Shigofumi – 02
After Asuna stabbed Shouta because he knew about her killing her father, she had turned towards Fumika. Kanaka panics because she thinks Asuna isn’t normal, but Fumika explains that Asuna is normal because she has things that she cherishes and things that get in her way. And despite Asuna having murdered people, Fumika feels that she’s not the judge here. Fumika just has something she wants to confirm, and so she asks if Shouta was Asuna’s lover or if Asuna had lovers at all. After Asuna reveals that there were a lot of men, Fumika utters the number 0913 to Kanaka and then disappears right as Asuna tries to stab her. Fumika reappears with Kanaka on the rooftop where Shouta built his rocket, and because Kanaka comments on how she didn’t think Shigofumi could be used for that kind of thing, Fumika affirms that it was nevertheless still a Shigofumi. Fumika then uses the number 0609 to change Kanaka into a necklace that gives her wings and the power to fly. As they soar up to the sky, Kanaka wonders why Asuna killed her father, and though Fumika feels that this is not something related to their job, she knows there’s more to it. Asuna meanwhile spends a good part of the night remembering everything that’s happened as she digs at the ground with her switchblade so that she can bury Shouta’s body.
Asuna spends the days that follow taking care of her little sister Miku, but her experiences still haunt her. At one point, her classmates had written all over her desk at school, accusing her of being an erotic model. The truth is that she was one. In the same building that Shouta had built his rocket, Asuna’s father had brought in photographers to take nude pictures of her. On the night that she killed her father, Asuna had asked for a day off, but her father turned down the request. What finally turned Asuna against him was his desire to use Miku too. Even now, Asuna feels that what she did protected Miku and their future. Things take a turn for the worse however when the police discover Shouta’s body, and they begin searching for Asuna in connection with it. This forces her to go into hiding, so she disguises herself by cutting her hair and boards a train to make her escape. She feels bad about leaving her sister behind, but she knows that she has no choice. However, on the train, Asuna encounters Fumika and Kanaka again, and it turns out that Fumika has a Shigofumi from Shouta. Asuna doesn’t understand what Fumika says about the Shigofumi being the last remaining feelings of people who have lost everything and thinks instead that it’s a blackmail letter.
Realizing that there are no other people on the train, Asuna decides to try to kill Fumika again, but Fumika uses Kanaka to sweep Asuna off her feet. Fumika then pulls out a gun and points it at Asuna to make her realize what it’d feel like to die and have regrets. Asuna ends up accepting the letter, and after she reads it, she rushes off the train. In the letter, Shouta is the one apologizing for not noticing and considering her feelings, and he thanks her for believing in his rocket. As she runs back to the rooftop where the rocket is, Asuna thinks to herself that she actually hated Shouta because he always talked about his dreams whereas everything about her was a lie. In that building, she had seen nightmares, yet Shouta had always seen the endless sky from the rooftop. The truth is that it wasn’t the rocket she wanted to believe in but rather their future; she felt that their future would open up if the rocket flew. When Asuna arrives at the rooftop, she uncovers the rocket and finds that Shouta wrote her and Miku’s names on it. After adding Shouta’s name on there too, Asuna follows his instructions on how to launch it and starts the countdown timer.
Shortly after the countdown starts though, Asuna is discovered by one of the detectives. He takes a gentle tone towards her and tries to get her to go with him, but a strong wind suddenly blows the blue tarp onto the rocket. Realizing that the tarp will mess up the launch because it’s tied to the rooftop, Asuna rushes forward with her knife out and manages to cut the line before the countdown reaches zero. However, she then gets shot by the detective’s partner because he thought that she was trying to attack the first detective. The rocket launches moments later, and as Asuna thinks about how Shouta went to heaven and how she’ll probably go to hell, she watches it rise up into the sky. In the aftermath, Fumika delivers a Shigofumi to Miku that she describes as having the purest and most beautiful feelings in the world.
I’m not a big fan of ALI PROJECT (never have been, probably never will be), so I didn’t really like the OP. The ED, on the other hand, is a nice ballad, perfect for winding down after a good episode.
It might be a little premature for me to say this, but out of all the new shows I’ve seen so far this winter season, Shigofumi has been my favorite. There’s just something about the way the plot continues to surprise me with themes that are a lot more mature than I was expecting, from multiple instances of death to child pornography. And each death is made all the more meaningful because of the Shigofumi, and they also allowed the show to flow really well between Shouta’s point of view in the first episode to Asuna’s point of view in the second. The ending was incredibly bittersweet too because Asuna redeemed herself and still paid the ultimate price, leaving her sister behind with only a letter of the purest feelings.
At first glance, this show seemed similar to Shinigami no Ballad, but now that I’ve seen two episodes, I find this so much more interesting than that ever was. I’m really enjoying the story, and that may have everything to do with how CODE GEASS’s Ookouchi Ichirou is writing the script. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I generally dislike shows that are episodic, yet, for this first arc at least, Shigofumi is hitting all the right buttons, and I look forward to the next arc.
As a side note, I won’t personally be doing another full writeup for the first episode; Patrik already wrote a good summary of that all the way up until the twist at the very end, which was of course that Asuna killed Shouta to protect the secret that she killed her father.