It’s the ending that I really locked into this time, which is a little rare for me?

I feel like the description of Primitive Dragon at the end by Master Logos is one of the first times in this show that I’ve gotten to the middle of a mystery and thought Holy Shit That’s Great. Just the idea that Primitive Dragon is at its most dangerous if you can’t empathize with it… so they gave it to Touma? I love that. I love the villains (?) being so smart about the heroic attributes of the protagonists that they can use those positive aspects in furtherance of their own diabolical plans. I just really love when shows can leverage that kind of character development to make the superhero plots more complicated and fascinating.

And it's so fun, to see the villains try to weaponize Touma’s empathy. Touma’s captured by Primitive Dragon, which is an interesting twist on a Berserk Form. This isn’t Touma leaning on a crutch, or addicted to power; Primitive Dragon is forcing itself into fights, and removing Touma’s agency. The book itself has an agenda, and a pathology. It’s a neat way of exploring depression, where the very people who might try and help you -- like Touma -- can also be damaged by an untreated illness. The Sword of Logos clearly doesn’t care if Touma is broken in the attempt to tame this eldritch insanity, so we get a compelling story of sorrow run amok.

That’s the biggest part of the episode for me, which otherwise was a mix of TWISTS and solid-if-unsurprising storytelling.

The TWISTS part first: Calibur’s back! From a dark portal! To stop Primitive Dragon from killing X-Swordman and maybe Mei! It’s probably Kento, but that’s almost irrelevant right now. It’s a mystery that’ll probably percolate for a little while (it was, like, a dozen episodes before we found out who Calibur was last time), and I’m sure I’ll have plenty of opportunities to react to it.

Also, we’ve got Reika semi-revealed as the smoky suspect who maybe swiped Calibur’s sword, probably kidnapped Sophia, and definitely snagged a bunch of Wonder Ride books while lying about Master Logos’s orders. I’m half-expecting this to all be chalked up to Reika doing shady shit for good reasons (mistrustful of Master Logos’s plans, safeguarding things from the traitor, low blood-sugar), but it’s still just Reika being Up To No Good with nothing in the way of legitimate obstacles to her continued unimpressive dominance, which is super good drama.

But! There’s solid, sweet character stuff in Ogami’s defection from the Sword of Logos, which became inevitable when Reika decided the best way to ensure dedicated-father Ogami stuck with the Sword of Logos was to tell him to stop caring about if his kid lives or dies. So! More top shelf management technique from Reika, and Ogami has one last duel with Touma to solidify their manly bond.

It’s a continuation of Ogami’s talk with Sora from a little while back, with Ogami needing to leave a broken home to better provide emotional support and a good example for his sword kids. It’s hard to serve as an ideal of chivalry and stability while knuckling under to the shadiest lady in the shadiest room, after all. Like, sometimes one family needs to be two families to keep from being no family, you know? Ogami’s making the hard choice today to make good choices from now on.

Which is all well and good, but I’m pretty much just thinking non-stop about that Primitive Dragon explanation. It’s so smart!



SUNSET SOON FORGOTTEN



Mei walked with Sora back to the bookstore, as his father and Touma limped behind them, congratulating each other on their fight.

Mei sighed a little. “Ugh, I wish they all didn’t have to fight so much,” she said to herself. “Every time they want to be proud of one another, they’ve got to try to hurt each other. I can’t take it anymore! It's too stressful!”

Sora tugged on her hand lightly, and she looked down at him. “It’s okay to be scared when they fight,” he said.

“What?”

“It’s okay to be scared.” He looked toward the sunset. “I used to get scared when my dad would fight a friend instead of a monster, because he’d always tell me not to fight my friends at school. I didn’t get it right away, how it was okay for him but not for me. But I got it. He’s not mad at Touma, he’s happy that they’re friends, but he wants to make sure Touma’s as happy to be friends as my dad is. They’re good friends, Mei. You don’t have to be scared.”

Mei smiled down at Sora’s scrunched up, serious face. “Okay, buddy. You’re right. I won’t be mad about them anymore.” She looked at that sunset, all orange and red. “I mean, hard to be mad when everyone’s friends and the sun’s going down so beautifully, right?”

“Yeah!” Sora raised his right arm in the air in excitement, as Mei held his left hand and swung it. “It’s so pretty!”

“Sure is. Lemme get that real quick.” She snapped a picture with her phone, and posted it to Instagram. They had a little time before they got back to the bookstore, so she figured she might as well cross-post it to Twitter. Huh. Come to think of it, she hadn’t logged into Twitter in a while. It wasn’t her main social media connection, but it might be good to see if she was getting any traction over there. She opened up the app, and checked a recent post. Not bad: ten retweets, fifty likes.

Wait… who was ‘@desasterpiece’? A click on the avatar and… no. NO. “Desast?!”

Sora looked up at Mei, worried. “Desast,” he asked, “where?”

“On Twitter!”

“Oh,” Sora said with relief, “I thought you saw him just now. If he’s just on your phone, it’s okay.”

“No,” Mei said through gritted teeth, “it’s NOT okay. It’s TERRIBLE. He has twice as many followers as I do!”

TO BE CONTINUED!

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