AYE GAVIN, I KNEW YOU WERE A GOOD BOY! Turns out yup, there was an enemy nearby, and a sniper no less. Lucien facing the opposite way was not prepared to deflect the attack, so when Gavin freaking deflected the shot with his own bullet (that’s some remarkable accuracy, I guess that’s part of his wind power) and appears to even pierced through Lucien’s barrier (OOF). Needless to say you can see the tension between the two, one part of it is because they recognize they are each other’s rivals. As expected this conflict was quickly swept under the rug for the rest of the episode, but we did get a little bit more from Lucien. I thought it was interesting for him to share that fairy tale of the painter whose world was black and white and the colorful butterfly. It was great because it correlates to his character, but gosh, the direction the story went made concerned about Lucien’s character when it came to capturing the butterfly because he was afraid of losing it. But THANK GOD these two were actually engaging in an intelligent conversation about the story! The heroine straight up tells him she would’ve chosen a different way, to make sure to chase the butterfly instead of capturing it so it could maintain its freedom. I mean, surely I couldn’t have been the only one thinking, “Oh god, don’t be that character who imprisons the Heroine under the pretense to protect her.” Those characters are a BIG NOPE for me. That being said, I do wonder if he’s sick or something with the way he clutched to his chest. Curious indeed…
Today we learned about a hero of justice, Key: a legendary hacker who was responsible for uncovering the genetic research incident from 17 years ago. He was the one who leaked all of the information which led to the Heroine’s father to investigate in the first place. This all came about when the heroine’s high-school classmate (Minor) came in hoping he could land a job by suggesting they interview Key for their program (ya crazy dude? What makes you think he would do it?!) She later gets this email about Key hosting this Hacker Seminar which might as well have “THIS IS A TRAP” stamped on it. It was super sketchy. And sure enough, it was because Black Swan was behind it.
There she meets Kiro, and learns he is “Key”, or rather, he is the second generation and disciple of the famous hacker (I will call him GEN1-Key, for clarity sake). When GEN1-Key mysteriously vanished so Kiro took it upon himself to pick things up in his steed. But what’s more is that Kiro and the Heroine are more closely intertwined than expected. Both of them were held captive at Black Swan’s research institute. They were lab-rats, or at least by the look of things, Kiro was the one who had been before long before the heroine arrived. He also has EVOL power, a more subtle one in form of a charm. One look at him and people are captivated by him no matter who they are.
Initially I wasn’t exactly sure whether Kiro remembered being held captive until today because last week, when the heroine mentioned she was kidnapped, they didn’t really add anything to implicate he recognized what she was referring to. But the fact he recognized the first three digits of the password the Heroine saw in her dreams proves that he does have memories of that incident because the number “3684” was his tag. While he has never given us any indication of knowing her (at least in this adaption, unless I missed it), it does explain a bit more why he was so friendly with her from the start.
This also adds a new layer of perspective of why Kiro admires heroes. It was thanks to the combined efforts of GEN1-Key and Heroine’s father who was able to uncover and expose Black Swan’s illegal kidnappings and genetic activities that he and the heroine were saved. Additionally, Kiro was mentored by GEN1-Key of how to be a hacker too. It really does make him the “Hero of Justice” he had always wanted to be, topped off with a double-life of Idol by day and Hacker by night.
It is also pretty neat to see how both the Heroine and Kiro have readily taken the torch from their predecessors to continue the investigate Black Swan’s activities. Both of them were victims, and the heroine in particular is still an active target who Black Swan is quietly prodding from the shadows. It is also important to recognize this was a major move on Black Swan’s part. It’s one thing to expose it to the Heroine alone, but because they chose to make use of Key’s abilities to ensure that she got to it. What a way to tie the two of them together again. Nevertheless, this kind of exposure of documents proving they were the ones behind her father’s death, and files of their activities are all kinds of things that could bite them in ass down the line, but it was a loss they are willing to make if it means speeding up the progression to the Queens’ Awakening. It requires the awakening of her genes by forcing her to face various crisis because supposedly she has the power to draw one’s EVOL powers from with them. All I could think of when they revealed that was, “Yikes, that sounds like a recipe for disaster.”
While they revealed a lot of new information to us today, the precise timeline of the order of events remains a mystery. We saw how the heroine was wearing same dress and appeared to be in better condition than he was, so it makes me think that particular memory was shortly after she had arrived. We also have to factor in whether she had been captured before or after Victor had saved her from being hit by a car. If she was wearing the same dress for the entirety of her childhood, then it makes it more complicated to pin-point whether she had been captured before or after Victor had saved her from being hit by a car.
Overall in terms of plot progression, this was a great episode. I am also enjoying the heroine have her silly yet adorable moments, such as how she hilariously tried to “dress-up” as a Hacker (she was cute nonetheless), and Kiro’s reaction to that was gold. The only thing that bore me was the Hacking Scene to disable the remote bombs. Personally I felt the scene dragged on longer than necessary when it was already super obvious that they were all going to be fine, so that’s one reason why it lacked tension. I also wasn’t too big of a fan of the whole “sucking oxygen out of the room” trap. That one didn’t land for me. But at the very least, these two things (on top of what was revealed) just goes to show how terrifying Black Swan is.
Next week another Gavin episode! It feels like its a fierce fight between Kiro and Gavin for the #1 slot in my rankings! I’d say Kiro has the edge now!