Saturday, 25 January 2014

World Conquest Zvezda Plot - Episode 3

Ignoring a "No Smoking" sign and lighting up can land you with a fine or being kicked out of the establishment... or, if you work for Zvezda, it'll entail the entire room being jettisoned at high speed.

Of course, it's the ever-rebellious Yasu who has caused this ejection has he lands himself in trouble once again.  This is just the tip of Kate Hoshimiya's wrath however - this is one little girl who really doesn't like smokers.  When a trip to a restaurant is almost ruined by a fellow lighting up during the meal, enough is enough - it's time to rise up and conquer all smokers, killing them if necessary.

After some initial resistance, the campaign takes off markedly when the general (non-smoking) populace join hands in agreement that they hate smokers and second-hand smoke, and in short order all remaining smokers are left as outcasts whose final venues that allow them to smoke diminish one by one in the face of patrols known as "Smoke Busters".  Ultimately, we reach a final showdown between Zvezda and the last bastion of smokers known as "Last Paradise" - a final battle interrupted by those meddling White Light types.

As per last week's episode, for a while there I was really enjoying World Conquest Zvezda Plot - the concept of applying a little girl's sense of justice surrounding a given topic while giving her all of the powers of a megalomaniacal organisation was fun to consider, but then the whole thing began to fall apart under a sheer lack of context and a disjointed treatment of the scenario at hand.  Without an understanding of who Zvezda really are, why they exists and the origins of their powers and goals there's nothing to anchor each episode's plot to, and the story-telling itself is horrendously disjointed, thus stripping any remaining enjoyment from the episode.  It's frustrating as there are some great ideas and moments on show here (not least Kate's brilliantly tongue-in-cheek transformation sequence), but the whole thing is collapsing under the weight of its ill-explained core tenets time and again at the moment.

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