After witnessing exactly how corrupt Ishihara and Sasaki are, it was probably only a matter of time before somebody ended up getting killed in the juvenile corrections institute again. Regardless, I was still pretty shocked when I found out who their next victim turned out to be. Things just started looking up for Sakuragi too, with Kumigai catching onto those bastards’ plans to kill him before his release impending release in six days. Seeing as Kumagai was secretly bringing him meals, I would’ve figured that Sakuragi’s release would’ve been all but guaranteed had they not shown the water torture in the preview last time. Still, that didn’t prepare me for the goosebumps I felt when Sasaki overheard everything Kumagai was telling Mario and the Koike about, which were followed up by my worst fears of Kumagai getting killed for knowing too much.
As such, it was pretty damn aggravating for Ishihara to rub it in Mario’s face that Kumagai got into an accident while driving under the influence and drowned when it was clearly a cover-up. Even Koike figured as much, and couldn’t stop trembling out of fear knowing that the doctor she works for is an accomplice to murders. In light of that, I did appreciate the overwhelming resolve depicted in Mario as a result, as he was determined to help An-chan escape before he gets killed. Even with the risk of being thrown into a real prison for an attempted escape, it was pretty moving to see all the others quickly agree to help out once reminded of the friendship An-chan showed them. Given the fire incident and how he almost sold out all his friends, the most surprising one was Baremoto, who was quick to jot up a map of the facility and come up with a plan. While he sort of redeemed himself already with the way he desperately clasped onto the cell key as Ishihara beat on him, this showing of self-sacrifice did improve my opinion of him further.
On the unexpected side of things, I can’t really say I foresaw the cute nurse Koike being in love with Sakuragi. After her formal introduction as Koike Setsuko (again, played by drama actress Kanjiya Shihori), it was even surprising to learn that Mario had already picked up on that fact somehow. I suspect he must have heard from An-chan at some point, but details aside, it made for a pretty good moment when Mario asked her to visit Sakuragi in their place after he ensures that he gets released alive. Aside from that, it was good to see Sasaki hit Ishihara for panicking and killing Kumagai on his own accord, rather than simply letting him transfer him to another corrections facility far away. However, watching Ishihara get consumed by his fear of his crimes getting exposed was admittedly pretty disturbing. It was literally the psychological makings of a criminal, where one incident snowballed with cover-up after cover-up until he’s completely insane with no human conscience anymore. Because of that, I really hope somebody deals with him sooner rather than later, while he still has some sense of guilt within him.
I honestly have no idea how Sakuragi can still be alive after enduring days of having freezing cold water on him. Without food and clearly experiencing symptoms of hypothermia, it was torture on two different fronts. Mario on the other hand seems to have regained some use of his right-hand (enough that he can move all his fingers and make a fist), which I find pretty unbelievable given the state it was in. In any case, the boys are putting their lives and futures on the line to save Sakuragi next time, and I dearly hope they succeed.