May 17h, 2014.
Welcome to the Carnival of Questions
So, last week we’ve found the girl with the scarf, whom Shintaro somehow knows, and more surprisingly whom Ene knows is the old leader of the Mekaku-dan. Also, Hibiya and Hiyori are getting kidnapped, and everything is finally converging.
Please don’t give me another vignette. Please let there be some plot :P
Thoughts and Notes:
1) Where are we?
1) Welp, talk about an opening. The city falling into shambles, but no one else is there. A dream? The more relevant line is “The voice I am hearing, I realize it is mine, and I am sick of hearing it.” – This too is about loneliness. She’s alone, and all she can hear in the ruined world is her own voice, and she grows sick of it, as she longs to hear the voice of others. 2) Wait, this girl? This voice. It sounds just like Ene. Same attitude as well! 3) Two “Special Needs” students. A girl who sounds just like Ene, and a boy called “Haruka”, same as that weird white-skinned and red-eyed boy from last episode. Hmmmmm. I sense a connection. Their teacher reminds me of Momo’s, and now he says he’s a “master programmer”? Hmmm.
2) Fateful Meetings:
1) “Your eyes tell the whole story” – and then we see Ene’s eyes and hair. “Eyes that had stared at death countless times.” – But it was a virtual death, so what did she see? Her dreams, or perhaps they’d been visions? Then again, considering Ayano, and the Clock-tower, it could be memories from past or alternate lives. Then again, she did look sort of cool in the game. 2) “Ene the Flash Dancer” – Gamer extraordinaire? Well, that settles it, it’s Ene. Now we just need to find out how she ended up trapped in Shintaro’s computer. 3) Yes, amidst the shaft theatre-like behaviour as the actors go past one another, that’s Kano. So he knows Ene. Did they recognize one another as they met again? Hm. 4) Kido with a sword. Talk of eyes that stared death in the face countless times. Guess her ability to hide from sight might also manifest within games? Hm. 5) Oh right, Kano’s power is to manipulate what others see. He made the crosshairs and some of the enemies disappear. What a cheater. 6) Awww, tearful Ene! Also, no wonder she got along so well with Momo. “I have no friends”, just like Momo had said.
3) The Noose of Fate Closes:
1) Ayano’s scarf flapping in the wind indoors, as the showdown is about to take place. It’s possible Computer-Ene doesn’t know Ayano from her Takane life, but because Shintaro knows her. I mean, this is Shintaro and Ayane, together, in the flesh. I wouldn’t be surprised if Shintaro became a hikikomori after Ayane committed suicide, tying him inexorably to the Mekaku-dan :o 2) Also, I suspect Shintaro is the one who was ranked #1 in the game, and here we have Shintaro and Ene, meeting for the first time. No wonder she keeps getting back at him, after he told her she’s weak ;-) 3) Ha! “If I lose, I’ll call you Master and do anything you say!” – That’s fate! Of course, she calls him Master, but I’ll hardly say she does as he says, and certainly not the spirit, heh. 4) “This is messed-up, why do I have to fight myself?” – So do we all. Also, that NGE Cross reference.
4) Where Are We Going?
1) I still wonder why this is a “Special Needs” class, hm. 2) And here we go, Haruka’s avatar is how he appears now, but not in the virtual world, but the real one. 3) And we’ve got romance too! But only in the ED song, boo! :P 4) August 15th? Isn’t this also the fateful day for Hibiya and Hiyori? Hm, we’ve been told before that Haruka has a frail body, and she left him there, in the hot classroom.
Post Episode Thoughts:
Well, I actually liked this episode quite a bit. It’s an episode that could’ve served as a nice first episode, for many shows. Being given this episode here of course places quite a few pieces of the puzzle, while raising many more – Ene used to be a real person, Haruka used to be a normal boy. Their teacher is some sort of mad-scientist? And Shintaro had known them all before as well.
It truly feels like the fates of thread converging. Ayano when speaking with Shintaro and Hibiya in the “other-world” spoke of it as well. She dies and is reborn, she is a hero, there for others. The members of the Mekaku-dan did say she was too nice.
Now the question is, how did we get from one place to the other? How did Ayano die, what exactly happened to Haruka and Ene? And is there some “plot”, or is the whole point to show us how everyone became a group of friends, when they had all began by being lonely?
Poor Shintaro though, I’m pretty sure he became a hikikomori when Ayano died, and then he got Ene in her stead. Talk about a bum deal ;-)