I foresaw this episode going in a very different direction at the end of the previous week’s. I can’t saw I’m disappointed to be wrong, especially when what we get instead is a masterfully animated test of Mob’s ideals.
Mogami has trapped Mob inside a simulated reality in which he not only lacks his powers, but all of the social connections in his life as well. Trapped in a world where everyone uses and abuses him relentlessly for six months, even Mob has broken down into hopelessness.
Both Mob and Mogami are of the same coin; people with incredible power, and thus the potential for great acts of good and great acts of evil. The only difference, Mogami had no circle of support around him, and when his acts of good failed to help him save the life of his mother, he descended into evil.
I made the point last week that Mob could very easily become Mogami if events lead him down a certain path, in this hallucination, Mogami attempts to do exactly that: putting Mob in a situation in which he is filled with these same negative emotions and is left with no recourse but to lash out at those around him who cause him pain.
It’s only when Dimple intervenes and reminds Mob that he does have the support of all the people in the real world that the spell begins to break, just as Mob is about to descent into murderous rage as Mogami returns his powers to him.
It’s a this point we get some resolution to what’s been building over these past handful of episodes. Mob, seeing the kind of life Mogami has suffered, realises he is truly lucky to have so many people looking out for him, and we proceed to get one of the most visually stunning actions sequences I’ve seen in recent memory.
The huge scale battle taking place across the illusionary city is amazing, As Mob fends off both Mogami and the huge monstrous forms of the evil spirits he spent his final years absorbing. At which point we see Mob reach his first peak emotion moment this series, hitting this big 100%. This comes from his personal revelation that his powers might not be useless after all, that maybe he can use them to save people from evil like Mogami, starting with the girl whose body they battle within.
The scale and level of destruction that follows is a sight to behold, and while Mob eventually wins, it’s not without some worrying insight into a deeper power that lurks within him. Mogami himself even survives the encounter, albeit with very little of his power remaining. Before he can escape, a former member of “The Claw”, the villainous group from season 1 captures the weakened spirit as a souvenir.
The episode ends with a confirmation and an acknowledgement from Mob that he has changed for the better thanks to the people around him, and he wants to work to change others for the better too now. It’s a level of self awareness Mob has never really shown up until now and caps off an arc that has been building since this second season begin.
I loved this episode, from the animation, to the the art design and style, to the letter boxing that gave it a cinematic style to its basic message that you can change if you work at it hard enough, which is an affirmation of what Mob has been doing since the story begin, even if he never realised it.
I really am a soft touch for this kind of show, but between amazing action sequences and a basic message that equates to “let’s not be shitty to one another”, I feel like I can do a hell of a lot worse. A hell of a lot worse.