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Silent Möbius Volume 3: Dark Destiny

Silent Möbius Volume 3: Dark Destiny

Silent Möbius is almost good to the last drop but is let down by a final episode that needed to be more than it was. There will be major spoilers ahead.

LOVE

LOVE [1] is an emotional rollercoaster that is nearly impossible to look away from. This is a brutally effective episode, and arguably the WHAM episode that sets up the final story arc.

In the episodes leading up to LOVE Katsumi has had to face the fact that she is descended from Lucifer Hawks. Roy has had to face the possibility that these powers might consume Katsumi, and that Katsumi might become a Lucifer Hawk herself.

Given that there’s nothing in all the worlds that Roy hates more than Lucifer Hawks, this is… not the best basis for a relationship.

LOVE manages to transcend this in a way that makes Katsumi and Roy equal, and human, in this relationship. Roy’s personal triumph reminded me of the Video Girl Ai finale [1], and is followed by an apparent joint victory over Ganossa.

Once released from hospital Roy and Katsumi spend an evening together.

Then Ganossa kills Roy whilst Katsumi is showering afterwards, and the final scene of the episode is from Roy’s perspective as his eyes are closing for the last time and a blood stained Katsumi is emotionally shattering in front of him.

Yikes.

It Gets Worse

Ganossa then arranges for the grieving Katsumi to be possessed by the Demon Sword Medium [3]. I have to say that this is one of the better justifications for a Face Heel Turn that I’ve seen.

The subsequent episodes are essentially disaster made flesh. From Dark Side of the Moon [4] through to Count Down [5] things continually get worse for the AMP.

These episodes are well written and compelling viewing. It is a train wreck in progress that you simply can’t look away from.

Of particular note is Yuki’s progressive meltdown as her precognition begins to overwhelm her with visions of disaster.

Count Down ends with an apparent disaster, but one that needed a superb finale to fully realise the potential of.

Tomorrow

Silent Möbius is an ensemble series, and the finale Tomorrow [6] is structured as a set of mini finales for each of the core characters. These are also told achronally with the outcome shown before the events.

This was clearly an attempt to ‘close’ the arcs of each character, and establish a new rationale for each character to remain within the AMP.

Unfortunately there are problems with this approach.

First is the Curate’s Egg syndrome; some of the mini finale’s are better than others [7]. Yuki’s is probably the best of these, and Katsumi’s isn’t bad per se but doesn’t quite achieve the emotional effect it really needed.

Second is that it made the episode feel unfocussed until the team reunites about halfway through the episode. The achronal story telling didn’t help here, nor did the short screen time available to each mini story.

That the finale is focussed on why the characters are remaining within the AMP is in and of itself an issue. The story ends in a qualified victory over the Lucifer Hawks that is little better than a draw.  So, like the much later Bodacious Space Pirates, I have to regard this as a season finale rather than as a series finale. This is a pity given that there will never be a second series.

Tomorrow isn’t bad; it just doesn’t live up to the intensity of the preceding episodes.

The Verdict

Overall I’m glad I gave Silent Möbius a second run. There is a lot to admire in this show: mostly adult characters, strong character development, and a final arc that packs a real punch.

I grant that there is a lack of focus in the midsection, and that the finale isn’t all it should have been, but overall this is a good series that really needs more love.



[1] The alternate title for episode 20 is Ai (or love).

[2] Once you swap the glass staircase painfully breaking under Yota (Video Girl Ai) for the stone staircase with the karma forcefield inflicting excruciating pain on Roy (Silent Möbius) there isn’t much difference.

[3] This actually happens offscreen, but Medium was well established within the series by this point.

[4] The alternate title for episode 21 is The Night when the Moon was Reborn.

[5] The alternate title for episode 25 is Battle to the Death.

[6] The alternate title for episode 26 is Hope.

[7] Surprisingly Lum Cheng’s is one of the better ones, and Lum Cheng became considerably less annoying in the final episodes.