I fell behind on Double Decker due to some job-related stuff, and was worried that I was actually 3 whole episodes behind. But it turns out this show has my back and took a break for a week during that time, so it’s only these two. Of course I still took forever to get around to them but…uh…here.

lol Doug’s face

Doug has been in hospital since the previous episode, but Kirill has been faithfully visiting him. He ends up being hit on by a weird boy who mistook him for a girl – a boy who apparently goes around trying to hit on every girl he sees, even offering them money. It turns out that he is the son of a terminally ill patient. Meanwhile, Deana and Kay have also come to visit the hospital – although not only to see Doug, as there have been multiple cases of terminally ill patients suddenly becoming fighting fit after using Anthem. And then it’s time for the biggest twist in Double Decker so far…Kirill is actually really smart, or at least smart enough to not only understand genetics, but have written a paper on it. The hospital staff take note of this and enlist him to help them get permission to use Anthem for medical purposes – although it seems that their main obstacle is in not knowing the components of the antidote used in SEVEN-O’s bullets, due to it being classified military information.

Eventually two main things come to light – one, the son had actually been trying to pick up all the girls for his father’s sake, and two, illegal Anthem experiments had already been underway at the hosptail thanks to Esparanza. Although the patients were ‘healed’, they now have bodies that no longer can’t feel pain, but anything at all. The boy’s father, while tempted, refuses to use the Anthem and to instead die with dignity – although his son, eager to put his father at ease that he will have a normal life without him, holds a mock wedding with Kirill in drag, as you do.

smartypants Kirill is cute

I do kinda wanna see more of Kirill’s student days.

This episode was interesting for quite a few reasons – the possibility of Anthem being something completely benign and even important for medicine is something that I didn’t expect to see touched apon in this series but it does make perfect sense – Anthem is basically just a drug after all, and plenty of drugs are beneficial to humans in safe quantities. Of course, it doesn’t really turn out that well, but the way it did turn out was also a somewhat welcome change of pace to the typical Anthem investigation episodes. Given the overall solemn feel of the narrative about a terminally ill father, I was dreading how corny the eventual ‘anthem monster’ I expected to appear was going to be. Maybe some people found it anti-climactic that the patient who had received Anthem therapy was shot with antidote right when it looked like he might transform, but I was glad for it – and it was nice to finally see someone actually resist the Anthem given to them in the climactic moment, despite the fact that it was the person with the most to lose (ie, his life, and the opportunity to see his son grow up).

To be honest though, the sub-plot about the dad’s weird kid fell kind of flat to me. It didn’t make any sense to me why he’d try to pick up women for his father’s sake (it…really was implying he was trying to bribe these girls to sleep with his terminally ill, bed-ridden father so that he could…have some fun…before he died?? um?), he gets ridiculously antagonistic to Kirill for not being female, and the ridiculous finale of trying to put his dying father at ease by pretending to marry Kirill (even though he let his father know it was just for funsies) also kind of just seemed like an excuse for the animators to draw Kirill in a dress. It was an emotional episode, but the kid was so annoying it was hard to really pity him too much, although I could at least feel for his father who seemed like a genuinely decent and kind person.

But who cares about that kid, really – the star of the episode was Kirill. I was so happy to finally have an epsiode that – for the most part – seemed to treat him with respect instead of the butt of a joke (even if the humour of the sudden reveal that he’s really smart rests on the assumption that he’s an idiot, with Deana even straight-up refusing to admit he isn’t an idiot). He got to be smart, he got to have his intelligence respected, he even finally got some semi-decent scenes with Mila. (I say ‘semi’ because they were far too short and far too late. I just don’t understand why these two characters have barely had the heart to heart they clearly should have had as soon as Mila reappeared.) He was also really dang cute.

Unfortunately, the animation quality has really gone right down, and I couldn’t help feel that the writing was kind of shakey in a few places. Still, it was a bittersweet episode – it also ends with Kirill being requested to join the military, which is likely going to be the set-up for the finale.

this kid really seems like an ahole, but…look at Kirill…

kirill was so cute here wtf

Out of 5,
1/2

 

Episode 11

This is a Serious Episode, so of course I’m opening with this.

Top brass Brian Cooper has invited Kirill to join the military, which has currently mostly taken over the investigation into the hospitals. He’s in two minds about it – on one hand, being a detective had been his dream, not to mention his parternship with Doug. On the other, the entire reason he wanted to be a detective was to find his ‘sister’, and that’s been done now. Furthermore, the military perks are numerous – better pay and benefits, private cars, access to fancy pizza.  While Brian bribes the rest of Seven-O with some of that pizza, he takes Kirill aside to explain some top-secret information to him which happens to be a bombshell. Remember that guy ranting about other worlds a few episodes back? Well, the second sun is called Nikai, and it has people living on it who the military have been trying to contact. They received intell that two children had escaped from it and have been searching for them ever since to ‘keep them safe’. Those two kids were Kirill and Valerie. Valerie (aka Milla) confirms this story with Kirill – who seems to take finding out he’s an alien remarkably well – and also reveals that it’s the reason he left him alone – because he thought they’d attract less attention if they were apart, and also if he disguised himself as a woman.

