The information broker may not be as hott (maybe not as manipulative either) as my Izaya from Durarara!!, but he's certainly as twisted~ It's also amusing when he fails in capturing the photographs that he wanted to take, haha!
I think this has been a very good episode. It knows its episode limit and doesn't waste time... but it's not rushing that much either.
I see many people consider this as the "Information Dump" episode. Not only did we have some questions answered, it gave us more details and explanation of the rules and battle system, nature and history of the setting, backstories, and plot development. Yet even with all these information, it's still full of mysteries and has more stories to tell.
There's still something to look forward to!
Furthermore, it hasn't neglected its characters; new characters are introduced, some minor characters got a bigger role, background of some main characters are revealed, and of course, there's also character development. We see some of their strengths and flaws, good sides and bad sides.
All of these narrating and character related elements/methods/whatever-they're-called in writing a remarkable story are often neglected by a lot of series, but [C] had managed this many IN JUST ONE EPISODE.
So what if it's information overload if it's presented well, anywayz? A character sharing her POV to the audience is certainly more interesting than some official narrator explaining the events in quite a monotonous tone... or is having a really lame attempt in being funny (Ookami's Friends' narrator annoyed the hell out of me.)
Besides, it's not info dump all the time, there were scenes that weren't under the narrating character's perspective. There was even a battle scene (which didn't seem that memorable either because it's a backstory or it's not the leading character's Deal), and even if it was quick, it was pretty cool~
(Lollipops >>>>>>>> cigarettes)
So the horned wolfie belongs to the blonde chick. Most of the Entres are there for money, interestingly she isn't one of them: her main purpose is to do her job... and she has been doing that particular job even before she joined the game. I find it good that people outside the district aren't absolutely oblivious to how the District has been influencing the real world. They notice something suspicious, and they investigate it. Even if the District has no determination of keeping its existence an absolute secret (Masakaki had told Kimimaro that he's free to tell others after all), it's still full of mysteries.
She appears to be a diligent worker, but is also the type who can't stand to just watch when she seems something going wrong. But as seen in her conversation with her superior, it's the higher-ups who don't want to take risks. Speaking of which, the chick's English may not have been that fluent, but it's hell more understandable than many other Engrish I've heard. And thank goodness that aside from the ATM machine, they assigned a voice actor that can speak fluent English for characters that speak in that language. I see people keeping on criticizing the Engrish, but no mention of the good English that followed it. Making the Engrish which only lasted for a while a big deal... this is saddening...
Back to Jennifer (I saw a translation of her name as "Junipher", it's making me confused x_X), like Kimimaro, she also has a pretty strong asset. So the "more-human-like-assets-are-stronger theory" isn't valid. ^^;
And it looks like she has a huge hunch that Kimimaro would cause a great influence on the future of the District. That may sound a little cliche, since he's the leading character; but I think Mikuni had also done the same (I doubt the District is the same as it was before Mikuni came), so it's errr... not that cliche.
More to cliches, the thing about Kimimaro being angry at his dad for leaving them... and the twist that it turned out his dad was an Entre.... may be cliche... but that's hell better than the "Mikuni being Kimimaro's father" cliche. Many people have been speculating that even though Mikuni's too young for that. [C], as now shown in this episode, didn't bother with cliches that are extremely overused. But even if [C] had used that cliche, an excellent writer can make any stupid cliche turn out good or interesting.
(Death Note has often come to my mind whenever I see a leading character with a notebook, haha!)
Back to Kimimaro's dad, it's good that one of the big mysteries was finally revealed this early. Of course, it's not yet done since we didn't see his father's side on what really happened. But I guess it's safe to conclude that Kimimaro's father did care for his family, his son especially. Kimimaro hated him for years... so he couldn't help himself from crying after learning about that. So sad...
It looks like Mikuni didn't have a caring dad at all. His father favored his company over his own daughter. The first thing that Mikuni did was revenge after gaining money from his first Deal.
