"I want to start over, I want to be winning
Way out of sync from the beginning"

-The National, "Slow Show"

Today is too nice a day on too many levels (no politics in the thread) for me to be mad at anything that doesn't work in this episode. (For the record: the Orochi stuff is so sudden and ill-defined that I'd've preferred Ichiro just say There Are Way More Monsters Because The Series Is Almost Over And We Have No Endgame; and I'm very much not looking forward to this Zanki plot.) I don't have the ability to be mean or critical right now. Everything is better. Not perfect, for sure, but better. I love everything today.

I really did enjoy this episode, though. I like the oncoming parallel of the Apprentices and the Douji/Hime both wondering if their mentors are worth following, if they deserve to be respected. (Well, Kiriya more than Asumu.) There's a bunch of time spent on what Hibiki wants to get out of this new arrangement, so it's nice to see the show considering what the Apprentices are hoping for.

The beginning was so nice, so warm. It's a real classic Hibiki feeling, all of these people supporting each other... and then Kiriya comes along to be an insulting prick and Akira's still like I Am Rooting For You. She's still the best of them! And Ibuki and Hibiki are so kind and respectful to each other! It's so great!

Kiriya, as always, great in this episode. Super fun to laugh at and despise. Just an unmitigated asshole, a condescending prick (that shot at Akira!), and a total whiner. Everything is someone else's fault, every loss is unfair, every defeat is contested. Watching a dude like that embarrass himself in ever more transparent ways... god, it's just so sweet to watch.

Not really a lot to say about this one! Too nice of a day to dwell on the negatives, and the positives are largely rooted in ongoing character behavior. (Big thumbs up to the awkward scene of Todoroki trying to ask Hinaka out and her being like Oh Hell Yes We're Gonna Bone and him being like No It's A Chaste Date and her being like Lame But Okay.) There's some fun angles that Hibiki's mentorship could go, where it's unclear if he's testing these kids, or just worried they're about to be devoured by monsters and he's ghosting them. A bunch of possibilities. The future's wide open, and I'm looking forward to it.