Oh?? Things are starting to get really interesting! I can’t wait to see where here that ending will take us in the next episode. Will we get to see another round of the tournament? Or will that be put on hold while Mori searches for his Grandfather? Honestly, with the pacing of everything, it’s likely that both could happen next week, but it really seems that the tournament is becoming less and less important as these new developments arise! So, with only a fourth of the series remaining, we’ll just have to buckle up for the ride!
It took me a little bit to get into this episode, but once we left the tournament arena and met up with Ilpyo, that’s when I really started to get invested in the episode. By this point in the series, aside from the awesome battle with the commissioners last week, the fights have been over and done with and for the most part there isn’t really any reason to get invested in opponents (unless… maybe they make a reappearance later on?). Some of them have gotten cool backstories, but once the battle is over it’s become clear that they probably aren’t going to make a reappearance if they lose. But something about Ilpyo’s (and Jegal Taek) introduction teases as so much more, which has me excited to see what role he’ll play for the rest of the series!
Personally, I think the highlights of this episode where when Ilpyo and Mori had a conversation in the park, and we got to see them as children. I mean it was hilarious to see Mori strapped to his grandfather’s chest and just kind of ragdolled while he was sleeping. But in such a short amount of time we got a solid amount of development for this new character and honestly, I hope that he doesn’t turn out to be a traitor because I like him a lot. Of course, we’ve only known him for a collective 5-7 minutes, but he seems like a cool character to keep around. Also, I really liked how they handled the “my first memory… second memory… and my precious third memory” that was just so nice. On the flip side, I also enjoyed seeing the flash backs to when Mori was a kid because it started to build up the connection that Mori and Teijin had. I mean, Mori may have only been 6 when his grandfather left, but those are some strong connections. I also thought it was cute getting the back story of the photograph of the two! So, all around, it was just nice seeing characters as kids, and just how significant of an impact Mori’s grandfather has made (even if he has been gone for 11 years).
And the ending (minus the actual ending), just made me really happy to watch. Mori has friends! And friends that care about him! If anything, I think that the transition from Mori’s flashback into his 17th birthday was really well done. It brought a smile to my face – I’m a sucker for people doing normal happy things amidst chaos. Of course, we’re right back in the chaos at the very end of the episode as Mori picks up the map and with an image of his grandfather chained up. But hey! Gotta keep the action up right? But that happy moment that they all shared was really refreshing amidst all the stress that we’ve built up.
So, overall, while I was less impressed with the start of the episode, I think I enjoyed what this episode brought to the table! There were charming backstories and happier moments for our characters to engage with. I mean, of course it’s not all happy, but we’ll take the little victories. And so! I’m excited to see what route we’ll take next week! Will we jump into a Grandpa retrieval mission? Or will we continue through the next round of the tournament? Either way, I’m looking for a good fight!