But even though Mikuni and Kimimaro have so many striking similarities, they're not really the same. First off, even though Kimimaro said that he'll most likely do what Mikuni did to his dad... well, he hasn't done it. The money he got from his first Deal would've been enough to search for his dad. But what was the first thing he used the money for? A more expensive lunch set.
Moreover, despite Mikuni's words at the end of the previous episode, Kimimaro didn't quickly change his dream. Kimimaro says himself that he doesn't want to end up like Mikuni. No matter how good Mikuni is in his words, Kimimaro didn't seem to be the type to be easily swayed/influenced by him.
Now about Mikuni's words, looks like he has another convincing speech to make Kimimaro give in. Last time he says that Kimimaro's dream means running away, this time he says Kimimaro's being selfish. It's true that earning money for the sake of other people is certainly something selfless and heroic. This is similar to the popular theme in shounen series "Fight to protect".
But hearing such words for someone like Mikuni is undoubtedly suspicious. First off, if he's really that generous to humanity... WHAT'S WITH THAT MANSION? If he was true to his words he would've been humble and won't use much of his money for himself.
Even if Mikuni appears to be a nice guy, he also seems to have a lot of dark secrets. Jennifer's investigations give us a hint on those. He can't be helping out Kimimaro for nothing; he's got to be having some ulterior motive.
(Mikuni, could you be.... pedo? O_O)
Well, whatever it is, if ever there really is, I think it's unquestionable that Mikuni has grown attached to Kimimaro, haha! Kimimaro still strongly holds on to his dream, which would most likely have somewhat annoyed Mikuni already, but Mikuni was still very patient with the boy and doesn't mind spending a lot just to help him out.
But still, it was mentioned that Mikuni has great influence even in the real world. He must've been really good with his words. I can't shrug off the feeling that he can play dirty, especially with all that money and he had wrath inside of him which started from his father.
Even though Mikuni detests his father, it looks like he hda grown to be similar to him. They might've been earning money for different reasons, but still, they both wanted to have as much money as possible. If his father didn't give a damn for his sister, well Mikuni can be heartless himself (like making the newbie in the first episode go bankrupt).
I think the saying "anything that is too much" is applicable to any situation. Mikuni, Mikuni's dad, and Kimimaro's dad all wanted to gain A LOT of money... they can't stay 100% goody-goody for being like that.
If Kimimaro doesn't end up like those people in the end... that would be very admirable of him. That makes him a nice protagonist for me, while Mikuni makes an intriguing antagonist.
It also looks like Mikuni is the one who controls (or at least has high authority) the Financial District. I assumed it would be Masakaki, but it looks like Masakaki's just a recruiter and Deal reminder. The most powerful one in the Financial District is also the one with more money, huh? Even the Banker is so delighted in serving him.
I don't know if the driver's also a Mikuni fan, but anyway, the driver has mentioned that it's easier to go bankrupt through gambling in the District than in losing deals. I wonder if Kimimaro's dad lost that way. But even Mikuni gambles... only with his Asset though, haha.
Mikuni and Q's bond's sooooo adorable. Many thing that they might have a thing going on, but to me it's more like he's treating her as his precious little sister though, hehe. Perhaps the reason why Mikuni had wanted to protect her badly in his first Deal was because she reminded him of his sister. Anyway, Q's sleepy/sleeping face is really cute~ Most cute when she quickly becomes awake when Mikuni calls her (then suddenly dozes off again, hehe).
Mashu has been watching Q... she has been looking at other Assets curiously... which is also cute~ And wow, it looks like Kimimaro is not that of a pushover. It might not be something direct (like giving her a command), but he's now using his authority as her Entre.
Kimimaro's no longer a newbie to the Deals, so hopefully he gets to do more action on his second time. Interesting to have made his professor as his opponent. Well, it may be anime cliche for students to win against their teachers but.... cliches can be good as long as they're handled well. And I think [C]'s writer is genius (Storytelling in Baccano! and Durarara! have been brilliant!) so I can't imagine this series going down, story-wise.
Looking forward to the next episode~ Looks like we'll have more background on the opponent this time (unlike the ones in the previous episodes) since he has a connection to Kimimaro. Wheee~
(Best Mashu shot so far~)