It’s interesting when you think about it. Polka has been the least directly involved in the events this season. He didn’t know about Takumi’s kidnapping and rescue until after the fact. The same could be said for the Fire-Breathing Bug’s attack on the police station and Habaki being a member of the cult. Yet, he is the one most affected by these events.
Up until this point, Polka has had one real goal: to live in peace with his friends. To him, this meant keeping things as much on the down-low as possible. Unfortunately, this hasn’t turned out quite as he had hoped. The body of Polka Shinomiya comes with a ton of baggage—and related events that forced him to use his powers have garnered the interest of the more supernatural elements of Tokyo’s underground. Despite this, he was content to stick with his original plan—until things got personal.
Seeing Takumi and Xiaoyu injured is something Polka cannot accept—especially not after losing his friends and family in the fantasy work several times over his long, undead life. Moreover, the cult is related to his past in some way, using his dead friend’s dream for their purposes. To find true peace, Polka knows he needs to create a safe place for himself and his friends. He can’t just hide away and keep his head down—he has tragically seen firsthand what happens when he tries that. He needs to change the situation so that both the cult and the unknown elements targeting the original Polka are no longer aiming at them—and that just might mean going on the offensive.
The other interesting aspect of this episode is how it develops both Clarissa and Iwanome through their relationship with Hosorogi. Both of them love him—though one loves him romantically and the other loves him as a dear friend and mentor. Moreover, both of them have defined their lives by his death. Clarissa becomes everything Hosorogi wouldn’t have wanted her to become—i.e., an underground information broker—for the sake of finding and exacting revenge upon his killer. Iwanome, on the other hand, is striving to follow in Hosorogi’s footsteps—to finish what Hosorogi started and bring those involved to justice.
The key difference between the two is what makes them so opposed: Clarissa knows Hosorogi is dead (as she disposed of his body) while Iwanome knows he is alive (he just talked with him on the phone). The funny thing is that both of them are ultimately wrong. Hosorogi’s body is dead but his soul—the part of him that makes him the person he is—is still around and deeply involved in current events thanks to Polka. Moreover, he is aware of how his death and current circumstances are affecting the pair—and that things will eventually come to a head whether he wants them to or not. It’s a good setup for things to come.
• The quick still frame shot of Misaki returning to Polka’s building while bridal-carrying an embarrassed Xiaoyu is priceless.
• I think Phantom Solitaire sells himself short. Building a plausible explanation from just a few outlandish facts—and using that to get more information regardless of whether your guess is right or wrong—is one hell of a skill.
• I have trouble believing that Xiaoyu would have ever become a seedbed as his clan intended—his sister seems far too obsessed with him to let that happen.
• Xiaoyu is part dragon now… so, that’s a thing I guess.