Level E – 9

The twist this week – and there’s always a twist with this series – is that Prince Baka actually helps solve the problem rather than cause it. Sort of…

For once, the cliffhanger at the end of the last episode wasn’t a troll – Mikihasa actually was a girl. In a bit of Hourou Musuko crossover, she’s a girl who feels like she’s a boy – and her impulses cause her scorn and derision among her classmates when she tries to get intimate with the girls. You can’t help but feel sorry for her, but the human race is at stake here…

The first real troll of the episode was that Saki and her cohorts only faked their heartbroken exit from Earth. It’s a simple enough matter for the genetic engineering whiz the Macbac to turn Mikihasa into a man – and thus make the fated pairing with Saki a success. Through a hair-follicle listening device planted on Colin they learn all they needed to know and put their counter-plan – genetically engineering Mikihasa into a guy – to work.

It’s here – and may I be stuck mute for saying it – that it’s a good thing Prince Baka has arrived on the scene. For he tips Craft and the others off to the fact that Saki has a counter-plan, and launches a counteroffensive of his own which involves kidnapping Mikihasa and cloning her, thus pairing Saki off with a mate who has counter-viruses built-in. There’s another plan that would have worked, too, apparently – although we aren’t let in on just what it is. This plan is bad enough – it works as far as saving the species, but puts Craft in violation of just about every non-intervention law in the books. But that isn’t Baka’s problem…

There’s a lot of reasons why this arc – indeed, all of the arcs so far – worked, but one of them was keeping the audience off-balance about Baka. This is obviously a story that thrives from keeping the audience unsure of just what they’re seeing on screen, and Baka Ouji is a big part of that. He has some limits apparently – and he’s not interested in seeing the human race wiped out, even if (as I suspect) it’s only because he’d be bored if they were. It’s a great tribute to the dexterity of the writing that it can keep a jaded audience familiar with just about every trope in the book guessing about what’s coming next, but this series does just that. That alone would make it fun to watch, even if it weren’t frequently hilarious and relentlessly entertaining.

Next week, apparently, we see our first recurring arc – the Color Rangers make their return. Looks like a mermaid story of some sort – guess the kids made it back from Calvary and their RPG in one piece.

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