HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY
|Welp, this sure is some good/bad timing. If Iyo actually gave birth this week then I’d be impressed that they aligned it with mother’s day. That would take a lot of planning!|
Continuing with the horrible pregnancy subplot, Eiji takes Iyo to a hospital where a group of nurses take care of her. They also tease Eiji and make him go through an intense inner monologue about suddenly becoming a father. All of a sudden he has to think about what it means to take responsibility for his child. It’s nothing short of ridiculous, largely because Eiji is having a completely serious reaction to a girl having a baby just from having her hair ribbon touched. I still can’t tell if I enjoyed how bad it was or not.
After Eiji goes through a midlife crisis despite still being a teenager, things get more action-packed. It’s still ridiculous, but it’s another brand of ridiculous. I particularly liked the way they had Rin almost conspire with Kagekiyo, only to turn her back because she was pissed off at her g-string (okay, I know it was because of her personality but I feel like the g-string played a large role here). While Yuno from Mirai Nikki was both smart and driven by emotions, Rin has the same intense emotions ruling over her but none of the brains to back it up. As a result, she makes stupid decisions. Many, many stupid decisions. It’s not a flattering character trait, but it’s one that makes her interesting and gives some reasoning behind her inconsistent actions. It’s also amusing to have a girl who literally chews on rocks and thinks a good solution to things is just blowing up an entire city call another girl stupid. That’s just how bad Rin is.
Even Rin can’t believe Kagekiyo’s horrible character design
The whole nuke thing was a cute attempt on Big Order’s behalf to show some behind-the-scenes political maneuvering. It ultimately ends up falling flat because there’s nothing that new about Hiiragi fucking Eiji over and then saving him at the last second. It’s not horrible, I’ll give them that, but it presents itself as being the best thing since sliced bread which is an unwarranted level of narcissism. Dramatic, full-blown, jazzy numbers accompany paint-by-the-numbers shounen battle drama, much like putting a magnificent gold-plated frame on a kindergartener’s macaroni art. It tries so hard to sell the face-off between Eiji and Kagekiyo as this huge, complicated grudge. The fight isn’t really bad, per se, it just falls short of expectations on several levels.
Basically, Kagekiyo wished to avenge the deaths of those killed in the “accident” Eiji caused, allowing her to control a golem of tombstones. Both her and her community have been seething with resentment ever since, to the point where a nurse that was helping Eiji moments ago immediately stabs him with a scalpel once she learns who he is. This gives a good motive for them to kill Eiji, although the whole “kill everything else in the process” method was definitely overkill. However, this level of overkill is addressed when Kagekiyo sees Eiji desperately fight to save random bystanders from an impending nuclear explosion. Kagekiyo hated Eiji so much that she was willing to sacrifice her home and her fellow citizens (and herself) just to achieve that…meanwhile Eiji was saving them all even though he had nothing to gain from it.
It’s cliche, but functional. This sets up Eiji as having no one to trust but the 10 people who kidnapped him. Everyone else is his enemy…and even those within these 10 people are not to be fully trusted. It’s a tough position because Eiji really has to watch who he sides with. Some may be playing nice now just to stab him in the back later, while others are genuinely becoming fond of him (such as Mari, who is not-so-secretly grateful that Eiji saved her family). It’s a great set-up for lots of back-stabbing twists, hidden allies, and Rin doing a constant flip from helping to hindering. In the hands of a better writer, this could be an exciting series of mind games as Eiji slowly tests out who he can really trust.
Unfortunately, this is Big Order, so things are obvious. For example, we could have stewed over who the spy was leaking information about Eiji’s mission for a few episodes. Instead, they reveal him immediately…and then further quell our doubts by revealing that he’s a double spy and was stringing the UN along all this time. That gets rid of any tension we could have felt guessing who the mole was. I also feel like the way the Order system works, there is too much we don’t know about how the powers can manifest.
I COMMAND YOU TO KEEP WATCHING
Basically, Orders are much too vague. Eiji’s power is to “dominate” things that enter a moderately sized bubble around him. I understand that this means he can give orders to people – any order he wants. That’s already a huge amount of power, but I’m willing to accept it since it has a range limitation to sort of make up for it. However, I didn’t realize he could give an order to the LAWS OF THE GRAVITY. That’s…that’s not a thing you can dominate. That’s a rule of physics. This makes me think that further down the road, Eiji’s will use this power to do all sorts of conveniently-timed asspulls. If he can control air pressure at will, what else wouldn’t he be able to do? Tell fire to burn more? Make water flow slower? Hijack a car by ordering it to start? His power description is so open to interpretation that he can basically get his way out of any situation using his Order. And for situations where he’s not strong enough for whatever reason, a Naruto reject character will jump out of the sky and save his ass. If it’s not one deus ex machina, it’s another. I originally really liked the concept of Orders, but now they seem far too powerful. I mean, Benkei can destroy things on an atomic level. COME ON! It’s like everyone brought a group of their all-powerful Mary Sues they invented in 6th grade together into one show.
All in all, Big Order continues to be messy and absurd…but this episode had the decency to not be a trainwreck. It felt more like a regular shounen battle with the “villain” monologuing like crazy once they realized the error of their ways. I mean, I can’t be too mad at watching a golem try and deflect a missile. I just can’t. While the show still fails to make sense if you stop and think too hard for more than a few milliseconds, it is still has that entertainment factor that keeps me watching. You never know what Big Order will do next. Best example? We still have to find out what the actual fuck is going to happen when Iyo gives birth.