Takumi and Mari continue their bickering while we are introduced to two new characters.
[王の眠り･･･] Ō no Nemuri…
The King’s Sleep…
After succumbing to his new nature, Yuji is escorted by Smart Lady to meet with the head of the company Smart Brain. He leaves Yuji with a card with the message “The King’s sleep is deep”. Cryptic messages are cryptic, so of course Yuji has no idea what to do wtih this message. And thus, Yuji’s story pauses there for this episode.
Back with Takumi and Mari, Takumi gives Mari the belt back since he only came back to get his bag back. Desperate to keep Takumi with her, since he’s the only one who can use the belt that she’s seen, she feigns an injury on her hand just so he can stick around. This makes Mari look like an annoying brat. She has no qualms of acting like a kid to get what she wants. Hopefully it is for a greater good and just a necessity she has to perform for now. Either way, its kind of annoying to see. I’m just glad that when Takumi found out that she was faking later on in the episode, she dropped her without a second thought. The good thing about Takumi, though, is that when things go down he doesn’t hesitate to come to her aid. This can be seen when Mari is once again attacked by an Orphenoch, the Ox Orphenoch, and transforms to take him on.
My one complaint about the use of the suit and its weapons is that so far they haven’t used his accessories for anything other than for fight purposes. In this episode he uses Faiz Shot to defeat the Orphenoch, which is shaped like a camera. It would be cool to see him actually use it as a camera, even though it looks like an old disposable camera. Or use the Faiz Pointer as a flashlight. I can’t remember for certain, but the weapon he uses the most for things other than for fighting is his Faiz Phone, which outside of using it to transform and as a gun, can actually be used to make calls. Wonder what kind of minutes he has on it. Anyway, I just think it would be interesting to see him use them for practical purposes, sort of like Shotaro does in Kamen Rider W or the Go-Busters.
Mari chases Takumi with her bike but runs into a hopelessly optimistic and gullible dry cleaner, Keitaro Kikuchi. He’s a bit down on his luck because Takumi just cut him off, causing his van to crash into an electric pole. Seeing at how down he is that he won’t deliver his customers clothes on time, she reluctantly helps him with his run and quickly realizes how much he’s willing to do to help people out, almost to a fault. Even though he is a cleaner, he helps his customers do things like buy groceries, which he pays for, among other things. It’s a weird character trait and taken to the extreme, but it kind of messes with the viewer a bit. Since you rarely see someone like this, if ever, Mari calls him strange. But, its strange to call someone who loves helping people strange. At the same time, you as the viewer are just as cynical as Mari and are wondering why the hell should he go to that extent just for a customer. He may seem dumb but he’s got an insanely good heart, so you can’t completely hate the guy.
During his day, Keitaro exchanges texts with a girl named Yuka Osada, a high school student also down on her luck. Her family completely hates her. When I say hate her, that’s putting it lightly. Her mother and father despise her and her younger sister uses her for her hard-earned cash. Yuka is very shy and timid, so she holds in her feelings and just accepts the punishment. She even hides it from Keitaro, who she’s never met outside of texting. When asked how her day was, she tells him how happy her parents are with her grades and how embarrassed it makes her. It’s almost like she channels her sister’s life to give a good impression of herself. You feel sorry for her immediately and it just gets worse and worse. At the end of the episode, you see her fall down a flight of stairs and wake up, sort of like how Yuji woke up when he died. Basically, like Yuji, she dies in the episode she is introduced. Heavy stuff and it drives the point home that she leads a sad life that she doesn’t really deserve.
So, we have two new characters that will add a new dynamic to the show. How they will be connected to Yuji as well as Takumi is yet to be seen. But we are getting closer and closer to it with each episode. And we were introduced to a new plot point that was shown to us with a sort of throw-away scene that made no sense with the episode. A group of miners are working deep underground and as they leave to take a break, the ground shakes and a few rocks fall near them, revealing a glass window. They break in and find an abandoned children’s classroom with a calendar from 1995. The fact that there is a random classroom 35 meters beneath the surface is just plain eerie and something to look forward to with future exploration.
It’s interesting to watch this show again all of these years later. Since I know what’s coming down the line in the story, seeing how those plot points are set up early on reveals both the interesting seeds that are planted as well as some of the cheap tricks used to connect things together. It sort of comes with the territory with a show like this sometimes, and even if it isn’t excusable, its fun to take a look at it in a more critical sense this time around. Plus, I remember a lot of the character as how they ended up rather than how they started. So seeing how Takumi and Mari act towards each other now is actually kind of refreshing, as well as other interactions among the cast.
And, just because…