On her way out of a host club, April is shocked to see a familiar looking girl and young boy across the street from her. As she starts running towards them, she takes out her cell phone and calls November 11, but since he’s in the shower at the moment, she gets his voice mail instead. The girl and the boy soon board a black car that drives away, so April flags down a taxi and leaves a message for November 11 about confirming a top priority target: February. Just as she’s telling the driver what to do, an explosion rips through the taxi. At the hospital later, November 11 learns from his superior that although April’s life was saved, she still hasn’t regained consciousness yet. More importantly, the superior is concerned about a certain girl having shown up in Tokyo, so November 11 allows him to listen to the message that April left. Aside from what she had earlier, April had also noted that there was a boy with February whose eyes were mismatched in color. After November 11 takes a look at a heavily bandaged April, he heads to the rooftop of the hospital where his superior notes that they haven’t heard about February in 5 years. The superior recalls that there is a Japanese proverb about how there’s no use crying over spilt milk, so they can’t do anything about how Amber was a double agent who took information about the Gate back to her organization. It is because of this that the UK lost its advantage of research on Contractors. In any case, the superior is concerned about the timing of February’s appearance in connection with the Great Dark Spot cycle, and he tells November 11 to put everything else on hold and prioritize securing February.
At the Astronomy Division, Kanami explains to her subordinate that the Great Dark Spot is something that appears once every several years and is the largest class of sunspot. It appears concentrated at one place on the sun’s surface, making the sun look like a giant eyeball, and it wasn’t able to be observed before the Gate appeared. They thus aren’t sure what’s going to happen, but they’re worried about one thing: during the last Great Dark Spot cycle five years ago, the South America Gate disappeared. Meanwhile, on the streets of Tokyo, the mismatched-eye-color boy is attempting to get a necklace charm that got stuck in a tree. By chance, Hei shows up to pull down the charm for the boy, and he offers it back, hoping that the boy’s smile will always be protected. The boy at first questions why Hei says this, but he then thanks Hei and introduces himself as Maki. When Hei asks if that necklace is a present from someone, Maki reveals that a person precious to him gave it. Hei then questions why it was in the tree, but the boy doesn’t answer; he just thanks Hei and runs off. Heading in the other direction, Hei approaches the spot where there’s been an explosion and learns from Mao that a certain place was targeted for the meteor fragment. Giving Hei a file on April, Huang explains that tracks were left leading to MI6 and suggests that Pandora had something to do with it.
Having returned to an abandoned bar, Maki is asked by a red-headed man named Amagiri what he was thinking going back to the site. Maki explains that something important to him was dropped and flew into a tree during the ensuing explosion. He then reveals that he met an interesting man who was kind and gave off a mysterious feeling. After confirming that Maki wasn’t followed, Amagiri says that with the meteor fragment obtained, next is the town filling with chaos and hatred. When Maki asks where Amber is, Amagiri reveals that she went out to look for the last key, so Maki realizes that Amber might have gone to meet someone. In fact, Amber is at that moment buying an umbrella from a street vendor and smiling at the sky. Back at the Astronomy Division, Kanami is telling her subordinate that the same phenomenon that happened in South America won’t necessarily happen here, and that the omen comprises one of the indicators they have to think about. She starts to talk about another indicator involving something with the Stargazer and the Great Dark Spot cycle five years ago, but Kanami never finishes her what she’s saying because someone calls her back to the observation room. It seems that the Stargazer has started speaking about hearing the stars whispering with delight and with sadness. Elsewhere in the city, the side of a high-rise building that houses the Tokyo branch of the MI6 explodes in a fireball.
With this developing situation, Misaki gets informed that the British Intelligence floor had been targeted and that there seems to be a CIA agent involved. She and Hourai then enter a meeting expecting to see a foreign affairs section chief and are surprised when they find Eric Nishijima waiting for them instead. Speaking off the record, Nishijima mentions what happened three weeks ago with a certain material being taken out of the Gate, and although a CIA agent was involved in the beginning, a different organization took out the material. Misaki thinks of MI6 first, so Nishijima explains how Britain lost its advantage concerning Contractor information with one leak, and in recent years, that impatience has become visible. This causes Misaki to conjecture that the CIA attacked the MI6 branch to get back that material, but before the discussion can progress much further, they hear another explosion nearby. On the ground below, Mao is shocked that the CIA building has now been bombed and wonders if it’s British retaliation, but Huang thinks that another intelligence agency got involved and questions if they’re trying to start a war. At that time, November 11 is on the phone with his superior asking about who is responsible. He learns that MI6 is still waiting on information from their mole inside the CIA and that his superior is heading to the American embassy, but November 11’s own mission of securing February remains unchanged.
