While it comes as absolutely no surprise that Shuusei is still alive and in the clutches of Ashley, who’s making mindless dolls out of all the missing high school male students and sleeping beauties out of all the female ones, I wasn’t expecting Tsukumo to be the next one on the chopping block. The focus has been on Hotsuma and Shuusei after all, so suddenly having Tsukumo run into Reiga while looking into the matter was quite a surprise. Granted, there was plenty of foreshadowing that something was going to happen to either him or Tooko once Takashiro gave them orders and left Yuki and Luka out, followed by a pinky promise the two of them made upon arriving at Yoshino Shiori‘s home. Looking back, the latter scene was about as ominous as it needed to be to get that point across. Still, I was actually holding onto hope that someone would appear to save Tsukumo from Reiga’s attack, such as Luka and Yuki after following them, but that didn’t turn out to be the case. As a result, seeing Tooko’s bloodstained necktie that he just swapped with and promised to return was pretty shocking.
Judging from the preview, it looks like Shuusei is in critical condition after the attack but not quite dead just yet. That still doesn’t take away from the fact that Tooko is very adversely affected by what happened to her brother. Coming into this series, I really didn’t foresee any of the main characters or Zweilt Guardians getting severely injured so soon — let alone possibly being killed — so I find this a refreshing turn of events despite how horrible it is in the actual story. Leading up to that, I imagine the sight of Shuusei at Ashley’s mercy and willing to die there will make some fangirls happy in a way, much like I would feel the same if the genders were reversed. There’s no damsel in distress to be rescued here, but that doesn’t mean Hotsuma isn’t going to do everything in his power to get Shuusei back once he can get out of the barrier Takashiro’s set up around his room. Then there’s Yuki himself, who will likely take what happened to Tsukumo just as hard as Tooko will. Whether or not this will prompt him and Luka do something themselves I don’t know, but the two of them have been pretty obedient with Takashiro’s orders so far. Hopefully his God’s Light will be able to save Tsukumo though.