I like the mournful tone we got in those first few pages -- the wide pans, the multiple panels of silence ...
Interesting, wrapping the body and placing it in a temple. I assume this is based on actual Japanese customs, but I know nothing about that. Buffy staying there reminded me of Jewish customs, though obviously it's a fairly intuitive mourning thing to stay with the body.
Oh, Dracula: "Is somebody going to finish eating this?"
Raidon: "What's Kumiko doing?"
female vampire: "I think she's praying... " [shot of Kumiko hanging from the ceiling] "Though it's always hard to tell with her."
I'm really intrigued by this, though I fear we won't get any real follow-up/development.
The over the top helpless Slayer cracked me up -- "... and now I don't know how to get back to my hotel because all the street signs are in Japanese, for some reason."
vampire: "Please--I told you everything I know. You have to let me go."
Buffy: "I never agreed to that. // This is war."
At the top of the next page, we get Buffy saying, "I gotta make the tough calls," though now we're referring to an entirely different tough call.
Satsu: "You want me to stand down?"
Buffy: "No. I want you to lead."
Yes of course she's protecting Satsu ("I don't know if I should be hurt or touched") but I think Buffy really does believe in the importance of what she's asking Satsu to do ("The girls here who knew Aiko--they're pretty shook up. I'm not taking them into battle. // I need you to stay here and look after them. / And I need you to help them bury Aiko."), which I really appreciate. And seriously, how powerful is that line -- "And I need you to help them bury Aiko." It doesn't get its own single panel offset, but I think the understated nature of it adds to its power.
Satsu's refusal to obey Buffy's orders? Totally reminiscent of Buffy defying Giles.
Buffy: "I can't believe I find it sexy when she calls me 'ma'am.' "
Renee to Xander: "When people ask what we did on our first date, you want me to tell them we... / Dressed me up like a schoolgirl. / Used me as bait on the streets of Japan. / Lit a vampire on fire. // Then, geared up to go into battle with several hundred other girls... // and Dracula."
Dracula: "I resent that. // I would never go on a date with the two of you. Even if you begged. / So don't even bother asking."
Is it just me, or does he look sulky in that second panel? :)
Dracula: "Ahem. / We have to go to war now. / Please stop that."
Aww, he's so very Giles in "Something Blue."
Despite having seen the variant cover (though I chose to buy the regular cover) I actually didn't call that giant!Dawn would be the distraction -- even with the "All we need is a really big distraction" clue-by-four. I fail sometimes, what can I say?
I'm unclear as to why they couldn't use the containment spell again.
Joss, you didn't seriously kill Renee, did you? [This arc's been "Script: Drew Goddard," but Joss is still listed as "Executive Producer" so obviously you don't get to ax major secondary characters without his okay.] Buffy's already angsted about how people close to her get hurt, and now she's gonna angst about how by protecting someone she's close to sexually she caused grief for one of her friends, and just really we do not need all this. I mean, maybe it'll be handled well, but I'm not optimistic. (Plus of course the whole: Okay, it's nice that you didn't kill off the lesbian right after she got laid, but you had to kill a woman of color instead? Two of them in successive issue closers?)