Few things can be as maddening or as enjoyable as non sequitors in your genre fiction that are drastic enough to make it feel like another story’s hijacking what you’re watching. The easiest, and most immediate, example I can think of is in the DEATH PROOF half of GRINDHOUSE where the “Stuntman Mike” horror movie got taken over by a gang of feisty stuntwomen. Here, it’s Genkai literally calling this evil Bozo, Suzuki, out of his own skin with the same sort of “buck stops here” skepticism usually reserved for those moments when you get lucid in the middle of a particularly absurd dream.
I’m sure this surprise probably pissed off of plenty of fans who were taking this show too seriously. For me, though? This episode was a rib-stretching, tear-inducing riot from frame one. For the length of the cackling monologues that Suzuki goes on, you could see him being the arch villain of his own arc, or another show altogether. Then, Genkai stomps him back down at a speed commiserate to how little she takes him seriously, and the bluntness of the violence feels like the payoff of some classic slapstick routine.
“Slapstick” probably would be a better descriptor for a lot of this show, anyway. Morbid slapstick, though, and it’s that precise alchemy that makes it so precisely attuned to my sense of humor. Maybe it’s a little sadistic (and what of it?) but I enjoy the meanness of the comedy, here.
Also, I’ll pat myself on the back, again, for totally calling how Chu and the other friendly foes would eventually come back to help Yusuke out against this corrupt foes. I’ll put double-dollars down on it. Them saving Keiko from the creepos is only just the start of their redeeming “face turn.”
Look up this episode, "Suzuki's Challenge" and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.