Holy crap. I know that I often talked down on the director. The reason for my scepsis was very much based on those series series, based on great manga but that were ruined by a sloppy direction; most notably Ookami Kakushi. While the series composition guy was excellent, with anime it’s always the question how these two balance each other out: there are series in which the director is in control of everything, but there are other directors that let themselves get very much guided by the plan, laid out by the series composition: it’s different for every series.
Thankfully though, this turned into more of an Umineko than an Ookami Kakushi: it’s flawed as an adaptation, but the essence of the original manga still comes shining through. The biggest problem with this show really is the acting: it doesn’t know the meaning of subtlety and instead just tries to tug at your emotional strings too quickly, only creating something silly.
This episode though… damn. The strength of the manga really shined through here. Seeing everyone work together to save An-chan’s life, in a structured well-thought out way that doesn’t try to be stupid in any way really made up for the acting this time (sure, the rope was cliched, but in this context I can really see it working). This is really one thing that I didn’t expect to see coming beforehand: that the tables have turned, and the six leads instead have to take care of An-chan. It’s extreme, but definitely an interesting twist to the trope of the strong guy taking care of the weak ones. Heck, he’s only one year older than them anyways, that’s also an interesting twist here.
the crowning moment of awesome here really was Psycho Guard’s manic appearance when he tried to stab An-chan. We only have to assume that he assumed the right path that the guys would escape through, but that’s really the first point at which I have to give thumbs up to how the anime creators decided to handle him. It was completely out of left field, but seeing his manic face, only to get beaten to hell by Mario again was really satisfying. But the entire episode really was full of them, from all of the characters’ sacrifices (normally these things are very cheesy, but here of all things it was completely necessary for them to make it out of the prison). Pedo Doctor’s roar of anger may have been a bit too much, but still didn’t ruin anything.
Rating: *** (Awesome)