The Girl in Twilight – Episode 9

1 month ago 26

Hello everyone, and welcome back to Wrong Every Time. Today we’re watching some The Girl in Twilight, because it’s long past time we got some goddamn answers. After performing a merry tour of the multiverse with Asuka and her companions, we’ve finally arrived at Seriosuka’s own blighted reality – and what’s more, Yu has agreed to serve as the tether, at last embracing the central role in their new adventure.

Given the general sturdiness of its writing so far, I expect this new adventure will do a fine job of connecting the reveal of Seriousuka’s history to its explanation for why the multiverse is deteriorating. But personally, as a character and relationship junky on perpetual lookout for my next fix, I’m most interested in seeing Asuka and Yu’s relationship stress-tested by Yu’s engagement in this new reality, and hopefully reaffirmed by Asuka’s eventual return to her. This show has been very good at illustrating the nuances that differentiate one friendship from another, and it’s been clear for quite a while that while Asuka has fun with all of her friends, Yu is both her closest and oldest friend. Meanwhile, Yu is so used to taking care of Asuka that she compromises on her own needs without a thought, and actually has to be reminded to prioritize herself by Asuka. They have a firm, rich friendship, and I’m eager to see this last arc test it in every way possible. Let’s get to it!

Episode 9

We’re coming in hot, with our cold open presumably depicting the disaster that ravaged Seriousuka’s world. Cold opens are extremely useful for partitioned beats like flashbacks; after the dramatic reset of an episode shift, viewers are much more forgiving of narrative digressions or shifts in perspective. I’m sure you can think of other times a show has dramatically introduced a character, conflict, or some other next-episode hook as an episode stinger, and then opened the next episode with a flashback offering context for that hook – series composers don’t just do that because it’s tradition, they do it because it’s an effective way to harness the inherent dramatic ebb and flow of episodic narratives, and the “break points” where viewers naturally take a breath, and are willing to accept larger shifts in momentum

Seriousuka’s brother Kyo is still here

It appears that her city is being consumed the same golden light that defines the space between realms from the first episode

Seriousuka is briefly distracted from her brother, who is staring into the light. And then he’s gone

Damn, it seems that Seriousuka is actually the captain of her own spaceship. She’s really done well for herself, in spite of it all

“Nothing is alive in there. It’s like time has stopped.” Once again, the general concept of stasis is tied to this show’s antagonists, something the show has also explored on a personal level through Asuka’s friends breaking out of their static shells. We still need to resolve Asuka’s feelings, though, given how last episode framed her acceptance of her familial role as its own kind of stasis

Nice to see Asuka forcefully arguing for her right to be here

Oh damn. So this world’s Yu was actually swallowed by the Twilight when it first appeared, just like Kyo. So Seriousuka was left almost no support structure, and now we have to figure out what “the me in this world was consumed by golden light” means for our current Yu

But you can’t transfer at all if your link doesn’t exist in the receiver world, so Yu is actually stranded in the dead Twilight world

Are we doing a human instrumentality conflict here? Given the whole “perpetual stasis” and a golden light that consumes all humanity, I feel like we’re getting pretty close to human instrumentality territory

Oh my god, the truth is so much better – this world’s Yu is gone, but Sexy Yu was stopping by when they transferred, and so now our Yu is sharing space in her head. While this show’s scifi worldbuilding is quite nice, I appreciate how much of the drama seems to be driven by “what would be the funniest grouping of characters to force to hang out together”

Really hoping these two have a long, productive talk about Yu’s relationship with Asuka

Also great how easy it is to see that Yu is partially controlling Sexy Yu, purely through her posture and expressions. This show isn’t an animation powerhouse, but its character acting is just sharp enough to convey its needs

Ten years ago, the Twilight consumed everything that wasn’t protected by a specific mineral, that they took to calling “Twilight amber.” And there’s a motherlode beneath the tree, of course

Seriousuka mentions the “King of Twilight,” so there’s clearly a conscious force behind the Twilight’s advance

Yu and Sexy Yu arguing is great. This show must have been such a fun gig for the main actors

“Just so you know, it’s fairly rare to become an Equalizer.” A lot of sentai-adjacent shows have a tough time selling the alleged specialness of their powers, given almost everyone we meet tends to possess them

“You must acknowledge and be prepared for your world to be the direct result of the actions you take.” Seriousuka says this in reference to their use of Equalizer powers, but it’s a statement that speaks directly to the show’s general themes: if you want your world to change, you have to take action and change yourself first

And of course, the gleefully static Asuka takes issue with this. “My parents are going to protect me forever!”

Apparently the King of Twilight is on his way, and this earth’s defenses are not prepared

Yu is attacked by three adorable children, who seem like a questionable first line of defense against the King of Twilight

Another child sneaks into the party as they head towards the base – presumably this is Kyo, who I’m hazarding a guess has a close relationship with the King of Twilight, if not just outright being him

Our Yu is concerned when the new child wanders off somewhere, but unfortunately, Sexy Yu has spotted her favorite Asuka

The gang find a task suitable to their strengths: chasing down these rowdy children

And yep, that child agent of the Twilight is already hard at work, murdering its way through their base

Poor Anti-Twilight Squadron. Seriousuka proudly introduces them as her hard-working band of warriors, and then they’re all dispatched in one post-battle pan. Rest easy, brave warriors

Mio, Nana, and Chloe have really embraced the theater of transforming into their twilight forms. I like that a lot; they clearly understand they’ve basically become superheroes, and rather than just immediately transition to the stoicism or effortlessness with which superheroes tend to express their powers, they’re still giddy about the whole situation, and having a great time striking poses and relishing their power-ups. It’s another small way this show’s character writing feels more convincing than most

Dear lord Chloe’s outfit is ridiculous. No matter how many times I look at it, it never gets any less ridiculous. Worst arc and worst outfit; this show has not been kind to her

As before, some very nice camerawork in this CG battle. The realm of twilight tends to facilitate this show’s best action sequences, as the vague backgrounds enable all sorts of swooping and panning shots

Oh my god, I didn’t even realize Chloe’s arms get replaced by these weird boneless noodle-arms in her costume, which she controls with her portable console inside the main unit. Someone was really feeling it when they designed that costume

I do like how distinctive all their attack patterns are – Nana’s the bruiser, Mio fires missile barrages, and Chloe channels electricity through her weird suit

Oh wow, these cuts with Seriousuka attacking are so good! Love how they follow her fluid combos along these serpent necks, and also how they integrate support attacks by all of her friends. This really feels like an ensemble fight, and the camera movement keeps the energy so high, but still maintains dramatic clarity. Really good stuff

The tree is broken, and the twilight amber is released

Damn. Seriousuka has embraced so much responsibility and change, and worked so hard to succeed, but she cannot protect her people. Even committing yourself to change is no guarantee of success

Seriousuka asks that they at least save Takumi, the young boy

And Yu, always the strongest of them, directs the team to set up their escape, as Seriousuka holds off the King of Twilight. As always, she’s fighting for Asuka’s sake, even if Asuka doesn’t appreciate it

And Done

Oof, what a killer episode. I had somewhat assumed Seriousuka’s world would be the general setting for our last arc, but The Girl in Twilight turned out to be even harsher than I expected, and now we’ve lost Seriousuka altogether. This show has done a wonderful job of illustrating both the distinct personalities of our two Asukas, as well as what they still share in common, and I have to imagine watching Seriousuka take such courageous responsibility for her choices will change something in our Asuka, too. I only hope Yu and the others don’t let her isolate herself; making your own choices is a heavy burden, but you don’t have to shoulder the consequences alone!

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