The beginning of this episode of Ando Lloyd (安堂ロイド〜A.I. knows LOVE?〜) takes us back to the day after Matsushima Reiji (Kimura Takuya) was killed, when Matsushima Nanase (Oshima Yuko) first met the Mysterious Beauty (Kiritani Mirei). We wondered why Nanase seemed already so familiar with the Android Queen (as I might start calling her), and it turns out she met it at the same time as Asahi (Shibasaki Kou) met Lloyd (Kimura Takuya).
But that sequence is just Nanase’s memory – she wakes up in the present in a hospital bed tied down. The psychiatrists think that she has multiple personality disorder, and one of those personalities is violent. I suspect that it’s just the Mysterious Beauty’s influence on her.
The Android Queen has modified Nanase’s glasses to play video, and uses it to show Nanase what she has done.
The psychological conditioning continues as the Android Queen forces Nanase to switch to the personality that I think the android created.
That violent alternate personality then goes on a bloody rampage to escape the hospital/psych ward. Some brilliant crazed acting from Oshima-san, by the way – this whole issue of her transformation into a demon under the control of the Android Queen is the most remarkable plot in this series so far.
Asahi gets word that Nanase has broken out, and it’s her violent personality in charge. If Nanase kills someone, she’ll be committed to the psych ward for life, so . . . so Asahi decides that she’ll go out looking for her. Why doesn’t it occur to Asahi that the first person Nanase tried to kill was Asahi herself, and she continues to be the most likely target?
But Lloyd now sees Nanase as a clear threat – possibly not just to Asahi – and he regrets not killing her in the first place. Well, he heads out to correct that mistake.
Back at the Matsushima lab, the graduate students are wondering where Nanase is, too. Asahi makes the mistake of not telling them how dangerous Nanase might be – only telling them not to talk to Nanase and to call her back immediately. These are the sorts of things Asahi has done throughout the entire series that make me really unhappy with the character.
By the way, Jesse-kun suddenly saying “You Bastard” in English out of nowhere might be the most inadvisable use of English in a 2013 drama, beating out Shori-kun’s “You are welcome” in the first episode of 49.
The present-day security guy who’s working with the android cops of 2113 seems to be ready to move on a new phase, but there’s the issue of Matsushima Reiji’s sealing of the time portal. They still can’t get it open, and conclude that it must be Reiji’s soul. Their attempt to make the soul sound like something scientific was pretty lame. If you’re going to go to that length, you have to do a better job of it than the mechanism for inorganic substances to turn into amino acids and become life since science has been chipping away at that problem steadily and will likely solve it, and most humans think the soul is something more than how chemicals combine into amino acids and RNA.
They conclude that the time gate will open if they just kill Ando Asahi. Nice to know there’s finally a purpose to them aiming to kill her, but most of this talk was horrendous, culminating in a very dubious interpretation of the purpose of democracy (they say it’s to provide the greatest happiness to the greatest number of people, while I say it’s to keep them from making security deals with androids from 2113 – let’s put it to a vote!).
We also find out that this is all about getting a cellular regeneration drug for the Prime Minister, which is just stupid. I could rant about it, but why waste my precious words and time when the writers of the drama couldn’t come up with something more interesting and credible than this?
Why are they trying to suddenly develop the relationship between Shinzo (Kiritani Kenta) and Sakiko (Yamaguchi Sayaka)? There’s only one episode after this and they’ve barely given them time together at all. It just feels like an attempt to fill time.
And then having Isaku (Endo Kenichi) warn Shinzo about making a move on his daughter . . . do the writers know that there are robots from 2113 running around trying to kill people?
Well, after eight episodes, Asahi hasn’t quite come to grips with the fact yet, and they’re specifically out to kill her. It’s a good thing that the androids of the future come installed with some dubious programming (Google Android?) or they would have made mincemeat of her a long time ago, even with Lloyd’s help. Here, she once again runs around the city unguarded, and once again gets confronted by androids who fail to materialize close enough to just grab her head and twist it off. It’s really down to bad aim when teleporting.
