Sorry for the late entry but when life kicks you in the teeth… what are you supposed to do? Anyways, Despite my gripes with episode 1, it garnered enough intrigue for me to continue watching and I’m so glad I did. This episode basically just blew the doors wide open to the series’ potential. It successfully redeemed my biggest grip of seemingly not having that big of stakes in such a shocking reveal that I was like: YOOOOOOO. Not only that, but they essentially revealed Akane being the “Big Bad” of the series. Something I wasn’t expecting, but looking back at what transpired in the first episode, IT MAKES SENSE.
Right off the bat, Akane is shown to be an incredibly interesting and engaging antagonist. When she is first portrayed in the first episode, I didn’t really think much of her considering she just came across as this bubbly, popular girl that I thought would eventually join the group in fighting the kaiju. Little did I know that she was the freaking source of the kaiju attacks. The sheer amount of childish pettiness that it takes for Akane to want to kill someone is baffling. Yet it makes her such a great antagonist. The way she talks about killing her teacher with a kaiju as if she were just chatting with friends is incredibly unnerving. It’s so unsettling. Especially in the flash back of her cheering when her Kaiju killed her classmate. Right away, you can tell that her actions and thought process are incredibly childish as she seeks to get rid of people who just mildly annoy her. It makes her all the more dangerous. Especially since so many of these things weren’t done purposefully to annoy her, they were accidents. And for someone to be murdered out of an accident is both terrifying and sad. Though I guess it was a wrong place wrong time sort of situation. Doesn’t detract from how messed up it is. It almost feels like she’s playing a game.
I’m often made to wonder just HOW MANY people end up dying when Akane is trying to kill specifically one or two people. Because with the sheer amount of collateral damage, I would be surprised if no one got killed in the crossfire. Especially in this episode, there was absolutely no way NO ONE died when the beam went straight through an apartment complex. Just how many people’s lives got erased from that one kaiju attack?
Utsumi got on my nerves a bit this episode with just how unsympathetic he seemed when discussing the classmates. Not to mention when the group went to investigate the missing students, the way Utsumi just matter of factly told the dad he saw his daughter in his class and completely disregarded the dad’s feelings. Obviously something is amiss, but arguing with a father who in this timeline believes his daughter is dead… bruh, read the freaking room. To take the perspective of the dad, these three random kids come in and say they’ve seen your dead daughter, that just feels incredibly insensitive and almost cruel. Not only that, but the way he just dismissed Rikka’s distraught over her dead classmates pissed me off. Just because you weren’t close doesn’t mean you can’t mourn for them. I understand Utsumi was trying to get to the bottom of things, but gosh, the lack of empathy towards the subject rubbed me the wrong way.
We also get introduced to a new character that we’ve seen hanging around in the previous episode, Samurai Calibur. And boy did he have… quite the entrance for a lack of a better phrase lol. At the start, they definitely made it seem like this guy was an antagonist with how creepy he seemed to be with him just staring at Yuta from across the street. However, they quickly rectify this by showing how awkward and clumsy yet kindhearted the guy is. While extremely awkward, he means well and is shown to be quite caring. Even going out of his way to get Rikka a different drink after she commented how she can’t drink anything carbonated. And when another kaiju attacks, he is able to come to Gridman’s aide as a freaking sword. Giving Gridman more utility than just hand to hand combat and his laser beam, which was shown to be absolutely useless in this fight. I actually really like how Akane adapted from the previous fight and added something to the kaiju to counter Gridman’s attacks.
I think one of my favorite parts of this episode was showing that the teacher was able to change after not having died by Akane’s kaiju. We don’t know why or how, but it’s obvious that despite the reset, SOMETHING changed in him. When he bumped into Yuta, he looked surprised and immediately apologized. Not to mention we could see his eyes. It’s almost as if surviving the kaiju attack had snapped him out of his indifference towards everything despite not even remembering it happening in the first place. It’s as if Akane never even registered the fact that these people can change for the better and would just immediately resort to getting rid of them if there was “something wrong” with them. In this case, from what little we can gauge from this reaction, the teacher has changed for the better.
This episode was so good and definitely saved the series from just being the run of the mill monster of the week storyline. Akane’s character was definitely the highlight so far and I was excited to see where she goes now that we are aware of her true nature. There’s definitely a lot more to her, especially after seeing the state of her room where it’s just piles upon piles of trash bags amongst several glass cases of hundreds of kaiju models. A lot more emotions are going into the circumstances than I expected and I’m excited to find more details that I had missed on the first watch through.