Night Raid 2, Tatami Galaxy 1

I’m still trying to figure out the characters and organizations in Senko no Night Raid. Ep2 helps out a little by providing a number of flashbacks concerning our super-powered spies, even if I’m not sure who’s working for whom. Also, though the backdrop remains confusing, the story in ep2, when they get to it, is straightforward.

The team is out to investigate Krainev, a violinist who’s performing in Shanghai, and visited the house of a late professor who had ties to the Kwantung army. The team is skeptical, but go on the case. They discover nothing, but Krainev has a good memory and could certainly be keeping it in his head. Isao, who can apparently read thought when touching the person, manages a private lesson with Krainev—and discovers nothing of use.

Interspersed are the members’ memories, Takuma being pulled away from his goals because of his power. Isao has a brother who might be working for the other side, and she’s looking for him. The violin playing reminds Aoi of his sister, though we learn no more than that. Because of all this they find it even harder to suspect Krainev, or at least to condemn him. A Russian Jew now living in Germany, he has to survive.

They unravel the mystery—the information is encoded in the sonata he’s going to play on the radio. They cut off the power but Krainev plays anyway, for the pleasure of making music, released from his burden. It was a quiet episode after that first one, but quite effective. I suspect the show will get more so for me once I have the backdrop figured out.

The Tatami Galaxy 1 looks and sounds fantastic; it’s also damn exhausting to watch.

Pretty much my expression after half an episode.

The show throws so much at you with bright visual effects and rapid-fire dialogue, that by the halfway point I was worn down. But once you start watching, it’s next to impossible to stop. We follow, er, never got his name, who meets a guy who claims he’s a god, and intends to match up a girl, Akaishi, with either the hero, or his friend and worst influence, Ozu. Time for a flashback. The two of them had been on the tennis team and had been losers at life, and had decided to ruin the romances for everyone around them, causing much annoyance. The hero finally tells the god that he wants Akaishi for himself, and weird things happen, leading to this …

It’s too much for me to explain, and since the conclusion leads me to think this is not part one of a longer story, I don’t quite know what to make of it. We’d seen the hero do stupid things all throughout, but I rather hoped he’d do something to fix it instead of spending the rest of his life that way. That doesn’t happen, he fails in his attempt to woo Akaishi (by not even trying). The loser in all of us sympathizes with him, yet at the same time we can’t forgive him for his multiple failures. And as for what it was all about, well, I’ll have to wait for the next episode to get a clearer picture.

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