Now see? That’s why you have to have a little patience.
Dimension W could never work as a light-novel, you know? And that’s part of the reason, I think, why a show with this much to recommend it isn’t on-track to be bigger hit than Dimension W is. I just don’t think the anime fans who buy discs have the patience for this sort of exposition any more. The folks who do? They mostly read manga, I think – or live in places like the U.S. where anime fandom is several years behind the trends in Japan and shows like this are natural fits for stuff like Adult Swim. Seinen is the most common demographic for this sort of story, and seinen anime (with a few rare exceptions) rarely sell discs any more. To the extent that they still get made, it’s mostly to sell the manga.
There is a bit of a kitchen sink mentality to the plotting of Dimension W , no question about it. But this is where the difference in quality really asserts itself, because the sometimes puzzling nature of the story isn’t a matter of sloppiness and improvization. This is just a really complicated story, with a lot going on, but it actually does make sense when the truth is laid out – it just takes longer for it to be laid out then we’re used to these days. Iwahara Yuuji’s construction (even rushed somewhat in the transition to anime, I suspect) is actually quite elegant. And the way things came together in this episode certainly met that threshold.
What I like about Dimension W is that there’s a reason for everything, and once revealed the reason actually explains things – it makes sense, even if we weren’t able to guess it beforehand. So much clicked into place in this episode that it’s hard to know where to start, but I guess it makes as much sense as anything to start with Haruka Seameyer (Kaji Yuuki) since he’s the major plot driver. An assistant to Yurisaki-sensei, he led a revolt of scientists against the management of New Tesla – in theory because they’d turned on Yurisaki, though I suspect we’ll learn much more about his true reasons as we progress. Seameyer seems to be the one behind the “accident” on Easter Island, the floating sphere, and many other pieces of the kitchen sink that have pulled us towards this moment.
That sphere seems to have transported both Kyouma and Salva back into their own memories, and memories seem to be the key to everything with Dimension W. It’s an interesting notion, that it’s from memories that futures are formed – kind of like life forming from the primordial ooze. Time is not a linear concept in this series, and it’s not entirely clear whether Kyouma and Salva are simply flashing back or more literally time traveling. But I think the salient point is that it actually doesn’t matter in any practical sense.
The elegance in Iwahara-sensei’s writing really shines through with Kyouma and Salva’s stories, and how everything ties together. Kyouma’s behavior makes perfect sense when the truth is revealed – his kindness towards Loo, and his hostility towards Mira. Every time he sees Mira Kyouma is reminded of Miyabi, and the miracle that never happened, because Mira’s body was originally designed for Miyabi. But in Loo is someone who did make the transition to a new body – presumably the same prototype as Mira’s (as best I can tell, they’re the same size). Loo is different enough from Miyabi to allow Kyouma to safely feel sympathetic towards him, but reminiscent enough to put him in mind of her. With Mira it’s all just too close, too soon (it will always be too soon), and she’s not a “real” person in that body like Loo is (or is she?).
There are a lot of interesting questions still unanswered about this – for example, does this cyborg body allow Loo to grow, or will he forever be a child? But in practical terms it’s a matter of survival for everyone concerned. It seems Kyouma and Salva are both under Seameyer’s control at the moment, and Loser (who’s revealed to have numbers as the source of his current power) believes Kyouma is the closest to “the answer” – and the key to everything. And is Loser in fact Julian, one of the scientists who initially resisted Seameyer but seems to have ended up helping him? I’m confident that Dimension W will give us as many answers as possible before it’s finished, but the likely reality of the story stopping in the middle is all the more galling given the evidence of how richly this series rewards patient development. Oh well – that’s anime these days.