Shiraishi narrowly manages to draw Ushiyama into conflict with the 7th Division, only to further draw attention away from Hijitaka’s objective, which is robbing the local bank of both funds and his personal sword. Later, an attempt to spy on Ushiyama ends with Shirasihi being caught by his fellow former prisoners and coerced into cooperation, and he attempts to play both them and our other protagonists for his own safety by revealing some, but not all, of his knowledge of each side to the other.
At Hijitaka’s behest, Shiraishi leads Sugimoto and Asirpa to some nearby fishing grounds, where the calling card of a deeply damaged serial killer (who has one of the tattoos, of course) has been observed. Little do they know that the man they save from the frigid water is none other than the one they seek, and he is developing a sinister plan…
The pacing in this show is starting to get to me. The way the action rises and falls really doesn’t seem to mesh with the episode breaks. As a man currently celebrating ten years in the workforce, I feel entitled to shake my cane at the showrunners for what I assume is slavish reproduction of the source material without regard for the constraints of the 20-minute episode as a medium. Not that I’ve read the manga – nor might I, if this keeps up. I consider anime to be advertisements for their source books – of my meager collection, the ones I’ve actually read are all ones whose anime I first watched to completion. Not to make any judgments, mind you – to each their own – just an observation of my personal tastes.
It is getting to the point where I wonder if the experience might not be improved by watching the first one-and-one-half episodes together, followed by Frankenstein episodes composed of part B of one followed by part A of the next one, though.
Other than all of that, we’ve got some decent intrigue going here. I look forward to more of Shiraishi trying to not get killed by basically being Hijitaka’s gopher. Watching this Henmi guy trying to work out the best time and place to engage in MAXIMUM OVERMURDER should be pretty intense, though I do have mixed feelings about the weird snuff-boner thing that he’s got going on. Like, on the one hand, having any kind of non-diagetic visual cue is kind of a novelty, and the show could certainly have picked a less-subtle way to let us know that he is way too into this whole thing (see Nihei, like, an episode or two ago – and he didn’t even really seem to be at this level), but it is a bit distracting and I’m not actually sure how uncomfortable I’m supposed to be.
Mostly an interstitial episode, on both the micro and macro levels. We get introduced to another prisoner, setting up what will hopefully be an entire episode of him plotting out suicide-by-way-of-attempted-homicide. We also get some overarching plot with Hijitaka officially conflicting with the 7th Division, and entering into an official non-conflict agreement with minor protagonist Shiraishi. I am curious to see where this all goes, and once again depressed that it won’t be a contiguous ride to the end.