(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.)
So, last episode not only had been a solid first episode, it was a pretty good episode. I even cared for Ene’s emotional state at the end of it! Now we need to see how we got from episode 6 to episode 1, and Ene had left Haruka alone, Haruka who has health issues. This will likely be a sore point.
Another thing we need to see is how and why Ayano died exactly, because it feels as if that is the event everything revolves around.
I took 41 screenshots this episode. I’m not going to embed them all, so here is the album.
Thoughts and Notes:
1) Talking of Ourselves…
1) Poor Takane, blaming herself for Haruka’s health. More than that, she wishes she’d been the one to save him.
2) Sounds like a plan! Bad grades? No sweat, just win the lottery! Takane truly is similar to Shintaro, but considering they’re number 1 and 2 in video games, it’s not too surprising.
3) Shintaro likes shojo manga! What a perfect dude, in tune with his feelings! No wonder Ayano looks like she has a crush on him, or it’s just the way her face always looks ;-)
4) Teasing Takane, it’s not easy admitting your feelings around her. Not the most honest girl, but that’s how humans are – they can’t admit how they feel, but their friendly teasing doesn’t make it easier for others to admit how they feel, or after they admit it.
5) More future-hinting, “Shintaro needs a girl who’s more self-centered and willful than he is, who will drag him out of his comfort zone.” – Takane, especially in her Ene personality, in other words. Poor Ayano, she cares so much for Shintaro she will not hook up with him, but what about asking him what he wants?
Also, Ayano dying is what pushed him as far as possibly into his “comfort zone”, so much he didn’t leave his house. I think telling him how you feel, Ayano, would’ve done the job perfectly.
2) … as We Speak of Others:
1) Speaking of being by one’s side. Ayano says she is always by Shintaro’s side, clinging to him, now she describes Takane as always being by Haruka’s side, fretting over his health. To be a friend, to be in love, at least to Ayano, is to be with someone, physically, to always be on call. To her seeing people separated from one another is weird. It’d make sense for her to start a society for people who are lonely, then.
2) Ayano accuses! “Aren’t you just shifting the blame to Haruka because you’re afraid?” – A good way to make Takane blame herself even more, to make her run away. When you confront people with their feelings, they can run away. Well, it’s a story, so we’ll see.
3) “You should tell him how you feel, because sometimes even if you want to tell him and want to be with him, that might not be enough.” – For a moment I thought it doesn’t follow, but now I see. Wanting is not enough, and here Ayano is obviously talking of herself. You need to act. But is acting enough? Because if so, then you can act too, Ayano.
4) “It’s not my place to say anything” – Too late! “Well, if you get rejected, I’ll give you a shoulder to cry on.” – Talk of meddling.
3) The Whirlwind of Fate Snaps its Jaws:
2) Teacher appears, static electrical noise, saying goodbye, a forgotten landscape between Takane’s dream and the game she played. Welp, she’s dissipating. And then it continues: Mystery woman, Takane being punctured by the threads of fate, mystery woman has scales, the snake (this mystery red-eyed woman, the monster?) eats Takane, and then Ene is born. The same snake of the threads of destiny that then engulfed Haruka as Konoha, Shintaro, Hiyori, and Hibiya. The past is coming for them.
And after this series of events, we’re back at the present, where Ene encounters Ayano’s grave, and her picture. That was a pretty packed sequence.
3) Wait, so Ene remembers knowing Shintaro from her body-days? And she never told him? Hmmmm.
4) Trying to look innocent as you admit to only doing things to annoy Shintaro? You won’t get away with this, Ene!
5) Ayano was Kido’s sister?! That means Momo’s teacher is Kido’s father?! Whaaaat? Yes, this is all getting quite out of hand, Kido.
Ah, ok, “Big sister”, not blood-related.
4) Adapting to the Present…
1) Kido can’t handle all this information, all this connectedness. So, where do we go from here? How is this relevant? Yes, the backstory is cool and all, but you need to do something with it.
2) “What an amazing coincidence! Maybe it’s all fate.” – Yes, Kano, I think with Hibiya’s time-cycles, Shintaro meeting Ayano in the clock-world, and the snake of fate, it’s definitely fate. But it doesn’t feel as if it’s “simply fate”, it feels as if someone is pulling the strings here.
