At long last it finally looks as if Barnaby may find the answers he seeks, Kriem has finally awoken. But at the same time his partner Kotetsu packs up his things, reminescing as he goes.
Again? Either Bandai doesn’t care or they’re doing an incredibly shitty job at meeting demand.
Following this he then goes to tell Barnaby about his decision but instead he meets the other heroes who are happy to see him back while Karina tries to make it look like she didn’t miss him. After this he gets a call from his mother urging him to hand in his resignation however Kotetsu wants Barnaby to be the first one he tells, and in the background Kaede is struggling to control Hundred Power. However when he meets Barnaby at the hospital he doesn’t exactly get a chance to tell him as they both go in to meet Kriem, who even in her current condition is completely devoted to Jake. Telling them of how everyone, including her parents shunned her because she was a NEXT and that while Jake had initially kidnapped her, she ended up following him.
Accompanying this she also has one shocking piece of information, that it was impossible for Jake to have killed Barnaby’s parents as the date of their death coincided with when she was kidnapped. And so she goes to meet her saviour, spiting them for killing him by hiding Ouroboros’ true nature by ending her own life. With this Barnaby finds himself back at square one, and because his memories are still as clear as day he believes that Kriem was lying, however when Kotetsu revised the footage from HeroTV he finds something that shakes Barnaby to his very core, Jake’s righthand without tattoo or scar. And with this now undone, his memories start to fall apart and he now sees everyone in the fire. Shortly after this Kotetsu’s mother calls again to urge him to hand in his resignation soon, and in the background Kaede is shown to also possess magnetism as a power.
So because of this he steps up and prepares to tell him as he practiced, but before he can do this Barnaby interrupts him and thinks he just needs some more time off. However with his memories the way they are now, he suspects everyone he knew of killing his parents. And it’s because of this he believes that he should quit being a hero, beating Kotetsu to the punch and he’s forced to explain things to Kaede, who’s pissed as she tells him her NEXT power is to copy other powers.
I was starting to wonder how they would spread things out, but after a major advance in Kotetsu’s story it’s only natural that there would be one in Barnaby’s as well. It may feel like opening a case that’s already been closed, but come to think of it there were a few glaring holes in it.
But considering that it was something that was already thought to have been resolved though I’m kind of unsure of how to feel about it, on one side it’s making all the time spent on it a lot more pointless in hindsight. Yet on the other the way it was resolved wasn’t really that good, Jake himself never outright confirmed that he killed Barnaby’s parents and the needed proof of the supposed tattoo on his right hand had been hidden from us for the most part, let alone in plain sight. So because of that this issue could have easily been reopened anyway, Jake killing Barnaby’s parents was in the end something we only assumed. On the side of all of this as well it was nice to see some time to further develop Kriem, even if it was at the last minute. Working to make her character a bit more understandable and that Jake was the only one who didn’t really shun her, she was someone who grew up being discriminated for being a NEXT unlike the heroes.
With this sudden change something else became apparent as well, that throughout the series someone has been tinkering with Barnaby’s memories. And I think we can all tell who it was and how, it was only through those oxygen chambers that Barnaby managed to gain some albeit false clarity, and what had puzzled him for twenty years became all too clear far too soon. Without a doubt I’m also interested to see just how this will further effect him, only recently he’s managed to live his life without revenge but that’s now been turned on its head as his memories start to fall apart. He’s already at the point where he can’t trust anyone and it’s only going to get worse from there, at this point he’s even starting to have doubts about his chosen path. Pretty much giving him an arc for what a few characters have had and episode each for.
On Kotetsu’s side of things it was also nice to see things continue to gradually shift forward, well slightly, not really. He’s made his decision but he just has to find the right time to announce it, something which he didn’t exactly have a chance to do at all in this episode. However even if things didn’t exactly shift forward much, it was interesting to get a further look at Kaede’s NEXT power in the background of it all, just what it was wasn’t exactly clear from the last episode and while “copying” other powers may be kind of gimicky it’s still something that hasn’t really been tried yet in this series. Given that though I’m surprised she hasn’t at least suspected what her father has really been up to, it may have not been in her control but Hundred Power should have been a clear give away.