Kuzu no Honkai – 04
Nope you’re not reading wrong, Pancakes is indeed blogging Kuzu. Given how provocative this show is turning and how busy Cherrie is this season, I decided to pick up the coverage if just to see how far down the rabbit hole Kuzu decides to go. And oh boy, if this week is anything to go by, I made the right choice.
Part of what draws me in with Kuzu is how downright disgusting it can be. There is a no holds barred attitude at work here, where relations and infatuation are disorderly, licentious, and outright ribald in spots. This week of course focuses on the gorgeous Akane, who thoroughly breaks all prior assumptions by emerging a character as broken—if not more—as Hanabi. I personally guessed Akane was a bad girl a couple weeks prior, but her personality definitely broadens that image into something more sinister. At face value you can see why. Akane apparently finds pleasure in exploiting others, and takes great satisfaction in stringing the ignorant along. In Hanabi’s case, Akane even seeks deliberate harm by using Hanabi’s brother’s love as a weapon to tear down and belittle the girl. It’s almost a sadistic form of femme fatale.
When you dig down, however, Akane’s character becomes significantly more complex. This one is not a narcissist or psychopath as I’ve seen discussed, but a true solipsist, one who sees people not as people with their own thoughts and beliefs, but as flat characters in her own little world. Akane’s definition of “good” (i.e. intimately wanted) being any man who is already desired is the key, because in Akane’s world desire is the only objective—notice as soon as her plaything professed to dumping his girlfriend, Akane was turned off. Her professed inability reciprocating love is also a substantial indicator. Further interesting is how Akane became like this. Her backstory indicates a hefty amount of fear concerning rejection/exploitation, a fear which somewhere along the line morphed into an infliction fetish as evidenced by her enjoyment tormenting Hanabi. Akane’s entire existence is based around her desirability, a fact (and drug) which will eventually ruin her. We don’t have the term spinster just for fun after all.
The other shocking development is Hanabi’s sexual adventures with Sanae. This I never saw coming after the sleepover, especially given how much Hanabi was willing to try for Mugi. It certainly fits with the exploitation theme, however, especially with Sanae admitting she has no real chance realizing her love. As with Hanabi’s relationship with Mugi, Sanae shows a bloody accurate view of another form of intimate relationship, where only one party is truly interested while the other engages out of fear of losing the other. This is incredibly common in real life (think infamous “marriage sex”), and can serve as the flashpoint for many of those messy breakups you hear about. In Hanabi’s case though, Sanae sort of serves as the release Mugi cannot provide, largely because Sanae remains stuck as a friend in Hanabi’s mind while Hanabi can properly fantasize when with Mugi. This relationship will likely boil down into uneasy synergism, where both gain just enough from the interactions to see them continue, whether from fear or sexual release.
How things continue will prove intriguing too given Hanabi actually confronted Akane, and Akane crushed her hard with the remarks about Mugi. Hanabi’s vow to change will likely be challenged, especially if her brother finds out the hidden side behind Akane’s smiling face. And what will Mugi end up doing once Sanae’s services are discovered? With everyone this broken Kuzu has formed one hell of a powder keg, and it only takes one match to set things off. What the spark will be is anyone’s guess, but I doubt we have seen the best worst of things just yet.
Note: Cherrie may not be blogging Kuzu, but she’s being really sweet and helping me with the caps. Give her a big thanks, without her help I couldn’t blog this one with my other choices.