originally posted on ace-reviews.tumblr.com on march 5, 2017
THE STORY THUS FAR: kagura reunited with her shithead brother, kagura’s shithead brother was a shithead, kagura’s shithead brother continued being a shithead, seita met his mom, seita tried to escape with his mom, and the good guys beat the bad guys with the power of being lucky it wasn’t nighttime and no one decided to build anything over the underground city
Since this is the denouement episode of the Yoshiwara Arc, I may as well touch briefly upon why I feel the attempts to make Housen sympathetic don’t work.
- The little girl talks like children don’t and that’s annoying, especially in an arc that features a really well-written child character who (usually) does talk and act like a child
- The guy forced countless children into prostitution and never once indicated that he knew or cared that it was wrong
- The guy ordered countless women murdered and never once indicated that he knew or cared that it was wrong
- There’s a bit of an unspoken and unaddressed implication that he wanted to fuck a little girl and that’s just icky
It is possible to make a villain likable or make their motives understandable without having them repent for their crimes, and they don’t necessarily need a redemptive moment, but Housen has been a flat character motivated solely by selfish desires from the beginning, and his crimes don’t merit a pretty death scene.
In addition, you cannot have a character cripple and hold a woman prisoner for years while using her to advertise his business, and then turn around and claim he genuinely cared about her. The character can claim that, but his actions suggest otherwise. Hinowa may have decided to forgive him so that she wouldn’t have to live the rest of her life carrying a hatred for a dead man, but he didn’t deserve to die like that and the narrative failed to earn that moment.
So, anyway, Housen dies, Kagura tries to shoot her shithead brother, Kamui fucks off because he wants to be the Big Bad, and Seita finally gets to live with his mom and sell dildos for a living. So, a happy ending all around.
Aside from the bullshit I spent most of this review grumbling about, this was a good arc. Gin-san’s fight with Housen was one of the best in the series thus far, and I liked Seita a lot. I feel it would’ve worked a bit better if Seita had been introduced and started working for Otose a while ago, but that’s just a minor bit of wishful thinking and the arc isn’t hurt by him being a new character.
Next episode Kagura and Shinpachi do some training. Till next time.