Usually I blame writers lately. This time however, the writing was fine. I see what this episode was trying to do, and it had me at the edge of my seat. Perhaps a bit fast-paced, but I see what the writers were trying to do. This really could have been an amazing episode. But god, the delivery.
Okay. Whoever is in charge of the suspense of disbelief: for the love of god, try a little harder here. You already have a series in which this is very important, and this episode in particular depended on it with all of the gore. You could have really helped that with some actual good animation, but what stood out for me the most is how characters kept teleporting all over the place in this episode. Characters take huge leaps from one place to the other without any build-up whatsoever, leading to a lot of Deus ex Machina. I can understand timeskips and all, but there is a limit. Not to mention that showing characters actually travelling from A to B adds a lot to immersion. You need to worry about that, as much as you’d like to focus on your characters!
I read somewhere once that Manglobe is the kind of studio that doesn’t have many in-house people: for all of their projects they look around the industry for the right people. They’re basically outsourcing a lot, or at least they were around the time of Ergo Proxy and Michiko to Hatchin, and back then they were really good at it. This episode though. It just screamed outsourcing problems. Otherwise it just would not have looked so rushed, especially for such an important episode in the plot. I mean, something really went wrong in the production schedule.
Anyway, about the plot: this was where the series went even more out of control, by showing elements that were even more obviously supernatural, yet at the same time they’re all human: King Torture is just a man who managed to get ahold of strange powers that allowed him to create all those monsters. He too basically is just another person obsessed with superheroes and fiction, but he spiraled into the other side of the spectrum.
For the rest of the cast, I really liked how they used the build-up: people started to realize how they underestimated what it really means to be a superhero. That it’s not just about kicking ass and looking good. They started to look beyond the glory.
But damn, you’d better make up for this episode with the second half. There’s still plenty of potential left and all, but this execution isn’t the kind that a story like this deserves!
However, someone singing really badly? Hell yeah! Finally. I mean, who is expected to sing well after such a trauma?
Rating: 4.5/8 (Good)