Huh. That ended a lot sooner than I was expecting it to. Looking ahead at how these arcs are divided, I assumed that this Saint beasts storyline wouldn’t continue that much longer after Suzaku was defeated. Hell, it certainly seemed like they were setting a big brawl between Yusuke’s gang and Suzaku’s duplicates since they were rushing to the rescue just as he was regenerating all those pieces of himself.
Well, I shouldn’t complain about being surprised, then. It keeps things interesting. Though, I’ve got to say that I’m not entirely sure how “life energy” is supposed to be different than “spirit energy” when it comes to your chi projectiles. You’d figure the two were synonymous, right? Or perhaps it’s just a case of one pertaining to Yusuke’s health bar and the other pertaining to his manna gage (to break this down into video game terms, once more.) Kuwabara does basically just give him a few of his hearts.
Maybe the notion of Yusuke defeating Suzaku only after he proves he’s willing (again?) to lay his life down for Keiko’s, but the meaner side of me would’ve preferred this arc to end with him psyching out the bird. It’s a riff on the whole “Do ya feel lucky, punk?” schtick from the first DIRTY HARRY, sure, but that’s not really a bad thing. It’s got more personality, to be sure. Yusuke’s a juvenile delinquent - - not a model UN member. Wouldn’t it have fit more for him to just snap that bird’s neck?
I suppose I should be glad I got that nasty prank Kuwabara pulls on him at the end. He made him think his girlfriend was dead! Ha ha ha!
Look up this episode, "Yusuke’s Sacrifice" and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.
Well, this was a tighter episode than we’ve had in a while.
I’ve brought up EVANGELION a few times as a comparison piece, and this is one time where I think EUREKA’s handled something better. For as much as I appreciated the three dimensionality of EVA’s characters and the way it focused on the emotional duress the mecha pilots would suffer over saving the world every week, I did think the show erred sometimes in representing that psychological depth with only the vaguest, nigh-imperceptible changes in behavior. GURREN LAGANN handled that sort of thing better by grounding all its themes of self-belief and self-actualization into concrete terms and actions.
Here, they’ve handled Renton’s moral crisis regarding all the enemies he’s killed in a more coherent fashion. Like the viewers of, well, most action-adventure stories, he simply never made the visceral connection that there were real people inside those enemy mecha suits. And Matthieu’s calm, unaffected take on the consequences of his actions rang pretty true as the kind of attitude somebody would have to have after being at war for however many years. I’m not saying this is “showing us the consequences of violence” in the pretentious way some sci-fi purports to, but it does simply have a lucid comprehension of how the characters would all react. As silly as sounds, the thread of Renton binging on chips represented his depression more effectively than a lot of EVA’s dramatic inner monologs did.
In less theoretical terms, Eureka’s kids were so cute when they were shooing Renton away, it was satisfying to see some callback on the Vodarac stuff and Renton’s quiet escape was a uniquely cathartic moment for me. Odds are, he’s going to run into this dandy mecha mercs and he’ll be back to Gekkostate sooner than later, but this is definitely the most sensible things he’s done in the whole show.