(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 ended with Shintaro discovering Ayano is related to the Mekaku-dan, with Mary standing over him, and finally a sense of direction in terms of goals – discover Hiyori and Kokonoe (*Haruka), and trying to find out if more loved ones can be saved from The Serpent.
A lot of screenshots this episode, so here is the screenshot album. I’ll include the most (visually) relevant ones in the piece itself.
Thoughts and Notes:
1) Time with Family:
1) Ayano’s mother is telling her the story of the monster. Considering it’s Ayano’s voice narrating it at the end of every episode, it makes sense. Well, stories also supposedly shape our view of the world – Some humans are monsters, beware loneliness, be careful of what you wish for, and nothing beats time spent with family. Sounds about right.
2) This shot reminds me of Mawaru Penguindrum, which I sometimes referred to as “The Most Shinbo-like show not by Shinbo.”
3) “Ayano’s Theory of Happiness insert-song.” – I liked it. Quiet and calm. The vocaloid-esque CGI was a tad painful on the eyes, and somewhat similar, until I realized it reminded me of Pixar’s Toy Story, this is the “We’ll be friends!” song.
We always noted the colours, and now it makes sense. They made a “secret group”, ala Super Sentai, or their derivative Power Rangers, so of course everyone has a personality-related colour-code! And the “Secret Organization” also makes sense, it’s like a secret tree-house, but it’s not like they would dissolve it after their beloved older sister passed away.
And of course, the room Ayano told Kano not to enter, for her father is a doctor. Is it the room Haruka and Takane had been treated in? The one where they’d been experimented on? I wonder.
4) Calling them by their first names, silly poses for the Sentai Squad, Kido actually being more open and forthcoming than she is now, as the leader, and “The Bespectacled Man of Mystery!” – I actually laughed, and smiled. Good bit. The doctor is all ready for “Dad Jokes”.
But Kano does have a point – “Where’s the villain?” to make it interesting. Meaning this show needs a villain as well, or some challenge and hardship. The death of loved ones is in the past, so does the father step in again? Hm.
2) The Red Leader. A Red Desert of Loss:
1) Ooooh. The Doctor had a red eye. The Doctor and his wife caught in a landslide together. So he got out, in exchange for her life? Also note, Ayano has to comfort her adopted siblings, while her mother is dead.
2) Ayano running with her red umbrella, the red scarf, red leaves. This episode is red, after the leader’s colour.
3) First, the art during the segment where Ayano had read her mother’s journal was great. Loved it. Reminds me of the Aria comic) published by Image comics back between 1999 and 2003, and perhaps a few others, such as the Priest manga.
Anyway, Ayano is learning truths here, even if not “The Truth” – her mother’s attachment to the story, that she might have been slightly insane, and perhaps her reasons for adopting the three other children hadn’t been entirely out of the goodness of her heart.
The kids plucked into the other world, where they had been given dreams. More than that, one of the aforementioned morals being undone – it’s not family at all costs, but that family might be abandoned. Those who didn’t come back after The Serpent ate them, perhaps they chose to leave us behind? The dead have abandoned the living. And the Monster, did she recreate her family in her new world, as opposed to actually live with them?
3) Keeping a (Red) Brave(r) Face On:
1) “Sensei” is such a dad! Now I really wonder, is he also a doctor, or merely a teacher? Hm. Lately I’ve been thinking he might be both.
2) Ayano’s mother cares! Good. But we still need a villain. Well, we might have the Monster, alongside the Serpent, now.
Mother tried to put an end to this phenomenon, not use it and the children. More goals!
3) “It’s one happy day after another,” with Ayano smiling for others’ sake and then crying in private, and her father perhaps doing the same.
4) Little siblings are such a pain! Ayano knows finding Kido can be a hassle.
4) Temptation and Mystery:
1) A thunderstorm! A mystery! Not helping when the light comes through a mosaic window, which after the previous episode brings up the connotations of loss and sacrifice.
3) The serpent, tempting the mother of the world. The mother of all the red-eyed children.
4) Speaking of temptation, when lightning shines through the mosaic window, we’re transported into agarden.
5) Unveiling the Truth:
2) Ooooh, now it makes sense. Thus far all the sacrifices had been one human gone, for another to return. But Ene and Haruka lost themselves, or at least half of themselves (their bodies), and what for? Guess so Snakes could carry over. Unless each snake that eats those who disappear is a different snake.
3) Hm, now you wonder if all red-eyed children are the snakes that had been brought over, and the one they gathered around was Ayano. Unless it’s the bodies that disappeared that’d get returned with snakes within. They took empty bodies, bodies that died, and would fill them up. Haruka and Ene? They took their bodies.
4) Interesting, even as we know The Monster’s tale to be a lie, we keep hearing it, though it’s Ayano telling the story, so she might have added a new ending. A story of a timeless love, and of loss.
Post Episode Thoughts:
This episode was filled with a bunch of different art-styles. It was full of small moments. On its own, I quite liked this episode. Here we go, we have our villain, a snake lying in our midst, ready to betray us. Mary, and Ayano’s father.
We have a goal, of rescuing our loved ones, of stopping a new Medusa from being born.
Ayano with her siblings, Ayano with her father. All had been well done. Good job.