Made in Abyss 7, when not giving Riko horrific news, or pounding Reg to shit, is all about Ozen the Immovable, who is so delightfully twisted that when she later is shown to be not quite THAT bad (but bad enough) I was disappointed.
After we get a quick scene of Habo hoping that Ozen doesn’t tell Riko about the vessel, Ozen does exactly that, and we learn something about Riko’s past that made me say “Ohhh shit!” in a way that I haven’t much done since Madoka MagiKa. Instead the concept of being in the Abyss making you become less human and more … well, look at Ozen for example (with concepts of god and death thrown in), returns in a more personal way than before, and we have to wonder, considering the other experiments Ozen tried with the curse-repelling vessel (which is NOT what it does, heh), just how human Riko is.
Not to mention Reg, who’s next on Ozen’s torture list, though this time it’s physical rather than emotional. Ozen tells them both that she despises them and is going to kill them. Reg, naturally, fights back and doesn’t get very far, and at one point I thought he had actually died until I remembered he had fired his ray gun. Not that it matters to Ozen the Immovable, who beats him up some more. Throughout all this pain and suffering Ozen seems to be having a wonderful time. Again we have to wonder if Riko is going to wind up as strange as Ozen, though probably not as, er, dark.
As I said, I was a little disappointed by what happened next, Reg waking up and finding other people there with Ozen, the whole unpleasant experience being sort of a test to see if they could survive on lower levels (apart from the punishment Reg got, where Ozen admits she got a little carried away), though the dark lines she mutters throughout made more sense–Ozen was genuinely curious about them. She also admits she lied a little, and she actually gives Riko some good news. By now the mood has lifted a good deal. We watch flashbacks of Ozen and Lyza, then her apprentice, in bright sunlight, the latter not letting Ozen’s appearance or reputation deter her. It’ll get dark again soon, now that Riko and Reg are about to undergo Ozen’s survival training. Heh.
Speaking of “heh” …
I thought that Re:Creators 18 would be an episode where Altair gets the upper hand and everything gets dismal for a while. Instead, nearly the opposite happens. Magane spouts some nonsense at Souta, with an occasional decent line that often reflects whatever scene they cut to next, or maybe it’s coincidence, since much of it has to do with the ability to do anything–cut to Blitz meeting his daughter. Back to Magane/Souta, where the latter admits that he will do just about anything, good or evil, for the sake of … he just doesn’t know. Magane seems to like this answer, or its amorality, and goes off on another verbal bender about making value out of fool’s gold for the sake of fan-approval which Souta rejects, which apparently triggers something we don’t see yet. And Yuya gets his spectre-thing back as well, because it will be more fun. So basically this whole giant event is for the benefit of Magane, I think. And all of that is for the benefit of us, the viewers at home.
Anyway, the rest is a series of gratifying scenes. Yuya, Blitz, and, er, Extreme Final Legend Martial Artist Hikayu (and by “gratifying” I didn’t mean her outfit) defeat Shou in comical fashion–Hikayu’s grand entrance was the funniest thing I’ve seen in a while. Then it’s on to Rui, Selesia, and Aliceteria, with some help from Meteora, going up against Altair, remember her? Time to bring out Charon, from Selisia’s world, and now things are more even, but what can he bring? Can he throw Selesia into doubt? I don’t believe it. In fact, I wonder how they’re going to extend things further. Everyone has defected from Altair’s camp except for Charon. Well, as long as everyone in the audience has a good time. If it doesn’t, if they have more time, maybe the characters will resort to a little kayfabe action to entertain them. And we’ve seen that the fangirls would like some hot Yuya/Shou action, maybe with Hikayu watching.
Princess Principal 7 is a major letdown from the cruel ironies stacked atop ep6. In it, the team infiltrate a laundry to track down a lone killer who goes after Commonwealth sympathizers, because he would send his nerve-gas stained clothes to the laundry to clean, right? So the good guys think. I was rather pleased to discover that the killer actually did not do this, and that their discovering his jacket, thus his identity, was an incredible coincidence for the sake of the story. Why he actually wore his military jacket in the first place doesn’t enter into the minds of the killer nor the show’s creators.
But the plot is secondary to what the show wanted to give us–a look at poor women laborers in nineteenth-century London and the appalling conditions they worked in. Of course, the girls buying and reorganizing the laundry to increase efficiency and worker safety wasn’t realistic, but this is a 21st-century anime series, after all. Silly bits aside, they did an okay job with it, with the help of the show’s consistent vision of what London at the time actually looked like, with steampunk trappings. But once again I wonder when they will come up with a long-term story arc, if ever.