It may be in a sort of anti-sweet spot where it doesn’t bait the BL fandom hard enough to draw them (like Bravern does), but does so too much (and lacks enough cute girls) to satisfy everyone else. A dead zone between Ikebukuro and Akihabara, you might say. And the sort of retro feel it’s selling just may not be catching the interest of the casual fan. Still, as a beautifully-animated MAPPA series (and those two things going hand-in-hand by no means are a given) with relentless energy and wit really should be making more of a splash.
I’m having fun, what can I say. I’m going to enjoy this for as long as the production holds out, though based on rumors it shouldn’t be buying any green bananas. I didn’t find this episode quite as winning as the first two, but it was still solidly entertaining. The sheer lunacy of the piece was toned down a bit for sure, though that’s a relative term where Bucchigiri is concerned. It’s too early to say whether it’s a clear case of the crazier it is the better it works, though that’s certainly one possibility.
We do meet a new character, “The Emperor“, and he’s clearly an important player going forward. Neither a part of Minato or Siguma, he seems to be the leader of a group called the “NG Boys”. And his boys are trouble-makers to be sure, with a seeming agenda of starting a full-on war between the other two factions. Why? That’s unknown at this point, but it may have something to do with the history of pre-Marito Siguma, as hinted at this week.
The upshot of this is there’s clearly an honor code which the two main gangs operate under – a conceit to be sure, but this isn’t a show targeting hard-core realism. There seems to be some mutual trust between Marito and Kenichirou, though enough incidents are happening to put that to the test. For whatever reason neither principal seems to suspect the NG Boys, despite the fact that they’re hardly bothering to hide their involvement. Could they be outsiders to Yokohama altogether? Unlikely, as both sides seem to at least be aware of their existence.
As for Ara-teen, he’s already regretting his joining Siguma after the “debauchery” of his welcome party turns out to be the Acchi Muite Hoi! game from Hell. Matakara seeks out Mahoro to try and get to the bottom of what happened, but she shoots him down in no uncertain terms. He still pines for Arajin, Arajin still shuns him for unknown reasons, and eventually Mahoro begs Arajin to take over Siguma (so her brother will be free to be by her side). Mahoro is the true villain of the piece so far, a real scoundrel, though she may get a redemption at some point (maybe after legit falling for Arajin). And Senya just wants to merge – leading to one of the most preposterous musical numbers I’ve seen in a long time.