2014
05.26

The feeling is mutual.

Yay, it’s a new arc. Boo, there are still old tricks. I feel like in a normal show, this would be seen as a breather episode. Characters are more concerned with sports and stuff with the terrorist plot in the background rather than the center of everyone’s mind. This would be the point where the cast get to relax for a week… except it seems like they’ve been doing this for the whole show. The whole deal with Blanche last week didn’t do anything to show what the characters are struggling with. Despite terrorism happening directly in the school grounds, we don’t have any real message as to what the cast has lost. There aren’t any casualties. Even the background characters that haven’t done more than drink tea went through the affair with no injuries. They’re in the same situation now as they were in the early episodes; only with more of the kids aligned into thinking Tatsuya is their savior. Even Hattori Hanzo has begun savoring for Tatsuya’s perfection, and here I was hoping the guy would do a rematch and trounce our lead at something he’s not good at.

We are at that point where the cast have grown to accept Tatsuya as their lord. The meekest of the lot drool at what their God has done, with his greatest work being the crafts they cannot directly connect to him. You can see that with the littlest girl Azusa in awe over what the mysterious Taurus Silver created, in awe of his gunsmith talents and in mystery over where this man with the initials T and S could possibly be. She could ask Tatsuya Shiba, but that would be like a dying child praying to their savior and only getting a grain of rice.

Yes, I know that the “mock Tatsuya for being perfect” shtick has been overdone amongst other anime blogs. It’s like how mocking Hajime Ichinose for her verbal tics became more common than discussing her actual show. But it gets hard to avoid that subject when the show showcases his skills so often without even having a breath of some other form of his personality. The writing spends more detail on telling Tatsuya how great he is rather than how he even feels about this. He just has the same facial reaction with no glimpse as to any inner conflict. You have the messiah complex in full fire, and the show could easily deconstruct that. They could ponder on the burdens of being seen as a god, and the struggles that come from meeting those expectations. The thing about the Mary Sue is that this archetype doesn’t always have to be bad. Given enough thought, even the invincible hero can be made for a powerful story. You give him equally Olympian tasks to face, with struggles that will often match his perfections so he’ll have to come up with something else. And through there, you learn how to contrast the hero’s invincibility with the more mundane characters he interacts with.

Instead, I get Miyuki in a fairy dress offering Tatsuya a drink while applauding his efforts again. It gets hard to look at that and complain by this point. I’m at the stage of the show where I expect this to happen. Of course she does a little dance while Tatsuya suddenly discovers how to fly by himself, so they can be fairy siblings together. It’s supposed to inspire awe, but all it gets from me is a droll sense of “We get it.” We get that Tatsuya’s good at almost everything, and that Miyuki would do anything for her brother. Do something that will challenge those perceived expectations rather than go around in circles. I know that seems hypocritical given how I’ve probably rehashed the same criticisms, but the point still matters.

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