KARNEVAL – 04
「宵待燕」 (Yoima Tsubame)
Well, you can’t say that this series only provides glamorous men, because Iva (Honna Youko) is about as glittery and fabulous as it gets. She certainly gives characters like Yogi a run for their money, and that’s saying something considering the first thing he does is hug and cuddle Gareki once Iva saves him from the clutches of a Bestial Varuga. Still, even without Iva’s showy presence, the series continues to be proudly over-the-top, and that element continues to remain entertaining, for the most part. It’s definitely amusing to see the group having a tea party/picnic after having been attacked by a hell-creature, and the adorable little critters add even more whimsicality to this already absurd escapade of a series.
However, not everything is candy and rainbows (unless we’re talking eye candy in the Niji forest, in which case both genders are covered) in the world of KARNEVAL this week. The investigation on Nai and Karoku’s past doesn’t yet reveal anything to us directly, though we do learn that the Niji-boy’s creator is only eighteen years of age and currently a resident of Erisyuka’s household ( petulance only proves you’re too young to be desired, Erisyuka). His goals are as shrouded in mystery as ever, but I can’t help but feel that there’s some connection to Gareki’s hometown and past, which Hirato gives the group permission to visit at Gareki’s request. There they run into a face from Gareki’s past, Tsubame, who confesses to murder though can’t seem to remember the incident in question.
Tsubame and her twin brother, Yotaka, are mysterious in more ways than one, however. Gareki explains that he was sold by his parents as a child and that it was Tsubame and Yotaka’s older sister, Tsubaki, who saved and took him in. However, Tsubaki died soon after she allowed her lover to try experimental drugs out on her siblings, and soon it becomes apparent that those drugs have somewhat altered the twins and made them into murderers, possibly having even had a hand in their sister’s death.
Though I’m all for the intrigue here, I can’t help but feel utterly disgusted with Tsubaki as a character, and I’m not all that sure that this is the emotion I’m supposed to have felt at Gareki’s narration. No matter how much you would trust a person, lover or otherwise, why would you let them test potentially dangerous drugs on your family members? Even if they were just “supplements” as this mysterious man claimed, the fact that they had to be tested should have raised some sort of alarm, but Tsubaki went through with it anyway and it cost her not only her life, but presumably her siblings’ humanity. Though Gareki seems to be implying that she was a fool, I feel that there’s something much more sinister behind the whole affair in terms of what it says about her, and I’m not exactly happy with what that message is.
Regardless of my personal distaste, however, it looks as if we may start learning more about Gareki (who seems to have taken the role of straight man amongst the wackiness of the setting) and how he fits into all of this. It’s likely that Tsubaki’s lover was a key figure in the creation of the Varuga, but somehow I feel that it’s too clean a fit; Gareki had also encountered strange effects with food while on board the ship when he was sold, so isn’t it a bit too much of a coincidence that the woman who rescued him had ties to similar events?