Episode 21 is well-written and it satisfies the needs of the overall story.
We can’t object to such episodes.
But I have consumed too much fiction, and if the fiction does not distract me enough, I will notice the tool marks on the artwork.
The screenshot might display incorrectly, but it shows a heavy-handed theme getting dropped into the show. That’s fine: a serious show needs serious themes. But I can’t help but snap out of the suspension of disbelief long enough to register the theme.
In theory, this is the kind of art that I demand, when I complain about how most anime isn’t serious enough. And yet somehow I don’t like this show as much as I thought I might.