After a table tennis-induced hiatus, it’s finally time for Arata Kangatari to get back to business. Did it use that extra week effectively and keep up with the hot streak it ignited in episode 6? Would the momentum in otherworldly politics carry over to the school life part of the show?
Gonna go with yes
There are few things more satisfying to watch than bullies trying to handle someone totally oblivious to their efforts. So, needless to say, every part of that episode that dealt with other-Arata blithely brushing off the Kadowaki and the goons’ attempts to be intimidating was glorious. The fact that the asshole went down with one punch was appropriate. The ratio of that bit to the main plot (it took up about 1/7 of the episode) was just about right; it’s interesting, but not the core focus of the show, and it doesn’t take long to deal with chumps the way other-Arata did.
Arata is a pretty admirable protagonist, something that came to mind again as I watched him rebuff Kotoha’s advances early in the episode. A lesser man would have either frozen up and just let it happen or actively taken advantage of it. But he’s got higher standards than that. Too, part of that rejection might have had to do with the low self-esteem that makes his character so complex. Even if that action led to her getting into some danger, I stand by it being the right long-term decision.
Definitely a show of maturity
This week, with Kannagi’s backstory, Arata Kangatari also more or less fully accomplished something it’s been working on since episode 5. Namely, the retooling of Kanangi from a lying, traitorous asshole into a man who made a very difficult decision that spiraled out of control very quickly. I thought he was effective as a villain, but as long as Akachi is filling those shoes with gusto, no reason why the show can’t have another well-developed character.
This scene was respectably raw
Whether the next major conflict if between Arata’s group and Akachi or versus one of the new factions that showed up in the stinger, this script definitely has enough character variety and depth to carry itself.