A lot of things happened since Tooru lost his memories. For one, there was fuss about the confusing relationship between Tooru and Shizuku now that Tooru (technically) doesn’t need to be her boyfriend anymore.
In a story like this, the last thing I want to bloody see is a cheesy love drama. Romance generated in the middle of a life and death situation? Sure. But why on earth do I have to read about something like this when just about… everything is more important than it in the current situation. However that’s just my personal bias towards my dislike of Shizuku therefore I can excuse it.
Next, an infamous assassin called 21 grams arrives at Japan. Naming sense aside, it’s said that the people targeted by this famous assassin will definitely die.
His target is… Shizuku.
So now we have an assassin chasing Shizuku in the middle of a love drama, brilliant.
In the middle of a life and death crisis, Tooru makes a momentarily mistake in judgment and entrusts Shizuku in the hands of mercenaries that look fishy no matter which way you look at them. It can’t be helped I suppose since it was far better than leaving her in the current situation. Cue Shizuku being held hostage for money.
Tooru executes his wonderful talent as a spy and manages to rescue Shizuku like a picturesque knight in shining armor. Further solidifying their deep love for each other. I shrugged it off and continued.
We get a plot twist that the 21 grams assassin sent to kill Shizuku… well… actually was an imposter. He anticlimactically dies and we move to more important matters, namely the real 21 grams. The real 21 grams decides to invade into the HQ of the enemy in order to kill Shizuku because… well why the hell not. And subsequently gets captured through the wonderful plot of having… a sniper at a different location combined with reinforcements with the place being the bloody HQ and finally going to the rooftop of all places. The ideal place to make an escape indeed. There’s the factor of arrogance there so I’ll shrug it off as well.
After that an important event of the Britain queen visiting Japan happens and Japan gets blackmailed by Julius, the aforementioned clone of Tooru that has the power of miracles, to allow terrorists to kidnap her or else he’ll drop a dirty bomb on Yokohama. They weigh the two options and cave in, they create a hole in the security and allow the queen to be kidnapped with Tooru witnessing the sight of it by chance.
Because of plot they decided to execute her only two weeks later, which means plenty of time for them to other things. Therefore at this point you are expected to forget about the queen as she’s completely irrelevant until the end.
Next up we have double agents and bioterrorism. Needless to say, the walking disaster called Shizuku becomes one of the first infected patients. I was honestly praying for someone to just lock her in a room so that she stopped getting herself into trouble.
Apparently it’s a fearsome virus that will 100% cause death, extremely high infection rate and spreads through the air. Of course there’s nothing to stop it from spreading all over Japan and killing everyone.
But they manage to convince the culprit to tell them how to make a cure… Or what should have been, since he got killed before it happened. Drama happened, people died, things blew up. The British embassy actually got blown up but apparently no one paid much attention to it.
Is it time to save the queen yet? Nope apparently we still have to go after another BABEL member. This time it’s someone called… Anon. Well not like we know a name for him because, you know, anonymous. A master of disguise to give some shocking plot twists and character development for Mai but in the end I had no idea what he showed up to do.
You see, humans should generally be capable of something called learning from mistakes. The first mistake you should learn from. Doing the mistake twice means you should be even more careful of it. The characters in this story you ask? Apparently despite being excellent everyone lacks this ability when it comes to computers. Let me name as many examples as I can remember, it happened practically every other time Tooru came in contact with a computer so I can’t say I can name all of them.
In no particular order:
Case 1: At the beginning of the story Tooru, missing his memories, decides to try and brute force his password on his laptop. It automatically begins erasing the contents of the hard drive.
Case 2: They discover a suspect they believe to be related to the criminal. They rush into the apartment he supposedly lives in. Tooru walks into a trap and the entire apartment goes up in flames. He manages to rescue the laptop with his life. Later at the HQ the internet was for some reason connected and it got hacked with the data destroyed.
Case 3: They rush into a company to search for data. In the middle of the search they somehow get hit by a virus and all useful data is lost.
Case 4: They rush into the same company in order to search for data again. They open the computer of the manager and then it shows up a 60 second timer before the entire building blew up. Why he didn’t just blow it up immediately is beyond me.
While it wasn’t Tooru’s fault in all cases, I can’t help but want to scream STOP LOSING THE DATA GOD DAMMIT.
Sure it may be plot convenience but it’s hard to believe that no one had the realization to be even slightly more cautious about losing the data.
With that said and done, let’s move to the climax.
