「草ノ遊戯」 (Kusa no Yuugi)
“Playing in the Grass”
After one episode of flashbacks, this most recent one was almost entirely invested in setting up the Sekirei Project under Minaka’s new rule. In short, it was his way of saying go out there and kill some other Sekirei or the M.B.I and its Disciplinary Force will come by to kill yours. It could be that I’m just not twisted enough to understand his train of thought, but I still fail to grasp how forcing an Ashikabi to put their Sekirei in danger and risk letting them die a meaningless death constitutes a “love story”. If anything, it’s a tragic one that involves falling in love with a mysterious being known as a Sekirei (or several if you’re the pimp of your region) and having them cruelly killed in front of you. For an eccentric genius, Hiroto doesn’t quite seem to understand that people don’t willing want to do that. I’d really like to consider him a sadist for forcing people to do so anyway, but part of me still questions what the true purpose of the Sekirei Project is.
Assuming that Hiroto’s more concerned about the “story” from the Sekirei’s perspective than the Ashikabi who get pulled into it, the purpose of this project could be to teach these alien beings both feelings of love and the pain of loss. Some may even argue that those are some key emotions that make us “human”, so perhaps that’s some underlying intent of the absurd game he’s running. One of the biggest unknowns at this point is what happens to defeated Sekirei after they’ve been retrieved by the M.B.I. Despite the fairly severe wounds that some of them receive at that hands of Karasuba, I’d like to believe that they are revived in some way and don’t simply die when they’re brought back to the lab. Up until now, that’s the only thought that seems to explain why Takami puts up with Hiroto’s stupid game when she’s been taking care of the Sekirei all these years. If she believes that the Sekirei can acquire some key life experiences this way that they wouldn’t be able to otherwise, then I can see her reluctantly agreeing to help out with his twisted project (like she seems to be).
As for some more specific things that happened this episode, the desire of a lot of the lesser known Ashikabi and their Sekirei to flee the city and seeking Minato’s help only went on to reiterate how fruitless that is. However, their appearances did support the ongoing list of all Sekirei and their respective Ashikabi that we’ve come across, including No.78 Nanaha and Himura Youichi (Okitsu Kazuyuki), who were written off just as quickly as they were introduced. Other than that, it was kind of funny to learn that Miya got her scary ways from Takehito and how the latter used it to coerce Kaoru into doing things for him, but somewhat unsettling to learn that she feels responsible for his death. I’m still not sure why Miya’s so intent on hiding the fact that she’s Sekirei No.01 from Minato, though I do enjoy the humor that results from everyone being afraid of accidentally letting that slip out. For now, the focus seems to be finally shifting back to Uzume even after Kazehana tried to get Minato’s mind off it by getting him to go on a date with Kusano.
Without any confirmed kills and now being sadistically sent after Minato’s by Kakizaki, Uzume might actually be freed from Higa’s control over her once she clashes head-on with Musubi and the others. It may get ugly at first, but I see Uzume eventually coming over to join Minato’s side with Chiho safe and sound. Last but not least is Karasuba revealing that she’s intent on testing how strong Musubi really is after Yume gave her soul to her. That’s been a lingering question I’ve had ever since season one, and I suspected that was Karasuba’s ultimate goal after learning she succeeded Yume as the leader of the Disciplinary Force this season, so it’s nice to have confirmation that that’s what we’re really dealing with here. I still can’t help but think of Fullmetal Alchemist every time I hear Paku Romi talking about the “Promised Day”, but that’s another matter altogether. Next time, more Sekirei and more Ashikabi look like they’re going to join the fray and are probably be dispatched just as quickly.