God’s love feels a bit cheap coming from this particular God.
This was a much odder week for Love Tyrant. I was expecting to just watch the development of Shikimi as the group’s antagonist and we do receive that in spades. However, Love Tyrant goes about introducing its version of heaven and God and laying out in more detail the grand plan for Guri’s arc. So right out of the gate this is more of a narrative-driven episode, unlike the last two episodes which were more framed as 11 minute episodes which feel like a good and bad thing. Good, in the sense, this episode allows for much more defining character moments from the girls to show their growing compassion, their complex apathy and their well-meaning hard-headedness. However, it feels bad as it leaves the episode feeling less funny. A lot of the charm of Love Tyrant is its fast-paced dumb moments that zoom by so fast they leave a bright impression with audience members without lingering long enough to make anyone think “god that was dumb.”
This is the episode that made me start to groan at Guri’s consistent LOL random costume humor. Before her costumes were sparse enough to be forgivable but when you just have Guri walk into a scene where Aino, Akane, and Yuzu are bound by Shikimi’s goo (no idea what that pink goo of her’s actually is) while wearing a shrimp costume and holding on that. I find that more of a visual distraction than a comedic set piece. But by and large that is harmless, what may not be as harmless is that fine line of a character arc line that Guri will need to balance.
Long story short, after Shikimi tortures the gang, Aino is killed by God and sent to heaven to meet him. However, it turns out in the completely predictable subversion way that God is a drunk bum and the devil acts like a pompous dorm roommate. Definitely the dynamic is not realized to its full potential yet I am hopeful that they will let Aino interact with them more. Anyway, God has asked Aino to meet with him to ask him to teach Guri all he knows about love so that she can someday choose whether she wants to be god, a demon or whatever she so chooses. The fine line in question I see if the line of her hardheaded obliviousness coming off less light-hearted whimsical and more manufactured and wacky for the sake of wacky. It leaves me intrigued to see what Love Tyrant will do but with Guri’s LOL outing this episode I’m skeptical the anime can fully balance such a character arc for her without bending to far into the absurdest comedy.
At the heart of Love Tyrant is its nature to make the dark hearted depravity’s that people feel come off as just as natural as any typical romance. As long as it keeps a focus on that prime message then I feel the show will be more than okay. Other than that there is not much else to say, Shikimi feels like she needs a bit more of a push to really either hate or love her, Akane’s hinting at her backstory is intriguing narrative and character wise and finally Yuzu’s tsundere denial of her feelings for Aino is adorably cute and fruitless. With this episode and based on the opening we’ve now been introduced to all the main characters in this case, now it’s time to hope for the best and see if it can keep things funny.