3) “My brother has friends?!” – Momo, you’ll break Shintaro’s heart, if he could hear you.
5) Aww, crying in his sleep Shintaro, and Ene looking over him. I wonder why she cares for him, because he reminds her of herself, because they’d been friends-rivals before, for Ayano’s sake, or because you can’t spend so long with someone without caring for them somewhat?
5) …Living for the Past:
1) So, Ene dedicated herself to fulfilling Ayano’s last wish – for Ayano, for Shintaro, and for herself who couldn’t be there for Haruka.
2) Ah, Kano… he hears Ayano’s last words were caring for someone else, not the blindfold gang, not herself whom they cared for, but someone else, and then she sacrificed herself. Kano lashes out, harming those who also care for that person, trying to sully Ayano’s last wish, and trying to harm those who also cared for Ayano. He’s lashing out, in his pain.
Yes, another person died. I wonder though at the “falling unconscious before gaining their new bodies” – Is this all done by Ayano’s father? Is she related to all of them by that thread as well?
3) Hm, this could be another cause for Kano’s behaviour, or perhaps a cover-up for his true feelings, he accuses Ene of trying to make Shintaro forget about Ayano, but to him forgetting her is a crime, and to try to do so on purpose? I think part of his anger is actually the opposite – that there is someone who remembers Ayano more than he does, and got to hear her last words.
So he punishes her, by making sure she can’t forget or ignore her own painful memories.
4) The teacher has a red eye, but only one. Is he an earlier prototype?
5) What a terrible choice – “Either accept your new body, or if you don’t, it’ll become a husk, bereft of memories.” – So either he knows what he is and suffers for it, or in order to not suffer, he has to lose himself. The choice of someone who has to escape to pain killers?
6) The Monster and the Serpent:
1) Oh, and we’re back to the monster.
2) Hm, the voice telling us the monster’s tale is Ayano’s.
3) “To love is to call another’s name every day of your life.”
4) Family is continuity (thus the diary), and happiness is not wishing for change, though family is somewhat predicated on change.
5) And time, that will take her family, will bring change, thus taking away happiness. Despair is to know what is coming and being unable to stop it.
6) The monster learns what life is, even when she no longer wishes to, when she’d love to stop learning, but that’s exactly what life is – a series of lessons that will not be stopped.
7) Here we go, the connection – The monster came upon a serpent who said she’ll give her what she desires. Dungeons and Dragons players know “Wishes” are an opportunity for the Game Master to play with them. Haruka wanted a body to let him play with his friends, so his old body was stripped away, and when he resisted, so was his personality. The serpent of fate, a serpent. Adam and Eve know a thing or two about getting “what they wished for” from the serpent, eh?
8) “Lost Time Memory” – So many things it could refer to, but seems it might be about Hibiya, and then maybe his time with Ayano in the “time-world”? And then Shintaro’s as well?
Post Episode Thoughts:
Hmmmmmm. I truly don’t know what to think of this episode. The emotional bits, showing us Takane’s feelings, showing us her feelings as Ene, all had been good.
Ayano’s bits were there to show us how she pushed as a leader, how she knew what she wanted, even if she couldn’t admit it, but felt a bit weaker – except where they reflected in Takane.
The post-memory bit, with the rest of the gang didn’t add up to much, because the real question is – “Ok, and?” – Takane and Haruka’s past was solid, and so was Ene looking over Shintaro, but where do we go from here? What does it change in how people interact and relate to one another, that we’re starting to see the mystery?
A mystery is nice and all, but in the end it must all return to emotions, or to the human experience. Is this about how their teacher, the father of their late friend had done this to them? Is this about how their wishes came back to haunt them? It’s not about the mystery, because it rarely is – it’s about how people will react to it, and what the mystery says of them.
Well, now we’re armed with more knowledge of everyone involved, and it remains to be seen how it all adds up. Not plot-wise, but reflection-wise, and emotional-wise.
Just finding out “what happened” will be… alright, but disappointing. I hope they pull this off.