Last week's Zi-O rating: 3.91 / 5 (11 votes)
Alt Title: It's no Hibiki World from Decade
Props to kid Sougo's actor. You can see him trying to throw in some Sougo mannerisms.
But overall kind of a phoned-in episode. They got Todoroki and Kiriya, but they really don't do anything interesting, despite their plentiful screen time. The story's a mess, I'm not even really sure what the moral of the episode was supposed to be. Don't give up? Work hard? Don't take in little kids while using a fake name? No wait, the episode says that's a good thing.
Sad to say, but it seems like since people didn't care about the show originally, they didn't put in any effort here. Which is too bad since they showed that it didn't have to be this way on Decade. It's the same plot about a pupil taking over for the master, but it's so much more emotional and meaningfully done in the Decade version. I mean, you can say that about a lot of Zi-O stuff, but it feels especially pointed here.
To go into it in more detail, think about the story. It only "works" because Kiriya is essentially stuck in time. He's still a shitty, arrogant, rude brat, despite the fact that he's been an Oni since 2006. Arrested development is a thing, but are you saying he learned nothing in 13 years?
The ending feels bad because it doesn't look like a master with his pupil. It looks like two peers who aren't that different from age from each other. Kiriya barely has a character arc, and honestly, do we really think he's matured enough to give a kid or younger man the stability needed to be a father figure? Not to mention that Kiriya lies and uses the name Hibiki to impress kids. Ugh, this episode just sucks.
"I wasn't able to be like my master Hibiki-san. That's all."
I said it before in episode one, but I don't know if it's a lack of imagination or just laziness, but man is that lazy writing. There's a total lack of any sort of specificity.
Everyone prepare for a collective forehead slap, Inoue writes the next episode.