This episode is exactly what I had been waiting for: stuff finally gets explained! Not everything of course, but we get enough information so we’re not completely in the dark. And there’s enough details about the world and the characters left in shadow to keep viewers interested and curious past this point.
The episode starts out by rewinding a bit, putting us back at the beginning of episode 1. We’re finally shown how that epic battle ended! Except… there wasn’t really any battle to speak of.
The leader of HOMRA (redheaded Mikoto) basically turns himself in to the team of blue-clad official looking types. We finally get a name for them too: SCEPTER4. Their leader (glasses-type Munakata) seems to have some history with Mikoto. Maybe this has something to do with them both being “kings.” Mikoto is the Red King, and Munakata is the Blue King. The world is color-coded for our convenience!
This episode gets around to telling us information in a bit of a stereotypical way from that point on: mostly, it’s Shiro questioning Kuro about this mysterious new world that he’s just discovered, and Kuro explaining things to Shiro (and therefore, the audience) very clearly and conveniently. There could have been a different way of revealing this information within the action of the episode that might have been more dynamic; but the infodump is interspersed with comedic moments and clips of other related things happening in the world, so it doesn’t drag.
For example, we have Kuro giving Shiro a fair warning that he will be killed as soon as they finish eating. The meal continues in relative comfort for all involved until the end of the episode.
We also get a closer look at a few key characters. Looks like one of SCEPTER4’s members used to belong to HOMRA. I wonder what the story is behind that?
Then we have this blonde woman that we’ve mostly only seen featured in the OP. She might be a bombshell, but it turns out she has a wicked sadistic side. The fact that her disturbing lines are delivered calmly and professionally at all times just makes it even more off-putting. I like the personality quirk.
Oh, and we can NOT go on without mentioning all the BL fanservice we have going on. Sorry if this isn’t your cup of tea, but it is so very obvious.
I mean, we have this one scene between the captured Mikoto and Munakata early on in the episode. Mikoto basically suggests that Munakata watch him 24/7 (in lieu of killing him, if another method of keeping him controlled isn’t found), along with some… other precautions.
It’s clear the two go back a ways. Whether they are frenemies or just old-fashioned hateful rivals isn’t clear yet. Either way though, you have to admit that is some grade-A fangirl baiting there.
Then there’s Shiro and Kuro. Without breaking a sweat, Kuro manages to bring Shiro’s blush count up to three.
And it’s clear by this episode that Kuro is not as stuffy and by the book as he seemed initially. We get to see him fanboying over a recording of inspirational quotes collected from his late mentor, which is hilarious.
Overall, strong episode. They managed to do a lot with this one, and still kept it entertaining. Not much has progressed plot-wise, though it’s clear that things are coming to a head. HOMRA and SCEPTER4 are both looking for Shiro, a mysterious and powerful force is shown to have their eye on our white-haired protagonist, and Kuroh has been convinced to hold off on killing Shiro until he can verify with this own eyes that the high school student is really a King gone murderous. All the wheels are turning. We just have to see where we’re going from here.