Anime Best in Show

Review: Listeners Episode 6 Best in Show

Quick Summary

In Listeners episode 6, “Good Bye Blue Sky,” µ (Mu) and Echo were following the map that Denka had given them in the previous episode. Their long journey had left them feeling tired and grumpy. µ immediately perked up when she caught sight of the vast expanse of blue that was the ocean. Excited, she sprinted towards it, and she didn’t think much as Echo complained. But when they got the beach, Echo collapsed, a thread of blood flowing from his nose. Terrified, µ called for help, only to find the vacuum tube around her throat glowing brightly. She could see a previously invisible bridge leading to a camouflaged pyramid. Under it was a hidden island a couple of hundred meters out onto the sea. She struggled to haul Echo across the bridge. When she got to the city, she met Roz, who offered to help. But the help she offered wasn’t at all what µ wanted. Can µ figure out a way to convince Roz to actually save Echo? Or will the island’s past come back not only to haunt her — but to consume her as well?

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

Best Moment in the Show: Echo’s Tender Lie

Echo knew full well that he would have died — he lied to µ to protect her feelings. Sounds like if he’s careful, he can avoid the condition in the future — possibly with the help of Roz’s medicine. Capture from the Funimation stream.

The featured artist in this episode was Pink Floyd. That’s probably the group that left the most profound impression on me (ever), and I tried to capture some of that in a special post focusing on the Pink Floyd references in this episode. It’s a bit less positive than most of the posts here, so if you prefer to stay on the sunny side of life, it might be best to skip it.

I won’t be the least bit offended if you do.

Since µ has been hogging the spotlight lately, I’m going to pick a moment that features Echo. It shows he has a little more cunning than I’d given him credit for. Yes, he’s an honest young man. But he knows how to lie when he has to. In this case, I think he had to.

When µ had carried a bleeding Echo into Gnome, Roz immediately diagnosed his condition and tried to prepare µ for his passing — in other words, his death, then resuscitation as an Earless. Roz wouldn’t give Echo the medicine to halt the condition because µ, a Player, had asked for it. Roz still held a grudge against Players because they had wrought terrible destruction years ago. So µ yanked the vacuum tube from her collar and offered it to Roz, saying (10:03), “In that case, I’ll quit being a Player, right here and now. So, please save Echo.”

I still love µ’s impulsiveness.

I’ll give µ credit. She didn’t even hesitate to throw away her status as a Player to save Echo’s life. Capture from the Funimation stream.

After administering the treatment, Roz left them alone. It was heart-warming seeing the pure joy on µ’s face when Echo woke up, apparently in complete health. She explained what had happened and expressed how terrible she felt — including how she felt so responsible. He surprised her (and me) when he berated her for being taken in again — first with the futon in the previous episode, now with a bogus story that Echo had been turning into an Earless. He said he was so upset with Roz that he was going to give her a stern talking to — alone.

Alone? That got my attention. Echo trudged up to Roz’s platform at the top of the central building. But instead of being angry with her, he bowed deeply and thanked her for saving his life. That’s right — Echo knew Roz was right. He knew that being so close to a Player, even as her partner, was dangerous. But he didn’t want to worry µ, and he didn’t want to stop traveling with her. So he lied to protect her feelings.

Here’s hoping the medicine Roz gave him will protect him for the duration!

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

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4 thoughts on “Review: Listeners Episode 6 Best in Show

  1. I actually thought the lie was selfish and irresponsible. Every player should know about them potentially creating earless. What if she at some point has to team up with a newbie who she can’t give the full information? It’s irresponsible.

    1. It’s funny. At various times in my life, I’ve been yelled out for doing both — or neither.

      I think Echo really did want to spare µ’s feelings. Now, if we did deeper, did he do that out of a disinterested desire for her peace of mind? To improve the odds she wouldn’t feel guilty and grow distance? Because he was just tired of arguing?

      I’ve always thought it was interesting how something that is a moral binary (lie = bad, truth = good) can drive so many expectations, some of which are contradictory. It’s like we’re not rational or something.

      Oh, wait…

      1. ***I think Echo really did want to spare µ’s feelings. ***

        I’m not sure how important that is. If you keep vital information from someone, even if well-intentioned, it is a way of controlling their behaviour.

        It’s a really complicated situation, and hard to pin down for me, because there’s a lot about the honne/tatemae distinction: it’s possible that the “lie” was to some extent a social nicety, too, and it’s Myu’s responsibility to dig deeper and suspect that there’s a private truth behind those words. Not sure, since I’m not an expert on the issue. We have this concept of a white lie; but I feel like Japan has this concept of an expected lie. (The cliché example is the girl in a romance saying “You could have just said it, even if you don’t mean it.”)

        I don’t really hold with moral biaries, so that’s not what bothers me here. If Echo turns into an earless now, it’s going to be the same feelings for Myu all over again, except complicated by a feeling of betrayal. Fun, no? But even if that were to work out just fine, that’s just I-selfishness. This lie could affect an innocent thrid party.

        1. “because there’s a lot about the honne/tatemae distinction”

          I didn’t know that phrase. I’d seen it acted out, but I didn’t know there was a phrase for it. Interesting.

          That’s one of the things that make it challenging — and interesting — to review material produced in culture that has a different perspective. I can like a scene for a reason that might have had nothing to do with the author’s intend.

          “If Echo turns into an earless now, it’s going to be the same feelings for Myu all over again, except complicated by a feeling of betrayal. Fun, no? But even if that were to work out just fine, that’s just I-selfishness. This lie could affect an innocent thrid party.”

          I accept your point. Still, the moment is interesting to me — all the more so if your insight about honne/tatemae applies.

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