English Dub Review: Release the Spyce “Intelligence on Organization N”

Vacation episode!

Overview

Randomly, the episode cold opens to a fight Theresia and Hatsume are having after Theresia allegedly challenged her to scrap out of nowhere. She loses and winds up in Hatsume’s care at the base. But who cares about that — Hanzo, Momo, Fu, and Goe all get to go to Okanowa for an undercover operation! The girls get to have typical vacation hijinks while Hatsume, Byakko, and Mei get to have a mock getaway in the base with Katraitor. In Okanowa, the gang has to find the source of a particular flower which Moryo used to make its mind-controlling gas.

In their search for the organization dealing out this flower, they meet Ouka — a fiery girl with Viking heritage, doing nefarious tasks to get her grandfather back from the evil crime ring that conveniently winds up being the one Tsukikage was searching for. Goe sees her opportunity to be like Hatsume and tries to befriend Ouka — despite her rejections. Once in the base, Momo finds the snake-themed boss, who uses his martial arts skills (and snakes) to take her down. Despite Hanzo’s orders to retreat, Momo fights back and manages to take him out. Hanzo delivers an iconic pimp smack to Momo, hurt that she would put her life on the line. The boss uses the last of his energy to destroy the entire base and its flowers with lava.

The team returns Ouka’s grandfather to her, and Ouka formally befriends Goe. Back in Sorasaki, Theresia has escaped.

Our Take

There was a lot going on in this episode — in short, it seemed to have an issue with timing. There was a ton of time spent on frivolous things that didn’t seem to matter (vacation cut-scenes, unnecessary backstory, etc.) Considering all the other important things happening during the episode — such as Theresia being held at the base, Hatsume’s identity being 100% compromised, and more — it seemed as though “Intelligence on Organization N” was pseudo filler. Being a show that isn’t very good, to begin with, Release the Spyce really can’t afford to have filler — slack constantly needs to be picked up for its weird premise, odd fanservice, and nonsensical mechanics.

Speaking of nonsensical, the big climactic moment where Ouka stops the lava from pouring into the base seemed hilariously counterproductive — stopping more fire from showering into the base wouldn’t help the base be any less on fire. The episode was also peppered with scenes that seemed to be oddly placed — pacing was no one’s best friend here. Plus, the voice acting for Ouka (and that random old man ally) was sub-par — it sounded as though neither voice recognized the stakes in the scenes and it all ultimately came across as bored-sounding, no matter the dialogue.

All in all, it tried to be too many things at once, creating a hodgepodge of underdeveloped scenes and character moments — undermining ones that could have actually been poignant.

At the very least, there seems to be a good setup for future episode conflicts.

Score
4.5/10

Kayla Gleeson

Kayla Gleeson is an entertainment writer and media player, with work involved in shows such as Anthony Bourdain's "Parts Unknown" and Chicken Soup for the Soul's "Hidden Heroes." In addition to her work on BubbleBlabber, she also has dozens upon dozens of published articles for RockYou Media. Aside from immersing her life in cartoons, she loves to write and read poetry, be outdoors, go to conventions, and indulge in Alan Resnick stylings of comedy.

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