It seems to me that this was a sort of placeholder episode for C – seemingly a dangerous venture for an 11-episode series. We had some nice moments, especially with Mashu. There was a new character introduces, and a fairly interesting dilemma played itself out. But in the end not much changed.
The conflict centers around Kimimaru’s next scheduled opponent in the FiDi, Sennoza Kou. He’s another seemingly civic-minded player – responsible for charitable contributions and relief efforts all over the world despite being only 29. While he wants to improve things in the real world, he doesn’t believe Mikuni’s methods work – for no matter how small the loss, there’s always an effect. And he’s convinced that each time Mikuni moves to counteract FiDi events in the real world, there’s a negative impact – to the point where he’s eliminating all possible futures. The logical math is a bit fuzzy here, but the gist of it is this – his way out is to try and avoid deals altogether by offering to bankroll the opponent to “pass” – decline the deal at the cost of half their fortune.
It’s certainly interesting to see the FiDi viewed from different perspectives, though as I said the conflict itself wasn’t logical enough to be compelling in my view. Of more interest was the way Kimimaro chose to respond to it. He stewed over the offer for several days, went to see Sennoza in RL, and sought ought Mikuni for his viewpoint. He also had a shotgun meeting with our investigator friend Jennifer, who’s proving to be quite the oddball. In the end, Kimimaro chooses to fight. After getting his (mostly Mashu’s) ass kicked, he rallies – but in an extremely odd directorial choice, the moment when he fights back and defeats Sennoza is skipped altogether and the ep skips to a now nearly bankrupt Sennoza clearing out his office. But no hard feelings…
Why would Tatsunoko and Nakamura-san choose to do this? It’s baffling to me – I actually stopped and went back, thinking I’d somehow inadvertently skipped part of the ep. Given how unlikely the rally seemed and how little we’ve seen of Kimimaro doing well in battle, why not show his finest moment in combat so far? I can’t answer, but it left me with an unsatisfied feeling at the end of the episode.
More successful was the interplay between Mashu and Kimimaru. There would seem to be major obstacles standing between a human and an asset having that kind of relationship, but Mashu is becoming more anthropomorphized every week (and cuter, too). Mikuni even joked that she and Yoga were on a date, and it really did seem that way. The two of them certainly blushed enough. In a show that’s been much more successful in the intellectual side than the character side, their relationship has been the most emotionally appealing part of the show so far.