December 11th, 2013.
The Emotional Pay-Off Finally Arrives
I’m actually liking the direction of the show overall over these last few episodes, and now we have sacrifice on Mirai’s part, Senpai who wishes he could sacrifice himself for her, and both of them looking for the other who is metaphysically lacking. Let’s see what they do with this, and how they shed even more light on the mysteries. Hopefully with less flashbacks this time ;-)
- That’s a nice shot, following some flashy moments to break off the calm. This shot also reminds us of the view from the roof of the school, where Mirai and Akihito first met.
- Now I wonder what will happen if the pocket dimension’s Akihito were to die. Hm.
- Look! This is the materialization of all the negative feelings associated with school :P
Thoughts and Notes:
1) The Emotional Build-up’s Pay-Off:
- Ok, that sequence of the siblings confronting Izumi and then Hiromi shouting at Akihito, that one stuck. Good moment.
- Well, they spent the last few episodes actually building up the relationship of Akihito and Mirai, so it works. I think another reason it works is the focus on Akihito, which always felt a more tragic, more relatable character than Mirai, actually.
- Akihito is Akihito, and KyoAni is KyoAni. To put it differently, he’s reaffirming how far he’s willing to go for Mirai, without actually admitting it’s about Mirai herself – or as I said, classic Akihito, classic KyoAni RomCom.
2) All That Talk of Sacrifice – Jesus References?
- “Every couple thousands of years, when humans are so bitter as to have lost sight of why to live.” – In other words, especially with Akihito being “immortal”, the last case had been Jesus, two thousand years ago. I wonder how Beyond the Boundary’s appearance helps though – he’s the materialization of the resentment, does his appearance or leaving cleanse everyone? If so, why oppose Youmu? Feels to me if anything they only increase the negativity?
- I wonder, the youmu appears, and who defeated him two thousands years ago? Then again, the notion of blood plays an important part in Jesus’ story as well, after all. Who’s to say what sort of blood was harbored in the cup?
3) Info-Dumping Villain – KyoAni Can do Better:
- The all-important scarf! Not just a surface detail, or a weapon, but a marker of something significant! Honestly, would’ve probably come off better if they actually made a reference to him being susceptible to cold rather than just fashionable earlier.
- Ok, I don’t like this agent of the society as a villain, we don’t really have any motive, and if his only motive as hinted by his monologue next to the remains of the Hollow Youmu is hatred of humanity, then that’s weak-sauce. He also keeps monologuing to himself and telling us and other characters how superior he is… not only are these unconvincing, and not really believable, they don’t make for a compelling character. Well, at least now we know why Hiromi is weaker – by way of an infodump.
- Kuriyama-san stabbed herself, she bled so the world could live. So who here is Jesus, Akihito or Mirai? Well, it’s about themes, so both of them work, as both of them keep alluding to it right now. Love will be your redemption? Love made Mirai realize, or change her view to see herself as not being cursed, and probably the same for the Immortal Half-Youmu.
Post Episode Notes:
Well, aside from episode 6 this was my favourite episode of the show. I don’t know to say whether it was the best, but they kept setting things up, emotionally, and now they cashed in on them, and it actually worked. It worked out alright. That this episode focused on Akihito rather than Mirai probably helped it work, and me get invested, as well.
The villain and some more action remain to us, and honestly, they don’t seem that interesting, but perhaps they’ll manage to redeem the villain as well, in a narrative sense. Also, Akihito and Mirai have reunited, so there should be some more emotional scenes next episode, I just hope we don’t revert back to pussy-footing everything, aside from having it appear for a second or two as comedic relief.