This episode made me realize, I want to protect that smile.
Not just Kayo’s, but child-Satoru’s as well, and if there’s anything episodes 3 had shown us, which last week’s episode had reiterated again, Satoru’s still a child, and was never allowed to grow up. Well, seeing him in this happy situation, and Kayo as well, and I’d like them to be suspended in it forever, warm and fluffy and everything.
I guess this is a good way to make us care for the tension and thriller – you can make us care because it’s just well-directed, but it always works better when we supply the dread on our own, and the show just feeds into it. We supply it on our own because we sympathize with these kids, and want them to have a happy life. A life without cliffhangers. On that note, I’m very happy this episode didn’t actually end on a cliffhanger, and no, that final confrontation doesn’t fill me with tension. I mean, does anyone here think Satoru’s mother can’t control the situation? I suspect that the teacher raised the option of Kayo staying with the Fujinumas, indefinitely, and perhaps this confrontation is to get Kayo’s mother to agree, before the Child Care Agency will take her away.
On that note, the pajamas Satoru’s mother bought. On the one hand, it could be seen as her indeed aiming for them to keep Kayo with them. On the other, it could’ve just been her being kind to a child she thought might need a warm pair of pajamas, or that might end at her household for a couple of days. Neither of which is important, not as important as the realization Satoru reached, that he’s easy to see through. Teacher saw through him being calm, andthrough him exchanging glances with Kenya. His mother had endless hints.
But here’s where it gets serious – Satoru is easily seen through, which means the killer might see through him as well. Last week I discussed how scary it is that after he said he mustn’t do it, Satoru went off of the charted past. What could he have done? Laid a trap for the murderer as he came for Kayo in her house or at the playground. And even this week, no observation of the bus and the murderer’s tools. What do we have? A kid who’s happy about his success, about his warm and comfy environment, and who shuts his eyes to the danger all around him.
Last episode it was a bit crazy, that he said he shouldn’t do something and then went and did it even so. This episode though, this episode should’ve brought to mind that the murders should keep going on even if he saves Kayo. And what will you do with that, Satoru? Right now it doesn’t seem as if you’re planning to do anything – just be content that you succeeded – that you saved one person, out of three. And maybe saved your mother, but how would you know anyway?
Satoru speaks of being surrounded by the circle of murders, so rather than undo it, he merely moves away from it. The show will obviously force him to actually tackle things head on, but he’s avoiding it as much as he can. He’s a kid who feels like an accomplished superhero, so he’s letting the warm atmosphere lull him – he’s on a camping trip, to an abandoned schoolbus, to an abandoned childhood.
Speaking of forward-momentum, while the episode started with White Riding Hood (:P), it led onto Cinderella, where Satoru was given his second hint as to the killer’s identity. The first, if you forgot, is that the killer actually knows Hiromi is a boy, and not a girl, though that’s only a hypothesis.
But man, this episode didn’t have much “proper tension”, but it was cute and warm and fluffy, and thus the meta-tension, the dread mounted up. Because the more invested I am in those two kids, and the comfier things are, the more tense I am for what is to come, for what must come.
With that said, some smaller asides.
1) Here’s a collection of screenshots I grabbed this episode, most are pretty and show the nice shot-framing of the show. A couple however are relatively off-model/low on details, especially for characters shown from a distance. Not indicative of the show thus far for the most part, and unfortunate.
3) I liked how Satoru’s mother trusted him. It went alongside how she told Kayo’s mother her son is a good boy, and counter to how she didn’t trust him later. Then again, it helps she figured out what was going on, that he’s trying to protect a friend. So it’s possible she didn’t believe him later with Jun because she figured he’s just trying to protect a friend again.
4) Here’s something Satoru probably didn’t realize – his actions affect others. His mother woke up early because he did. She gave up sleep for him. Others notice what you do, and change their actions based on that. Which ties into the main message, but I wanted to point it out again with relation to that.
5) This shot was amusing, but really, being taken away from the only family she’s ever had, and from the friends she just made, it’s understandable.
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