Not that many, actually, though some essential ones remain. And this episode continues the trend of being simply, well, different–totally different outcomes and plot points and a different focus altogether. In many ways this is a different show from the first season, though they’re intimately interconnected.
The bulk of this review, of course, contains spoilers. Read the spoilers at your own risk.
I am also getting a little weary of the whole “can we beat fate” business now. I think we get the point now, and it’s a testament to how slowly this arc is moving. I’m beginning to see the point of the long rescue of Satoko, however. The solid camaraderie that we see now in the main group of characters is now believable and strong, and I can see all that being a necessary precondition for what is, it seems, shaping up to be an actual battle or confrontation with the powers of “Tokyo”: this time around, at least, it seems that they will go down fighting rather than as helpless victims.
Some things that still require clearing up for me (spoilers):
The show is now really a mystery rather than horror, and has been very busy explaining things left and right. I’m impressed therefore with the amount of detail and planning that went into it, and knowing the things I know now actually made me see the first arc of the first season (which I rewatched today with my next door neighbor) in a very new light. Particularly when they try to inject Keiichi with a needle. This is a show that actually paid a lot more attention to detail than I first suspected, given how haphazard so many of the arcs in season 1 seemed at times. The presence of a grand design is not always a sign of good storytelling and quality, but now that so many of the key questions have been solved, it’s time to shift gears to the things that made this show great: character exploration and digging through the murky motives that guide human beings in good and ill.
Finally, the posts that would have appeared last week were there not NICE BOATS in the way are now finished. Now we can move on. Fall season, ho!