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Harleyquin



Joined: 29 May 2014
Posts: 1711
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:16 am Reply with quote
#14

What an anti-climax.

Put aside how Rockenfield managed to assemble the remaining limbs of the defeated Shirogane in the midst of the raging battle to graft them on to the comatose Katou Narumi without so much of a scratch. Put aside how Narumi had his hearing enabled despite being comatose. Put aside how much of a power boost someone close to death received between one episode and the next.

For all of their efforts to count for nothing because the Francine they were aiming for wasn't the real thing is a low blow. Then again, if she was real that would have been the end of everything so not too surprising in hindsight.

It's been ages since viewers saw Eleonora. The episode's final suspension of disbelief is to see Narumi show up in front of her convinced she's the incarnation of the original Francine. No surprise she just about manages to keep head on shoulders before giving in to her extreme bewilderment. Conveniently, Narumi remembers who she really is and has to hide for a while to get his head straight.

Leaving aside so many plot incongruities, the show has never disappointed in its action scenes and that alone is enough to keep me coming back for more. The (one-sided) duel with Pantalone is especially well done with the various stages of facial devastation on vivid display. Eleonora defending herself against the berserk Narumi isn't half bad either.
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Harleyquin



Joined: 29 May 2014
Posts: 1711
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 10:01 am Reply with quote
#14.5

Of all the points to have a recap episode, this is easily one of the strangest I can think of. Three weeks into a new quarter with a new OP and ED and all of a sudden there's a recap of what happened between episodes 1 to 14. The show is set to go on for three seasons, so this is probably not going to be the last time a recap episode is aired.

Saiga Masaru and Katou Narumi take turns doing the narration, although it's weird hearing Saiga Masaru doing the narration for the big tent mini-arc when he wasn't present at all. All in all, a decent distillation of what's happened over the last 14 episodes (notwithstanding the breakneck pace).
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Harleyquin



Joined: 29 May 2014
Posts: 1711
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:15 am Reply with quote
#18

A surprising conclusion from last week's episode. Angelina's fate is revealed, as is that of the original Francine. For all the latter did in her long existence, not a bad way to go. A more pertinent question is, if she's gone why is the ZONAPHA disease still so rampant when her copy said killing her would have stopped its spread? Something to think about as I have no idea if the question will ever be answered.

Eleonore has quite the start to life, but now viewers are aware of the connection between her and her teacher. Her father as everyone knows is missing a few limbs and is telling a story from inside a capsule, so the story Saiga Masaru is being forced to relive has not yet ended. Masaru (if he really is still the boy viewers have been introduced to at the start of the series) now knows who Eleonore really is, so what will happen then now that this revelation is made clear to him?

Two more questions this episode: Who ordered the village to leave to minimise the collateral damage? Who has command over the puppet death squad which overrides even that of Francine?
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Harleyquin



Joined: 29 May 2014
Posts: 1711
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:19 am Reply with quote
#19

As some questions from previous episodes are answered this week, more questions are raised. Saiga Sadoyoshi is the stereotypically cliched villain, but it's thanks to his plot that Masaru and Eleonore met in the first place. The biggest question of course is whether Saiga Sadayoshi pulled off his brain transfer operation sometime after the first few episodes: if he did there's very little opportunity between his supposed death in the car crash and Masaru's brief stay in the mansion.

Shirogane having vastly extended lifespans due to their suppressed ageing process seems to have affected their mental development as well. To think Eleonore had the mind of a four-year old despite being in the storehouse for two decades...

If the real Saiga Shouji went into the coma after excessive blood loss, why is he in his current disembodied state?

This "Saiga Sadayoshi backstory arc" has been going on for quite some time now, but I'm grateful for it despite the usual breakneck pace since it sheds light on some things which weren't apparent at all early on. One particularly unpalatable conclusion would be Masaru's change in character being the result of the brain transfer having taken place, but not being completely successful as initially claimed by the bird automaton.
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Harleyquin



Joined: 29 May 2014
Posts: 1711
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 10:23 am Reply with quote
#20

The conclusion to the background exposition long arc, and as always the pacing of this series throws a lot at the audience in the time it has to air. Answers to the few remaining questions to date (why Shouji is in the state he's in, how much of Saiga Masaru is really him, the role of the insane younger brother who created Francine after he had initially disappeared from the scene etc) are all given, and with the final scene the next chapter to this tale is ready to begin.

The spotlight has been firmly on Masaru, Shouji and Guy for the last few weeks. I've almost forgotten where Narumi is and what he's doing after that failed attack so many weeks ago. Isn't it about time Narumi with his restored memories teamed up with Masaru to get going on the time-limited rescue mission? As for the travelling circus, the hitherto ignored beast tamer who works with domestic animals might finally get a chance in the spotlight at last.
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Harleyquin



Joined: 29 May 2014
Posts: 1711
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:21 am Reply with quote
#21

Like the myriad threads that hold the eponymous puppets under the thrall of the puppeteer, the show has made it a habit of throwing as many story lines as it can possibly do so within its allotted airtime and squeezing every last frame of action it can into the scenes in between. Deus Ex Machina (both figuratively and literally) feature quite prominently in this episode, what with the mass of ZONAPHA insects and the conveniently perfect timing of characters neglected by the previous major story arc.

For the stereotypical villain, Bai Yin goes all out on the spectacle of taking out all of humanity with his custom virus. Only those who have Shirogane blood or who were together with Shirogane for extended periods are spared, so it's good for the circus that they're still standing. The tamer of household pets wants her revenge, so I'm interested to see how helpful she'll be if and when Masaru catches up with the blimp.

Long time no see, Narumi. Perfect timing and placement to save Guy too. Leaving aside how important Guy is that he's got impregnable plot armour, the pair of them have work to do before they get to the countermeasure machine. Mingxia on the other hand has work to do if she doesn't want to become someone's collection of assorted limbs.

For the last survivor of the Ashihana puppeteer clan and his recruiter, what are they planning? The Shirogane George is not acting in concert with his brethren, so does he have an ulterior motive?

Three of the four original Francine creations return (the fat one couldn't be resurrected, not that I miss him) and they've got a new lease of life now that they've met Eleonore for the first time. As fetching as her new red outfit is, she really needs their help if she's going to play any part in the action to come from the looks of things.
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Harleyquin



Joined: 29 May 2014
Posts: 1711
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:24 am Reply with quote
#22

Surprisingly enough, the show can dial down the pace if it wants to. Most of the episode focuses on the gambles between Mingxia and Jones, and when that's over there's a surprisingly generous allotment of screen time to a piano performance keeping terrified kids enthralled, allowing them to forget where they are and the situation they are in for the briefest of moments. An unusual way of giving George Laroche his place under the spotlight, since he's heavily outmatched against his foe on paper and will most likely lose unless he's got some kind of trump card.

Mingxia gets some long-overdue screen time, even if most of it is spent in unedifying costume play against an opponent she has absolutely no chance of taking on in games of chance. If one is always losing in a contest of luck, might as well even out the odds by playing dirty tricks as well when the opponent is completely open.

The upcoming duel against Ashihana and Pantalone should end with the latter's win, at least on paper. But Eleonore's parting comment as he was leaving the blimp might prove to be a leveller in the upcoming duel as the former finds something to live for instead of always running and spending his day in ennui.

The doctors must have fried their minds working all out for a cure against ZONAPHA. I've not heard of a more random way of naming a life-saving machine than in this episode. Regardless of what it's called, if it's completely wrecked by the time Narumi and co. get to it all of the fighting to date would be for nought.
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