This was a bit of a surprising episode of Joukamachi no Dandelion – not exactly shocking or anything, but a fair bit more tight-laced than the first five. The humor was played closer to the vest, there was less of it, and there were a few moments that were actually almost somber. In the process, we saw a little deeper into the reasons why several of the Sakurada siblings feel the way they do about the upcoming election.
So what’s really going on between the older set of twins, Shuu and Kanade? We know Shuu doesn’t want to be king (or at least is indifferent) but that he wants to prevent his sister from doing so. And now we also know that Kanade, through reckless use of her ability, caused a childhood leg injury that left Shuu unable to play soccer or other sports. As a result she bears a great sense of guilt (which is understandable) and now she seems focused on becoming king so as to fund research into potentially healing Shuu’s leg.
This is sort of a thought-provoking turn, actually. Does Shuu know Kanade’s reason for wanting to be king – or at lest suspect it? Does he want to stop her because he believes that’s not a valid reason to take on such a responsibility, or does he simply consider Kanade too irresponsible? Then there’s the matter of her “Heaven’s Gate” ability – might she be considering raiding the treasury to give herself enough savings to be able to use it to fix his leg (or might Shuu suspect she is)?
Then there’s the matter of Aoi, the oldest sibling. We’ve seen almost none of her in the first five episodes (though we’ve heard much, all glowing) but she steps into the spotlight here. Most believe her ability is “Invisible Work”, enabling her to remember everything she’s learned once – but that’s actually just a really good memory, and a cover. Her real ability is actually rather sinister – “Absolute Order”. With it she can compel others to do her will absolutely, and while she’s (almost) only ever used it involuntarily, she’s quite right to be worried it would be a very bad thing for a monarch to be able to do.
That’s kind of dark, really. And I think it places Aoi as having the most powerful ability, with Haruka second. But the thing is that Aoi is a genuinely nice person, and her worries about her friends only liking her because they were compelled to are unfounded. Whether she’ll jump seriously into the race is unknown but she’s leading even without running. Akane seems to be doing her best to be a real candidate despite her handicap, and even Teru is campaigning hard (with Shiori’s help) but it’s Misaki who might be a real threat now that Haruka has agreed to be her Svengali. It’s kind of irritating that it never occurs to he or Shuu to actually run themselves, as if a boy actually having a chance was the silliest thing ever (Teru trying doesn’t count, as he’s six), but Haruka has already shown a razor-sharp mind and an affinity to control things from the shadows, and with his abilities (magical and otherwise) behind her, I think Misaki – who actually seems like a pretty decent kid, even if she is a brocon – might have a real shot.