Finally we know most of what we need to know regarding the organization BABEL. It consists of 7 genius criminals, more or less all of them originated from a certain secret project that recruited genius children from all over the world and trained them to become useful humans for the countries behind the project. Essentially we’re meant to sympathize with them because they’re technically victims of the cruel and evil plotting of corrupt governments. The “mother” managed to fish them out of the project and had them serve her for… various reasons, everyone has their own reasons but essentially some just want to watch the world burn.
That said, the organization itself is fairly loosely structured. All of them follow the existence they call “mother” but at the same time, most of the members haven’t even seen each others faces and they do whatever they want for the most part. The general direction of the organization seems to be to cause chaos in Japan but other than that, there’s no specific method of doing so. Therefore all members basically do whatever they want. The entire organization only consists of “mother” and the 7 members. On that note, the author seems to have an obsession for the number 7, not that it really matters.
We’re reaching the climax as Tooru is invited into join BABEL. He accepts in order to gain information regarding the organization, namely the location of the queen and hopefully the identity of “mother”.
The big reveal happens, the identity of “mother” is, wait for it…
The supposed-to-be-dead elder sister of Shizuku that the prime minister of Japan killed, or should have killed, in exchange for his position as the prime minister. Everything was for the sake of a better country. At the same time, the walking disaster called Shizuku answered her supposed-to-be-dead elder sister’s call and innocently went to a completely not suspicious abandoned building as instructed to meet her, of course without informing a single person of it. She subsequently gets caught and then has a fight with Mina (which was rescued a bit earlier) over who Tooru really loves. Yes, we’re having a love drama again about who Tooru loves in this situation. I believe that these characters need to know that there is a time and place for things.
I dropped the ball at this point, while it may have been intended to be shocking I couldn’t help but think that this was just a case of family drama that somehow involved the entire world into family affairs. It goes without saying that her motive is revenge. Or rather, at this point she decided to just destroy the world because screw this rotten world.
Great, I’m not sure what would have been worse at this point. An entire story about Tooru trying to find his past identity, or this case with an entire story about a serious battle against terrorists and the like only for it to be revealed that it was all caused by family drama.
I was half skipping along the story at this point so I can’t go into specific details but basically… She obtained satellites(40 of them) that can annihilate cities instantaneously using the same logic as a microwave. Which she then uses to destroy all military bases in the world at the same time. After that she announces in about 9 hours she’ll destroy the capitals of the world and then following that all big cities. You know, the biggest mistake of every villian is to reveal their plan as well as wait for the heroes of justice to arrive and stop them. They could do with a lesson in that area, really.
The satellites were originally used for electricity generation. You know, the whole idea of using solar panels in space, getting electricity from sunlight and then sending it back down to Earth. Deemed unpractical at the moment but whatever caused it to be possible and in addition allowed them to become weapons of mass destruction that conveniently fell into her hands.
The world is ending, the world is ending or so (no) one thought. Our characters are off to the rescue. At this point I’m not sure if it’s because the author didn’t know what to do with the excess of characters or something but… They decided to send away Charlotte and Mai, make an excuse for more or less every other character to appear, give a speech, kick the bucket or leave the story, explain the abilities of Julius and then have Tooru awaken to his wonderful ability to cancel out Julius’s miracles and defeat him, ending the incident.
By the way, in the end the prime minister escaped all of those assassination attempts but then decided to essentially get himself killed willingly. The elder sister had a change of mind at the last minute but then shockingly gets killed by Julius. “killed” but somehow lives until after Julius dies as well despite seemingly taking a fatal wound. She of course tells Shizuku how to stop the satellites before dying a tragic death.
If a sarcasm ridden post wasn’t enough to get the point to you then let’s be blunt: that was terrible.
At the beginning it was frustrating for the reason that Tooru had no memories, he knew nothing and automatically that meant we knew nothing as well.
Towards the middle when Tooru regained his memories, things were fairly smooth and entertaining though the choice of a damsel in distress as a heroine was extremely bothering. That could be shrugged off as a minor problem as long as she didn’t get in the way of the story too much.
Except she did. In every other incident she managed to find a way to get involved, naturally forcing Tooru to save her with his wonderful abilities as a protagonist.
There were admittedly several stupid things that happened here and there but I could leave that alone. By the end of the story however, my suspense of disbelief hit the rock bottom and I gave up. I’m sure for the people who actually liked the damsel in distress (along with her entire family causing trouble for the entire world, it probably it runs in the blood) they would enjoy the story much more than I did. But for me, who detested her character from the minute she was introduced, it only served to kill the story.
Next up is 辻堂さんの純愛ロード.
In other news, Kyoukai sen ended with a splendid finale as well as giving a glimpse of characters from future volumes. Hopefully they will decide to continue adapting the series within a reasonable time range and not throw it away despite how well it performed in sales.