Angel Heart – episode 13

March 24, 2006 on 11:41 pm | In Angel Heart | Comments Off on Angel Heart – episode 13

“A gift from Master Li”

There’s one thing about anime that I will never understand, and it’s something quite commonplace. The instance is when two people in direct competition with each other face off, and one says to the other “I’m not going to lose!” and the reply is invariably “I’m not going to lose either!”
Generally this is said with some enthusiasm, but it’s a sentiment I’ll never understand. Here it is carried to a new level.

“I’m not going to die before you!” says Shan In to Papa Ryo.
“I’m not going to die before you, either!” says Ryo in return.

Way to strengthen the father/daughter bond, you two.

The episode begins with Saeko finding Shan In sound asleep in Ryo’s bed. It’s because she’s his daughter, Saeko! It’s nothing tawdry at all! Saeko is distressed that Ryo has allowed Kaori’s room to be disturbed for Shan In to move in, but all comes clear.

Parts of this episode are probably what I would call “pointless fluff” in other circumstances; not here because it’s Saeba Ryo we’re talking about! I need to cut Shan In some slack in the department of her irrational fears: she is, after all, only fifteen and she has just come out of about ten years in the “trained killer” rinse cycle. Sweating about life and death in such a bizarre fashion must be forgiven.

The jealousy that I had detected in Saeko early turned out to be more concern for the memory of Kaori, and I like that development. Asagami Yoko’s performance had an excellent cadence of distress and concern, and was absolutely vital; Ryo had to promote acceptance of Shan In as his “daughter” and not as anything else.
This “acceptance” can be paralleled by the constant heart tests that Shan In has been taking to see if her body accepts the foreign organ. It’s going to be a weird relationship – parenthood with guns – but it can be fun to watch.

I kind of like Xin Hong, too, because he’s totally an insert character now. He’s the sort of character who is just there and is very likely to be forgotten about by the others.

For a long time now I’ve been predicting that Angel Heart will turn into XYZ adventures once more. Now, with the conclusion of this episode, I’m not lying to you anymore: from episode 14 onwards, there will be a board, and that board shall distribute jobs for Ryo. The way that the message board was written back into the series was quite nice and plausible – although it does make one wonder how Ryo’s been getting by since he quit being City Hunter!

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