(Note: Episodic notes are still mostly to be found on the Episodics Notes’ page, but up to a couple every week will have their write-up appear on the main page, when I think they warrant it. For those who don’t know, I take the notes as I watch the episode, and merely re-order them afterwards.)
The last two episodes have done quite a lot of work, first they made us care for some characters, after spending too long with talking heads. Then they showed us how the various threads of fate connect – Momo’s teacher, Takane and Haruka, Shintaro and the Mekaku-Dan. All know one another.
And then we saw the danger of wishes, tying us to the serpent at the center of it all. But the question is where do we go from now? How does this knowledge, or the outside world forces the characters to actually do something?
Thoughts and Notes:
1) Trying To Find Our Way in Escher’s World:
1) “A new girl?!” is what I thought, but then we hear the name “Tsubomi”, which means it’s Kido of the green hair. She left behind her “sister”. This “sister” has red hair, like Ayano, who was also called “Sister” but Kido. And yet, I don’t think they’re the same person. But the fact fate repeats itself and replaces one older sister with red hair for another might not be accidental.
2) Each door is a world, to wander amidst the worlds, on the verge of it all falling down. Lost and disoriented, one seeks the way out, but which way is the right one? Which is the right world for us? To abandon home, and to abandon family, in search of new ones. An Escherian architecture, could be a metaphor for the heat daze (hue), but could also be another part in the motif of “the place between the worlds”, where Ayano, her other older sister, awaits. Being handed by one sister to another.
3) That’s more past, now we need to see how it affects the present.
2) The Young Hero Returns:
1) Ah yes, the end of the OP shows Mary having the same scales as the Snake. Hm.
2) Red and green, back to back. Just some more Shaft.
3) Brat Hibiya! At least we have someone who says what he thinks, so long Hiyori isn’t around. I actually laughed when Momo hit him. This scene is flowing well now. Hibiya had always been “The Hero”, so his is the motivation to act.
4) “From the way you speak, it sounds like you believe me!” - This line feels ridiculous, especially since Shintaro hadn’t seen “it”, so he doesn’t know what “isn’t a dream”. He just knows something is fishy. The Ayano-threads are converging. Now we just need Ene to see Kokone, who used to be Haruka.
5) “The Eye” manifests! A tapestry of bloody-weaves, taking over the host! So, does Kido think Hibiya had caused some sort of optical illusion? Considering the nature of powers thus far, she probably does.
3) Unraveling The Tapestry of the World:
1) “Was it a smart idea? If things go wrong, this is basically kidnapping.” - You know, I’m amazed to hear even this small and belated sliver of common sense in this series, where nothing seems to operate by our world’s logic.
2) Kido isn’t entertained. She’s sort of a shy and reserved person – we’ve been told that, and then the sequence from this episode’s beginning confirmed that.
3) Just throwing it out there, but the design of this shot, sans-symbolism, is really interesting. All those intersecting circles, a bunch of solar systems, crossing paths, or passing next to one another.
4) So, this man adopted the three of them, and then they obtained their red eyes, or perhaps the other way around. Momo’s teacher definitely is a suspicious figure, however. Ok, it sounds they got the eyes first, but that also means they left “home” after Ayano died? Hm.
It also explains more why they call her “Sister” – not just an older-sister-type person, but their adoptive older sister, by law.
5) They all had a run-in with the snake. Makes sense, if the snake is also the one who had given them their powers, in an attempt to “fulfill” their wishes.
4) The Sordid Tale of Our Traded Lives:
2) The void swallows up people who are about to die. It comes to people who wish to live, at the point they wish it most, and grant that wish. But then it also takes. It then acts as if it had only given them what they asked for, but omits the fact it only approaches those who are desperate and don’t really have a choice. Makes me think of a quote from a good film I like, “I’ll give you what I’ve never had, a choice.” as he grants the curse of immortality, but only to those who will not deny him. Ah, Lestat.
3) “Almost like we brought something back with us.” – Ominous much, almost as if this is Alien or something ;-)
4) So, only one comes out of the void, and usually it’s the children. The children wish for their own lives, and so do their parents, older siblings, or pets. Or is it that the snake eats one to save the other? Hm. If it truly is “The Snake of Fate”, then it wouldn’t surprise me if it orchestrates those situations to begin with.
5) Now Shintaro is being faced with his past. He’s being told of Ene now, but will he also be told she used to be Takane, and of Ayano? He might snap…
7) Hm, suddenly I think Ayano entered the “void” with someone, but who was it? Her father? Or she entered it to try to bring others out, perhaps Haruka and Takane? It’d make sense. Or, did she die for Shinaro, thus bringing about his red eyes?
5) The Pain We Carry Inside – Monsters Within, and Monsters Beside:
1) Red-eyed Shintaro! You know who else is red-eyed? The Monster, and The Serpent. Are they the children of The Serpent or of The Monster? Perhaps a bit of both.
2) Just like last week, we have a sequence with many flashing images where it’s impossible to cover it all, or a whole write-up could go to it, so let’s deal with a bit of it. But beforehand, the lyrics had been impactful, and I liked the music, but like most insert songs in this series thus far, the vocals had been incredibly anemic.
3) We see Shintaro and Ayano’s relationship, of him pushing her away, and her not holding onto him, thus her talk with Takane, but is this early, or is this late? For she died on the day she spoke with Takane, and her words seemed very fitting to be follow-up to the discussion we’ve seen, which might have been the last time Ayano and Shintaro had spoken.
4) Shintaro feels helpless, so he devours his life, becoming a shut-in, but is it perhaps also the snake, and that all the kids gobbled up another’s life to save themselves? We see the whole group, standing together, wishing to undo time, to before “Summer”, to before they had been given powers.
5) “I’m sorry I died.” - “Let’s say our goodbyes”, and then he reaches for her even so, unable to follow up on his own words. That was a good sequence. But, we the viewers know he didn’t let go, and that they hadn’t said their goodbyes. Ayano still waits, and Hibiya spoke of “That crazy place”, not from his own episode, but the place where he meets with Ayano, or where Ayano and Shintaro meet.
6) A New World – Where Nothing is New:
1) The Serpent teaches The Monster how to create worlds. Can The Serpent then not create? Or perhaps she wishes for more words, for more people, for her to corrupt. The Serpent is The Devil, but it is in need of a God to contend with.
2) “If you create another world, you will be able to spend eternity with your loved ones.” Hm, wishes arealternate worlds. Just like ours, but with something changed. A wish is the creation of a new world. The only problem is most of us cannot cross said boundary. The world she creates is one without time, I wouldn’t be surprised if that means “Time-loops”. A world where time doesn’t progress never ends well in anime, and is usually the purview of villains.
Next episode’s preview, will Ene finally meet up with her old teacher? Heh.
Post Episode Thoughts:
Well, this was an interesting episode, especially the last several minutes. Not a lot happened within the show, but what happened was momentous. Shintaro saw Ayano’s relation to it all, and they learned their powers had come from someone dying, being sacrificed, to save their lives.
And yet, the real question still remains – where is this going? What is the pay-off? Right now we’re setting up a situation, and showing how everyone’s related, and their pasts. But, where do they take it? How do they change, or come to grips with their realities? If anything, unless something drastic happens in the last three episodes, it feels like we’re setting up the prologue to another story.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the pay-off is either rescuing Ayano, or being able to put her memory to rest, and either way leaves room for new stories.