Meanwhile, the military and SEVEN-O team up to storm Esperanza’s hideout once they manage to locate it, and a seige situation begins. However – it turns out to be a set-up – as Zabel uses the distraction to attack SEVEN-O’s headquarters and steal their technology while no one is there to defend it except the relatively powerless Apple. While the rest eventually realise this and go back to help out, the resulting skirmish ends in tragedy when Yuri sacrifices herself to save the others from a bomb.

Then, back at Esperanza’s hideout, Bamboo Man overpowers Zabel – suddenly revealing that he wasn’t only the true big bad all along, but Brian Cooper in disguise.

Who else feels like super-gourmet cheese pizza?

Kirill was just born with that hair cut I guess.

Wheeeeeeew a while back I complained about how bad the pacing could be in Double Decker but this…wow. We have THREE giant whammies in this episode – two massive plot reveals and a character death. In one episode. Seriously now. Let these things have impact! Putting two of them in the same episode would be pushing it, but all of them?! I barely had any time to process each thing and I’m still kind of ‘what? WHAT?’ about each one. So, in turn:

Nikai isn’t a person, it’s the name of this other sun (or I guess it’s actually a planet) – and the name actually did come up early with the drunken guy, but because it sounds exactly like ‘the second floor’ in Japanese, it wasn’t exactly taken seriously. So ‘Nikai’s prayer’ that was referenced before is something from another planet, which is…huh. Why would another planet be familiar with Greek mythology? (‘Prometheus’s fire’ is mentioned). Am I misinterpreting what they’re actually on about with this two suns thing? Is it a man-made thing? Is that why they also have Russian names? Anyway, Valerie only says that Nikai is dangerous – so dangerous that only he and baby-Kirill escaped while their parents had to stay behind. Now – I still don’t exactly undestand what’s going on with Valerie/Milla’s gender identity but the fact that he deliberately takes on an extremely male tone when talking to Kirill about this seems to imply that ‘Milla’ is a female persona he puts on for safety and as a disguise. But safety from what? Both Valerie and Cooper say that the two Vrubel kids are in danger if anyone who knew about Nikai found them – Cooper also says that the military would be able to guarantee their safety and uses it as a hook to tempt Kirill into joining. I have a billion questions about all of this but…it’s too late, because the episode doesn’t dwell enough on it before going for the next big whammy.

OF ALL THE CHARACTERS TO KILL OFF, WHY YURI ;-; I can’t help actually being annoyed that she got killed off (if she did, they say ‘never call it unless you see the body’ after all) – firstly because the show committed the terrible crime of casually revealing she was a robot without ever actually going into more detail about that (where did she come from? how did seven-o get a robot? who made her? how advanced actually is she? what?) and we still barely got to know that much about her before this happened. Secondly…it’s kind of unfortunate that the show would bump off one half of it what really did genuinely seem to be a canon lesbian couple – it’s what’s known as the ‘bury your gays’ trope and it’s another example of this show being bizarrely tone-deaf alongside its attempts at being progressive. However, the characters mention that she could be rebuilt if her core was left in tact, despite the low chance of it, and I feel like there would be no point in mentioning that if it wasn’t going to come up later. But Max does seem to be against it, as it would technically not be Yuri but a clone of her. Whatever actually happened to or will happen to Yuri, the most disappointing part of the whole thing is how genuinely little time there actually is to grieve about it. The grieving scene is extremely brief because…that’s right, next twist!

This twist is a two-parter – first that Bamboo Man really was the big bad all along. It’s kind of interesting that he was framed that way when he was first introduced, and then the show made us think he was actually just Zabel’s underling…which made the part with him in the opening seem like an intentional red herring. The fact that he is actually Cooper – a twist so big it’s the episodes cliffhanger – is certainly huge, and completely changes everything we thought we knew about Esperanza, the relationship between SEVEN-O and the military, exactly what those three organisation’s goals are, and basically everything else in the show. There was already the sense that there was something sinister about the military and it probably wouldnt be in Kirill’s best interests to join it – but now it seems like Cooper was straight up lying to him about being kept safe from them. If the military had been searching for people from Nikai, it clearly wasn’t for benign purposes, and it’s potentially them that made it so dangerous in the first place. What exactly this has to do with Bamboo Man, who even knows. I’m just impressed at Cooper’s disguise level.

Basically, while I don’t think that for the most part there is anything particularly badly written about these sudden developments on their own, whacking them all together in a single episode was…really not a good writing decision. Sure, I’m intrigued and all, but I also just feel like I need to lie down.

11 eps in and I still think Kirill’s SEVEN-O outfit is dumb as hell

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO

Out of 5,
1/2