Let the fan rage begin!
I was ready for a bit of a change-of-pace after the recent run of solid but very intense episodes of AW. And considering the way things have been going lately, any episode with Chiyuri is a change-of-pace. They’ve been hinting at her joining the ranks of burst linkers for a while, but that finally came to fruition this week. It’s not that I’m such a huge fan of the character – she’s nothing especially original with her tsundere hijinks – but she’s fairly easy to take, and more importantly seemed to be an important character who’d completely fallen out of the story. And getting her into the Accelerated World seemed to be the only way to rectify that.
I wonder if it’s just my misread of the situation, but it’s struck me from the very beginning that Chiyu is in love with Haru and not Taku, and I’ve seen nothing in 13 episodes to make me feel differently. It could just be that we don’t see much one-on-one interaction with Taku, but she’s incredibly clingy with Haru. She also seems to enjoy teasing him, and to trust him in a way she doesn’t trust Taku, with her innermost feelings. My sense is that she’s “with” Taku because it just seemed like the expected thing to do, and because of Haru’s legendary lack of self-worth. I even thought Taku was about to say something along the lines of “I know what’s really going on” to Haru, but that could be my misread as well. In any case Haru clearly belongs to Kuroyukihime so any further pursuit of that angle can only lead to heartbreak.
When Chiyu does get settled in as a Burst Linker, she takes her usual battering-ram approach, bulling ahead and thinking she knows best. Her notion that this is a simple game and she’s going to teach the boys how to relax and enjoy it is obviously going to be shattered quickly, especially as her avatar, Lime Bell, appears to be a healer. And that’s a pretty big deal, as there have only been two healers in the entire history of the Accelerated World according to Snow Black (though how she could know that with certainly I’m not sure), and one of them bailed after being the object of every legion’s lustful recruitment. The other is a King – but their name must not be spoken (according to Snow Black, anyway).
With Kuroyukihime off to Okinawa on the Third-year class trip, Taku and Haru are in charge of defending the Legion “to the death”. The twist is the arrival on the scene of another burst linker, Noumi (Kobayashi Sanae). I’m assuming he’s what all the supposed rage is about, though we don’t see much of him yet. He’s a first-year in the kendo club – using Taku’s old tricks – and seems a bit sinister, but the hook with him is that he doesn’t show up as a Burst Linker even when he’s accelerating. I don’t think I can explain that based on anything we’ve been told so far, so I assume we’re going to find out later how he does it – but it’s a safe bet he’s going to be the villain of the next arc and probably directly connected to Chiyuri in some way.