World Conquest Zvezda Plot Episode 9

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Recap

Both Asuta and Renge end up on a trip to a hot spring, each sent by their respective organizations. What a surprise!

Gee’s Thoughts

 Yes folks, the dreaded hot springs episode is here, and it’s as skeezy and uncomfortable as you expected a hot spring episode in a show about a prepubescent girl would be. How the creators of this show were looking at the storyboards and thought to themselves, “yes, this is a good idea, let’s run with this,” is completely beyond my comprehension. I’ve heard from a few people that Zvezda isn’t trying to sexualize Kate and that it’s just my bias is preventing me from understanding the nuances of the show and its usage of Kate as a character. Thankfully, this episode proved you’re all fucking liars. Please tell me with a straight face that this isn’t questionable at all, and I will laugh, then spit in your face.

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The rest of the episode was basically devoted to Renge discovering the Asuta’s identity as a member of Zvezda as well as White Egret’s true identity as her own upperclassmen. There are some trivial fights as well, I didn’t really get what was going on. Apparently Zvezda has tons of random mooks ready to call upon at a moment’s notice? Despite the fact that this was never alluded to? Hell, how about the fact that both White Light and Zvezda sent their subordinates on a freaking hot springs vacation in the first place? Yes yes, it’s anime, of course it has a hot springs episode. Or wait, does it really have to? This episode accomplished literally nothing. Whatever, inconsistency has been the name of the game for Zvezda ever since it started airing.

Alas, everything is returned to the status quo, Asuta is conveniently knocked out, making him think it was all a dream, and of course Renge refuses to elaborate on any of the things she learned. As is the norm with many anime, any chance of character development or narrative momentum is brought to a screeching halt as we return to literally the exact same point we started. Still, with West Udogawa apparently in flames at the end of this episode, apparently something is going on.

3 thoughts on “World Conquest Zvezda Plot Episode 9

  1. I DID feel uneasy at that – but more than for the show itself (which didn’t do anything especially in the way of sexualizing Kate) because I know anime IS the kind of culture and HAS the kind of viewers which might make what was shown into a not exactly pure moment (or: would seeing a little girl naked in, say, a movie, elicit the same reaction? In reality it’s not at all uncommon for children of Kate’s age to get naked without too many worries for example at the seaside and no one would see much of a problem with that. But we know what the anime context is, hence the unease).

    • That’s my main issue with it really. I don’t mind naked kids because as you said, kids running around naked really isn’t that unheard of in most the world. It’s why naked kids in something like Totoro is fine because it’s portrayed as a natural thing with no fanfare or attention given to it. What gets to me is the way it’s framed, from Kate being washed to her rubbing herself against Asuta’s back. It’s just so many levels of skeevy and you know that for better or worse, it’s appealing directly to a certain audience.

      • I think there’s a bit of “viewer bias” there. I tend to think that, given Zvezda’s general comedic attitude, the back-rubbing scene was mostly a sort of parody in bad taste that didn’t really work rather than an actual fanservice-y scene. After all, the whole episode was a typical “hot springs” episode that quickly escalated into madness. And this is the same anime that had the perfect setup for a tentacle rape-y situation and it used it to actually have the male lead molested (so much for the self-insert character). But this being anime, Poe’s law rules. They also say Evangelion was trying to mock otakus and their attachment to 2D women, amongst other things – I mean, there is a straight out scene of someone wanking over a comatose girl’s body. Yet Asuna and Rei became fan favourites amongst the “completely missing the point crowd”, almost rendering vain any effort in other directions.
        It’s also notable how, while the show itself is not generally being explicit about Kate and even the rather stripperrific Zvezda outfit is not used much and never in too suggestive a way – but the commercial side totally ruins it by doing stuff like selling an almost naked Kate body-pillow (I saw that on Crunchyroll, I swear). As in, WTF? I think that wouldn’t even be LEGAL to sell and buy, in some countries. So yeah. I don’t think the show’s direction and whoever plans the merchandise are related. But should the writers/animators think ahead and feel like it’s their responsibility to not give any occasions for doing this kind of shit to the merchandise people? Or just not give a fuck about it because they’re going to do it anyway, no matter what? Dunno. Either way, it’s unlikely anyone in Zvezda’s creator team ever gave these topics this much thought anyway.

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