- Genre : Josei, Horror, Mystery, Psychological Thriller
- Studio: J.C.Staff
I literally just finished this weeks episode. I got home form work, watched Harukana then Angels of Death. I’m not sure if this insta-reviewing is the way to go. Honestly, I’m not even entirely sure what to make of today’s episode yet. (Matt expressed a similar sentiment in his Steins:Gate 0 review, you should read it)
I have a feeling I’m about to do this episode a disservice. OK, let me try to stick to what you actually need to know. Last week ended with Zack, after being seemingly fine for quite some time, suddenly bleeding to death on the elevator floor. Angels of Death has made no pretense of being grounded in our world or bound by natural laws so I don’t really mind that Zack’s imperviousness seems to come and go. In fact I kind of like it. Makes me think that his health isn’t related to the state of his physical body, which is interesting.
And those weeks of character building did pay off, as I ended up caring whether Zack would live or die. The first half of the episode sees Ray and Zack separated once more. After dragging Zack on to the new floor, Ray sets out on her own to look for anything that could help stop Zack’s bleeding. This Ray is not quite the same as the Rachel of the first episodes. She really does want to save Zack and as such she’s just a little frantic, her movements quicker and less controlled. It was a decent way to show character development.
The first half of the episode packed on heavy handed symbolism. The titular smoke and mirrors, both figuratively and literally. Once again, the now weekly repeating mantra of God…Sin…Lies… Once again we see writing on the wall. This may have gone on a touch too long, my mind did end up wandering a little. I have to admit, it seems like a scene I would have really enjoyed as a game puzzle though.
Throughout this sequence, a disembodied voice kept asking Rachel to spit out her sin. Towards the end it went into a monologue about her sin “missing”. This is probably not what it meant but I really like the idea that your sins are an integral part of who you are, and without them you are somehow incomplete.
Towards the midpoint of the episode, we meet a new character and who I assume will be the next Big Bad to defeat. This time, it’s a hallucination inducing priest. Well he wears priest robes but I guess that doesn’t really prove anything. For instance, he doesn’t have pupils so you would think that he’s blind but he seems to see just fine. Like every other antagonist, he seems familiar with the other floors as well as Zack but uncertain about Rachel. Unlike the other antagonists, he is so far quite low key. Seems to be going for that calm, cool almost reasonable evil.
After a brief exchange, He tells Rachel that what she needs would probably be on Danny’s floor, him being a doctor and all, and that he could take her back down if she passes one small test. He simply wants to know who she is. This is one of those annoying philosophical questions. But who are *you* really. I’m pretty sure she can’t simply get out of it by telling him her name. She decides to explain the situation to Zack who agrees to let her go and asks her to bring back a knife of his from his own floor.
There’s something sweet about this scene. Zack starts off all Zack like. Bluster and fury but very quickly crumbles under the weight of his injuries and simply seems to give up. He does make her promise not to die.
And so Rachel takes the elevator back down with the Priest. I don,t think we’ve been told his name yet and I don,t want to look it up because I have a feeling spoilers be ahead. This said, this guy seems to be able to release this sleep inducing hallucinogenic gas at will and does so in the elevator. He also appears particularly interested in the nature of Zack and Rachel’s relationship.
When Rachel wakes up from her little gas nap (that’s a creepy thing to write) they are both back on Cathy’s floor. The priest explains that she will have to pass a test on each floor before they can get to Danny’s but all she has to do is find a switch to turn the power back on in the elevator so they can continue. From the looks of it, this priest looking guy has probably set up a series of traps around the floors and this one is crawling with Zombies.
After a pretty decent chase scene, Rachel makes it back to Cathy’s main control room where she proceeds to lock the zombies in a hallway and slaughter them all with using the automated gatling guns. We can clearly see that all of this is having an effect on Rachel’s mind. She’s frazzled and visibly unraveling before our eyes. she slowly becoming more and more like Zack.
I really can’t explain why but I once again liked this episode. As I said, the first act was a touch too long but otherwise the pacing was quite good. Once again, there’s enough weird to get my attention and make me want to know what’s going on, but not so much as to get on my nerves. All in all, Angels of Death seems to be placing all it’s eggs in one basket. It’s just pilling on weird cryptic hints and puzzles one on top of the other and the entire thing is going to hinge on the reveal. If it’s good, I believe the whole series could be redeemed. Otherwise, it will complete negate any good points it may have had.
For what it’s worth, I do want to find out which way it goes.