It’s a testament to the chemistry the show’s been building between the main four that the drama over Akihito’s transformation this time felt as real as it did. I particularly liked the scene where Mirai found his notes on her birthday gift; that was a nice, quiet package of emotion.
Unfortunately, that was one of the few things I liked about this episode, the rest was full of irritating, bush-league cliches.
For starters, the fight between Izumi and Miroku had a textbook bad fight trope that’s always bothered me. It’s a really cheap dodge when someone gets hit by an attack and it’s an illusion all along; if it wasn’t previously established that it was possible, the guy comes off less as a strong character and more as one the writers will allow to pull powers out of their ass. I know this wasn’t the main focus of the episode, but these little things are still important.
Miroku last episode was shallowly manipulative, and Izumi doing the same routine this week was little better. I mean, it’s pretty clear to the audience that Izumi manipulated the current situation as well, so her attempt to pit Mirai against Akihito for real feels like a very shallow plan. It’s more frustrating than compelling to watch, and while I like how the rest of the cast took it, these two have pretty consistently been the low point of the show. This whole plot would have been a lot worse if Hiromi hadn’t spotted her machinations pretty quickly.
And in the first place, isn’t it weird that characters shown to have been pretty freakishly strong and outclass Mirai for much of the series aren’t just setting up a favorable battle for themselves? That wrinkle just makes the transparent manipulations seem even more forced. I’m not at all sure the ending is going to be satisfying at this point.