Sometimes I don’t know if I should root for Enoshima or not. She is probably the coolest character in the show besides Komaeda, and he was shown taking nude baths on faraway islands. My allegiance was settled, until he decided to come back.
The light or the dark? Jedi or Sith? Hope or Despair? Damn, this is hard.
Japanese Title: 偶然にも最悪な再会
How do you bring the Ultimate Despair to the world? But of course by hosting a killing game between friends and broadcasting it mixed with a few brainwashing techniques. Junko Enoshima took care of the first part of the plan after forcing the student council into killing each other, but she needed the SHSL animator, Ryota Mitarai, to complete it.
After noticing that Tsumiki is acting a little submissively around Junko, he discovers a video of the student council killing game. Sickened, he is bombarded by the sexual advances of a brainwashed Tsumiki, and the psychopathic explanations of a determined to bring despair Junko. Junko goes as far as to blackmail Ryota that if he refuses to help, she will kill his classmates. To be honest, since the SHSL impostor was the one who had the most interaction with his classmates, his concern felt a little fake. Maybe his sense of morality is just that strong. Or maybe he is just a frightened coward. I vote for the latter. I wonder how he turned into the man we see in the Future Arc.
In a scene that just foresaw the next episode, Munakata-san returns to help with the riots.
In my favorite part of this episode, Komaeda finally returns. Komaeda is one of my favorite characters. His calm demeanor, and that aura of confidence, make him in my eyes the perfect Junko counter. From the first episodes he preached his allegiance to hope and he was determined to do everything in his power to protect it. When he leads Chiaki to the secret room where Junko holds Ryota, Komaeda and Junko debate hope and despair.
Bu the end of the episode, Komaeda is confronted by Izuru, Chiaki recognizes Izuru as Hajime, Ryota escapes and runs into Chisa.
Puzzle Metaphor: The puzzle that Junko is solving made a great chaos vs order metaphor. Chaos and despair are easy. You just need to destroy things. A single spark of despair can bring chaos and anarchy, as we recently saw in the student council killing game. On the other hand, order and hope need work, a determination to put piece after piece in the right place to create a stable hope that can be enjoyed by all. But all it takes is another Junko to bring despair with just one move.
Tsumiki Fan-service: Like Junko said, the brainwashed Tsumiki behaves like a pig in heat. Well, when instead of a pig you have sexy Tsumiki, a certain dose of sexual innuendo and sweaty cleavage is a must.
Themes & Trivia
The Last Supper: In the beginning of the episode, Junko is building a puzzle of a painting whose figures have been changed into Monokumas. The painting is Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Last Supper, a late 15th-century mural painting in the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan. It is one of the world’s most famous paintings. The painting is a representation of The Last Supper of Jesus with his disciples, as it is told in the Gospel of John, 13:21. Leonardo wanted to depict the consternation that occurred among the Twelve Disciples when Jesus announced that one of them would betray him. I’m not sure if the painting is a reference to the traitor in the Future Arc or to the Remnants of despair, or maybe both.
Student Riots: The whole reserve course thing may well be a commentary about the way education has become a paying service in our days. Students can buy their way into the universities and later pay for their master and doctorate thesis. Even academic prestige can be bought from the right people for the right amount. But what can’t be bought is true scientific progress. It’s a shame how many blue faces are trying to use their money to substitute for the hard work that real education demands from its students.
There was one scene that made the whole episode worthwhile: Izuru and Nagito’s luck showdown. When the SHSL Lucky talents collide, whose luck would prevail? None, as it seems. Nagito’s gun malfunction as he shots Izuru, and Nagito’s student manual stops the bullet from Izuru’s shot. Add the beautifully drawn sequence as Izuru takes the gun from Nagito, and the only thing that could top it off was the comic bit of everyone asking the real Mitarai if he lost weight.
And the rating is…
Junko is one step closer to her goal, and it’s all thanks to Hinata’s new personality. I expected a being with all the talents imbued in him to be more impartial, but this is the beginning to a story that has already unfolded, if not for the end, which we will see when the Future Arc ends. The Despair has already come, we just need to witness the how.
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