Naoi makes his move against the SSS and Otonashi gets closer to Tenshi.
Wow now this episode got pretty crazy near the end. I mean the SSS was just massacred and this is one time you are glad they will recover. I mean they’ve had some comical ‘deaths’ in the series, but these were pretty brutal. Because of their stance regarding not shooting normal students they just couldn’t do anything.
Naoi was a pretty brutal individual who really could have won this entire thing. The hypnosis was actually a pretty unique way of handling the situation. After all he doesn’t care about balance or keeping the peace. Getting rid of the SSS would just make his control all the more complete. I’m not sure how effective the hypnosis would have actually been. I suppose in that world anything is possible, but generally with hypnosis you can’t force people to do things completely against their will. Of course since he turned students into his personal army I guess it proves it was a useful tool. His long term plan would have been solid. Getting rid of Tenshi probably wouldn’t have been possible for him, but really he wouldn’t need to do it. She would respect the rules and thus wouldn’t oppose him. It’s a good thing that Otonashi got out there or else it would have been over.
It makes you wonder how much of this went according to Yuri’s expectations. I mean she couldn’t have given that communicator to Otonashi on a whim. She must have figured he would get closer to Tenshi since he was sympathetic towards her. It’s possible that Yuri also figured that Tenshi would be a problem for Naoi and he’d try to remove her while he took action. Maybe it was just instinct, but you have to give Yuri credit for the moves she did make. If she wasn’t able to get into contact with Otonashi he would have taken action far too late and the entire SSS may have disappeared.
This does keep Tenshi as a special being in the series. Obviously she is living a pretty standard school life and hasn’t disappeared. Naoi was beating up students in the background so he could hold power and not vanish. It’s pretty impressive how many modes her hand sonic has and it shows she has more abilities than we’ve seen to this point. I think Yuri and Naoi realized her importance against Naoi’s efforts. Her abilities are defensive in nature and are pretty tough to get around. The SSS uses firearms and bladed weapons which are tough to use against people you don’t want to hurt. Tenshi could just deflect bullets and disarm each and every student under hypnosis. She is a difficult opponent, but also a very useful ally when you need help.
Tenshi also got some important character development in this episode. We’ve only seen her from a quiet and oppositional point of view in the series. Here we got to see how she can behave when not in a crisis and why her personality is like that. Really as the president anyone close to her would be a good student. Good students obviously would vanish and that would leave Tenshi alone. So in the end she stopped trying to make friends since they wouldn’t last. The weird thing is the constant in her life would be the SSS since as enemies they weren’t going anywhere. But in the end she is pretty normal in getting caught up when her favourite food is brought into the picture. I think the time she spent with Otonashi will be key no matter how the next episode unfolds.
It makes you wonder what will happen from here on. Tenshi has been removed from her position and Naoi’s state at the end was pretty vague. If Naoi is gone there is a power vacuum that can be solved two ways. Either some random student takes the position or they bring Tenshi back. But considering how she left I can’t see the teachers putting her back in power. Anything can happen since I really didn’t expect a massacre at the end of the last episode. Still this series has really gotten my attention with this episode. It was really close to Yuri being the one to go and that would have just killed the SSS.
I’m leaning more toward this being a world of suicide. I mean Naoi didn’t seem to have any problems that would have killed him during his flashback. Without his father he really lost his sense of self-worth. So I could very well see Naoi killing himself to finally end it.
Virtual Reality – I don’t think this one gained very much from the latest episode. The mind control hardly seems like something that was being done from outside. Really if this is a virtual world the people running it would be completely incompetent to let Naoki go that far. Forcing people out using hypnosis wouldn’t help them get over their problems and having a tyrant running everything wouldn’t be beneficial either. A school of terror would keep people there and just cause more problems.
Purgatory – I think this one gained a bit more strength from the latest episode. I mean Naoi’s god complex isn’t much evidence, since he was just imposing his own beliefs onto that world. But still a chaotic situation left by God who is letting people work out their own issues seems possible. They are given tools and abilities in order to decide how they are going to proceed. Tenshi would ideally be left as a guardian to keep things under control, but he wouldn’t make sure that her position was absolute. This episode wasn’t completely making sure that the afterlife idea is certain, but the episode did give more strength to that idea than to a virtual world.