Darker than BLACK: Ryuusei no Gemini – 04
Having taken the offer to join Agency No. 3, Misaki has returned to Tokyo and has been assigned the fake identity of Ichinose Yayoi. Her co-workers now include Shizume Genma, Hazuki Mina, and Sawasaki Youko, and she learns about their Hei sighting in Russia. Hei, Suou, July, and Mao meanwhile have arrived in Japan, and Hei reveals that his current client wants him to train Suou up as an agent. First up is some target practice, and Hei wants her to shoot a crane in the nearby water. It reminds Suou of how she had let that deer get away while hunting with her father, but this time she’s able to fire. She doesn’t hit the crane though and after it flies away, she claims that her aim was off. Hei, however, knows that she’s not telling the truth and tells her to lie better. When Suou then turns her rifle towards him, he’s easily able to disarm and defeat her, and he tells her to just follow his instructions. Mao points out that she’s still just a kid, so Hei gives her some money for food and goes off on his own for a while.
Suou, July, and Mao end up in a relatively deserted shopping center, and they pass by a small gang, the leader of which catches Suou’s eye for a moment. She then takes July and Mao to a love hotel so that they’ll have a place to stay, and she tries to ask Mao about Hei and the client. Mao asks her back why she hasn’t run away yet, so Suou asserts that she plans to eventually, but she needs money first. With no other choice, Suou returns to Hei later and gets some close quarters combat training with him. He also has her do some dancing to strengthen the balance of her abdominal muscles, but Suou starts to feel sick because of the bad ramen she had eaten. The gang from before then shows up, so Hei decides to give Suou some hands-on training against them without using her Contractor power. Suou ends up breaking one of the guys’ arms, but the police then arrive, so Hei throws Mao in to distract them. This gives Suou enough time to escape, and she’s further helped by July directing her, but she’s followed by the leader of the gang who has taken a liking to her. He tries to apologize for earlier and introduces himself as Norio, but Suou just wants him to get out of the way and uses her Contractor power to scare him.
Unfortunately, Suou is still feeling rather ill, and she and July are found and taken in by the transvestite that they had met when they first arrived in the area. He gives her some medicine, and by chance, it turns out that his son is Norio, but Norio runs away upon seeing Suou again. It is at this point that Suou realizes why Norio had caught her eye originally: he resembles Nika. When she and July run into Mao again, she explains that Norio was like Nika when Nika confessed to Tanya. What Suou doesn’t understand though is why, when Nika confessed to Tanya, she felt something in her heart, but in this case, she felt nothing. Mao can only tell her that she’ll understand when she becomes a woman. Back at the hotel, Hei slaps her for using her Contractor power, and she later declares that she hates him even though, as a Contractor, she’s supposed to have lost her emotions. She has no choice but to stay with him though because she wants to see Shion again. That same night, after having learned some of what happened in Vladivostok and after having been referred to a Madame Oreille, Misaki heads to the abandoned observatory, and she’s surprised to find the gate unlocked. There, she meets Madame Oreille, and Madame Oreille already knows who Misaki is.
There wasn’t too much action this episode, but there was plenty of story and character development along with a ton of humor. In fact, the humor was what I loved the most about this episode, with much of it coming from Mao who seems extra cute and funny now that he’s a squirrel. It did occur to me though that he should have just taken over the body of the cat that was chasing him, and in fact that would have made it feel more appropriate to keep calling him Mao. The episode also ended up being a bit raunchier than expected, and I was amused by the scene between Hazuki Mina and Misaki because of the comments about Misaki’s sexual coldness and chastity. I’ll half-jokingly say that maybe it’s a sign that they’re actually planning on something between her and Hei.
Story-wise, it was interesting to see Hei training up Suou, though I was a bit surprised to see her be able to handle those goons with such relative ease so quickly. Even more intriguing is the appearance of Madame Oreille in front of Misaki, which seems to signal the end of her just sitting on the sidelines with Mr. Smith. I’m very curious to see if this leads to Misaki meeting Hei again and what role Madame Oreille (and those creepy twins) will play. They also seem to be developing the Norio/Nika angle for some emotional effect, and I’d venture to guess it’s why Suou is crying in the preview for next episode.