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Kouga should just go ahead and change his name to justice.
I don't how I feel about this particular episode; on one hand the fighting was great but on the other hand I wasn't that impressed with what was done with the story. Not much actually happens in the episode in terms of story progression or even character development for the protagonists but there were definitely a few plot element that were advanced a little bit further this episode - I'm talking about the main characters of EVOL being brought into the spotlight yet again and this time the boss of EVOL seems to have been re-introduced as a character that's actually going to participate more in the series.
Haitani and Jirou being in cahoots is also something that was properly revealed this episode, clearing up my previous impression that they are going to be rival characters within EVOL. Even with the two of them being in on the same plan, Haitani still maintains a certain feel about him, making me think that his plans for the future don't really include anyone but himself as the leader.
With those points aside the rest of the episode was all about the union of the 2 contrasting heroes and their fight, and what a fight that was. There's was a lot of individual action from Jin and Kouga before they meet up which felt like standard procedure in most anime, to re-introduce characters that have powered up and give a little display of their new found powers but the main attraction of the episode wasn't their display of powers, it was actually their teamwork in taking down the shrimp player. This fight scene gave a great opportunity for Kouga to display how he has matured and how he has trained himself to the bone, while as a contrast Jin was coming to grips with his unstable powers that he had gained with no effort or hardwork; this little detail made me appreciate Kouga more as a character, not only because he has gained strength and maturity (probably because he was chasing after Jin all this time) but also because he remained much more level headed in this episode than Jin - I could have done without his unbelievably cheesy, one-off lines that belong in cartoons but that is part of his charm and nuisance as a character.
After the fight the episode proceeded to end with it's first bit of fan service at the expense of Hanako, a point in the episode that brought up another negative to the pace of the series by showing her and Jin embracing each other in an almost loving manner. This wouldn't bother me, since I did know and expect Hanako to play an important role by being there for Jin but since when did Jin come to accept her These last few episodes all he's done is tell her how annoying a person she is.
I'm going to conclude that this episode was made so that action fans could enjoy an feast of fight scenes, in which case I'm okay with it.
Random Thought :
- The plot point of Jin's necklace being held onto by Konoha was brought up yet again and now I have no idea why. Maybe the necklace holds some type of secret