TOO MUCH TWISTS TO COUNT!
As if the stakes couldn’t get any crazier, this show ends up throwing more curveballs in 3 episodes than most series have in their entire run. Allegiances switch, dominance is questionable, and blood is spilled at every corner. The twists are not only unexpected, but raise the stakes higher than ever before. Suddenly a simple revenge quest becomes a worldwide conspiracy, and it works great as the set-up for an epic climax despite how ridiculous it gets. Where else would an army of living suits swallowing people alive be considered intimidating?
What’s surprising is how intimidating/important they made the Kiryuuins in such a short amount of time. Ragyou was clearly a villain since we first saw her, but seeing her use life fiber integration to her newborn babies and herself shows the terror she’s capable of. Soichirou Kiryuuin plays a large part in the overall resistance against Ragyou, leaving Satsuki with a father’s warning and (as Matoi Isshin) Ryuuko with a 2nd chance at life(yes, Satsuki and Ryuuko are sisters).
Moreover, Satsuki and Ryuuko go through some harsh times during this battle. Satsuki has been planning this rebellion since the very start, and seeing her determination to fight back till she drops confirms her resolve really well. Regardless of how harsh her methods were or if they succeeded at all, it’s hard not to sympathize with her after seeing the sacrifices she made for just a chance to grab freedom.
Ryuuko, on the other hand, faces a crisis in her resolve after seeing Satsuki overpowered for the first time and finding out Ragyou is her true mother. Unlike Satsuki, she’s closer to Ragyou in that her body is perfectly synchronized with life fibers. She is every bit of a monster as Ragyou is, and it’s enough for her to abandon Senketsu after waking up from a coma.
But despite this being a welcome change overall, I had two issues with these twists. While Ragyou is definitely an intimidating foe, they’ve ended up ditching the rivalry between Satsuki and Ryuuko all for the sake of a primary villain. It’s cool to see how similar they are now that they’re allies, but that initial appeal is now gone. Furthermore, the only reason a lot these twists were mind-blowing(other than sheer insanity) was that they weren’t foreshadowed to begin with. The explanations they provide do end up avoiding plot holes, but I think a twist should add up to previous info rather than explain itself at the last minute.
Even with my complaints, this is still a great example of how to do a 2nd half right. Crank up the intensity, amp up the battles, sprinkle in some plot twists, and never slow down. Now we just need it to last 5 more episodes.