So, Lloyd appears to save her again, but not before they have their guns aimed at her for at least seven seconds before they fire. This is not the first time that the long pause before firing has happened, but this is where I’m officially getting tired of it.
All right Lloyd, get rid of these incompetent bozos. Gotta love how their Android operating system leads them to throw away their guns in order to fight him hand-to-hand. I didn’t understand this fight at all, though. Why didn’t Lloyd just switch to the Asura system right away? Why did the other androids assume that a simple knife to the gut would be enough to stop him when we’ve seen him sustain even more damage? Why was the Asura system not good enough this time when it’s been all Lloyd needed before? Why did that knife seem to incapacitate him?
And why is Lloyd so bad at power management?
Asahi needed Lloyd to save her, but I think the audience needs Suppli (Honda Tsubasa). Well, at least I do. This episode has been a mess so far.
Thanks to Suppli, we find out that Lloyd doesn’t have any injectors left to activate the Asura System, so that answers the question about why he hesitated to switch to it.
This was the first really good scene since the opening with Nanase, thanks not only to Suppli, but also to some explanations from Lloyd about when he got the Asura system in the first place and why he sought revenge against the conspirators in 2066.
But Suppli also says something dubious – that the Asura OS serves as a soul to free Lloyd from the whims of human masters. In that case, he would only be able to act freely when he injects himself, right? I don’t think that matches what we’ve already seen.
Back at the lab, the graduate students are suddenly playing a bigger part as they aim to use Nanase’s computer. What are they going to find in there?
Meanwhile, Shinzo decides that he should hack into Nanase’s computer through his own laptop.
Umm . . . this collective hacking of Nanase’s stuff can’t lead to anything good, right?
Well, I think the answer to that question is a serious spoiler, so I’ll cut the summary a bit earlier than usual, and leave the rest to your enjoyment. Here’s a hint, though:
Oh, and there was another Suppli scene, in case you were wondering.
But I think I’ve already reached a conclusion about this episode – the writers are positing more novel events than they have satisfactory explanations for, and they’re just making it up as they go along. There are serious inconsistency issues with the story now.
Worse, many of the scenes were outright ludicrous. For instance, when the graduate students were hacking into Nanase’s computer, the password was 2135 characters long (!) and Jesse-kun’s character immediately recognized it as a proof that shortest distance between two points in flat space is a straight line (yes, that’s what all of that was about – I’ve done a little study of General Relativity in my time). No one in their right mind would write that in words – the proof is always written is equations – and even if they did it would be remarkably inefficient to use it as a password unless you could copy and paste – which you can’t on a login screen. Beyond that, there’s no way Jesse-kun could have gotten the exact wording of the proof correct even if he saw Nanase type it a hundred times, or even read the proof on a piece of a paper. Yes, they say that he has an IQ of 205, but I can assure you that a high IQ doesn’t make a person superhuman.
A little rant there, but I seriously considered just dumping the series right at that scene. Just like Pin to Kona, they’re lucky they only have one episode left after this, or I’d be through. Even if you’re a Jesse-kun fan, you’d have to admit that this is the worst role he’s ever had to play – they only seem to give him bad lines.
The acting in this episode was horrible in comparison to the standards the actors have already set with the exceptions of Oshima Yuko-san, who was better, and Honda Tsubasa-san and Kimura Takuya-san, who were on-par. The plot was all over the place with the timing of certain scenes – especially those between Shinzo and Sakiko – entirely inappropriate.
Don’t get me started on the Android Queen’s backstory.
Oh, did I mention the ending of the episode was horrible and incompatible with what we’ve already been told? It was. It would be unfair of me to leave you in suspense about that.
So . . . yeah. I guess I’ll still review the final episode and give my assessment of this series, but I’ll have to do it in an extremely good mood to avoid just making it one big rant about the art of creating a consistent and reasonable science fiction universe.