Can Leo successfully save his friend from the monster he made a deal with, and his friend’s own strength? Remember, if you like this article and 5 Point Discussions, please share it on Facebook or Twitter! It really helps. And if you’ve got any comments or questions, please hit me up @SageShinigami.
1. At this point, it’s clear from the cast of Kekkai Sensen that nearly any one of them could carry the series for a mini-arc by themselves and you wouldn’t question it. This week, as the members of Libra face off against a kaiju-sized version of Leo’s friend Mr. Riel, we visit the Ghostwolf Girls ever so briefly and find them playing Shiritori. Literally the entire city is either fleeing in terror from the giant monster or watching with bated breath to see what he’ll do or screw up next, and they’re inside a bar emptying its wine cellar while bonding over the issues in their personal lives. #SquadGoals
(As a sidenote, as cute as it was to watch Chain squirm over getting a reprisal for not helping out the team, Zapp totally deserved a beatdown from the whole Ghostwolf Squad for being such a jerk about it.)
2. The messaging behind this week’s episode is complex. Mr. Riel’s deal with Gemnemo has left him constantly growing in strength and size each time someone attacks him, as an involuntary defense mechanism to make it impossible for anyone to ever hurt him. Now pessimistically, you could assume that this episode is trying to say that you should be comfortable with whatever place you’re handed in life, and trying to overreach will just ruin you.
…But I was never much of a pessimist, so let’s go with the opposite view: when you let the world change you, you can become the kind of monster that pushes away their friends and everyone around you, such that despite the strength and power you’ve obtained, you’re alone in the world. And while some people are okay with the sacrifice that strength brings you, and others are just so frustrated with their treatment that they only want to break things, others let the loneliness paralyze them, causing them to beg for help from the very people they supposedly surpassed in the first place.
3. Leonardo Watch might have single-handedly changed my opinion on powerless characters. There was a time where I thought they were narrative wastes, as they generally proved so useless that the only thing they could do was inspire others to do things to save them from their own helplessness. But Leo’s impeccable moral fiber, his willingness to stand up for his friends even in the face of people and circumstances there’s no way he can overcome makes him stand out from other characters that lack offensive powers like him.
While Mr. Riel is realizing the error of his ways in seeking out the power to bully the bullies, he remembers that Leo managed to stand up to the people who’d mocked or hurt him all on his own, without any power other than what he was already born with. It’s encouraging, watching him stand up to this city (that, despite all the humorous moments can be incredible dangerous and kills people without a thought every episode) with nothing but his wits and as much guts as your average shonen protagonist, even if he does wind up knocked on his ass more often than not.
4. After a super dangerous operation, Mr. Riel finally shrinks back down to a more reasonable size. And then unfortunately shrinks down much, much further than that. It makes sense–the counter weapon that was invented to fight Gemnemo’s cytological growth process was built by someone that’s literally the size of a germ. To them, even being this large would still make you a giant, so Dr. Li Gado probably thought he’d calibrated the weapon properly.
Leo gets to have a brief conversation with Mr. Riel before he’s scooped up by a bird, bringing this week’s episode to an end. And while I do get that this was supposed to be a comedic way to close out the episode…I’m pretty sure that bird ate Mr. Riel. Yikes.
5. Next Episode: A mixed focus on Stephen, the team’s second-in-command and awesome ice-using tactician, along with K.K., the team’s sniper. In an episode featuring two of the team’s most cold and calculated members, I’m kind of hoping to see the humanity behind the both of them, particularly K.K., who hasn’t gotten nearly the screen time that other members of Libra have.
Blood Blockade Battlefront & Beyond is available for streaming on Hulu and Crunchyroll.