by James Beckett,
How would you rate episode 9 of
Big Order ?
This week, Gennai finally reveals his master plan, which is essentially to use Sena and Eiji to create a world where everyone is an Order. In this new reality, each person would become the god of their own universe, having every wish they could think of fulfilled. Gennai also uses his Order powers to reveal to Sena the horrifying truth. She is not only an Order herself, she is also the true cause of the Great Destruction that Eiji has taken the blame for over the past ten years. The source of Sena and Eiji's altered memories? An evil robotic crab avatar that has been attached to their heads for presumably the last decade.
Based on the above, you'd think this was another episode ridiculous enough to qualify as entertaining, but the whole series has veered so far off the track of comprehensibility that watching it has become more of a chore than anything else. Even the worst So-Bad-It's-Good products offer some level of understanding. Big Order is so impenetrably written and incompetently directed that it becomes too much work to follow what's going on, effectively negating any kind of enjoyment you could get from it, ironic or otherwise. This is unfortunate, because at this stage in the game, Big Order is in dire need of any redeeming qualities it can get its hands on.
Instead, we get what feels like an Evangelion ripoff, right down to Eiji arguing against Gennai's master plan because it lacks the genuine struggle of human conflict. I'm not inherently against a show taking inspiration from other works in the anime canon, but it just feels so lazy and superficial here. Gennai and Eiji's big philosophical debate doesn't feel like an organic climax to their personal conflict, just another box the show has to check before everything is said and done. Not only that, but it just doesn't make sense within the parameters of the show. If this was Gennai's plan all along, why has he waited ten years to go through with it, since all waiting seemed to do was give his enemies time to prepare? It feels like the story began with the setup the first few episodes presented, without knowing how things were going to end, and only now is it trying to hastily cobble together some overarching themes and ideas. I can appreciate that the show is trying to have some kind of point, but it's just doing such a poor job in the execution.
Since the show is so busy trying to prove that its story has a point, all of the other characters have been completely lost in the shuffle. Early in the episode, Mari runs into an enemy Order than can manipulate the senses, but it cuts away from the two before any kind of fight can begin. By the time the show got back to them, I had forgotten about the scene entirely, and Eiji literally drops out of the sky to crush the enemy Order without a second thought. The whole thing comes across as entirely pointless, existing only to pad out the runtime and try to give some false sense of danger to the plot. Pretty much every character that isn't Sena or Eiji gets this kind of treatment. Even Rin is unceremoniously thrown off a bridge after getting only a few lines. In the first few episodes, I would have said she was one of the central protagonists, but lately it seems like the author has absolutely no clue what to do with her, since he's so desperate to toss extra twists and turns into Eiji and Sena's already convoluted relationship.
Eiji getting stabbed by Sena is supposed to be The Big Cliffhanger that leads us into the final episode, but at this point it's almost impossible to build up any tension for these characters. Every cliffhanger so far has ended in some form of anticlimax. Wherever these two siblings end up, I don't see how it can possibly make up for all the mistakes Big Order has made to get them there. There's only one more episode to go, and at this point, the show can't be finished soon enough.
Big Order is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
James is an English teacher who has loved anime his entire life, and he spends way too much time on Twitter.
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