Episode 10 (“Keystone”)

I can’t believe we’re getting so close to the end of the season. I’m getting excited to see how Return of Kings will end!

“Keystone” opens with Sukuna and Fushimi bickering about how quickly Fushimi beat Sukuna’s record of climbing to J-Rank. I want to complain about Sukuna being a brat, but he’s a kid so I guess I really can’t. Yukari smacks them both down and it turns out Sukuna is more powerful than he initially appears. Now I want to see Sukuna and Yukari go one-on-one. ;P

Up in the Prime Minister’s office, Seri is shocked to discover that Reisi, the Blue King – well actually he’s the former Blue King now. The Prime Minister kicks him out of his position and muzzles Scepter 4’s authoritative powers. The ensuing chaos leaves Scepter 4 in something of an uproar, as Reisi can no longer be found, plus many of the Blue Clan’s members are still concerned over Fushimi having defected to JUNGLE. vlcsnap-00009

I’d like to point out here that as much as I’ve gushed about the pretty colours and the awesome animation throughout the previous nine episodes, it’s the in-between “moments” which often impress me the most. You can see what I’m talking about in the shot of the public walking down the street, or the outside of HOMRA’s home base. There is just so much freaking DETAIL packed into these quick frames that it kinda blows my mind. GoHands definitely has some talent amongst their ranks.  (✿◠‿◠)

Inside HOMRA, Anna reveals that she went to see Shiro, and relays his plan to destroy the Slates to Izumo. Anna is reluctant to see the Slates destroyed because of how “her red” saved her, but she acknowledges that the sacrifice will be worth the loss because she wants to take action against the thing which is trying to hurt the people she cares about.

Immediately after this little monologue, Reisi appears at HOMRA’s bar. This episode is a little like playing Find-Reisi, I swear. The Red and former-Blue King discuss Shiro’s plan to destroy the Slates, and Reisi muses that if Anna seeks to destroy the Slates, while Nagare wants to use the Slates to start a revolution, he will walk the line of order between the two extremes. He continues to feel that the Slates can be used, but only if their use is restricted and moderated. So essentially, he wants to continue the current system in play.

We get a flashback to what looks like the battle from the very first episode of Return of Kings, with some added dialogue. I was mildly impressed…. until Seri became yet another vessel for fanservice. *eye roll*  I could’ve done without the panty-crotch shot peeking out at her skirt hemline. And without the rubber-body impersonation which followed moments later. Her breasts should have just fallen out of her cut uniform (which Izumo does “by accident”, remember?) and then the episode could’ve been made R-rated. Ugh. I know that I shouldn’t be surprised by this point, but blatant fanservice like this still disgusts and frustrates me. The only redeeming highlight from the flashback was the romantic banter taunts between Mikoto Suoh (the former Red King) and Reisi.

The episode closes with a cute scene between our Silver clansmen. Shiro asks that Neko and Kuroh trust his research, so they can go ahead with his plan to destroy the Slates. Shiro reveals three silver coins he had made with their new clan logo on them, and he allows Kuroh to pick an official clan name for them. The Green Clan is JUNGLE; the Blue Clan is Scepter 4; the Gray Clan is CATHEDRAL; the Red Clan is HOMRA; and the Silver Clan is… HAKUMAITOU?? The White Rice Party?! It’s completely ridiculous, but as Kuroh explains his choice and plays the little audio clip from his former mentor, one has to admit it’s pretty clever. So many rice allusions. vlcsnap-00040

And right as it looks like the episode is going to cut to the closing theme, we see the Dresden Slates burst to life. A new evolutionary step is right around the corner. Will it bring chaos, or a new beginning?

My thoughts: Not a whole lot happened in this episode, at least not until the final moments. I was a little confused why Shiro and Anna were affected by the burst of the Slates’ power, but not Reisi. Maybe because his Sword of Damocles is already so damaged?

I was a little disappointed that Neko was so quick to shut down Shiro’s query into her backstory. It looks like perhaps her past/conversion to a Strain won’t be explained after all, which irritates me a little because it was hinted at a few times through the series, and I want an explanation dammit.  ヾ(゚д゚)ノ

Obviously the fanservice is still pissing me off, enough that I suspect it might change my overall opinion of the series by the time it reaches its end. Not only was Seri devalued in this episode, but we got a quick peek at Neko’s chest essentially coming out of her outfit. The only reason why we saw no nipples were because they were hiding under her breasts or something. Just more pointless fanservice. Overall a thumbs down for this episode.

