English Dub Review: Release the Spyce “Moryo”

Momo didn’t screw up the missions: the writers did.

Overview

Momo is now an official member of the Tsukikage, and she’s stepping out with her team for her first missions! There’s just one problem: she keeps making mistakes that wind up causing the missions to only half to succeed — or almost fail. The first mission leads her to be a decoy in Sorasaki, where the founding member of Moryo originally lived. They discover a ramen shop owner in the city may be tied to Moryo — and Momo is placed in a life-threatening position to extract information from the suspect. She successfully finds out he puts drugs in his ramen, and that he obtained said drugs from a woman at the local betting races. After he is apprehended, Momo is chastised for not getting enough info from him before he had to be knocked out.

Tsukikage then goes to the races, where they locate the woman dealing drugs to those with money. Momo was tasked with guarding the exit but leaves her post in an attempt to catch the woman. The team catches her, but Momo is again scolded for leaving her post. They find out the woman runs an illegal brothel attached to Moryo, which drugs women and forces them to work there. Momo goes undercover as a woman working in the brothel, stuns a woman, stores her in a cabinet, and then knocks out a male client to get his information. However, the woman is discovered and Tsukikage barely makes it out. It’s Momo’s fault once again.

Momo starts doubting her ability, but perks up for the episode’s final mission: to infiltrate the harbor and stop Moryo from smuggling weaponized robots. There, the girls encounter Byakko, a child warrior from Togen Village who works for Moryo. After much struggling, Momo manages to take Byakko down.

Tsukikage takes Byakko in for questioning, but finds that her memory of working for Moryo was wiped — a cutscene to Moryo reveals that they made Byakko take a drug that forced her to forget any Moryo intel when frightened. However, the Tsukikage trace Byakko’s whereabouts to the Kyuten Science Building: a place they infer is linked to Moryo’s base of operations.

Moryo also reveals they’ve successfully “completed work” on a secret weaponized soldier (no, not Chris Evans.)

Our Take

So, who likes plot holes? How about when character development is completely thrown out the window? No one? No one at all? Well, then everyone has a reason to hate this episode!

First of all, some of the things Momo was blamed for weren’t even her fault: especially that she “didn’t get enough info” from the ramen guy before Tsukikage had to step in — the frog mascot was the one who jumped out and attacked him first. Momo didn’t tell the other members to step in at all.

Second of all, It’s understandable that Momo may have felt pressure from being on her first missions, but considering how intense her initiation was, it seemed off that Momo sort of just slipped back into her original, unconfident personality. What happened to all of that sociological, psychology training from the last episode?

Third of all, some things…just flat out, didn’t make any sense, or were just too far-fetched to believe. “A gelatin that wipes a subject’s memories when they experience fear?” Given to a child who was in life-threatening fights — far before Tsukikage frightened her at their base? Byakko may have been a confident fighter, but to imply there wasn’t a smidgen of fear in that child when she was losing the fight before Tsukikage took her captive is just nonsensical.

Fourth of all, the threat of the robots being used against them at the harbor was barely a threat. Most of them just stood in a round, menacingly circling the girls without really doing much — and considering what we’ve seen the girls do before, it felt out of character that they wouldn’t have been able to defeat them quickly.

By the way — remember back in episode one when Tsukikage mentioned that the police know of their efforts and allow them to meddle in the crime scene? Unless even the cops themselves are kept from knowledge about the Tsukikage, the “Wow, someone did a thorough job here,” and, “Well someone is making our job easier,” lines completely refute that the police know who would be interfering in crime scene occurrences.

The longer this series continues, the more confusing it is to decipher who it’s for. It’s got crime-fighting young girls which can attract any young girl to the show, in the same vein the magical girl genre does (which is meant to empower young women) — however, in the same breath, the show has human trafficking (and a pedophile) as its antagonistic threats in this episode, which takes out the kind of “anyone-can-watch” vibe that something like Sailor Moon has.

The usual things were good — the music, the animation — there were a few voice acting lines that seemed emotionally out of place for the mood of the scene in this episode, but other than that, nothing completely out of the ordinary. Still, no elaboration on the nature of the spices, although since Byakko was also “given” spices, that may imply they’re not just grocery store bought after all.

More questions were raised than answered in this episode — but with all hope, maybe it can bounce back.

Score
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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