This is going to be a shame.
It’s already pretty clear we’re headed towards a frustrating end for Dimension W. As an anime for an ongoing manga it’s already a problematic affair to begin with, but the conclusion that we’re only dipping our toe in the water of this story is inescapable. With a big plot and lots of characters, Dimension W isn’t going to be anything close to resolved in four more episodes. And while the Stalker numbers aren’t terrible, they don’t look like the sort of numbers a series primed for a sequel (like Kekkai Sensen) generates. About the only hope we have is that the series is a big hit on Adult Swim, but it’s unlikely even that would make a sufficient financial impact.
This is a big arc in itself, and probably the most interesting in the series so far. Even the supporting characters (some of them anyway) are getting backstories, among them Loo and Salva. The more I see of Loo the more I like him – he seems a genuinely decent and strong-willed kid – and his relationship with Salva is altogether less unpleasant than I would have guessed after last week. That Salva was adopted was a surprise, but his desire to see Loo sit on the throne in a powerful nation seems genuine even if he’d have good reason to feel resentful. The one big question this flashback doesn’t answer, of course, is how Loo came to be a cyborg – but I suppose we’ll get our answer to that soon enough.
The situation on Easter Island is quite an interesting one, with this disparate cast of characters each there for their own reasons. Salva wants the impossible coil to cement Isla’s power; Loo wants to please his brother. Kyouma sees this as the means to bringing Miyabi back, and the various collectors are on-board chasing the 5 billion Yen reward. And we have Loser here too (with “Ellie” back in blonde, though the trolling on the gender question continues), still seeking his answers and his revenge.
As for the island itself, its gears seem to grind back into motion with the arrival of Salva’s party – though just why isn’t 100% clear. The most interesting notion this episode propagates is that all the unrealized possibilities in the “nothingness” of the island, converted into energy by Dimension W, will now become realities themselves with the island in motion again. This is exactly what Kyouma is counting on, of course, but it’s also an incredibly unsettling notion.
The clusterfuck starts immediately, as Salva’s transport crashes into the sea and – more interestingly – a blue sphere that’s “only interested in men” takes out a couple of passengers, Santos and Salva himself. Loo takes charge of the motley crew of collectors in big boy fashion as Kyouma and Mira enter the fray to the accompaniment of the unmistakable roar of a V-10 engine. The standout moment here comes when Mira flat-out (if meekly) confronts Kyouma for being so mean to her. Maybe this is a step forward in their relationship, but it’s certainly a nice development for Mira’s character. It’s clear that, be it due to a Miyabi connection or not, a machine with all the “superfluous features” (like self-awareness and hurt feelings) Mira has deeply unsettles Kyouma.
To be honest, the gaggle of collectors involved in all this is too big for all of them to make a huge impression, though on balance they’re a pretty comprehensive sampling of American cultural cliches. Two who do make an impression are the shovel-toting twins we saw last week – you have to love a pair of blondies called “Debbie” and “Harry” Eastriver. They end up teamed with Kyouma and Mira, interestingly enough, and I find myself hoping Loo winds up with them too – I liked the dynamic between he and Kyouma, and it seems as if he might be a vehicle to help soften Kyouma’s hostility towards her.