Summary: X-Men takes a turn for the better this week as they’re all far too busy fighting insane Resident Evil bosses to have the time to say all of the stupid, contradictory nonsense they normally say. Also, Storm does something! Wolverine does something! Cyclops gets punched in the face! What can I say, it’s kind of a winner.
Between the crazy mutated monsters, the drugs and the creepy subterranean lair, I was getting a serious Umbrella Corporation vibe from this episode. Apparently this X-Men show is vastly superior when it becomes Resident Evil 2: The Anime.
Seriously though, this episode, featuring two fights between Yui’s assistants-turned-insane-monsters, bookending a flashback depicting the relationship between Xavier and Sasaki Yui, is an interesting beast. In strong contrast to previous episodes, it seems like the battles were scripted with the intent to give everybody something to do- even Emma, who’s done even less than Storm up to this point now that I think about it, gets to get her diamond form on and kick someone in the head. It’s a refreshing change of pace.
That said, I’m honestly not sure if this episode is a quality episode of anime, or if it just seemed much better because it was devoid of most of the things that normally annoy me about this show. Hisako needs to learn to keep her armor on during battles, but that’s such a common theme in sci-fi stories I can’t really knock the show for it much.
I actually liked the Xavier/Yui flashback sequence, in part because the relationship apparently broke up because of Yui’s responsibilities to her students, not any interpersonal drama. Considering this show’s approach to gender roles thus far, it’s nice to see the writers acknowledge that Yui’s duties to her students were just as important as Xavier’s.
Confirmation: It’s DAMON HALL Syndrome
I haven’t been privy to any arguments about it, but judging by the different wording that different fansub groups have chosen to use, there appeared to be an argument in the subbing community as to whether or not the characters were referring to that inconvenient secondary-mutation cancer as “David Haller Syndrome” or “Damon Hall Syndrome.” Now, thanks to Beast’s nifty analytical glasses and their text display, we know it’s the latter. Fortunately, the acronym is still the same so I don’t have to feel dumb for all those times I referred to it as DHS.
I have to assume that “David Haller Syndrome” came from zealous X-Men fans who were hoping that this show had a deeper investment in the comics’ continuity than it actually does, as David Haller was the name of Xavier’s son- however, that was such a weird and generally messed-up storyline, only serious X-fans even know about it.
On this subject, most of Beast’s comments about DHS sound more or less like gibberish to me, but I’ve stopped caring about that so much- it’s really “Plot Device Syndrome.”
Two Battles, No Waiting
I’m not sure about the choice of making the last episode a “let’s sit on the couch and all talk about our feelings” special, and cramming this episode with not one but two important battles. Granted, I understand the concept of a breather episode followed by an action-packed one, but how boring was last episode? Couldn’t peeps have started going crazy a bit sooner?
Storm: Now with 50% More Storm
I was kind of shocked by how much Storm did in this episode- she saved Hisako’s life, fried not one but two monsters with lightning, and remembered she could fly. It’s like the writers received a memo entitled “Re: Storm’s Powers and Their Uses” more than halfway through the series.
However, in the midst of all that badassery, she STILL gets clobbered by a mutant and needs Wolverine to save her in the middle of the episode. Notice when the men take hits in this episode, they bounce back by themselves, but when Storm and Hisako run into trouble, they need their asses saved toot sweet? At least Emma can handle herself.
Once again, I don’t WANT to go into this show thinking “this is so sexist!” all the time; if anything, I try to put it aside. But it’s like the show refuses to let me forget it.
The final thing I liked about this episode was the fact that Beast called Yui on playing dumb while her whole team goes insane around her. It seems pretty obvious that the DHS outbreaks were caused by the drugs they were taking, overseen by Yui, but we still don’t know what her motivation was. I would guess it has something to do with trying to help her mysterious son, who may or may not be alive as you and I would define it.
About the plot twist of Yui’s final assistant either being Mastermind, or controlled by him- er, okay. I don’t see anything wrong with that, but considering Jun hasn’t done anything so far, I’m not sure why I should care about that yet. Let’s see if the next episode can keep up with this positive trend and pique my interest in the whole Mastermind plot.
Next Time, On X-Men: