by Richard Eisenbeis,
How would you rate episode 4 of
In which we learn the power of conveniently placed stickers.
Plunderer's fourth episode spends most of its time doling out our next major bit of world building: why ballots are illegal. In previous episodes, we learned that those with a lower count have to obey those with a higher one. From that alone, it's understandable why a ballot, a transferable object capable of storing count externally, would be a cause for concern.
However, that's not the reason they're banned. That reason is as simple as it is world changing: Ballots grant superpowers.
This is why Licht has super speed and our new character, Jail, can create and control iron. The higher the number of the ballot and person's count combined, the more power behind the superpower. However, more than that, the combined number also increases a person's general physical condition to superhuman levels—which is why Jail can keep track of Licht despite his super speed.
Why everything works this way—and how certain people get certain powers—is left completely unexplained at this point. Though, as long as that is explained further down the line—and continues to provide us with cool, creative, action scenes in the meantime—it's not really an issue.
Beyond the expository world building—and relevant fight scene that puts it into practice—this episode is big on character development. Further cementing what we learned last week, Lynn is a person who can't see the forest for the trees. There are no little problems in her eyes. She sees the suffering in front of her and deals with that immediately. Thus, capturing a wanted man in hiding has less importance in her mind than consoling a crying child. It can make her seem easily distracted but it's simply that she's laser-focused on dealing with the most immediate problem first.
Her commanding officer Jail, on the other hand, can't see the trees for the forest. He sees only the big picture: dispensing justice. Ruining a town square, stepping on a child's doll, or killing a soldier under his command in the process means nothing. Collateral damage doesn't even cross his mind. He is a zealot to his own sense of justice. If he is assigned to take down an enemy of the state, he will—regardless of how many military regulations he has to break to do so.
Interestingly, Hina falls square in the middle the other two. While she follows her emotions, she is smart enough to see the bigger picture when it's pointed out to her. Even though her heart screams for her to rush to Licht's side and warn him of Jail's search, she also sees that doing so would leave her in a far worse situation than if she just helped Nana clean up and then traveled with her. Despite her naiveté, Hina is a mix of heart and pragmatism, making her by far the most well-balanced character we've met—well, besides Nana anyway.
Lynn, Jail, and Hina make an interesting triumvirate—and one that will make for some good interpersonal drama should they encounter each other in the future.
All in all, this episode is a huge step up from last week's. It moves the story along, adds to the world, and further develops the personalities of our characters. There's even a solid fight scene in there as well. Honestly, if this level of quality becomes the average, I'll end up being pretty happy.
• It's cute that the town recognizes Lynn as their moral center. It's just kind of sad that apparently every man, woman, and child in town has seen her panties due to how ridiculously short her micro-skirt is—and no one seems to have any problem with that.
• Lynn's sole dream for the future is to be promoted just so she can wear pants (and lessen the constant sexual harassment that is her existence). I have no words.
• You have to love that Jail's reason for hiding his count is solely so he can continue to personally punch evil in the face.
• Now that we've learned stickers can hide your count, I have a feeling we're going to have a lot of hidden number shenanigans in the future.
• Nana implies that her count would go down without regularly working at her street stall. Does this mean that people's numbers go down automatically if too much time passes without increasing them? Does Hina have to walk 100 kilometers on a regular basis or risk death?
• You're telling me with that many drunk men partying at Nana's stall, not one of them said her food tasted good—not even to charm her? Cuz that 77 on her chest shows no signs of changing.
Plunderer is currently streaming on FUNimation.
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