Sure, I could talk about the episode-long game that isn’t quite resolved in this episode, and I will. It’s well done, and it has a lot of young Japanese women running around in bathing suits. And no doubt I will elaborate on it, but this episode has a number of nice flashbacks for less established characters. That’s the sort of thing that I can really get into.
So, the game is “Witch Hunt.” A young woman turned up stabbed to death. Everyone at the Beach is a suspect, and if they find the killer and toss the body into the raging bonfire outside, they win the final card.
Alright, let’s see: a bunch of idiots trapped in a resort compound with some armed psychos now running things. That’s bound to work out nonviolently and…oh yeah, the armed goons just start killing everyone under the theory that eventually they’ll kill the witch. That means lot of those nameless characters are killed as they try fleeing, and the characters that people actually know and maybe even care about run around and try to either stay alive, figure out who the killer is, and have flashbacks.
It does come out first that Hatter died from what looked like a murder, but his replacement, Aguni, has one of those flashbacks that shows he and Hatter were friends before coming to the Borderlands. Hatter ran a fashionable hat shop (duh) while Aguni was Yakuza muscle. The purpose seems to be there to suggest Aguni isn’t all bad, and that the really bad ones are, like, that jackass with the sniper rifle and the psycho with the face tattoos and the sword.
The first guy? That’s Niragi. He was bullied before coming there.
The sword guy? He’s the Last Boss. He’s just a psycho. He actually likes the Borderland. He wants to forget his past when he was a quiet shut-in. Now he likes violence.
But see, there’s this bikini-clad character named Kuina who decides to help the statuesque Ann (a forensic scientist) figure out who killed the dead girl. Kunia is a friend of that bleach-blonde weirdo Chishiya, but she seems nice. What can she do against that sword guy?
Um, she can fight. She was trained as a martial artist by her father before he kicked her out of the house for being transgender.
Now, Kuina has a speech where she says she thought she and the Last Boss were the same, but she realizes now they aren’t because Kunia embraces her past while the Last Boss decides to reject his, and that sort of thing makes Kunia stronger. I don’t claim to be an expert on manga, but I will say, I am aware this show was based on a popular manga, and that speech sounds like one I might read in a manga. It’s still effective, but that’s what it reminded me of.
Plus, Kuina’s other flashback shows that while her father rejected her, her mother didn’t, and the two had a pleasant reunion when her mom was in the hospital.
See, this show could very easily just be lots of deadly games and that would be fine, but it also manages to actually do stuff to make the characters pitiable. Why should I care about Aguni? He’s the head of the Militants and seems intent on killing a lot of people to save himself. But Hatter was his friend, and he doesn’t look happy to be doing what he’s doing. If anything, it’s the others who are being psychos, and he’s just standing by and letting it happen. Kuina’s backstory, considering how little she’s done so far, was a nice touch to add to give added depth to a lesser character that, again, hasn’t done much as the show has focused more on Arisu and Usagi. But it creates a more well-rounded world, and if any more of these characters have to die, well, it’ll make the moment sadder than all those anonymous people running around and dying in this very episode, won’t it?