This is more like it! As much as I enjoyed the previous episode– a romance between two dead people playing a game to determine their fates this episode focuses on strangers holding on with so much grief. I hope this series uses more episodes as strong as this one is– tackling human emotions between what it means to live and what people may have missed out on only to realize it after they are dead.
This uses classic arcade gaming to bring together two complete strangers that both suffered in very different ways! Otaku and video gamer Yousuke is unsettled by how has woken up in a mysterious bar while television entertainer and actress Misaki plays this off as a dark game show. I like how she constantly wants Yousuke to play along for the sake of making their well-hidden outcomes surrounding their deaths more entertaining to the audience. She yearns for attention because she’s been left three times– cheated on, abused and neglected leaving behind her and five kids. She puts up a front towards her kids but takes it out on her manger which ultimately ends her life by getting strangled by her. Yousuke’s parents file for divorce and a new woman shows up in his teenage years that he can’t seem to call her as mother.
Powerfully engaging here how we’ve got two people born from two different families attached by two central themes: introverts and extroverts. Yousuke couldn’t figure out how to handle this separation of his family so he kills himself because he’s been so attached to video games and anime that there is a disconnect of reality and how to cope with it. Misaki suffers so much that she eventually takes her bad luck of men and vents it out by bashing Yousuke’s head against the arcade machine. It’s really cool to see how the device to trigger extreme conditions is introduced here casually– a click of a button allows for Yousuke’s control button to pop off thus triggering his memories leading up to his death.
Considering Onna’s reaction towards what happens between Yousuke, Misaki and Decim’s involvement one thing is clear. Onna will be the piece to this entire series that will dismantle these death games in some form and I’m intrigued by how Nona will handle this or even if the other levels staff in the building that we have yet to see will be disrupted by Onna’s persuasive stance on the morality of extreme conditions.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 10/10