And why isn’t the opening theme subtitled yet??  ಠ╭╮ಠ




Episode 11 (“Kali-Yuga”)

If you’re like me and you enjoy the music in Return of Kings, make sure you watch episodes 10 and 11, if nothing else. It basically has every major theme from earlier in the series, and includes a couple of new ones too. Gotta love new ear candy ~

Fushimi cracks me up in the opening scene. JUNGLE is talking about the Dresden Slates using its full power, and a new revolution for humanity has arrived upon the Slates’ awakening, blah blah, and Fushimi’s reaction is merely, “Sounds like shit.”  ≧◡≦

I honestly have never understood the Green Clan’s desire to see mankind evolve to the level of Kings. We know that dream stems from the Kagutsu Incident which took place 14 years before Return of Kings, resulting in 700,000 people losing their lives. Tenkei Iwafune (the Gray King) feels that if those ordinary civilians had powers like the Kings do, they could have tried to defend themselves and perhaps not as many people would’ve died. vlcsnap-00002

However that theory completely ignores the reality of regular citizens gaining magical powers, and we see the fallout in the beginning of this episode. If JUNGLE had something beforehand, and people knew what to expect once the Dresden Slates reached their maximum power, then perhaps the confusion and chaos might’ve been minimized. But not saying anything just means that everyone freaks out, so of course shit starts hitting the fan everywhere. All the fans!

Nevermind that due to human nature, one could argue that everyone will want to maximize their personal benefits from having their new powers, and people could start needlessly fighting each other in order to gain more power/wealth, when there would have been no need for it before. So if people were to start dying as a result of fighting others with their powers, then JUNGLE could be held responsible for the new bloodbath, no?

Up in the Prime Minister’s office, the man who was such an arrogant dick in the previous episode is now cowering like a child behind his desk. He calls for Reisi to come save him, but of course that can’t happen because he fired Reisi from his position as Captain of Scepter 4 in “Keystone.” I did however think it was neat that the Prime Minister gained a power we haven’t seen up to this point (the ability to see through walls)… until it became yet another excuse for fanservice. *facepalm*

Back in the Green Clan’s secret headquarters, Nagare receives a call from the Prime Minister, and it is promptly ignored as Nagare feels the government’s power has taken a sharp nosedive. He and Nagare discuss the Slates, and we learn that Nagare is still alive because he is “connected” to the Dresden Slates. Destroy the Slates and Nagare will die too. But as long as he is connected, he will have an unlimited limit break and no time limit on using his King powers. Eep, he’s quite the boss fight eh? vlcsnap-00024

Up on the surface, things start getting real. The JUNGLE drones who are guarding the hidden entrance start attacking Reisi and Goki Zenjou as they approach. Goki proves he will cover Reisi’s back as needed, but the former Blue King reminds his comrade to focus on the task he was given. I’m assuming it’s to monitor Reisi’s Sword of Damocles and to kill him if the time comes.

We get a little side scene with Seri and Scepter 4, in which she resigns in order to leave her clansmen and go to be with Reisi (they are watching the fight with JUNGLE on surveillance cameras). But then the new acting captain essentially says fuck the orders they were given, they were leaving their headquarters to help Seri and to help protect the people. A little redundant for poor Seri, since she resigned in order to circumvent the orders Scepter 4 had been given, but it’s one of the few examples of rebellion we’ve seen from the Blue clan this season, so yay!

The last scene in the episode is the lead-up to the fight between Reisi and the Gray King. Interesting how both Reisi and Nagare made their battle plans like they were plotting one big chess game. Nagare knew that someone would try to break through to the headquarters, so he sent the Gray King to defend the gate. And Reisi knew that when it would matter the most, Fushimi would defect from JUNGLE and help him by opening the gate. Scepter 4 really does stick together after all.

My thoughts: I was psyched when Fushimi turned his back on JUNGLE in order to help Reisi, even though it meant that the Green Clan (namely Sukuna) would now try to kill him in battle. I honestly didn’t see that coming, and even though Fushimi still doesn’t agree with both HOMRA and Scepter 4, I think he agrees more with Reisi’s way of thinking and that’s why he decided to help his former King. I hope Fushimi doesn’t end up being a sacrifice in this final battle!

Also, Shiro’s airship crashing through the downtown area and scraping all those buildings as he crashed? I wonder how many people he killed.   щ(゚Д゚щ)

One more episode to go!