Given my newfound propensity for constructing rants, I had better make it clear here that this won’t be following the pattern of my previous disillusioned moaning about .hack//Roots. Instead, this will be less of an outright rant, and more of a hybrid with the now-infamous “Ovan arm cooking” approach.
First off, I have to admit that I wasn’t paying a great deal of attention to the beginning of the episode, but as it turns out, that just highlights one of the advantages of the .hack system; even if you don’t catch something on screen, you can guarantee various characters will spend the next five episodes minutes talking about it.
Anyway, by the time I had regained my focus, our heroes, villains and unaligned fuglies were all on a new quest- a search for the mysterious virus cores, or, in the cooking version, those vital flavourings needed for the upcoming cooking competition. “Sora//inferior”, the purple haired PK whose name I can’t be bothered to look up, is back on the scene with but one purpose, to defeat Ovan. Unfortunately, without an oven on his arm (although if you look closely he has a smaller device, perhaps a popcorn maker), he’s at a significant disadvantage, but nonetheless determined to play the role of antagonist.
Sora//inferior’s return also brings a bit more action to the show, only unfortunately, it’s all of the level we’ve come to expect ever since episode 6. Battles are short and simplistic affairs, since any more would put a strain on The World’s servers, not to mention Bee Train’s animators. “Ender’s party vs. Sora//inferior” is particularly noteworthy, simply because it is so awash with fugliness and fat men wearing revealing leather straps that those of a weak disposition are advised to look away.
Meanwhile, poor fat guy Tawaraya is falling on hard times; Naobi and Ender have begun leaving him out of the loop, clearly fearing that he will consume their entry to the cooking contest before it can be judged. Elsewhere, Ovan is far too busy contemplating which wine would go best with his dish to do anything constructive with the Twilight Brigade, so it is left to Shino and Haseo to pick a location for the upcoming competition. All that remains is to find the ultimate seasoning known as the Key of the Twilight, and happily we’ve still got a leisurely 18 episodes to attend to that particular task.
Next week: Melle- clearly the name of the dessert that Ovan, Sora//inferior and Naobi will have to prepare in the cooking contest preliminaries. Can a savoury man like Ovan adapt to the challenge of preparing a sweet dish?