Listeners Episode 12: Bilin Valentine can't believe Echo is still standing
Anime Best in Show

Listeners Episode 12 Best in Show Review

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Quick Summary of Listeners Episode 12

In Listeners episode 12, “Hello/Goodbye,” the King Listener form of µ had crushed all active threats. Now, she gathered herself for the final blow — a blow that looked like it would destroy everyone. As the Earless gathered around her, a single piece of Equipment remained upright amid the trash. Echo stood on its shoulder. The only thing between the Earless and the death of humanity was the humble man from Liverchester. His put his hope in the purity of his feelings for µ. But µ’s sanity was crumbling, and the Earless seemed more powerful and bent on destruction than ever. Can Echo, even with their shared experiences, get through to µ?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Best in Show Moment for Listeners Ep 12

Listeners Episode 12: Echo's final attack used junk as raw material

Echo’s final form used the surrounding trash to create a new piece of Equipment. Very high fidelity — to his emotions! Capture from the Funimation stream.

Setup: µ’s Escalating Madness

When Echo arrived on the scene, µ was already in her final form. He reflected that he belong here, in the junkyard, where he had met µ for the first time. He tried to greet her, but she denied her name and attacked him.

Her reaction felt strange. She almost seemed sad or resigned that she couldn’t accept the name he had given her. She struck out with the same beam that had incapacitated Denka’s equipment. Echo met it the same way he approached life: honestly and head-on. That honesty allowed him to withstand the attack.

When it faded, he tried talking to her again. He said she wasn’t the second coming of Jimi Stonefree. She wasn’t a monster that destroyed the world (03:47). She was simply µ. But there was something wrong with her. Snarling that he should not speak of her or the Earless, she lashed out again, this time much, much more destructively. The attack tore off AC30’s (Echo’s Equipment’s) right arm.

That ignited an acute crisis of identity within µ. As she collapsed into an existential despair, the Earless responded by forming a wall behind her. The Earless apparently exist to listen to authentic music that comes from the heart and soul, and µ was about to begin her greatest performance. She reached the bottom of her pit of despair, finally declaring that “…we don’t care anymore” (05:00).

Listener's Episode 12: µ (Mu) had a crisis of confidence and identity

µ’s actions triggered an identity crisis. Capture from the Funimation stream.

The Earless behind her transformed into living Equipment. Tears running down her face, saying goodbye to the world and to all existence, she used that wall to launch her final, planet-endangering attack. One beam of energy struck Echo, and he raised the AC30’s remaining arm to erect a shield. He staggered.

Delivery: Echo’s Trashy Response

Echo remembered µ in her many moods: smiling, laughing, and even crying. “Don’t say goodbye,” he said, gritting his teeth (07:09). He changed the AC30’s configuration and engaged Top Boost.

Waves of green light (representing his emotions?) spread out over the battlefield. Many of the Earless paused to listen, interested in what emotions his tune would convey. Echo and µ’s attacks continued to clash until he declared (09:16), “I’m right here. You’re right here, too!”

Even though she was literally trying to erase him (and even herself) from existence, Echo would not abandon µ. Capture from the Funimation stream.

He amped up and launched his last attack. Green beams of energy capped with stereo plugs leaped from the back of the AC30. At first, I thought it might be another attempt to link everyone together, like they tried in the previous episode. But no, they did something much more Echo-like. They plunged into the trash heaps and pulled up all sorts of junk. Echo used the assembly as an amplifier to channel his raw emotions to µ.

The attack pierced her despair. It took them into a shared metaphorical space where he could tell her that he’d never give up on her, no matter what she became. I’ve always loved that kind of conversation, but that’s not my favorite moment. My Best in Show moment was when Echo’s ultimate attack took the form of repurposed junk. Not because I think he’s trash, but because I respect how he embraced humility and used whatever tools were nearby to get his point across. That level of honesty made me understand how much Echo loved µ, even if he never put his feelings into those specific words.

What did you think of the finale? What was your Best in Show moment? Let me know in the comments!

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2 thoughts on “Listeners Episode 12 Best in Show Review

  1. I thought it was a fairly good finale. It was a little odd to see the Sex Pistols return from death, but well fine. The junk-thing is actually a fairly common trope in anime, I think the place where consumerism and animism meets. It’s a little more complex, but basically objects you use accumulate your feeling, and throwing them away is akin to abandonment. Considering that Echo found Myu amidst junk, this is probably some sort of throughline here in one way or another.

    One thing I finally noticed: for a music-themed show, there’s fairly little actual music in here, no? I honestly don’t remember people so much as humming as they walk. The only music I remember is the score, and I think some club music that persumably comes from records here and there. If I compare this to other music themed SF shows (Macross, AKB00048, Symphogear) it sort of feels… lacking? Am I missing scenes here? Such late epiphanies often don’t pan out and are based on my selective memory, so I’m a little careful here. (And I didn’t like the show enough to re-watch with that in mind.) It’s just that this might actually be intentional (if it’s true at all), considering Echo didn’t recognise vinyl records (maybe there were a few shellacks among them, too?).

    1. “It was a little odd to see the Sex Pistols return from death, but well fine.”

      To me, that felt like it cheapened the pain Nir had gone through. I was happy to see them not dead, sure, but it didn’t sit right.

      “One thing I finally noticed: for a music-themed show, there’s fairly little actual music in here, no?”

      I was just thinking about that! I came at it from a slightly different angle. I was thinking that this series is a little like Caligula in that it tried to do something fresh and different, but ultimately didn’t quite pull it off. Caligula’s music, though, was something else. I still listen to the soundtrack.

      Listeners, though? I love the OP. It might be my favorite of the season. Maybe of the year! But just as you said, I don’t recall much music otherwise. Even when Mu was collapsing into despair, the soundtrack was very, very simple. Disappointingly so, I thought.

      “It’s just that this might actually be intentional ”

      That’s an interesting thought! Thematically, it’s a good fit.

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