For me, this was the best episode for Kouga so far. It finally build further upon that first test that that he was given by one of the villains, and it really carried that up to eleven with a great mind-game for him to tackle. I really like how he let himself all this get to him, alongside all of the ways in which he was tempted and confused here.
Jin meanwhile accepted some romance in his life. I like these changes, yet at the same time I feel like something still needs to happen to his character; it’s still a bit too simple, and the version of him that I like best is his young version in the first episode.
And yeah, this episode hit the “epic”-switch. It’s something you see in every series and his dog if even the least bit of action is involved: something quick triggers the potential end of the world. In this case it’s the absence of those white-hooded guys, leading every player to figure that they might as well kill all humans while they have the chance.
There are a few things that happened in this episode that will be really hard to explain, though. With this, I don’t mean Kouga letting himself get kidnapped so easily: it does fall in line with how he has been built up as this naive hero, especially since he probably figured that if he didn’t play along with the rules Konoha would end up dead. However, what does puzzle me is how one player can take control over every single broadcasting network. And what about that girl who got crushed by that bed? Why was she so happy to get herself killed?
Rating: ** (Excellent)