Sometimes this series feels more like an anime and sometimes like an American superhero comic, and this arc is definitely taking on the air of something straight out of DC’s classic library. We have our supervillain, that’s for sure, and we’re digging pretty deep into the well of heroes to fight back.
All the way down to Origami Cyclone, in fact – one of the lowest rated in the standings and one of the quietest characters in the series so far. I guess his development episode a few weeks back wasn’t wasted, as he turned out to be the key to fighting Ouroboros’ plan – finally, a perfect use for his specialized but very useful ability.
It appears that the Mayor is effectively useless, pretty much doing nothing except dithering and fretting and Ouroboros threatened to sink the city into the ocean. In fact it’s the CEO Maverick-san who steps up and takes over the planning – agreeing to free Jake Martinez as the terrorists demand, but with a trick or two up his sleeve. He sends Cyclone in the guise of one of the Ouroboros henchman to infiltrate their organization, and sends Barnaby out to tell his story to the press to buy some cred with an angry public after Martinez refuses to keep the promise of pulling out of the city once he was released from prison.
Much has been made of Jake’s similarity to The Joker, but that’s one parallel that doesn’t quite hold water for me. True, there’s a certain insane levity that both men share, but Jake strikes me a very Japanese take on the concept. He’s obviously a NEXT – he possesses some sort of brute force telekinesis power that appears to be purely offensive in nature. But he also has some kind of weird zen, hippie shamanistic artist vibe going that’s both very weird and very unsettling. At least he put on clothes and got a haircut after his release from prison.
Unfortunately it looks as if Jake has lamped out Cyclone, which is a serious problem – and really highlights the limitations of Cyclone’s power. Worse, the others don’t know that Cyclone has been discovered. Barnaby is still focused on revenging himself against Jake for killing his parents, and Kotetsu on keeping him calm. One thing we haven’t had yet in this series is the death of a significant character, and Cyclone is definitely a candidate – not major enough to have main character armor, but established enough for his death to shake the audience. I’m not predicting it but it’s felt for a while like T & B was building towards a full-on turn to the dark side, and this would be one way to do it.