The fallout from Natsume’s revelation is dealt with.
What They Say:
Harutora and the others return to school for the first time after the incident that revealed Natsume’s true gender.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Tokyo Ravens has moved along with its couple of storylines fairly decently, depending on how much interest you have when it comes to the behind the scenes adult storyline going on, but it’s also done some decent things when it comes to the characters. While Harutora can be sidelined for a bit or made a tad impotent for a storyline, it’s just interesting to see him in general with other characters. He’s been a good influence on Suzuka and that’s made her more palatable at times but the real meat continues to be in seeing how he and Natsume get along. The two have steadily gotten closer and closer over the past year of stories in their world, with a few months happening off camera at that, so seeing them being more comfortable around each other doesn’t feel forced or unnatural. There’s a lot to like with the pairing, though it’d connect more if we saw more of them in casual mode.
Natsume is front and center with this episode as the first half largely deals with the fallout from her revelation about her gender in the previous episode. She’s fine with those that are closest to her in general, though Kyoko is keeping her distance in particular, and Natsume’s time in the dorm is a bit awkward since she’s still in the same boys dorm. They’re keeping their distance as one would expect. But Natsume is finding some positive thoughts and words from many other classmates, especially since she and the others saved so many of them during the recent incidents and that hasn’t been forgotten. It’s a pretty realistic aspect, but the main focus is on Kyoko herself. Harutora is trying to smooth things over a bit with her for Natsume, but Kyoko has her issues that won’t let it be dealt with quite so easily as there’s some real meaning behind her concerns and thoughts.
This makes for a pretty good first half, but the second half once again just spirals into other areas that supposedly will be important but leaves me cold. It focuses on the Tsuchimikado residence and some of what’s going on there as it introduces more characters, or perhaps characters that made minor appearances before but were largely forgettable, and it showcases a bit of power both in terms of ability and the more classical sense of it. Similar to previous episode that have done this with other characters, it’s trying to build a larger narrative about what’s going on but it’s simply not working for me in the slightest, making half the episode essentially without meaning and pretty much empty. Which is unfortunate since when it focuses on the core cast as it did in the first half of the series, it’s a lot more engaging.
The show has a decent enough episode in the first half with what it has to approach as we see the fallout from Natsume’s gender revelation made and how people are reacting to it. There’s some good stuff in there with the characters and I liked how it spun off to deal with the issues Kyoko has, allowing Harutora to try and figure it out and help her with it. The second half again lays more foundation for the big finale arc, but similar to attempts at doing that in previous episodes, it leaves me simply not caring. Which will undercut a lot of the importance of what’s to come outside of the core cast’s participation, which won’t be enough to salvage it I suspect.
Streamed By: FUNimation
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Apple TV via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.