Kannagi – 08
One quiet and rainy evening, Jin and Nagi are sitting at home watching the news when a knock comes at the door. Jin answers it only to have his soul escape his body in fright at the sight of a drenched and horrifyingly depressed Daitetsu. He lets his friend in to dry off, and can’t help but be a little envious of Daitetsu’s hulking body as he takes off his wet shirt in the bathroom. Daitetsu tells Jin and Nagi that his family is away and he forgot his house key, so while he was trying to figure out alternative ways into his own home, his neighbors called the police on him for looking like a suspicious burglar. He laments having such a big, scary appearance, but Jin finds himself jealous and completely unable to sympathize, wishing he didn’t have such a baby-face.
Since Jin’s clothes obviously won’t fit Daitetsu, Nagi recommends lending him one of “their” father’s shirts. While digging around in the closet together, Nagi unintentionally presses up against Jin and makes him uncomfortable, so they start bickering again. For some reason Daitetsu can feel the embarrassment in the room and wonders why it would exist between brother and sister. He remembers what happened between them on the day when they went to the cosplay restaurant and Jin accidentally made his garbled emotions quite public, which prompts Daitetsu to wander away into deep and remarkably detailed and elaborate fantasy scenarios in his mind.
Forbidden Love Scenario 1: Soft jazz music (think forbidden romance!) plays under a reenactment of Nagi in her cosplay outfit talking to Jin. Even if she’s his sister, he can’t help his feelings! She’s too cute! Forbidden Love Scenario 2: Nagi gives Jin a birthday cake, and Jin discovers the secret she’s been hiding: The reason she got a job at the cosplay shop was to save money for his birthday cake. Jin thanks her sweetly, calling her “big sister” for the first time, which causes Nagi to start crying without understanding why. Jin takes her hand and suggests it’s because… their hidden feelings are the same! Forbidden Love Scenario 3: Jin admits his true feelings of love over a shy and naked Nagi, telling her that their blood relationship doesn’t matter. Confessing her feelings too, the two of them consummate their love in a volcanic eruption of pink fumes exploding out of Daitetsu’s head. Forbidden Love Scenario 4: Jin protects Nagi from a snowball attack from all his classmates as they each give their two cents, damning their relationship to various extents depending upon the person. They leave town together, outcasts in love.
Daitetsu can’t handle his own daydreams a moment longer so he jumps up, grabs Jin, and rushes him into the hallway to talk privately. He wants to know what Jin really thinks about Nagi. As the conversation slowly becomes uncomfortable, Jin can’t keep Nagi’s lies straight, and she rescues him with a kick to the head and drags him into the kitchen to talk. She tells Daitetsu to wait in the other room, but since it’s filled with hanging undergarments and laundry (inside because of the rain), he overhears her bossing Jin around in the kitchen, and discovers that she’s not his real sister and she’s definitely hiding something, seemingly using Jin as a tool in the process. New scenarios surface, with Nagi kicking Jin in the back after taking all his money, laughing maniacally.
Back in the living room as Nagi hands Daitetsu a gigantic bowl of steamed rice with an award winning smile, he wonders how she can put on such a fake attitude while secretly she whips Jin like a beaten puppy behind closed doors. Jin tells Daitetsu not to worry about the food – it’s safe because Jin made it, not Nagi. This puts Daitetsu in an even darker mood, feeding his worries that she’s abusing him for his generosity, home, and money. Noticing that Daitetsu’s mood is worsening and worrying that it might be because they’re not acting like brother and sister enough to satisfy him, they go into a sibling act inspired by the best that TV anime has to offer. Unfortunately it doesn’t go over well, causing an opposite reaction instead.
Bursting with the need to know the truth, Daitetsu suddenly backs off when he realizes how awkward it would be to ask such a thing so straightforwardly, so he changes the subject to the art project Jin was working on awhile back. He holds up the designs of the girl Jin had planned to carve into wood, and asked if perhaps Nagi was the model. Mistaking his coincidental question for a threat, Nagi comes forth with the truth in very aggressive tones – She was the model for the design, and Jin carved her form out of the sacred tree. Daitetsu doesn’t catch the true meaning of her words, and assumes that she was only the model for the tree, and not the actual tree or its spirit. Wondering if he finished it yet, Jin becomes flustered and apologizes for failing to complete the job after Daitetsu went to so much trouble to get the wood for him.
Daitetsu does manage to make the connection between the spirit Jin saw as a child and the figure he wanted to carve out of the wood, and admits that he was the one who stole the tree from the shrine for that purpose. Finding himself inexplicably launched midair via uppercut and subsequently subjected to a barrage of kicks from an incredibly angry Nagi, Daitetsu apologizes to deaf ears, saying he saved the wood from the construction workers who were planning on burning it down anyway. She says it was a cleansing ritual and that she takes his negligence as a declaration of war, and thus two new enemies have formed.
