Monday, 7 March 2011

Level E - Episode 9

As is par for the course with this series, last week's episode of Level E managed to throw in a shocking revelation... a twist in the tale that I was assuming to be some kind of fabrication, but apparently not.

Thus, it turns out that Kyouko Mikihisa actually really is a girl after all, which I suppose explains the reactions of the girl she was going away on vacation with.  Needless to say, this serves as something of a shock to Princess Saki as well, and it appears as though any danger to the human race from the visiting Macbac royal is over as she returns home, devastated....

...except of course this is Level E we're talking about, and Saki has done anything but given up on her prey - in fact, she was bugging her Doguran escorts the entire time, and upon finding out that Craft and company were doing everything in their power to stop her relationship with Mikihisa she returns to Earth to pursue her love once again.  There's still the small matter of Mikihisa's gender to consider naturally, but it appears this isn't such a big deal after all; after a quick abduction, she's allowed back "into the wild" until her body matures to Saki's liking.  Witness panic and desperation from the Dogurans as they try to find a way to prevent the eventual obliteration of the human race before Saki and Mikihisa meet again and mate.

If there's one thing to be said for Level E, it's that it never fails to make the most of the twists and turns which make up each story arc - once again, this episode thoroughly enjoys playing with the viewer by setting off down one path only to turn and shift in another direction; even though you know it's coming by this juncture it's hard to predict, and the knowledge that you're expecting a big surprise at any moment even works in this episode's favour on at least one occasion as it sets you up with a twist before shrugging its shoulder and saying "nah, just kidding".

Luckily, all of this does at least somewhat make up for a story arc which is probably the show's weakest so far - this episode in particular seemed to run out of steam once its big reveal about the Macbac returning for Mikihisa was over, and the ending simply felt like the product of a story that couldn't actually think of a clever or smart climax that would work effectively and so went with some generic science fiction bullshit instead.  It's a bit of a shock to see Level E stumble after being so imperious in its humour up to this point, but given the fact that it still proved itself to be full of snappy one-liners and clever moments I suppose I can begrudge it a relatively small slip-up this time.

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