In Listeners episode 8, “Real Me,” µ (Mu) and Echo had just taken their leave of Roz when three enormous helicopters emerged from the sky to land just in front of them. To their astonishment, a young man whose name they learned was Tommy Walker walked up to them, knelt in front of μ, and called her princess. The shocks kept coming as Tommy flew them to Londinium and introduced her and Echo to the kids and young, young adults who were spear-heading the defense against the Earless. And why had Tommy sought out μ now? Why, to have her star in a play, of course! But the purpose of the play actually appeared to play into μ and Echo’s mission. Can they trust Tommy and his cohorts? Will the play actually go off as planned? And how do events in this timeline align with Nir’s visit to Londinium?
Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.
Best Moment in the Show: μ’s Betrayal
I hated seeing this happen to μ. From the story’s perspective, that was exactly what I was supposed to feel. Capture from the Funimation stream.
I don’t like what happened to μ in this episode. I didn’t want her to go out of control. I didn’t want her to be the one who had killed Lyde and Ritchie in the previous episode. I didn’t want her to earn Nir’s hatred. But when all those things happen as the result of a deliberately crafted narrative, I can still call it my Best in Show moment. If only from the perspective of craftsmanship.
The series prepared us for the moment of betrayal. Episode 1 showed us that μ’s jack was in the middle of her lower back. Episode 4 introduced us to the aerosol teen spirit, which boosted a Player’s power and drove them to the edge of insanity. Over several episodes, especially in episode 5 and episode 6, we saw how those in power betrayed Jimi Stonefree in an attempt to destroy the Earless.
Because apparently to those in power, peaceful coexistence was unfathomable.
And in this episode, we meet Tommy, who, even at first glance, is a wildly untrustworthy individual.
I can’t blame μ for being naive. Ace, a combat pilot who had been at Jimi’s last gig, admitted they had not “done right” by Jimi. He thought the performance was trying to set things right, too! Capture from the Funimation stream.
Just in case we missed all those previous points, the narrative gave us one more chance to know disaster was coming. Just as μ was about to go on stage, Echo told her that after the performance, there was something he wanted to tell her (16:07). If that’s not a doom flag, I don’t know what is!
Then it happened. μ had changed into a costume that looked just like Jimi’s performance outfit. She was about to go on stage for the final part, which was (not suspiciously at all!) supposed to be ad-libbed, when Tommy sprayed her in the face with teen spirit (18:52). They had told μ that the performance was supposed to summon Jimi’s spirit from the world of the Earless. Now, as Tommy led the drugged μ back to the stage, he told her, “It’s too bad, but Jimi isn’t coming back” (19:08). The doors opened overhead, and he told her she was going to be the next Jimi. He slammed the Equipment jack into her back.
It was a perfectly executed stab in the back.
I think the preparation for this moment was exquisite. I admire it. I applaud it. But I still hate what it did to μ. But that was the whole point, wasn’t it?
Now I have to wait until the next episode to see how Echo, μ, and Nir get through this. If they get through it.
What did you think of Echo’s halting attempts to express his feelings to μ? What was your Best in Show moment? Let me know in the comments!
Other Posts about This Series
Other Anime Sites
- Reddit: Listeners – Episode 8 discussion
- AngryAnimeBitches: LISTENERS – Episode 8
- Random Curiosity: Listeners – 08
This Site (Crow’s World of Anime!)
- Review: Listeners Episode 1: Live Forever
- Review: Listeners Episode 2: Half Man
- Review: Listeners Episode 3: You Made Me Realise
- Review: Listeners Episode 4: Teen Spirit
- Review: Listeners Episode 5: In the Embrace of the Beat / When Doves Cry
- Review: Listeners Episode 6: Special Edition: Pink Floyd References
- Review: Listeners Episode 6: Goodbye Blue Sky
- Review: Listeners Episode 7: Day of Rage/Problems
- Review: Listeners Episode 8: Real Me
- Review: Listeners Episode 9: Freedom
- Review: Listeners Episode 10: Cross Road Blues
- Review: Listeners Episode 11: I am the Resurrection
- Review: Listeners Episode 12: Hello/Goodbye