MekakuCity Actors reached it’s halfway point last week, and I have begun to realize that if nothing else, this anime is going to suffer from being too short. It really should have been over 20 episodes. Still, nothing has gone terribly wrong yet, so we shall just have to wait and see.
Episode 5: Kaien Panzermast
I was quite sceptical of this episode, as is the only one thus far not to be named after a song in the Kagerou Project, so I didn’t know what to expect. Considering how there is still a huge amount of the story to tell, I was expecting them to jump straight into another song–Maybe Otsukimi Recital.
After surviving the terrorist attack, Shintaro wakes up in a girl’s room. No mention is given as to how he survived getting shot, but in the manga it shows that he didn’t actually get shot: he fainted. Although this is an appropriately Shintaro-like thing to do, it’s rather frustrating that this wasn’t mentioned at all. Did no one edit this script?
He is extremely confused (Much like ourselves) and begs Ene to tell him what’s going on. Ene, naturally, teases him by telling him that she won’t explain things until he strips down to his underwear. This doesn’t go well.
After some funny shenanigans, the Mekakushi-Dan informs Shintaro that they rescued him, and now he and Ene are members of the Mekakushi-Dan(Ene volunteered him while he was asleep). Shintaro is not ok with this, but Kido says he has no choice but to join, since he knows too much. On that cheerful note, they go off to the amusement park.
Instead of going with them, Shintaro goes off on his own to ponder his predicament. He runs into Konoha, who is wandering the streets looking for Hiyori and Hibiya.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Mekakushi Dan have gone to the amusement park. A discussion about whether Shintaro will out their secrets quickly turns to talk of how the Mekakushi Dan was formed, and who founded it. This person is known as the founding commander.
Since the founding commander died, Kido reveals that she will be taking them to that person’s grave. As they begin to vaguely answer Ene’s questions about what kind of person the founding commander was, Shintaro is trying to help Konoha find Hibiya and Hiyori. When he finally spots them going kidnapped…things start to go downhill.
No need to worry, Momo. It’s not like any significant plot points will be revealed or anything.
Despite some slower moments, I really enjoyed this episode. The script was witty, there was some great character interaction, and, best of all, I no longer have to call Ayano “Red Scarf Girl”. I loved the way the reveal of her name was built up to and executed. It was perfect.
Episode 6: Headphone Actor
In case you didn’t realise it, Ene is not actually a computer virus. She was once a human girl named Takane Enomoto, and this episode tells part of her tragic backstory. Unfortunately, it is quite rushed, and Jin’s weaknesses in script writing are showing once more. Ene’s backstory was covered extensively in the manga, so you can read that if you want the entire story. If you don’t have any time for that, some important details that were left out will be noted by yours truly.
As Headphone Actor plays in place of the opening, Takane runs through a city in the midst of an apocalypse. I think not using the opening was a good idea, as they’re trying to cram a lot into one episode, so they might as well use every minute. If you pay attention to the lyrics, you can get a better grip on what’s happening, but scene has yet to be explained. Despite this, I really enjoyed it.
Around four years before the story’s beginning, Takane Enomoto and Haruka Kokonose were the only students in a school’s special needs class, taught by Kenjirou Tateyama, who, you might remember, is Momo’s teacher. Once again, Jin forgets to mention some information that I feel is important. Takane has a condition similar to narcolepsy, causing her to fall asleep spontaneously, and to always be exhausted, which is why she’s so irritable. Haruka has a weak heart, and misses a lot of school.
Kenjirou announces that contrary to what they had been led to believe, they have to do a special project for the school’s upcoming festival, which is only a week away. Takane isn’t very happy about this, eventually comes up with the idea of programming a point-based shooter-game. As she came second in the national championships of a similar shooting game called Dead Bullet, so she is confident that she can win against anyone, so they don’t need to worry about giving out lots of prizes, which would be beyond their class budget.
Of course, it isn’t long before some people who were at the national championships play against her and realise that she is actually a highly skilled gamer. She doesn’t want Haruka to find out, because she has a crush on him, and fears he won’t like her anymore.
Some familiar faces show up at their gaming booth, and Takane’s skills are unmatched. Her fans from the video game fandom hear about her, and soon she is forced to tell Haruka.
All is well until Shintaro and Ayano decide to stop by. Shintaro is rude to Takane, and when he calls her weak, she says she’ll beat him no matter what, and even makes dire consequences for herself if she loses.
She loses, of course. It’s heavily implied in the manga that Shintaro is the one person who placed ahead of her in the Dead Bullet finals.
Haruka and Takane win a prize for their game at the end of the school festival, and instead of the usual ending, Yuukei Yesturday plays, basically showing that over the course of the next school year, Takane, Haruka, Ayano, and Shintaro become friends. The episode ends with a rather foreboding scene, where Takane leaves Haruka after he fails to answer a question unaware that something is quite wrong.
Despite how rushed it was, I do think this episode got the basics of Ene’s backstory down. It was walking on a fine line, but it managed to pull through. I only hope it can manage to continue to convey the story until the end of the twelfth episode.