itself from its earlier vampire counterpart, as well as previous expectations of its straightforward nature. This episode takes the basic premise of the arc and branches out into all of the disparate directions that the events of the series thus far have planted the seeds for. This show can’t simply spend an arc just solving a mystery anymore. There’s too much else going on for that kind of singular attention.
Much of the episode deals with learning about Louise, Alma, and the werewolves. The amount of straight exposition violates the principle of “show, don’t tell” but is inherent to a detective story dealing with new settings, characters, and concepts. For what the material entails, the direction is more creative than usual, perhaps out of necessity to keep the scenes engaging despite being largely functional. This kind of series doesn’t give the audience this much information without making the process of sharing it critical to the protagonists’ understanding of the case, and that means the viewer should be able to pick up on some of the clues that Aya will be referencing from these revelations.
The biggest surprise of the episode is that the mystery seemingly solves itself with no effort from Aya or anyone else. The convenience of this reveal, combined with the continued obfuscation of explicit imagery to guarantee a concrete answer, only raises the level of suspicion higher. This is not the end of this story. The more this arc has made the situation seem straightforward, the more we should be doubting it on principle. A series like this expects you to watch with eagle eyes to find greater satisfaction in the eventual twist that will make the nuances of these scenes relevant.
If nothing else, the slightly more chaotic nature of the episode (albeit not to the degree of the previous arc) results in some of the action that the series executes fairly well. Tsugaru needs a chance to shine outside of a little rakugo performance every few episodes (even if the director is particularly experienced with such content), and battle is his platform. As we’ve learned recently, though, Shizuku fulfills a similar role, and in those same events, we’ve gotten to know her a bit more as a more substantial character. Now that we actually care about her, the series gets to play with the idea of having something bad happen to her in order to toy with our emotions. After all, it’s not as if we get to be very concerned with the well-being of Aya or Tsugaru. It’s unlikely that Shizuku’s role will be cut this short, but the tension is there.
Speaking of Aya and Tsugaru, the series finally remembers that they’re supposed to be regularly making out for important plot reasons. Contrary to how it appeared last episode, this arc is gradually bringing back all of the elements established throughout the series. More of Lloyd’s insurance agents appear, with the same kind of colorful codenames we’ve come to expect, as if the issue of werewolves weren’t enough to keep the stakes up. We even revisit some of the iconic cast of the previous arc, both in mentions and on screen. Everything is converging little by little. The more that gets thrown together the more disjointed the episodes can feel, but the interconnectivity of the series keeps everything feeling important.
The werewolf arc continues but evolves dramatically as we learn more and bits from the past come together. An apparent reveal threatens to spoil the detective’s reveal, but that all but ensures that there’s more to the story than it appears. Although we’re back to a mess of plot points creating chaos in the storytelling, it’s a lot more exciting for it, especially with its action sequences and the threat of beloved characters’ lives at risk.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll