I know I’m going to sound like a broken record when I say this. But I assure you, I wouldn’t do so if I didn’t think it were true. And this episode has set the bar so astronomically high that I don’t think I’ll need to say it again for the next few episodes.
This episode is easily the best looking one in the whole series to date. Hell, it looks better than a large number of anime movies that I’ve seen! From beginning to end, this episode is one hell of a ride, and it’s god damn gorgeous!
Plot wise, this one is super short and simple. Picking up right where the last episode left off, we see Mob endure the greatest struggle he’s ever faced in order to save a young girl from the most powerful evil spirit he’s ever faced. But it quickly becomes clear that, in order to do so, Mob will have to release his full powers and explode.
Now, I feel I can’t overstate this enough: the art and animation on display here are downright mind boggling! The animators take full use of the simple, messy and expressive style of the series, giving everything this distorted otherworldly feeling that is fitting for where most of this episode is set. It’s use of color and lighting is magnificent, with the occasional pencil sketch shots to give things some variety. Every shot in this episode is phenomenally drawn and animated, and it’s a visual treat from beginning to end.
The choreography of the action is also really well done. Mob’s movements, the motions of the Evil Spirits, and the use of both sides’ powers are all creative, fast, explosive and super easy to follow. Never once was I disoriented while watching this episode, despite the fact that everything that was happening was completely bat-shit crazy! This season has had some quality fights so far, but this one takes the cake!
As well as the other thirty nine cakes waiting behind it.
In terms of actual story and character development, this might just be the single most important one in the series yet. We meet a new character that I pray will become more important later down the line, and Mob’s traumatic experience in his battle awakened a new side of him. Through all of his suffering, Mob’s learned just how lucky he really is, and not to take anything in his life for granted.
Change is a strong theme in this series. People being able to change and become better has been the central theme of the story since day one. And in no episode is that better shown than in here. Throughout the whole episode, we see the new character act in extreme and cruel ways, only to find out that that’s who she really is. But through the trauma and Mob’s kindness, she’s set down the path towards becoming a better person and finding genuine redemption.
And Mob is one step closer to becoming a harem anime protagonist. Only, y’know, an actually good one.
Good god, this episode was awesome! If you still haven’t caught up, you need to fix that ASAP! And if you haven’t been interested in the show before (why are you reading this?) then watch this episode to see if it changes your mind. If it doesn’t, then I’d be genuinely surprised, because this episode raised a new standard for an already fantastic series.