Wow. Strong episode. It would work well, even if it were just a one-off.
This show’s been taking an interesting turn lately that reminds me a bit of the SPIDER-MAN movies, actually. The first couple, at least. See, those both were just good character dramas that almost incidentally involved superheroics. Indeed, there was a perfunctory attitude about all the action Spidey and his villains - - a sense, almost, that they were just standard ingredients to bait genre fans in for the human interest stuff that Raimi and his crew were more interested in doing. With mecha being the de facto equivalent of superheroes in anime, I’m sure a similar situation evolves where fans and animators are familiar enough with the genre that its conventional elements become almost incidental.
Which is perhaps a more theoretical, highfalutin way of saying that I’m more interested in what’s going on when these people are outside their big suits than when they’re in actually in them.
Gekkostate’s crew is essentially acting out the ideal fantasy that every runaway has when they’re heading out the door. Not only are they starting to miss little Renton, they’re realizing how terrible they are for not appreciating him like they should have and getting desperate about getting him back. He may not admit, but this exactly what the little scamp wanted to happen.
Of course, Renton’s really winning on both fronts, at the moment, since the Beams are proving to be a far better foster family than either of his previous ones. Most times, you might roll your eyes about characters behaving as irrationally as Renton does during his mad rush to save the Vodarac girl; but, again, it’s handled so well here that it just fits. This is exactly the kind of unseasoned idealism that a teenager would have, and the fact the Beams are so understanding of that at the end really made this as moving as any “normal” family drama. I like this show for not being afraid to depict such a hero as the awkward do-gooder he actually would be.