Season 1, Episode 9: Showdown in Hong Kong
More light is shed on Ray's past, and we meet a few new faces.
I wasn’t exactly a huge fan of the last episode because roughly 80 percent of it took place in a Hong Kong alleyway. Imagine my delight when I remembered that nearly all of this episode takes place in that same alleyway. When I reviewed the previous episode I mentioned that, while it certainly contained a lot of filler, it was important to the overall story.
Unfortunately, this episode is no different. In fact, it’s arguably more important to watch this instalment because we’re introduced to the entirety of the White Tigers (Ray’s old team) for the first time. Bruce from the last episode – who I’m just now realizing was probably named after Bruce Lee, considering he used a nun chuck launcher – is told that it’s simply not working out and we never see him again.
We learn that Ray’s old teammates are not happy with him and it’s revealed that he deserted them, and this moment is really what kickstarts Ray’s arc in this season. While I absolutely do not think this is a good episode, I do admire how much exposition the writing team managed to cram into twenty minutes. We get a taste for the characteristics of each White Tigers member: Kevin is the underhanded one, Lee the hot-headed leader, Mariah the fierce attacker and Gary the, uh, hungry one.
The few establishing shots and shots outside the alley at the end of the episode are actually visually stunning. Take a look at the attached screenshots to see what I mean. There’s this intense orange sunset constantly enveloping everything in view and it completely changes the mood of the environment.
Overall I can’t rate this higher than two stars, but the animation team get a thumbs up.
What I Liked
Kai getting more involved with his team was a much-needed breath of fresh air in this episode
My Favourite Quote
Dizzi: "Is anybody out there going to tell me what’s going on or do I have to get physical?”
- Many of the scenes of Hong Kong’s streets were censored in this episode; shop signs advertising alcohol were blurred out in the English dub.