Yeah, I'm back. Sorry for keeping you all waiting (all three of you).
Saeko, and her useless bra, were very wet.
This episode provided us a whole new outlook on one of our main characters in Saeko. Prior to this, I saw her in sort of a shining light. Strong, gorgeous, smart, and seemingly flawless, Saeko has been the tank for our survivors (outside of, you know, the Humvee). But now, in her alone time with Takashi, we see that she is, in fact, a human being, and not some bokken-wielding angel sent from heaven to collect heaven coins... wait... wrong show.
Its a change i'm still processing, and am conflicted about. I really liked the old, confident, reliable perfect Saeko. I've always had a weakness for characters that seem unflappable. Some would call that a lack of depth, but that's not really what it is. Saeko still had personality. Take your average anime heroine from any harem (because HOTD falls into that genre more every episode). If the main character... lets say Kenshiro, falls over and sees up her skirt, you know the reaction will be one of either embarrassment or anger, and they'll either cower or hurt things. Saeko simply accepted such situations. This isn't the only example, but overall the character was kind of withdrawn and mysterious, not letting those around her get too close, as personified on the sandbar.
But when she no longer had the capacity to fight, she had no choice but to let someone in, and it culminated in some real raw, emotional honesty. As she talked about that defining moment of her past, I felt something for the character that I hadn't previously; sympathy. Before she was a monolith, a statue, a greek god. But now she was suddenly a real girl, and it was a pretty profound transformation.Quite striking considering what this show has become; a raunchy action thriller.
Thanks to having been exposed to so many stories like this over the years, I half expected her to be offed by the zombies that came to the shrine immediately after her climactic scene, but I was glad to be wrong. And as I watched wide-eyed Saeko use her new, real Katana to cut down all the living-dead, I found myself really liking this crazy side of her. The duality or bi-polar character has rarely been handled well in any story that I've seen or read, which is why it brings me pleasure to see it handled well here.
Tanaka though... I thought he was with Rei now! Sure he's a teenage boy and all, but what a dick! Then again, would I have handled myself differently placed in this completely absurd situation? Not a fucking chance.
BTW, to read past episode blogs or check in on Angel Beats, just click over to my profile.