Was there a prominent female character in this episode besides Akane and the inspector among the hostages? Yes you say? Nah, must just be my imagination, guess I need my hue checked. Lets move on to talking about stamping on people’s skulls.
The episode carries on directly from the end of the episode 3, and Kamui’s follower has now taken hostages, and for some reason he has decided to strip them all down to their underwear. Much of the episode is dedicated to him repeating himself (hell he barely has anything new to add past his appearance in the last episode) while beating up his hostages. Oddly, I felt the old man and the episode as a whole echoed Makishima more than it did Kamui, save for the dry quoting from famous authors which so obviously inspired the first season. In fact, the old man and Kamui don’t seem to fully hold the same ideals besides “Screw Sybil”. After all, Kamui wants to save people, right? His operations so far haven’t been about public displays of violence, he’s been operating in the shadows, whereas Makishima and the old man were much more direct about public demonstrations, only Makishima chose his moments better. As a result, I was disappointed that the episode seemed to be merely regurgitating more of Urobuchi’s philosophies (in a much less nuanced way I might add) rather than expanding upon the ideas it had already set up with Kamui in the previous episodes. I want some more fuel, some more details, so I can continue being the lone nutter in the tinfoil hat crying ‘Both Kiritos are the same!’ As it is, yeah, I get it, I watched the first season, and I agree, it was pretty damn good. Lets move on, shall we?
And yes, as you watch the episode you’ll realise that the old man doesn’t really have any compelling arguments to make, and like the Sybil system, he’s just forcibly imposing his own values and killing people indiscriminately. At least Sybil has some kind of logic, however far it has taken things and however insane it is, with the episode ending on division 3 gunning down the inspector and the hostages, who would have let the culprit get away due to blatant had Kamui not killed the him.
Essentially, Kamui has been misinterpreted by his own followers. Kamui only wants to save people, and the people he has saved have clung to his ideals and blown them out of proportion, turning their ideals into justifications for violence. Makishima helped with the crimes of a select few individuals before the mass riot, and wasn’t idolised in quite the same way Kamui was. His relationships with his partners in crime were more intimate. Right now, the big difference in relationship is that Kamui is revered by his followers, he has formed more of a cult than a network of friendly psychopaths. I don’t think his followers really know Kamui, much like how the population don’t really know anything about how Sybil actually works. That said, I don’t think Kamui or justified or that he’s some kind of lone, tragic anti-hero. He’s still a deadly criminal, and he didn’t do anything to stop the old man, in fact, he was quite happy to give him an escape route at first. Both sides are basically pretty shitty at this point and there’s little benefit to sticking with either of them. Dear viewers lost in the darkness, let us all pay attention to Akane and her divine ability to know what is best for society. She’s sure to find some kind of middle ground. I mean, if Sybil isn’t gone or changed by the end of the series, then what would be the point of making a second series? It would just be spinning it’s wheels in the ground if the status quo didn’t change. Sure, that was the point of the first season, but does this season really need to tell us that again?