November 11 then tries to drive off in his car, but he comes face to face with Hei in the parking garage. Hei wants the meteor fragment returned, and although November 11 doesn’t know what he’s talking about, he welcomes the chance to go up against Hei again. He then asks Hei where February is since they know she’s in Tokyo, and to make it clear who he’s talking about, he notes that February’s code name in Hei’s organization was Amber. November 11 goes on to reveal that the building explosion earlier was confirmed to be her doing, and this causes Hei to start demanding to know where she is. That is, of course, what November 11 wants to know too, and he realizes that Amber might have also done something bad to Hei’s organization. An agitated Hei then warns November 11 to stay out of this because he wants to personally deal with her, and he leaps over the MI6 agent’s car as it races towards him. As Hei jumps off the side of the parking garage and escapes, November 11 drives down towards street level and calls MI6 to find out anything new about the CIA building blast. When he’s informed that there are traces that indicate the Chinese Ministry of National Security has now gotten involved, he suspects that the Chinese embassy will be the next target.
Having gotten out of the parking garage, November 11 drives towards the embassy and sees an explosion occur inside, just as he had predicted. He then races towards the outside wall of the embassy closest to this explosion, and he stops his car just in time to not get hit by another blast that blows up a section of the wall. On the other side of the smoke is Mika, and his profile matches April’s description from the message she left. Heading off to confront the boy, November 11 first writes down a person for July to contact if something happens to him. He finds Mika waiting for him near a large puddle of water created by a busted water main, so he demands to know where Amber is. When Mika refuses to tell him, November 11 activates his contractor powers and freezes Mika to the ground. Mika responds by using his own Contractor powers to create several explosions on the ground around November 11. Meanwhile, back at the Astronomy Division, Kanami is giving out orders and telling her subordinate that this is the second time she’s heard the Stargazer speak – the first time was during the Great Dark Spot cycle five years ago when part of South America disappeared from the map. The Stargazer has now talking about hearing the singing of the stars and how this is like that time – the beginning of the end is coming soon.
As he runs through the streets in his normal clothing, Hei recalls a scene from his past where Amber had asked to borrow his knife to cut some bread. Amber had said that she liked the smell of freshly baked bread and spreading marmalade and whipped cream on it, and she had also suggested that she, Hei, and Bai run away together. When Hei asked where they’d go, Amber answered that it’d be a place where they can see the stars. Instead of giving Hei back his knife, she had then passed him the necklace charm to protect his smile. Back in the present, Amber has arrived at the tobacco shop that is manned by Yin, and although she greets Yin as if this is the first time they’ve met, she also says that it’s been a long time. Right at that moment, it starts raining.
ED: 「Dreams」 by HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR
Watch the ED!: Mirror 1, Mirror 2, Mirror 3
With the way it started up and with how the animation sequence showed a speeding car, I got some big Initial D vibes from the beginning of the OP. I think Antic Café’s song isn’t bad, but I still prefer HOWLING. The animation sequence also made me wonder if the scene with a maskless and coatless Hei fighting multiple of himself has any meaning. As for the ED, if I hadn’t known that it was performed by HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR, I wouldn’t have been able to tell because it seemed quite different from the fast paced songs I’m used to hearing from them. Still, it doesn’t have anywhere near the replayability that Rie fu’s Tsukiakari had for me.
What impresses me most about this episode is how it brought together all the important story arcs in the past with how it featured November 11, MI6, what happened inside the Gate with Nick, and the meteor fragment. Since this series has been comprised of relatively stand-alone two-episode mini-arcs until now, I’m glad that they’re finally giving it a bigger sense of continuity. Heck, they even managed to work in brief cameos for Gai and Kiko, and the Stargazer has started speaking cryptic messages too about the beginning of the end.
And now that things are coming together, the story really gets interesting. We have Amber and her allies sowing the seeds of discord among the various nations’ security and intelligence agencies, trying to accomplish who-knows-what, with November 11 and Hei trying to stop her. Well, Hei might just want to know about what happened to his little sister since Amber seems to hold the key to not only what’s going on right now, but also to Bai’s whereabouts. I also doubt that November 11 is dead since they didn’t show a body, though I’m curious how he survived the explosions from point-blank range. Getting back to Amber, she seems to be after Yin as the last key for something, and the preview shows Yin resting her head on Amber’s lap. Maybe Yin will play as big a role in this after all as I thought she might.
As for Mika, his power led to some good surprises this week, such as April being blown up in the beginning of the episode. It should be noted that he also does not glow blue, though his eyes do light up red, which might signify something, but I don’t know what. In any case, I’m also interested in how the charm Amber gave Hei ended up with Mika and why Hei didn’t realize from seeing it that she was in the city.
As a side note, I kept expecting C.C.’s voice (Yukana) to come out of Amber, but that didn’t happen since she’s actually voiced by Kawakami Tomoko. I’ll probably get more used to her voice as she gets more lines, and I would guess that she’ll survive past this arc since she seems such a critical character to the story. Regardless if she does or not, Darker than BLACK has become a really good series, and I look forward to next week.