Anime Best in Show

Review: Listeners Episode 7 Best in Show

Quick Summary

In Listeners episode 7, “Day of Rage/Problems,” a young Lyde was scavenging in Londinium when the Earless attacked. Along his friend Ritchie, they tried to escape, but they were cornered — only to be saved by Jimi Stonefree himself! Years later, they were barely making ends meet working in a repair show when Nir showed up, a broken Amp in tow. Lyde fixed it. As thanks, Nir took him for a ride in her Equipment, which now ran more smoothly than it ever had. They were forced to stop when they got too close to downtown — police Players and their Equipment blocked them. Why does Lyde hate the police Players so much? Why does Nir still have such a hard time accepting Lyde and Ritchie’s kindness? And what will they do when a gigantic Earless shows up and threatens to destroy what little they have?

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

Best Moment in the Show: Nir’s Grasping Self Doubt

How many times (a day) do I entertain doubts like this? I’m starting to think Nir’s a role model… Capture from the Funimation stream.

This was an interesting episode. First, it was notable because Echo and μ were nowhere to be seen (and I’m not 100% convinced that the “μ” we saw near the end was our μ!). Second, we got to see Nir again, and since I really like that character, that was a plus. We also got to meet the Listeners version of the Sex Pistols, with Lyde representing John Lydon and Ritchie representing John Simon Ritchie. At least, I think that’s what the Reddit thread said (see Other Anime Sites, below). I didn’t follow the Sex Pistols, so I was clueless about the references. I still enjoyed the characters of Lyde and Ritchie, though.

May they rest in peace.

My Best in Show moment revolves around Nir. To say thanks for fixing her Equipment, Nir took Lyde on a ride. He was thrilled. Apparently, he’d never ridden in Equipment before, and Nir was a quietly gentle guide. They had a lot of fun until the police turned them back.

Lyde had a great time — even though he wasn’t expecting such fantastic acceleration! Capture from the Funimation stream.

When they returned to the shop, they found that Ritchie had been in a fight. His face was scratched. Their boss started screaming at Lyde for leaving the shop. The boss wouldn’t even listen to his explanation, and they almost came to blows. Ritchie had to hold him back. In the struggle, Lyde’s sketch book popped out of his pocket.

The boss picked up the pad and immediately started criticizing Lyde’s “stupid drawings” (07:56). As Lyde watched in fury, the boss moved to rip up the drawing Lyde had made of Jimi Stonefree when the Player had saved him and Ritchie all those years ago.

Before he could complete the move, Nir stepped up and slapped him across the face. It was almost funny, because her sleeve was so long it covered her palm. Disgusted, she said, “Handling something important in that way… it’s not something a proper adult does.”

She threw the money she owed for the repairs across the floor and stalked out.

Nir’s look of disgust was perfect. Capture from the Funimation stream.

Of course, that made her a big hero with Lyde and Ritchie. They even started calling her “Big Bro” after that. But as the two of them celebrated how Nir had humiliated their boss, she grew pensive and reserved.

“I got carried away and did all that,” she said, looking at the ground (08:54). “But now I’m having second thoughts.”

They tried to cheer her up, but I liked the introspection. How often do we see characters be self-aware like this? Sure, it felt good in the moment to humiliate the boss, who was behaving terribly. I could even make the case that he deserved it — he was going to destroy art! But for many of us, no matter what we do, there’s that nagging question: Was there a better way? How could I have done that differently? It was interesting to see Nir having the same doubts that I do.

I sure hope she has them less frequently…

What did you think of Lyde becoming a Player? What was your Best in Show moment? Let me know in the comments!

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3 thoughts on “Review: Listeners Episode 7 Best in Show

  1. Heh, what I thought was this: What sort of world is this where you can suddenly grow a jack? I’m curious, but not as curious as I’d have expected to be if confronted with such a concept.

    Also, I was never much a fan of the Pistols, and the musicians from the band that appeared on albums I actually listen to were Glan Matlock and Steve Jones. I do know enough to recognise Vivienne as Vivienne Westwood, catch a reference to God Save the Queen, and recognise the reference to their album cover. Oh, also “no future”. That was a rather popular slogan when I transitioned into teenagerdom. (Related to “Better to burn out than fade away” [Neil Young, from a song I don’t know, but a very influential line – repeated, for example, in Highlander – Hollywood being late as usual])

    That’s why I thought the ending of the episode was awefully sappy, considering the reference. Dying like that would have been better than to live out your life with “no future”. Should have smashed those snow globes and thrown them into the grave. Shards are a better symbol here than, say, flowers. I’ve seen anime that brought across the punk ethos, but this is not it. Thinking back, that’s the problem I had from the get-go with the show; I just couldn’t connect the referneces to the songs, and so they come across as “I’m clever, because I can throw out soundbites”.

    That said, I was quite happy to see Nir again. Probably my fave character in the show.

    And with that Myu reveal near the end, I’d say she was defective and scheduled for shredding but smuggled into the to-be-shipped-out trash by a sympathetic care taker. That’s the usual storyline for such things (and I very much doubt they’d ship out potential industrial secrets). The plot thickens, and I’m curiously indifferent.

    1. “Thinking back, that’s the problem I had from the get-go with the show; I just couldn’t connect the referneces to the songs, and so they come across as “I’m clever, because I can throw out soundbites”.”

      I’m still trying to decide: is it an attempt to be clever? Or is it an homage?

      “That said, I was quite happy to see Nir again. Probably my fave character in the show.”

      I love the complexity she presents. I also find her very relatable, which isn’t a criteria for me liking a character by any stretch of the imagination. When it happens, though, it’s fun.

      “And with that Myu reveal near the end, I’d say she was defective and scheduled for shredding but smuggled into the to-be-shipped-out trash by a sympathetic care taker.”

      In this model, would our μ be a discarded clone? Maybe Londonium has been cloning Jimis since they captured him?

      1. ***I’m still trying to decide: is it an attempt to be clever? Or is it an homage? ***

        That’s not mutually exclusive. There are such things as clever hommages. In any case, I was talking about my impression than about authorial intention. If I had to guess, I’d say they really like the music and are having fun with reference, but they’re playing the game in a way (or reacting to the music in a way) that I can’t relate to.

        ***In this model, would our μ be a discarded clone? Maybe Londonium has been cloning Jimis since they captured him?***

        Yep, the hard-to-control one out of a batch is what I was thinking.

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