As it turns out, the 1st division is far less infested with villains and evildoers than I was first lead to believe. Although, we get to the villainy and evildoing far faster than I was expecting. I guess I’m just predisposed to believe all shonen drags everything out at every opportunity.
The beginning of this episode straight up reveals the source of the man-made Infernals; small insects that burrow inside the body and turn the host into flaming demons. Through a lump of exposition given via Hibana, who just seems to hang around the 8th’s now.
While having none of this information himself, during a routine Infernal call out, Shinra manages to see the act occur right in front of him. Praise the God of narrative coincidences. Showing us that the cause is one of the three Lieutenants introduced to us in the previous episode.
I like a good mystery, but it’s difficult to conduct one when your villain is busting at the seams to stand up and conduct a song and dance about just how crazy he is. In this case, after initially suspecting their Todiroki powered superior officer, as they find some pretty damning evidence in his room.
But he just goes “Nah, Brah. Ain’t me”. And that seems good enough for Shinra and Arthur. Cut to the real bad guy, the boisterous, star eyed guy. This is the thing I do like about this show; how it plays with character trait archetypes and juxtaposes them with their design and how they’re portrayed.
I’ve already mentioned how I really like Shinra’s design, they play with it in the climax of this very episode. Having him perform a classic hero manoeuvre, with eyes glowing red and a demented fanged smile on his face. Opposed to this the guy he kicks, who holds the tropes of a classic hero character. He’s self assured, giving off positive vibes and smiling all of the time.
And yet he’s rounded up a bunch of kids and intentionally infecting them with the Infernal insect in a hopes of learning which of them is capable of carrying the “pilot light”. Smiling and manipulating and utterly indifferent to the horrible things he’s doing, backed by a ghastly choir.
The one thing I’m kind of mixed on is Tamaki. I like her, but I feel like that’s by design. For a show that likes its character to buck tropes, she seems to purely be made of them. She’s a half naked, cat themed Tsundere who is inevitably falling in love with the main character. While it’s certainly believable that she’d be duped into helping Rekka with his plan initially, the fact that she puts up zero fight when she does realise is a bummer.
I mean, yeah. You want your main character to swoop in and get his cool, dramatic moment. But for Tamaki to be so utterly toothless in the face of her former superior, feels pandering to what little of character the show has actually given her so far. Still though, I am enjoying the show more and more with each passing week.