Wow, this episode…went a little over my head at some parts. It still had a good combination of dramatic intrigue and mystery but it’s gotten to a point where I just don’t really know how they’re going to conclude ALL OF THIS into a two-part ending.
The department is still reeling from the loss of Aoyanagi and Shisui and with their loss comes the need to reassign their Enforcers into Divisions 1 and 3 – who aren’t the friendliest, let me tell you. Mika has a short little meltdown in the toilets and is nauseated by what she’s seen, but upon coming out, she catches Togane pointing his Dominator at Akane, which is only the beginning of her suspicions about him.
The next day, Akane has identified a drone facility where she believes Kamui to be hiding, and she while she’s already sent drones to investigate the area, she’s already taken a real hands-on approach to things, and ends up going there with Divison 1 and 3 Enforcers to check things out herself. Back at base, Saiga and Karanamori are investigating and interrogating Masuda, and that’s when Saiga sees something in the recording of his speeches that strikes him as a little off. Masuda’s speeches, up until recently, have always had a certain cadence, but their quality has slowly tapered in recent weeks. He realises that the person in front of them is an entirely different person.
At the drone facility, Division 3 Enforcers have slacked off, leaving all the work to Division 1, and Akane and Togane are left to check out the abandoned area that’s curiously still implanted with cymatic scanners. They manage to find a holo wall and walk through it, finding a number of disturbing items like skin grafts and actual faces that have been removed from people. This leads me to thinking that the reason Kamui’s face hasn’t been identified by cymatic scanners is because he’s somehow transplanted an entirely new face onto himself; a face belonging to someone who’s probably long been dead and thereby removed from all cymatic scanners data banks? Hmmm. During their search, though, they find yet another ‘WC?’ message written on the walls, and that’s when everything goes to hell.
In one of the Division 3 trucks, an Enforcer has started playing a newly updated game called Hungry Chicken, and when he does, a number of the facility drones suddenly come to life. Clearly, the character he’s playing has somehow managed to tap into the drones on the site, and the creatures he shoots at inside the game are actually the workers in the drone site. Across the city, other kids and adults start playing the game as well, waking up pretty much every single drone on site and killing a large number of workers, while the Enforcers, Togane and Akane watch as everything around them descends into chaos.
Meanwhile, after unsuccessfully regaling her concerns regarding Akane to Chief Kasei, Mika sneaks into Togane’s quarters and looks for anything suspicious. That’s when she finds some very disturbing evidence that Togane isn’t who he seems. There are files and pictures of Akane everywhere on his desk, with circles around her eyes and mouth and notes scribbled next to them. He seems to also have a number of tapes and recordings, which are presumably things Akane has said in private. Whether there are also videos or other invasions of privacy regarding Akane I’m not sure, but I’m sure we’ll find out pretty soon. And I don’t think Mika’s the only one who was suspicious of Togane; in the previous episodes Ginoza seemed to watch him a little closer, mistrustful of Togane’s insistence that Akane was right about Kamui.
But there’s clearly a whole lot more going on, as during the episode we also saw Chief Kasei presumably talking to the other brains of the Sybil System, telling them that the best way to keep Akane under control was to put her in charge of this investigation. And she was also pretty smugly curious to see how Akane would react to ‘that’. I’m not sure what ‘that’ is, but it should make itself clearer in episodes to come.
A lot went on in this episode, and it would be impossible to go through it all without boring everyone, but needless to say the plot has become significantly more complicated and there are way too many things going on for me to be able to decipher. I can’t say whether I liked this episode or not, because it was so complicated and too many things were cropping up everywhere, but here’s hoping that they’re all linked somehow. Togane’s disturbing obsession with Akane and the fact that Chief Kasei and Kamui seem to have plans involving her may or may not be connected, but either way, I’ll be interested to see how this all pans out in the end.