Some people decide to help Takuya and Yuki out.
Things start to pick up this episode… sort of.
We see another one of the Tama-shi, this time wielding a knife. Takuya is able to figure out his weakness, being that they are attached to their physical form. In this case, stealing the Tama-shi’s knife and the weapon is able to cripple them somewhat. In the end, it’s actually Yuki that has the ability to combat them. She is able to summon her old friend Akira, and is also able to upgrade his powers as well. It seems that the only thing that can fight a Tama-shi is another Tama-shi, and the only one who can control the Tama-shi is Yuki. She is valuable not just for her possible knowledge of the incident, but also for her ability to manipulate the supernatural. She is the most valuable MacGuffin in the series, even more than the manipulator on the other side.
Overall, I think this episode is an improvement over the last one, with the plot very slightly getting kicked into gear and a little more insight into the characters and their motivations. That still doesn’t mean it’s good– it’s very clunky, the animation is poor, and there still hasn’t been anything worth the audience creating an attachment to anyone. Yuki is still the poor MacGuffin, Takuya is the everyday bad boy protagonist with no doubt a sordid past, and everyone is willing to risk their lives for the both of them with no explanation as to why. This anime’s not selling me very well on these people.
I had already figured out that the budget for this show was pretty low with there being no distinctive opening or ending animation sequences (instead, portions from the show are replayed beneath the credits), but they are also reusing story beats as well. The cut-away scenes leaving off on the same dramatic cliffhanger- a gunshot with no visuals over who got shot or who dies, is redone three times in the same episode. I know it’s a cheap and easy way to build dramatic tension, but really? Really? That’s a perfect instance of showing just how mid-tier this series is.
It’s not terrible, it’s not the worst anime I’ve ever seen, but it sure isn’t good either. It inhabits a lovely middle ground of being woefully mediocre, and I don’t see that improving anytime soon.