What I thought was going to be an incredibly awkward episode turned out to be one of the funniest of the series. And yet, still awkward.
After rewatching Kanji’s midnight channel debut, Yosuke calls Yu to confirm if they both just saw the same thing. After confirming that they did in fact see the same thing, Yu asks Yosuke if he wants a copy of it.
Back in the TV world, Teddy can’t seem to pinpoint Kanji. He tells them that if he had something with Kanji’s scent on it he might be able to get a lock on him. The group visits Kanji’s family shop, and hear from his mother about how he got involved in beating up biker gangs. Apparently a while back a biker gang was causing trouble in the neighborhood, and Kanji’s mom couldn’t sleep because of the noise. Kanji got into one little fight, and the town got scared, and told him…you’re moving to…uh…yeah…
They find a kid who is looking for Kanji, and tells them about a cellphone strap Kanji made for him. They borrow the strap to give Teddy the scent. When they go to Junes they meet the guy who was talking to Kanji the other day. He mentions that Kanji had been acting weird.
With Kanji’s scent, Teddy is able to locate him. He leads them to a men only bathhouse. Yosuke and Yu refuse to go in, declaring that it is too risky for them to go inside. Chie forces them to go in anyway. While searching the bathhouse Yosuke suggests that they should split up, the girls can search the rest of the place, while him and Yu go home.
When they run into shadow Kanji, Yu and Yosuke waste no time summoning their persona. It doesn’t take long for the initially resistant Chie to summon her own persona. After hearing that her shadow self was just as outrageous, Yukiko gets pissed and starts attacking all the incoming shadows. Her fire hits Yosuke, as does Chie’s ice when she attacks as well.
Kanji wakes up in the bathhouse, and hears people talking ill about him. He starts to get pissed, and yells at them to show themselves, when he comes face to face with his shadow self. While this is happening the group stands outside the door to the final boss, putting off opening it. When they finally do, they find Kanji in a questionable position with his shadow self.
The room gets flooded with what looks like water at first, but turns out to be lubricant. Chie and Yukiko fall down in it, and while trying to stand up get covered in the stuff. Yu and Yosuke lament not having a video camera, before slipping in the stuff themselves.
Kanji gets pissed at his shadow self, denying its claims that he likes men, releasing its monster form. The group try attacked the muscular shadow men that come with Kanji’s shadow form, but to no effect. One of the creatures gets behind them and grabs Yu and Yosuke’s butts, putting them out of commission. Yukiko and Chie get pissed at the two and start attacking indiscriminately.
Yu blocks a lightning attack aimed at Kanji, and awakens the true power of his wild card ability. He fuses two of his persona together (it isn’t shown which), and creates a hydra like monster that I assume is the Yamato no Orochi. After Yu comments on how he thinks the phone strap is cute, Kanji gets up and punches his shadow self, defeating it.
He tells his reverted shadow that it has nothing to do with liking men or not liking women, but that he’s just afraid of being rejected for his girly hobbies. He accepts his inner feelings as a part of himself, revealing his true badass persona.
Later Kanji meets with the group on the roof, and offers his help in finding out who the culprit behind all the murders is. Later that evening Dojima asks Yu if he’s been getting into any trouble. The episode skips back a few days to a person standing out in the rainy dark in the middle of the street.
I really wasn’t looking forward to this episode as much as the others. This is anime, I was convinced they couldn’t possibly treat what was coming up with dignity. And I was right. They did not. But at least they entertained me while doing so.
Bar none, this has to be one of the funniest episodes of the series to date. Yes, a lot could be said about how insensitive it is to homosexuals, but that’s not really my schtick, so I’m really more concerned by the fact that I had to pause the video when they first run into Shadow Kanji because I had a laughing fit. Again, my sense of humor is fairly simple, but I like to think that such an extreme reaction of mine should count for something.
Besides being a hilarious episode, and I don’t use that word very often, there was a good deal of story going on. Unlike Yukiko’s episode this one found a good balance of action scenes and build up to the action. We don’t learn all that much about Kanji’s past, and what we do learn is done without using flashbacks, which makes for a stronger episode. And while the jokes may be lowbrow, Kanji’s inner turmoil is easily the most interesting out of the main cast so far. The concept of his possible attraction to men is dealt with well enough, but the episode takes most of that the game. And adds gay jokes.
Yes, this episode is extremely homophobic, but for those that aren’t bothered by that it’s also incredibly funny. If lowbrow humor and gay jokes are your cup of tea, then you’ll find plenty to enjoy about this episode.
If you liked my review, Watch the Episode Here!