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takt op. Destiny ‒ Episode 8

by Mikael Harris
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Now that’s what I’m talking about! I haven’t minded the recent episodes’ dips into more dialogue-heavy and dramatically focused territory; they were uneven, as is usually the case with takt op. Destiny, but I respected the attempt to prioritize the story and characters over the spectacle. That said, the show was looking a little rough, lately, and this dose of well-executed popcorn entertainment is just what the doctor ordered. It also provides a solid conclusion to Takt and Anna’s journeys toward accepting Destiny on her own terms, which was lovely to see. This anime is good, y’all.

On the dramatic front, I’ll be the first to admit that nothing the show is doing feels particularly fresh or new, but I’ll gladly go along with tropes when a show is using them without abusing them. After Takt gets absolutely bodied by Schindler and Hell (Jesus, what a weird combinations of names to have to type every week), he and Destiny retreat to an old genre staple: The Firelit Cave of Emotional Catharsis and Romantic Bonding. Okay, so the show still hasn’t given Destiny’s relationship with Takt an explicitly romantic angle, yet, but c’mon. Even if we were to ignore the “Collect All the Waifus!” element of the mobile game, takt op. is doing that thing where the heroine has to tenderly dress the wounded hero’s wounds, while they both come to terms with their feelings for each other.

Romantic or not, though, I think this scene works. The show’s been hammering home Anna and Takt’s refusal to acknowledge Destiny as her own person, and not just a temporary stand in for their beloved Cosette. Sure, Destiny is some kind of Eldritch Music Alien that is puppeting around Cosette’s corpse like a deluxe flesh-suit, so you can understand the duo’s hesitation, but Destiny’s heart-to-heart with Takt is as much about Takt finally letting go of Cosette as it is about Destiny prioritizing Takt’s well-being above her compulsion to blow up D2s. It’s cute, it’s functional, and it made me feel some of those warm-fuzzies that I’ve been desperately craving.

After this, the show’s emotional plate is basically cleared: Anna has also had her own mini-arc while she just kind of kills time with those border patrolmen (another weird sentence to have to put into words); Destiny does her best to tackle Schindler and Hell on her own, because she’s no longer willing to leech Takt’s life to defeat the enemy; and Takt shows up to get his life-energy leeched anyways, because he cares about Destiny as her own Alien/Musicart/Entity/Thing now, and wants them both to live long enough for her to hear that song he’s composing. As an added bonus, Lenny and Titan are here too, because who doesn’t love a dash of Deus-ex-Machina in their cheesy villain battles?

This is one of those situations where I’d be a lot less forgiving of the story’s simplicity if the climax wasn’t genuinely exciting and satisfying. Thankfully, it is! It’s been harder, lately, for me to completely lose myself in an anime that busts out the gorgeous animation and slick choreography, since I can’t help but be constantly reminded of the working conditions that brought these scenes to life. I really hope the crews at MAPPA and Madhouse weren’t subject to needless crunch to produce these sequences, and while that is probably a naïve thing to wish for, I at least want to appreciate the results of the animators’ hard work. The action kicks ass, this week, and there are a lot of delightful cuts of small character beats that make the whole thing come together nicely. Schindler is a C-Tier villain, sure, but Hell more than makes up for his lack of personality and depth. I mean, she doesn’t have much of that going on, either, but she’s a damned hoot to watch, since you can tell she’s having a blast while playing the villain.

The “playing” part of her villainy is also the most interesting aspect of this entire ordeal, too. I wasn’t really surprised when Schindler got his dork ass booted from the Symphonica, but I dug how takt op. goes out of its way to emphasize that it wasn’t on account of Schindler becoming a comically evil supervillain. Lenny confirms as much when he is told that the only rule Schindler broke was going after Takt, and that Hell is perfectly happy to ditch her old Maestro and get back to work.

So, the Symphonica is still sketch as hell, and we will hopefully get to trade up for a better villain in the final episodes of the season. When you combine that potential with the fact that Takt is still clearly in a bad way after partnering up with Destiny, I continue to be impressed with how committed takt op. Destiny is to the bleaker elements of its plot. This could have easily been a mindless mobile-game cash in chock full of fanservice and mindless action. The anime is far from perfect, but it is taking its simple story as seriously as it can, and that’s worth a lot in my book.

Rating:

takt op. Destiny is currently streaming on
Crunchyroll.

James is a writer with many thoughts and feelings about anime and other pop-culture, which can also be found on Twitter, his blog, and his podcast.

Source : AnimeNewsNetwork

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