Why are these two so best?
I’ve had quite a hard week. And because I’m going to be tied up with work over the weekend as well, I’m not going to get as much of a break as I initially hoped. But at least I haven’t got it as bad as literally every single Selector. I’m actually surprised that Chinatsu hardly appeared this episode, because I had the impression that her suffering had yet to end – although for all intents and purposes, her mind has probably been sufficiently broken for her to be able to sink Suzu into despair. It’s just a shame, because of the two girls I do like Chinatsu a lot better. Suzu hasn’t displayed as interesting a personality as many of the other Selectors, although it’s admirable that she’s still able to win battles despite her fear and fragile mental state. Even then, it felt like she only won against Onii-chan because he was more broken than she was.
Also, I don’t think I’ve mentioned this yet but I love Chinatsu’s uneven hair. She’s the cutest.
Let’s talk about Onii-chan. I’m actually a huge fan of him – initially it was because his LRIG was a cute loli and I felt like we could get along, but then Aaya turned out to be a bargain bin Aki-lucky and I’m not fond of that personality trait on lolis at all. Aaya is totally not cute. What I really liked about Onii-chan was not only that he was a male Selector who actually mattered, but also that he ended up being totally unlike what I expected. Way more interesting than Shou-chan. It was obvious that something was not quite right about him from the moment Suzu met him, but my prediction was that he would reveal himself to be a lot like the fodder male Selector we saw in the first episode with Guzuko – that he would put on a facade of being a kind ikemen before turning nasty in battle. In reality, he actually is a nice (albeit traumatised) person – although I’m sure that him giving up and losing to Suzu was not so much because she was a cute girl but instead that she was a cute girl who was a lot like the real-life Aya. He probably couldn’t bear to watch a girl similar to his sister get closer to disappearing just like she has.
Most importantly, Onii-chan has been an important source of information for both us and Suzu. It’s not all that surprising to learn that disappearing means that a Selector loses both their memories and their personality (which kind of makes sense as the latter is composed of the former) but what are they displaced by? Their LRIG? If so, it would mean that the cycle is eerily similar to the way things were during the first Selector battle featuring Ruu and friends. Instead of LRIGs taking over an Eternal Girl’s body and living out their wish for them in the event that they win, this time LRIGs slowly accumulate the memories of their Selector whenever they lose their coins (remember Mel was talking about being able to feel Chinatsu’s memories flowing into her when she used her Coin Bet) and replace them when the transfer is complete. It was creepy as fuck watching it happen in practice to the girl Hanna defeated – the visual direction with us only seeing her shadow at first was amazing. Given that she acted as if she was still figuring out the way her body worked, it’s clear that the consciousness in her body really is her LRIG. I assume, then, that the former Selector’s empty shell is then sucked into the system much like how Eternal Girls all turn into LRIGs. They end up becoming that super lewd LRIG of the Beginning with the exposed armpits and attempt to collect the memories of their new Selector so that they can become whole again. It’s a system of gaining and losing memories.
It does beg the question as to what exactly’s in it for the LRIG if their Selector wins. In the first two seasons, it was precisely because all the LRIGs wanted to win as much as their Selector but for completely different reasons that the Hanayo incident was such a betrayal. Does something better happen to the LRIG if five coins are gained? Surely if coins represent memories, then winning battles and recovering five coins means that the LRIG ends up as an empty shell again? I assume that either way, sitting on your coins and refusing to battle like Shou-chan is trying to do means that your LRIG still slowly accumulates all your memories because a time limit exists. Yet, virtually all the LRIGs have been egging on their Selectors for some strange reason, and I’m sure it’s not just because they’re all battoru addicts like Ruu and Tama.
It’s not like they don’t know the truth either. Ril gave off mad Hanayo vibes this episode after all. Aaya knows that Onii-chan already knows, which may be why she drops the cutesy act on occasion. All of these LRIGs are not supposed to be their Selector’s friend, and unfortunately unlike with Tama I don’t think there’s anything special about Ril or Mel that would mean Suzu and Chinatsu are off the hook. They don’t feel like game-changing protagonists, not least of all because Piruluk is around. Actually, what is with all these LRIGs manipulating their Selectors? The only pair who seem to have a good working relationship are Hanna and Nanashi. Which leaves Nanashi as the undisputed best LRIG (not that there was any doubt anyway) and in the running for best girl alongside Hanna, whose long sleeves and way of talking are super cute. Nanashi is seriously such a semen demon. I was so happy to see her fight this episode, her personality and voice are just too perfect. I want her to step on me as she verbally abuses me.
Nanashi is brutal though. She has really cool abilities, but both those dangerous-looking red stakes and her spiked mines must be nightmare fuel for LRIGs. I had no sympathy for Hanna’s opponent this episode, and not just because she looted a coin off poor Chinatsu and was a contributing factor towards her descent into despair. Hanna is right. There is no way anyone would be magnanimous enough to lose on purpose and endanger themselves in order to give a random stranger one more chance. An exception seems to be Onii-chan, but only because of his unique circumstances. And although it’s true that Hanna would not have disappeared if she lost this time, it’s not like she’s in a particularly great position either. Hanna had two coins before being challenged. She used Coin Bet once and won, thus recouping her bet and gaining an extra coin for her victory. So she now has three. If she’d lost, she would have had only a single coin left – or maybe even none, assuming that you lose your Coin Bet in the event that you bet and lose. Imagine if Piruluk then showed up. I know Hanna is strong, but no-one should be confident of their chances against Piruluk. I’m actually rather surprised that Hanna has ended up with only two coins despite her capabilities – save for Piruluk I can’t really imagine her losing against anyone. Maybe she loses on purpose to keep playing and collecting experience for her articles? Or does no-one want to battle her after she introduces herself, and so she’s been losing coins by virtue of time lapsing?
I’m not too happy about how the preview spoils that Suzu and Chinatsu will finally reunite next week with the help of Chinatsu’s not!Onii-chan, but I am excited about it. Both the fact that the system has now (seemingly) been revealed and that Suzu and Chinatsu will be facing off so soon suggests that these aren’t the large-scale plot twists that Lostorage will be throwing at us. Chinatsu is unlikely to be the last boss of the first season. Something else is up, and I still think there’s a lot more we haven’t been told yet.