Anime Best in Show

Review: In/Spectre Episode 12 Best in Show

Quick Summary

In In/Spectre episode 12, “She Who Defends Order,” Kurou Sakuragawa redoubled his efforts against Steel Lady Nanase, who made an incredible attempt to fight back. Ultimately, though, Kotoko Iwanaga’s story prevailed against Rikka Sakuragawa’s, and Nanase dissolved into nothingness. But an even greater threat loomed over Kotoko. Exhausted, she fell asleep for over a day — leaving Kurou alone with Saki! Will they use the time to rekindle lost love? How will Kotoko react when she awakens? And what was all that talk about a banana?

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

Best Moment in the Show

After a whole season, Kurou finally gave Kotoko a clear indication of how he really felt about her. And she had no idea how to react! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

One of this show’s best and abiding mysteries is: Just how much does Kurou really care for Kotoko? Does her really see her as his girlfriend? Is he with her willingly? We had an indication back in episode 7 that Kurou looks out for her, but as even the comments on that review suggest, it’s still wasn’t clear if that concern was romantic, familial, or what.

We got a little better idea toward the end of this episode. Kurou and Kotoko were walking home because Kotoko, concerned about having slept 28 hours straight, wanted to improve her stamina. She expressed some concern that he might go off after Rikka on his own without telling her. He apparently decided now was a good time to give her a little clarity.

To set the stage, he asked her if she knew about Kuebiko, who turned out to be the god of knowledge and farming. She said the Kojiki, a collection of Japanese lore, spoke of him, and she’d read it. It also spoke of how a major god had shown favor to a man by giving his daughters, Iwanaga-hime and her sister, as wives. The man had married the sister but had sent Iwanaga-hime back home.

Kotoko understood the reference. Iwanaga-hime was able to bequeath eternal life, so she knew how to deal with immortals.

“Then you get it, right?” Kurou said (19:04). “I’m immortal, so I don’t belong with” the other princess. “I need princess Iwanaga.”

At first, I thought, wow, that was smooth! Surely Kotoko will be really excited that he said he needed her. But no, this is In/Spectre, so of course more complicated than that. Instead of getting all happy-flustered, she got angry. Why? Because the man had sent Iwanaga-hime home because he had thought her ugly.

Kurou was so close! But instead of feeling complimented, Kotoko was angry. Well, because of his near-miss, we got to see chibi-Kotoko, so all’s well! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Kotoko said (19:34), “You couldn’t have used a worse metaphor for a girl.”

Before I could worry how badly he’d blown it, he recovered, saying, “But you’re prettier than any flower, so I haven’t sent you back anywhere” (19:38).

He was serious! He wasn’t messing with her. He wasn’t being sarcastic. He was as authentic and honest as I’ve ever seen him. I still think their relationship is complicated because their situation is complicated. But to me, it was worth waiting a whole season for that moment.

What did you think of the ending to the Steel Lady Nanase (I-Beam Idol? Anyone? Sigh…) arc? What was your Best in Show moment? Let me know in the comments!

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5 thoughts on “Review: In/Spectre Episode 12 Best in Show

    1. Don’t shoot Kotoko! She’s busily keeping humanity safe!

      Honestly, I can see how the show isn’t for everyone. For me, it hit a sweet spot of yokai and characters I could relate to. Once I bought into the characters, I was hooked.

  1. I was pretty disappointed with the last four episodes of In/Spectre. I felt it dragged the I-beam Idol arc on way too long. We essentially watched Kotoko and Saki sitting in a car for almost four episodes. This season started really well, but it got a little boring towards the end.

    1. “I felt it dragged the I-beam Idol arc on way too long.”

      Cool! I was afraid no one would ever use the phrase I-Beam Idol!

      It may well be the last time, but I’ll take it!

      I can’t deny the speed slowed way down. But it shows how much I like both Saki and Kotoko that I still enjoyed the last four episodes. This last one especially, but you could easily argue that’s because it reverted to a format more similar to earlier episodes. More walking and talking, and less sitting and talking.

      I enjoyed reading your reviews. I enjoy seeing the show from multiple perspectives!

Please let me know what you think!

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