That night as Daitetsu tosses and turns in Jin’s bedroom, he dreams about Nagi’s threats that a curse will fall on him for what he did to the tree, and wakes up in a panic to the image of Nagi crawling onto his futon to strangle him in his sleep. He looks for Jin in the futon next to his, but it’s empty, and the lights refuse to turn on – Thinking he’s been caught by the curse, Daitetsu runs screaming out of the house into the rain and down the street. Outside, Jin stands with an umbrella at his circuit box trying to fix the electricity and witnesses Daitetsu’s escape. As he walks back inside, the lights return, revealing that it was just a simple power outage due to the storm. With one mystery solved, Jin knocks on Nagi’s door to figure out what she did to Daitetsu to make him flee in fright, but there’s no answer. When he opens the door, he finds that Nagi is no longer in her futon, either.
In the pouring rain, Daitetsu runs all the way to the shrine to apologize, worrying that it might be too late since it was already torn down. He bows and begs forgiveness, calling out for Kami-sama to accept his apology. Lightning strikes the ground in front of Daitetsu, knocking him backwards, and a pillar of earth (very similar to episode one) shoots out, with Nagi standing in front of it. In a soft, mature voice, she tells him that he’s a good child, and doesn’t need to apologize for such a thing while patting him on the head. Daitetsu listens in shock as she faints onto him and the storm begins to clear in the morning light.
The next day Nagi gets ready for school and wonders why it feels like she has a cold. Jin asks her if she remembers last night, and she says she remembers falling asleep and waking up, if that’s what he means. Clearly missing the point, Jin points out that surely she should remember being carried home by Daitetsu in the rain. Nagi’s eyes fade for a brief moment before vaguely recalling that something like that might have happened last night after all, but Jin explodes in anger, thinking that she’s hiding something from him. As she listens to him vent his anger, her expression changes from innocent to feeling hurt by his insensitive words, and she yells at him for trying to interfere where he doesn’t belong.
Walking to school with Daitetsu, Jin tells him Nagi doesn’t remember anything about last night, but Daitetsu finds himself unable to explain what happened very well, either. At school, Nagi hasn’t forgotten her anger at Jin from this morning, so Jin sulks while remembering what happened the last time she fainted after something mysterious happened. Meanwhile, Daitetsu is equally nonplussed about Nagi’s actions, and obsesses about her like a zombie in the hallway. Throughout gym class, and even in the restroom, his thoughts about Nagi consume his mind. His anger comes to a peak when he wishes Jin had contacted him sooner about his problems with her, and he frightens a whole crowd of students (and others as well) out of the men’s bathroom. Still wrapped up in his thoughts, he looks for Jin in the Art Room only to find Nagi standing there alone. He puts his arms up ready to fight…
Meanwhile, The Art Club girls worry about Daitetsu and Jin’s strange behavior all day, but Tsugumi doesn’t think they’re fighting. She eavesdropped on Daitetsu trying to pressure Jin for information about something earlier in the day, but he escaped dramatically, unable to answer. The other girls share a few laughs about what might have happened at Jin’s house the night before as they walk in on Daitetsu and Nagi’s standoff in the Art Room. With arms up in a fighting stance and neither willing to back down, they both shout equally embarrassing and seemingly incomprehensible ultimatums at each other.
Next Week: Embarrassing School Comedy!
Eyecatch & “Preview”:
This Week’s Eyecatch is drawn by “Zekkyo“. If, like me, you thought this artwork looked similar to Toradora!, you were right! Beautifully done, I think.
The production quality is as strong as ever as we finally get to dig into the first hints of the more serious side of the story. (I laughed when Nagi dragged Jin into the kitchen and the staff was considerate enough to make sure his head hit the step as she carelessly dragged him inside.) Thanks to this episode, now we know that Nagi’s anger at Jin back in episode two wasn’t because she wasn’t trying to protect her godly secrets – She really couldn’t remember. That she made up a lie about a “second personality” to cover for the wand on the table incident is just hilarious, but she probably got the idea from her own inability to remember what happened with the kittens. She fainted this time, too, as they pointed out in the flashbacks.
For a harem-esque character, Jin is a really likable guy. He yells at Nagi a lot, (and usually she deserves it) but in cases like this it stems from concern about her well-being. I like it when his frustrated side comes out due to Nagi’s everything, but I think the writers have done a good job at making him a really decent human being that anyone with a spec of purity in their soul can relate to. As opposed to some other characters this season. (Just kidding, Takumi must be loved for his ability to be a total disaster and still achieve harem status.)
Daitetsu is a riot this week. After crashing at Jin’s because of the whole key incident, he and Nagi became swift enemies after misunderstandings (and kicks) fly left and right. His imagination went truly wild, and I could barely handle how ridiculous and melodramatic it was! Forbidden sibling love… And what’s with the cow border? On top of that, after Nagi’s godly appearance and fainting on him in the rain that night, the next day he did nothing but obsess about her and Jin and what to do about it all (in gym, in the hallways, on the toilet, etc…). I loved hearing all his insane and incessant thoughts. Somewhere buried deep inside them is concern for Jin that proves he’s a good friend. I’d say he accounted for most of the best humor this episode, and that’s not a bad thing at all. A little well done character development never hurt anyone.
This episode covered a lot of good, serious plot points and ended on a “cliffhanger” of Nagi and Daitestu ready to battle it out in the Art Club in front of everyone else as they walk in during the standoff. As usual, I’m really looking forward to next week.