Nozomi’s next letter brings them to the twin kingdoms of Aichi and Mie. Terrorism has just struck this town as well, bringing tensions between the two areas to a boiling point. While both Bests want peace, their Rests are itching for a fight. In the middle of this, a young artisan named Himeko has come home after a long time journeying.
I wonder if this show is always going to have this Sentai-esque formula of two episodes per conflict. Considering the nature of their quest, I was expecting this to be a bit of an anthology, and as far as formulas go I think this is a good way to give each new place time to tell its story before the girls have to go off on the next adventure. This episode introduced my favorite Best yet, a buff butler that people literally just call Dandy. In him and a mysterious racer, we see once again that the Bests and their Rest rarely have the same mindset. One would question why these two areas felt the need to integrate in the first place if they dislike each other as much as they do. I fear that a lot of this show’s lore is going to be in-jokes about regional stereotypes or culture that are going to fly right over my head. Thankfully, the style and presentation has remained good enough and the overlying struggles between the different factions is still something everyone can understand.
What makes me absolutely puzzled about this episode is all the ways it seems to be contradicting established canon so far. First off, every scene we’ve seen of someone receiving a Moonlight Stone shows it as already being in a heart shape. If that’s the case, why wasn’t Nozomi’s? Seems like a weird thing to change at this stage in the game. I would have been perfectly fine believing that all the stones just started out as hearts, but now some do and some don’t? The second bit isn’t completely a contradiction, because as Ai said, Dandy could have just been lying to her about possessing a Moonlight Stone. For consistency’s sake it might be better for him to own a stone, but it might be fun to think that the implication is just that anyone can become as powerful as a Best as long as they train hard enough. As Thunder Road said last week, they’re power amplifiers, not power granters. Considering how fast and loose this world is with its powers it’d be fun to see where they go with this.
With another terrorist attack, it seems like there is clearly an organization trying to stir up unrest in the nations. The Black Takumi seem more like mercenaries than the actual perpetrators, and I wonder how long before we’ll even see any signs of the people responsible. Speaking of the terrorist attack, can someone tell me what it takes to actually kill someone in this universe? Himeko’s dad gets crushed by a burning building, and all he needs is a few days in the hospital and he’s perfectly fine. It makes me wonder if there was ever actually any risk of people dying when Shigyo attempted to throw them off that roller coaster. I was worried that it would be hard to tie up all these new storylines in just one more episode, but the introduction of Mie’s Best and Himeko as childhood friends will most likely bring everything together.