Science fiction, suddenly.
It’s now the future (possibly) and setsuna and Rinne have their own share of problems.
What. Is Happening.
All of a sudden, this episode transitioned into what looks like a technologically advanced future experiencing a disaster. The world is frozen over, and the only inhabitable place on earth is an island, one that a future Setsuna and Rinne live on. However, the citizens don’t know that, and dream of an Avalon beyond, so that one day they might be able to walk on the earth again.
It’s honestly truly baffling how much more interesting this new setting is, just from the fact that it’s more compact. Even though there are social dynamics that are only hinted at but not really touched upon, but those dynamics are still expanded upon enough. This new world is a totalitarian theocracy, where the church rules all and is willing to do anything to keep itself in power. A strict social system and state-mandated discrimination cause a lot of friction.
Thing is- it works. There are actual stakes involved, with both Rinne and Setsuna’s survival and the machinations of the church ready to kill all the untagged children. There is external strife as well, with a government conspiracy that’s fully intended to fool all of their citizens. Everyone has the motivation and are working together out of necessity and suddenly I care about all these people now. There is actual tension and real problems, and so there’s a sense of urgency. Compared to the extremely vague mystery from the first half of the series that still has yet to have any concrete resolution, this one is far more engaging because it’s compact. It knows what it’s doing, so it delivers a better product. And to be perfectly honest, it makes me kind of upset that the entire first half of the season didn’t start here, where things are actually cohesive.
Despite how good it is in comparison to what came before it, it’s unfortunately completely out of the blue. This entire new world just happened, with the genre shift going straight from slice of life mystery to action thriller. We have no idea how the two stories intersect so I was watching the episode completely confused. The change in pace and the cohesiveness of the new scenario works really well, but unfortunately, as part of a bigger story, I’m just confused as to how they intersect. It seems that this Setsuna is from the last episode and this is the future, but it’s still unclear.
At least in looking at the comments, I’m not alone in my confusion.