Welcome back to another exciting review of another exciting episode of the same exciting show, which I will continue to call Problem Children because for some reason this anime in particular is incapable of having its name shortened.
Since last week was also a sort of introduction to the series as well as an analysis of the episode, I did the format a bit differently. But from now on, I’m going to write about specific events in the episode in chronological order, like a more typical analysis. That way, if you’re a really slow reader, you can watch the episode at the same time and stay just ahead of the spoilers.
Which spoilers, you might ask? The ones after the break.
The episode starts out exactly where the last episode left off, with Phones and Black Rabbit talking after he just kicked a god in the face. He’s caught onto the fact that Black Rabbit’s community is weak, and the reason she’s been trying so hard to get him to join them. Meanwhile, the girls and Jun are talking to the suspiciously evil-looking Galdo Gasper. I’m sorry, did I say evil-looking?
At this point the viewers and all three of the main characters are explained the story of how the No Names fell. They were challenged to a Gift Game by a Demon Lord, and for whatever reason you can’t refuse a challenge from a Demon Lord. The end result was most of them (or all of them except for the children) were killed and, for the icing on the cake of despair, they were rather embarrassingly stripped of their name. Before that bit of exposition, though, one other note-worthy thing happened; the OP played. I could have mentioned this last week when it served as the ED, but the OP is probably one of, if not the best this season. There’s also a new ED which is so incredibly cute I was hospitalized for cuteness overload; in fact, I’m writing this entry right now from the hospital bed. The doctors are shouting at me that the computer is getting in the way of the open heart surgery, but what do they know; they don’t have the pressure of writing a weekly anime analysis series on a relatively unknown blog. Regardless, if you don’t get another analysis next week, you can assume I’m dead.
Anyway… despite hearing all this, the main characters still decide to stick with the No Names rather than join Fores Garo (Galdo Gasper’s group), for different reasons: Izayoi for the thrill of fighting against a Demon Lord, Kudou because she doesn’t want to return to a privileged environment like that which she came from, and You for your own reasons. I mean, Kasugabe because she became friends with Kudou in what was quite frankly a heartwarming scene. If you didn’t like that joke, that’s unfortunate, because I’m almost certainly going to be using it again for the next eight weeks. One thing leads to another, and Kudou ends up using her power to make Galdo reveal how he managed to get so many other communities to agree to bet their names on Gift Games against them; by kidnapping their children and-
The natural response to being forced to reveal that sort of information is to, of course, transform into a tiger. Unfortunately You is (*are) too quick for him to actually accomplish anything with the aforementioned transformation, but it’s the thought that counts. In a situation where you have your enemy physically restrained and information which would lead to his downfall if it spread, the obvious thing for Kudou to do is to challenge him to a Gift Game, betting the No Names very existence on it; an action which Black Rabbit is, understandably, shocked by.
With the game against Fores Garo the next day, Black Rabbit decides to take our unruly group of protagonists to visit Thousand Eyes, a community which is purported to know everything about the Little Garden. During their conversation, Black Rabbit casually mentions that they all come from parallel worlds. There’s no reason for this to be or not be the case, since the real world seems to rarely factor into the events of the show, which is why I found this an odd little detail. Still, as a lover of worldbuilding, I appreciate it’s being mentioned. Who knows, it could end up being relevant later on in the series. It would certainly explain how none of them knew each other, although I wasn’t having trouble believing they could have just never met anyway.
As they approach the entrance to Thousand Eyes, Black Rabbit is assaulted by the childish-looking Demon Lord, Shiroyasha; incidentally, she was the one who granted the water god who Izayoi fought in the first episode his powers. After heading inside, the two of them manage to give some somewhat complicated exposition about the societal structure of Little Garden before, inevitably, our heroes decide to challenge her to a Gift Game. The particular challenge chosen is to ride a griffon/gryphon (I have never been quite clear on which of those is the accepted spelling) around a mountain, while it attempts to shake them off. Due to her affinity for animals, Kasugabe is the obvious choice to participate. To match the griffon’s bet of his pride, You bets her life on the game; if she loses, the griffon gets to eat her. Seems fair.
In the end, You manages to hold on until the end; after which she drops like a rock towards what everybody except Izayoi think is her death. Suddenly, though, she copies an ability that the griffon used during the race: walking on the air. Remember when I said her ability was pretty mediocre last week? Turns out she also has the ability to copy others abilities (I might be wrong, but I believe the restriction is the ability’s owner has to be her friend). The first ability which she copied, if I’m not looking into this way too much, is walking. For whatever reason, she was entirely bedridden until her father gave her a magical wooden amulet which turned her into Kirby. One implication of this is that I’m sure we’ll be seeing You using Kudou’s Geass in future episodes.
Soon the opportunity began to arise for me to finally find out what exactly Izayoi’s ability was, as Shiroyasha granted the heroes all Gift Cards which show the name of their gift. Unfortunately it seems the exact nature of his gift was intended to elude me, as the card says nothing more than “Unknown”. I’m not sure what the cards of the other two said because I can’t read Japanese. After their visit to Thousand Eyes, they return to the home of the No Names where, rather than being disheartened by the destruction as Shiroyasha thought, Izayoi becomes more excited about the strength of the Demon Lord who he is aiming to fight. After a quick scene transition…
The brief mention vampires received in the first episode becomes all too relevant. On that note, the episode ends; we’re left waiting until next week to see whether Galdo’s new-found vampirism will give him the upper hand in his Gift Game against the No Names, and where the plot will go after that. As I consider how many of my idle speculations from last week’s analysis have been proven wrong, the screen zooms out and the ED begins-