Note: The Weekly Watch for Scum’s Wish Episode 5 will be up later this week. I haven’t had time to watch it yet.
In last weeks ēlDLIVE we were left on the edge of our seats with a shocking cliffhanger that had Misuzu getting arrested for the crime of aiding the escape of a criminal, and this weeks episode picked things up immediately where they left off, giving us some insight into what’s going on but not before a pre-opening scene complete with an explosion and the introduction of a new villian.
So it’s fairly obvious that Misuzu is innocent. Sure, she’s often cold and lacks empathy, but she’s not evil nor is she backstabbing. If anything, she’s extremely loyal to her comrades in ēlDLIVE and the peace they all fight to uphold each and every day. Chuta knows it, Chips knows it, we all know it.
We get an interesting moment alone with Chuta and Dolugh, where Chuta explains that he believes Misuzu to be innocent. When Dolugh questions why he thinks so, he has no real answer other than he simply just knows. It seems Chuta may understand Misuzu as a person more than he lets on. He knows she’s a good person and that she’s far from capable of aiding a dangerous criminal in their escape or betraying her comrades.
Meanwhile, Misuzu is being interrogated by Beralgo, one of the ēlDLIVE higher ups and during the interrogation she passes out suddenly and Beralgo has no idea what’s going on, believing it to be a trick.
But it seems that Laine knows exactly what’s going on, as he immediately makes his way to the interrogation room where Misuzu is being held and kicks up a furious storm about her being innocent, going as far as attacking the subordinate in charge of preventing her escape. Seems Laine remains quite the bad ass.
So what’s going on here?
Well, it turns out it all relates to Misuzu’s past and that she is one of many human test subjects in a series of experiment referred to as the Takuramakan Project which for reasons unknown causes SPH related sickness and memory loss, which is most likely the result of Misuzu’s “criminal” behaviour. Remember the medicine she took briefly during the second episode? Well it turns out it wasn’t to help her “adapt to the environment” it was actually to prevent her illness, and she’s running out. What’s interesting about all this is that Misuzu herself has no idea about any of this, and it’s been kept secret from her and just about everyone else.
The exact nature and purpose of these experiments are currently unknown to us as the audience, but it’s nice to see some backstory to Misuzu and it’s provided a solid explanation for her cold personality. She’s lost a large chunk of her memories and is suffering from an illness she herself doesn’t even know she has. No wonder she’s so damn cold. I’m glad there’s actually a logical reason instead of just “because she’s a Tsundere”.
Soon after, Laine calls Chuta and assigns him with a new mission: to find a man referred to as Dr. Strange Love. Why? Well, it turns out he’s the one responsible for the experiments and Laine believes locating him could allow them to prove Misuzu’s innocence, so Chuta agrees and the search for the doctor begins.
However, it appears someone’s been out to kill Dr. Love, as his body doubles have all been murdered recently, leading Laine to suspect that there’s something more to this whole predicament that meets the eye. It can’t be a coincidence that Misuzu’s illness has begun to surface at the exact same time the man responsible for it is being targeted by assassins. This is getting really interesting.
The second half of the episode focuses on Chuta and Chips hunting for Dr. Love where they encounter two new comrades who accompany them. Veronica, a rather serious and no nonsense girl with a feisty attitude and Nina, a much sweeter and kind girl who’s the complete opposite of her partner.
While not necessarily a bad thing, for the majority of the show we’ve been stuck with the same few characters, so it’s nice to see some new additions to the cast, especially a duo with such contrasting personalities. Nina in particular seems to have a very nice chemistry with Chuta and almost seems into him. I’m not gonna lie, as a Manga fan I ship them hard… Moving on…
So the newly formed team go on the hunt for Dr. Love, and while following a lead, they wind up getting ambushed by an unknown assailant who for the time being I shall refer to as “green-haired guy”.
So green-haired guy makes a dramatic first impression by trapping our heroes with no way out, surrounding them with innocent civilians he’s hypnotised and demands they tell him where Dr. Love is hiding, threatening to blow the entire place sky high if he doesn’t get the answers he seeks. Damn, this guy is impressive. In the span of a couple of minutes, he’s managed to one up our heroes all on his own. I like this guy.
Veronica, panicked, lets slip where Dr. Love is supposedly hiding: under the building they’re currently trapped in and green-haired guy makes the rather insane suggestion of “well, I may as well blow this place up anyway then” and proceeds to do just that.
So what do our heroes do? They fight back of course and we get some beautifully animated scenes that showcase everyone’s powers.
Veronica has some totally awesome SPH skates that feel an awful lot like Lenalee’s Innocence powers from D. Gray Man. As a big fan of that ability, I ain’t complaining. Damn that was awesome.
Chuta meanwhile uses Dolugh to create an ice blast and freeze the bomb to delay its activation. He’s finally getting the hang of reacting to these life threatening situations, which is really nice to see from a growth perspective.
And Nina, has a very strange ability that seems to revolve around wind. She uses it to protect everyone from the blast in what is possibly the most gorgeously animated scene this show has offered yet. My god that scene was beautiful.
It seems ēlDLIVE is finally starting to showcase the unique and wacky powers of its cast all the while providing us with some solid, well choreographed and well thought out action scenes: complete with strategy. Exciting stuff indeed!
And of course how could we have an episode of ēlDLIVE without a twist of some kind at the end?
So green-haired guy managed to find Dr. Love in the gigantic crater he created from destroying the building, but to everyone’s surprise he’s already dead.
In a rather gory, and slightly disturbing, scene we’re introduced to another new character: a young man with blue hair, coated in blood standing next to Dr. Love’s ripped open corpse with the old mans heart in his hands. Damn. Didn’t see that coming.
The episode then abruptly ends.
A lot happened this episode, and it was fantastic. We finally got some insight into Misuzu’s character and her past, we got some more world building in the form of human experimentation and SPH, we were introduced to a couple of new and interesting characters, we got to some more wacky and awesome SPH powers and we were introduced to a new villain in the form of green-haired guy and a shocking plot twist regarding Dr. Love and this blue-haired guy. My, oh my, so many things are unraveling, and it keeps getting more and more interesting.
ēlDLIVE is really beginning to pick itself up in terms of story. Things are happening, things are getting more focused and serious and it’s never been as entertaining as it is now. The writing is stronger than ever, the characters are becoming more and more interesting and everything is just freaking brilliant. Even the production values are getting better, and there’s still those incredibly experimental and well executed scene transitions that never cease to amaze me each and every time.
As a Manga reader, I obviously know what’s coming. There’s nowhere to go for this series but up and I guarantee it only gets better from here.
I don’t want to jump the gun, but ēlDLIVE might just be my next Katekyo Hitman Reborn! after all. I may already be getting a 10/10 show so early into 2017, and that’s something I’m extremely excited to see happen.
So far, as a spiritual successor to one of my favourite Anime, I haven’t been disappointed at all.
Here’s to next week!