After the lukewarm excitement of last week’s space escapades things came tumbling back down to earth again this week. With the show having fulfilled its vague space fishing quota for a while we’re back to the individual character focus episodes again. This time it’s… Oh no.An episode with Namino at the center was always going to be rough, since she’s spent the entire run being adversarial and unlikable. But hey, maybe putting her in center stage might at least provide some justification for her behaviour and perhaps go some way towards making her a little more sympathetic. It didn’t. The best the show could muster was some random characters we’ve never seen before (and will probably never see again) showing up out of nowhere at various points in the episode to tell us how good Namino is. Aside from a little girl telling her she was a little scary these days none of it seemed in any way interested in calling out her toxic behaviour, instead we just had a bunch of schoolkids talking at each other about how great it is that she’s doing space fishing now. Similarly the episode’s framing device; a documentary crew following Haru and Namino around for a feature on girls space fishing, ultimately cuts out Haru entirely in favour of emphasising how good it is for space fishing that Namino is doing it.
Haru herself leans pretty hard into similar territory this week, in a vague attempt to give Namino pretext for yet another fight. All of a sudden she’s a lot more actively hostile to Namino, something that’s not really been a thing thus far and feels like a pretty transparent way to perpetuate a conflict that ought to have been settled about 5 weeks ago.
While the episode does try to strike a reconcilatory tone with Haru eventualy convincing Namino to lighten up a bit and take part in a play for some kids it followed this up by imediately having them at their throats again as the episode ends. This is framed as humorous “oh those two are at it again” the fact is that Namino’s constant feuding with people has actively undermined basicly everything the series has done up to this point, making a joke of it while not actually resolving it means it just keeps on doing that. Being good at something should never be an excuse for getting away with crappy behaviour, Namino consistently gets a pass on her complete inability to work with seemingly anybody because she’s ostensibly good at space fishing and as a result the show is still, 8 weeks in, caught in this endless loop of petty bickering. There’s always the outside chance that they might just decide that this week’s vague excuses are good enough and drop that character trait entirely moving forward but I can’t see it happening really, and at this point it would be too little far too late honestly.