The upcoming arc turns out to focus on Mario. Interestingly, it’s him who ended up back in trouble due to violence. I actually like how the creators are using the fear to go back to prison, in order to create the drama here, and the story still is carrying on its pacifist themes of the first half: that there is no need to beat up people who annoy you.
It was over the top, but at the same time this episode also tried to make a point of the rather hypocritical stereotypes people have over these violent youths,. On one hand, they often fail to see the people behind those stereotypes, but on the other hand the fact remains that Mario beat a guy into the hospital. Seriously, the story of this thing really is excellent, and I’m really glad to see that this still applies with the second half here.
The first half of this episode also felt a bit weird, but in a good way. With this incredibly dark series, we suddenly have half an episode dedicated to young and innocent crushes. For ten minutes, there actually were no apparent conflicts in this series. As for the arranged marriage… yeah, it’s been done before. But at the same time I can imagine that especially in these times, parents were very desperate to marry off their kids to a solid future. If I am wrong with this, please correct me on that, because I in no way claim to know exactly how things went on in Japan, 11 years after the second world war.
There is one issue that I had with this episode, but that’s more of a personal annoyance of mine. Personally, I dislike it when creators use thugs in order to create cheap drama. The drama here of course wasn’t cheap at all, but still felt like it was started too easily, without much of an introduction: that businessman had the depth of a paper bag. And this is something that annoys me with nearly all thugs in anime. It could have been done much cheaper, though, and I definitely see why it was necessary.
Rating: ** (Excellent)