It’s easy to write villains viewers love to hate. Creating a villain that your audience actually hates, though? That they can’t stand watching for a single moment? That’s the real challenge.
So I have to catch myself… when Akane is hesitating on using her assault rifle to blow Kamui away, and I’m actually shouting at the screen. Blast him away, damn it! Because, guess what? It’s frustrating, and a good thriller is supposed to frustrate you. It’s totally in line for the characters. Akane is a by-the-book cop - - she’s not going to bend protocol to blow a bad guy's head off. She’s the opposite of Dirty Harry, remember?
And it’s a brilliant moment, when the newest Enforcer grabs the rifle, and is all too ready to do some dirty work, and Akane gets this quick flash of Kogami in his place, and immediately orders him to stop.
For me, this is the episode where Akane really came into her own as a truly distinct heroine. She’s a cop defined by incorruptibility that’s almost like a mutant power. Nothing will cloud her Hue. For the first season, that sort-of made her boring. Strong characters are defined by their flaws, no? And here, you have a lead defined by her ability to not dwell on things.
Well, what’s interesting is that she’s gotten a couple ghosts following around, now. Clearly, she isn’t over Kagami. Is she in love in him? Or is it more maternal - - like he’s a child she failed?
There are striking moments scattered throughout this episode where she orders the Enforcers to prioritize their safety first. You can see how well she functions as a leader, because she can even put her own self-interest under other’s. However, that makes ‘negative influences’ even more of a threat, doesn’t it? With just one trigger pull at the end, Kamui could’ve forced her to cloud her Hue. And now that he’s gotten a better sense of how she operates, he’s going to have a better sense of how to get at her, won’t he?