Say what you will about Sekai Seifuku, but when it goes full skeevy, it does so in an indiscriminate manner, with hapless dudes as liable to get groped in uncomfortable places by tentacles as their Y-Chromosome-less counterparts. Hell, Asuta here is the only one I’ve seen who seems to acknowledge that he enjoys it. I’d prefer if it could avoid these jokes for the rest of the show, but if the tentacle-loving demographic is too potent a force to ignore, this works too.
For how often the characters are willing to strip down into skimpy, goofy clothing or get caught in compromising poses without a second thought, it has yet to become all that wearisome—even the betentacled climax of this episode is more amusing in its bizarre fetishism than sigh-inducing. The gratuitous sexualization is just a small part of the overall joke, being used in support of well-implemented slapstick and Kate trying to sound serious while failing to do a flip over a bar. It adds up to an episode that’s on-beat with almost every joke, the variety ensuring that there’s always something to find entertaining.
It helps that, rather than portraying an increasingly dark crusade against smokers or parental abandonment, the show has dialed back and spent some time focusing on the supposed good guys, who end up just as off-kilter as their Zvezdan enemies just by association. White Falcon’s reveal was handled in the most wonderfully inane way, with only a token gesture toward not pointing out the obvious candidate with an identical hairstyle and voice.
Sekai Seifuku does a good job at balancing information regarding HOWAITO LIGHTO’s methods to make them seem even more questionable than Zvezda. On one hand, they’re trying to stop Kate’s circuitous, borderline-ineffective attempts at global domination. On the other, they seem to exclusively recruit teenage girls for reasons that have yet to be explained, and will probably never be. Just having the basics, without fleshing them out, makes HOWAITO LIGHTO seem more morally ambiguous the more that they’re onscreen, serving as an ideal foil to Zvezda’s use of disenfranchised youth to do vaguely evil, mostly harmless things.
Ironically, most of the destruction in this episode is caused by Falcon and Egret, in their attempts to apprehend Zvezda. Considering the minimal damage that Zvezda does on a regular basis compared to HOWAITO LIGHTO, it makes the latter’s existence debatable to begin with when they have no qualms about tearing up city streets with laser swords to apprehend petty crims.
No matter the necessity of their function though, I can readily admit that HOWAITO LIGHTO are just as fun to watch as their Zvezdan counterparts. They aren’t as readily likable, but the way they’re constantly tripped up by their foes’ incompetence makes them endearing anti-heroes—not enough to make me want them to succeed, but enough to make me wish them a non-dead place in Kate’s benevolent dictatorship. I hope that HOWAITO LIGHTO’s reason for existence is built on a bit more, because there’s a ton of potential there for making them the unequivocal villains in heroes’ clothing without them realizing. It wouldn’t be anything new, but I want to see what Sekai Seifuku could do with it.
And once again, Roboko is best girl, refusing to compromise on her shows by protecting Zvezda’s identity from the general public. Her dedication is admirable. Don’t stop doing what you do, Roboko.