I WILL CONDEMN YOU!
- Midori-Sensei (again!)
A well-written and sympathetic villain is often to be desired in a story to create greater tension and drama, but ultimately the villain needs to serve one crucial goal in the story, and that’s to be an obstacle for the protagonist(s) to overcome. Sometimes you don’t need a villain to be super fleshed out or even sympathetic to be a good character. Sometimes all you need is someone who seems impossible to overcome and someone that the viewers, readers or gamers to hate.
Midori-sensei has always had a very ominous air about him, but on episode 8 of Aoharu x Kikanjuu we see just why Matsuoka and Yukimura fears him so much. He’s a manipulative sadist who enjoys inflicting physical and emotional pain onto others—(not to mention a really skilled player in the survival games). And even though that’s all there is to him, that’s perfectly fine because it works. The past few episodes has done a great job of making all members of TGG to be very likeable and enjoyable to watch, and watching him torment Matsuoka and Yukimura is kind of hard to watch because we understand how much they hate this guy and how much pain he’s caused both of them in the past.
We want them to win because we like Matsuoka and Yukimura and when they lose to the doctor it’s kind of sad.
- Hotaru Tachibana Versus Nagamasa Midori
After watching the fight between Hotaru and Fujimoto, I expected the fight between Hotaru and Midori-sensei to be as intense or better. And though I’m not sure if I’d say this battle was better, I still enjoyed it a lot. It showed that Hotaru can go toe to toe with Midori and it showed (though we’ve already seen it multiple times) just how much Hotaru cares about Matsuoka and Yukimura, but it also showed that she’s still very much open to being exploited and tormented by the sadistic doctor. He knows that she’s a girl and he knows that if Matsuoka and Yukimura finds out they might kick him out of the group and he uses this knowledge to his advantage—and uses it in a cheap and very underhanded way, as expected from Midori’s character.
It caught her off guard. Hotaru got sniped by Ichi. Midori’s team won. It’s a bit of a downer ending yes, but it’s that point in the story where the characters encounter some sort of dark period in their life that they need to overcome in order to move on and be better people. I’m not sure how each member of Toy Gun Gun’s going to come out of defeat, but it’s clear that every one of them has issues that they need to let go if they want to win against Hoshishiro.
- Matsuoka’s Past With Midori
Minus the previous female member of TGG being tortured, we learn in this episode that Matsuoka and Midori were once really good friends—which I thought was a great addition for Yaoi fans out there. But I also thought that this added more to both of their characters as well as Yukimura’s. Minus the torment done to them in the past, now there’s a backstabbing/betrayal element to it that makes things between Toy Gun-Gun and Hoshishiro even tense!
The one complaint I have for this episode is that there were some lulls in it for me. I’m thinking mostly back to when Midori was torturing Matsuoka and Yukimura. I know that I praised the doctor for his sadistic ways and effectiveness as a villain and I’m not complaining about this because I felt bad for our protagonists and couldn’t stand to watch them be tormented. No, I’m complaining about this because I got bored watching it. The scene felt like it went too long for me to the point of boredom. It did what it had to for the story fairly quickly, but I guess they just felt the need to show more of it and frankly it didn’t work. I’m not saying that they should have just made the fight between Hotaru and Midori longer instead, no, I believe that most of the time less is better. Too much of a good thing can be sickening or, in this case boring. Maybe they should have made the fight between Matsuoka and Midori last a little bit longer instead, mostly just for pacing really. Still, the episode was still all pretty good and enjoyable as a whole.
It was a good episode overall. Probably not as enjoyable as the previous one, but I still liked it a lot and even with the lull in the former half of the episode I still had fun. This was more of a character centric episode, but the pacing and timing wasn’t handled too effectively. Either make the Matsuoka fight longer or maybe delve deeper into the flashback stuff.
Score: 8.5/10 Great!
- Midori-sensei as a bad guy.
- Hotaru versus Midori
- More Midori stuff from the past.
- Lulls in the first half.