takt op. Destiny
Episode 7

by James Beckett,

How would you rate episode 7 of
takt op. Destiny ?

I kind of dig how much takt op. Destiny has been willing to commit to these quieter, more character focused episodes. They're far from perfect, of course, and I'd bet money that a big reason for the slow pace is that the show's two studios simply cannot afford to cut loose with the spectacle, but still. It takes some guts for an action anime to spend nearly two full episodes on little more than its characters' melancholy wanderings around various cities and towns in the United States.

I also like that the blank sheet music that Takt got from that guy in New Orleans wasn't just a bit of emotional filler, but an integral part of his current character arc. Our boy is looking much the worse for wear these days, and it makes sense that a pretentious music nerd that is reckoning with his mortality might be preoccupied with his own legacy. If serving as Destiny's Maestro is slowly killing him, will there be anything left behind that reflects his overwhelming obsessions and passions? Takt may be a bit of a shitbird, but he's a kid that's got a lot of feelings to spare, and having Takt transform those feelings into his own musical creation is a natural place for him to go in this story.

Granted, that's an almost entirely self-centered character goal, which makes it less interesting to me than the complicated relationships that Takt and Anna share with Destiny. The Musicart, for her part, is as cute and indefatigably eager to help people with their chorin' as ever, which is the exact wavelength of meandering slice-of-lifey-ness that I can vibe with. Is it a little on the nose when Anna outright explains that all of Destiny's human encounters are awakening the humanity in her, too? Sure, but it also leads to the episode single best scene, where Destiny and Takt have some one-on-one time in an almost empty diner.

There's a moment there where Destiny acknowledges that, though Anna doesn't use her Musicart name yet, she doesn't call her “Cosette” either, and Takt's eyes go all wide and wet for a moment. It's a perfect distillation of the most interesting questions that this show has asked about the character, and her effect on the people who are still desperately clinging to the girl that once inhabited that same body. Can she ever go back to being the original Cosette, and if she did, would that mean killing off Destiny? She is becoming her own person, after all, and she is just as capable of love and affection as her predecessor was; even though she couches her feelings in a lot of blunt ribbing, even Takt can't deny Destiny's attempts to forge her own bonds with this family that she has found. I might question the in-universe logic of gifting Takt with a melodica, but I defy you to see this shot of Destiny clutching her gift for Takt and walk away wanting to nitpick plot holes. What are you, some kind of monster?

I kid—the only monster here is Schindler, since the opening and closing scenes of “Truth -Noise-“ reveal that, shock of all shocks, he's the one behind all of the recent D2 reawakenings. Yes, please, take a moment to recover from what I can only assume was an earth-shattering amount of surprise. It isn't like anyone over the age of three could have clocked him as a bad guy from the moment he showed up to that doomed music festival looking sketch as hell. Also, need I remind you that his Musicart is literally a murder-horny roller derby demon named Hell?

So far as twists go, this is basically a non-starter, but it's his Diet Thanos rantings about population control and his inherent superiority that make the reveal feel especially underwhelming. In fact, I'd wager that the science-fiction and action elements of the episode are its weakest links overall. The very brief action scenes aren't awful, but they're the kind of middle-of-the-road affairs that feel more like filler than any of the more recent dialogue-heavy scenes. This is also where the episode's many obvious artistic shortcuts come into play. I can ignore the excessive amount of still-frames and hidden lip-flaps when the dialogue is interesting enough to hold my attention, but when the focus is all on the flashy stuff, well, gaffes like this stand out a lot more.

That said, I imagine I will be a lot more forgiving of takt op. Destiny's recent developments than the fans who are hungry for all of the excitement that we were spoiled with early on in the season. The plot remains completely by the numbers, but its characters are charming and easy to root for. I want these weird and goofy kids to save the world, compose their songs, and find some peace in the strange life they've made for themselves. Hopefully, the next time they're called upon to kick more alien butt, the anime can muster enough elbow grease to make sure its art lives up to its ambitions.

Rating:

takt op. Destiny is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

James is a writer with many thoughts and feelings about anime and other pop-culture, which can also be found on Twitter, his blog, and his podcast.


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