What’s the show? ISLAND, Episode 10.
So, last week was a bit of a game-changer for ISLAND, was it not? That’s an understatement. The fact is it almost became a completely different show, even bothering to title itself ‘NEVER ISLAND’—as it continues to do this week.
So what happens in this episode then? Oh you know, church conspiracies, mass-child murder, the death of two main characters and then an actual sex scene between our protagonists, you know just causal run-of-the-mill stuff like that.
…You’re gonna need to explain each one of those things individually because, uh… that’s a lot to take in! That’s what Rinne said! (probably)
*sigh* So I take it Rinne and Setsuna are the one’s who had sex? Yes! And it was unexpected and actually kind of sexy…even though it was very fleeting, but that happened during the end credits so we’ll get to that in a bit!
Look how excited he is! Like a kid at Christmas! I can’t help it!
Okay, so let’s deal with the less exciting things like, ahem, “mass child-murder” jeez, I’m getting tonal whiplash here! Hey, I had to watch the damn thing. So basically all the ‘untagged’ children (all the orphans Karen were looking after) a straight up murdered by the church that controls the ‘island’ then Sara’s father the cardinal is murdered mid-sermon and Sara is framed for the murder. Mob mentality kicks in and the people of the town tie Sara, Karen and Setsuna to a pyre and decide to burn them alive (after some instigating words from the evil archbishop).
Well jeez that escalated damn quickly! Thankfully Rinne (who’d stayed at home to work on her mysterious project) comes to save the day, scaring off the townsfolk with fireworks, pretending they are terrorist bombs and puts out the pyre with a nearby fire hydrant. The four of them then escape the main ‘island’ and head for the cave on the second island where Rinne and Setsuna originally found all the technology back in the past.
So things are okay now? Well no, Sara caught a bullet in the leg during an earlier confrontation with the church’s armed guards and while pretended it was just a graze was in-fact bleeding out the whole time and so she straight up dies! Then some days after getting to the cave Karen contracts ‘Soot-Blight Syndrome’ and while carrying her back to the main island to seek medical help she dies too!
Wow. I can’t say I expected that, how were these deaths handled? Sara’s death was sudden and kind of shocking so it didn’t really have the time to resonate, whereas Karen’s death was pretty devastating. Setsuna carries her the whole way there on his back, they share some sweet words to each other, her commenting how nice it is to be held against such a broad and comforting back, then they arrive at the clinic only for the doctor to look at Karen—still draped over his back—and say there’s nothing he can do because she’s already dead. Yep, I cried!
Another main character death so quickly, isn’t that a bit fast after the first? I suppose we might as well talk about the pacing of the episode now as that’ll undoubtedly be an issue for some. Yes a lot happens in the space of this 24 minute episode, enough to fill three episodes easily—this is a comment I’ve made on previous episodes too, after all this is what happens when you adapt a 50+ hour visual novel into a mere 12 episodes! However, why it works here is because giving more time to these events would make that time spent felt wasted as ultimately these character aren’t (presumably) going to be dead for much longer because of the inevitable time-travel shenanigans! If we’d spent multiple episodes getting to know these character variants then episodes watching them die and grieving for them, when all that was reversed it would feel kinda pointless, at least in the grand scheme of things. I’m talking big picture here.
Yeah I suppose I get what you’re saying. So what about Rinne and Setsuna, how do they come out of all this? Oh they ‘come’ all right!
Ugh, I guess I walked right into that one… so how do they end up together in the marital way? I know you meant that as a polite way to say have sex but funnily enough they do end up getting married which is kinda quaint and cute in it’s own way. Not in any official capacity obviously as they are wanted fugitives but Setsuna makes a pair of wedding rings while Rinne finishes building the time machine they’re about to use to send him back in time to fix this whole shitty timeline, and being that they love each other and they’re married Rinne and Setsuna have sex. Heavily shadowed sex that emphasises silhouettes and shapes and arching of the back—it’s probably the most tasteful anime sex-scene I’ve ever scene, also completely unexpected but in all the right ways. Though it was a bit short for my liking—kinda hoping that Setsuna and OG Rinne get it on in the past/present too but I’m not holding my breath…
So your overall thoughts on the episode? Maybe this read like a lot of nonsense, maybe this made you think this show is rushed, overwrought nonsense. Maybe you dropped the show and you’re now curious about it, or maybe you just don’t care. Ultimately, I do care a great deal for these characters and this show, yes, I wish it was longer (that’s hopefully not what Rinne said) but as it is, I adore how committed this show is to delivering an ‘experience’. For some it doesn’t work but for me it’s exactly what I want. Only two episodes left now and I’m no longer worried about how they’ll fit it all in, I’m just starting to prematurely grieve its end.
Edit: The AT-X (premium Japanese cable) version aired with a “less censored” version of the end credit sex-scene, basically just less shadows so you can see what’s happening a lot better.
Previous ISLAND Reviews:
The Island of Mysterious Loli’s – Episode 1 Review
A Loli A Day… – Episode 2 Review
Dreams Of Fan Service – Episode 3 Review
One Wedding and a Belated Funeral – Episode 4 Review
Is Giving Birth To Yourself Possible? – Episode 5 Review
The World Will End With A Bang – Episode 6 Review
A Storm In An A-Cup – Episode 7 Review
An Ocean Between Us – Episode 8 Review
Long Time No Sea – Episode 9 Review
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