I kind of miss hearing Tama scream, “Battle, battle!” That’s what first popped into my head when I saw the title, at any rate.
(Spoilers in this review)
The episode opens with Chinatsu finding a new part-time job: recruiting people to join the Bookmaker’s networking of suffering! She ends up recruiting an office worker, whom she brought down to one coin, as well as Rio, the young girl Selector Chinatsu fought back in episode 2.
Chinatsu feels sympathetic towards Rio, who just wants to erase the memory of her mother dying, and is upset with the Bookmaker having her recruit Rio since he’s intent on making people suffer and become desperate. Rio’s too young! The Bookmaker counters by saying that she has no chance of severing ties with Suzuko if she’s soft enough to feel bad for Rio.
He then tells Chinatsu that it just so happens that Suzuko recently lost another battle (off-screen) and is down to one coin. Guess who’s sent to finish her off?
Some interesting things happened in this battle. Firstly, Chinatsu uses her coin ability twice, which I wasn’t aware could be done (then again, the rules are never explained in WIXOSS). Secondly, Suzuko actually manages to avoid triggering Chinatsu’s counter and dodge Chinatsu’s follow-up attack. Some viewers will probably consider what happened to be unbelievable. I know I was surprised. But that’s probably the first time Suzuko actually looked cool – even though she spent the entireity of the battle not attacking Chinatsu at all despite Riru’s pleas for Suzuko to realize she’s about to disappear.
I think this battle also demonstrated more differences between Chinatsu and Suzuko. While Chinatsu’s coin ability is powerful since it forces the opponent to attack, she seems to be extremely dependent on it to secure victory. It’s her tried-and-true tactic that she always uses.
Meanwhile, Suzuko has been shown to be more creative. During her battle with Hanna in episode 5, Hanna noted that one of the cards Suzuko used normally wouldn’t be in Suzuko’s deck type. Coming up with an impromptu plan to avoid Chinatsu’s strategy is another example of this. In other words, Suzuko has the potential to think outside of the box if she’s not too busy cowering and depending on someone else.
Two more things are worthy of note in this episode. After Chinatsu’s attack failed, she notes that she would have never thought of what Suzuko just did and has a flashback. It turns out Chinatsu was not quite the nice girl Suzuko thought Suzuko was since she got jealous over how Suzuko can make friends so easily and how she was able to try things that were unorthodox. She also wanted Suzuko’s smile to just be for her. Huh? Is this possessiveness I’m seeing?
This makes her little outburst (pictured above) very interesting. She hates that she wanted such a twisted relationship with Suzuko and thus wants to cut Suzuko out of her life is what I’m guessing. Projected self-hatred and misplaced blaming is what motivates Chinatsu? It’s a bit too soon to say that for certain, but that’s what I’m getting from the episode.
The last note-worthy thing occurs after a third-party interupts their battle (it was about time this happened). Suzuko, thanks to Riru who has all of Suzuko’s memories, suddenly remembers that Chinatsu used to be a quiet girl who needed protecting. It’s just that Chinatsu changed to be more reliable. And despite Chinatsu’s claims that Suzuko hasn’t changed at all, Suzuko has changed slightly, too. She allowed Chinatsu to take the lead. Memories just aren’t reliable, it seems, folks.
The episode ends with Suzuko resolving to be strong and not run away again. It’s about time.
Next week’s episode is titled, “Evolution / Pure White and Pitch Black.” See you next week!