Darker than BLACK – Gaiden 03
Two months later and we have the third of four episodes of the Darker than BLACK side story, which is turning out to be more interesting than the actual Ryuusei no Gemini sequel. Naturally, that’s because the story here is focusing on Yin leading up to the events revolving around her Izanami awakening. Picking up from last time, the men barging in to help Hei turned out to be Amber’s former Evening Prim Rose (EPR) members led by Amagiri, whom those with remarkable memory should recall from long ago when he still had his hair. Upon talking to Hei about how books from over fifty years ago predicted the appearance of a girl with the power to change the world and wondering if Amber foresaw all this, Amagiri posed the question I’ve always been wanting to ask Hei myself — what exactly does he think of Yin?
I can’t say I’m too surprised that he fumbled around with the idea and was unable to give an answer, but hearing him suggest to Yin that they part ways because a voice is telling her to stay away from him kind of made that un-contractor-like hesitation moot. Granted, he only did so because he felt he was making Yin suffer — further reinforcing the notion that he sees her as much more than a mere doll — but I was hoping he’d show a few more emotion-driven decisions in that situation. Watching Yin tear up at the sound of that and hearing how she wouldn’t be able to forget about him made me hope he’d do something to comfort her. I figured that was a perfect opportunity for a little Hei x Yin moment, even if it was nothing more than him putting an arm around her.
In any case, it was kind of eye-opening to see how a lot the contractors that had nowhere to go following the collapse of the Syndicate gathered here and started leading very human-like lives again. If there’s one thing that I really enjoyed in Ryuusei no Gemini it’s the internal struggle between human emotions and contractor rationale shown in Suou, so it’s nice to see that aspect getting some focus here not only with regards to Hei and Yin, but other contractors as well. All of that was kind of put into perspective when Claude’s stray dog contractor pointed out that Madame Oreille said that contractors are nothing more than defective dolls. That possibility never really occurred to me before, but it does explain why they’re still somewhat influenced by their human emotions and sentimental attachments. Dolls are generally shown to only have observation-type abilities, but it seems more than probable for them to be created with ones seen in contractors.
While I’m curious as to whether doing so increases the likelihood the doll will become a “failure” contractor with a remuneration, it doesn’t look like the story plans to dwell on that thought much longer. Instead, the appearance of Claude and kidnapping of Yin to satisfy his own curiosity on what will happen if she awakens more or less marks the moment she was separated from Hei. Seeing as he was searching for her the entire time in Ryuusei no Gemini, I’d say it’s pretty much guaranteed he won’t be reunited with her by the end of the fourth and final episode; however, I’m still curious as to how they eventually parted ways. On the other hand, watching some of the ex-EPR members act without the real Amagiri’s consent (misguided by Claude’s illusion) and try to kill Hei for “killing” Amber was pretty cool to see, simply because Hei still has his powers right now. It still sucked to learn that Claude went and killed everyone after, including the mother of a newborn baby, just when it was looking like contractors weren’t fated to die fighting one another for other people’s causes.
The sight of that and the words of the dog contractor who Claude sold out — asking him to kill Yin before she awakens — was good build-up for why Hei seemed inclined to do so later on though. If Hei felt uneasy at all about a handful of contractor corpses, then I can sort of imagine the thought of every contractor dying worldwide with Yin’s awakening not sitting well with him. Of course, he’s still clearly conflicted on what to do about Yin, hence why we had that “awesome” ending in the sequel. For now though, I’m curious as to where this gaiden chapter will leave off, but we’ll all have to wait another two months to find out as episode four isn’t slated to be released until July 21st.