Hajime’s little bit about the driver made me chuckle a bit. It reminded me of a preface in a driving test I took once. It’s a warning against road rage: Basically, imagine you’re driving down the road, when suddenly someone pulls out of a driveway with little to no warning. How would you feel? Angry? Would you honk your horn? Then the preface DROPS THE BOMB — turns out that person heard some bad news about a member of their family and was on their way to the hospital. They pulled out of the driveway without thinking because they were so distraught. Do you feel like a HUGE ASSHOLE now?
It’s a roundabout way of saying, “Hey, keep cool, don’t make assumptions about why things happen just to make yourself feel better.” Except here, Hajime is more looking on the sympathetic side of things than blatantly trying to make Sugane feel like a massive cock. It made me chuckle because it’s such a silly way of making people consider that there are situations afoot beyond the obvious. But, hey, Sugane is a young guy who’s been thrust into a rather black-and-white hero role, so I dunno, maybe he needs something a bit blunt lobbed his way to consider a different point of view.
To be fair to the guy, though, Sugane is actually surprisingly considerate of the revelations everyone chats about at the beginning of the episode. There’s no real denial about what’s revealed, no shouting about how the MESS are really the enemy because they’ve been fighting them all along, and whatnot. There’s surprise, yes, but he mostly asks some pertinent questions while everyone engages in semi-educated speculation with the little information they have available to them. For now they certainly seem like cute, harmless Rubik’s Cubes who are apparently vastly superior to humanity (those things can be pretty tricky to solve), but who knows if they will always stay that way. We don’t really know if/how much they connect to everything else that’s going on at the moment.
One more interesting thing: In my last post, there was a comment speculating about Paiman, and it definitely seems that there are personal motivations at play, since our panda alien buddy is by far the most vociferous opponent regarding Hajime getting all buddy buddy with her MESS friend and following it on Twitter and such. Does Paiman have some personal experience with the MESS? (You’d think our alien friend would speak up about it if that were the case.) Maybe there was some other general, befuddling menace that made life terrible for him and his people, and he doesn’t want to see that happen to the humans? Who knows?
This scene I found a bit interesting, too. Hajime tells Sugane that he shouldn’t take the Interwebs at face value (more “you gotta think about the situation before making assumptions and stuff”), but one would think Hajime’s actions earlier run counter to that advice, since she seems so readily accepting of X and the yucky milk. That said, she’s been using GALAX since before the start of the series, so I’d imagine that something must have occurred for that little program to win her trust. Or maybe it’s that her friends are the ones so concerned that Hajime decides to spring into action and do some hero level grinding? Dunno. Poor Sugane must be confused, though, because Hajime has him questioning why he is a hero in the first place, and then she tells him not to trust the very thing that spurred them into action earlier in the first place, haha. Being a hero is so confusing!
Then there’s everything with Rui, which has to be mentioned
so that I can get a screenshot in here because it’s VERY IMPORTANT. I think many people surmised even before this episode that Rui had a connection with the big ol’ bad, Berg Katze, but this episode makes that a bit more explicit with Berg egging Rui on to use the power of the Crowds (whatever that ends up being). Whatever properties it possesses makes Rui reluctant to use it — perhaps it is not so easy to control? All it takes is one or a few getting some funny ideas when allowed to wield some great power. It definitely seems that Berg is manufacturing situations to push Rui to unleash the Crowds.
I’m interested to see the ultimate purpose of GALAX, too, since the actual mechanics of it run counter to Rui’s thoughts on heroes and villains. If Rui is intended as a counter to Hajime, then Rui may be the cynicism to Hajime’s optimism. Rui hates that side of humans that won’t help if there is no reward to be gained, but nonetheless takes advantage of that in the construction of GALAX and its carrots.