「果ツル空」 (Hatsuru Sora)
“The Sky that Ends”
Oh my. I asked for some development on the Uzume/Chiho front, but I didn’t mean this drastic turn of events! I was thrown in for a whirl with the progression as well, given how it started off with a scene about Chiho losing her parents to a plane crash and people coming in to take all her family possessions. It was a heartwarming story depicting how Uzume had no desire to participate in the Sekirei Project and questioning why she was born, while Chiho was looking for a reason to continue living now that she’s lost everything that matters to her. What that called for in my mind was Minato swooping in with his six Sekirei and freeing them both from the evil clutches of Higa Izumi, not Uzume sacrificing herself to protect Musubi from the two Sekirei brought in for underhanded clean-up — No.16 Toyotama (Okada Eimi) and No.18 Ichiya (Nakamura Tomoko).
While they made it pretty clear that Uzume was expecting to fight a losing fight against Musubi and Tsukiumi as her form of atonement for deceiving them until now, I really didn’t think that was any more than some character development to redeem herself in their eyes. Tsukiumi was too proud to get involved in what she believes should be one-on-one fights and stayed out of it with her arms crossed like Vegeta, leading to what appeared to be a non-fatal victory on Musubi’s part. When that happened, I figured it was the perfect opportunity for Uzume to be finally freed from the burden she’s been shouldering for Chiho’s sake, join up with Minato, and take her fight to Izumi directly. Instead, what we got was Uzume diving across with no concern for her body to save Musubi from Toyotama’s sneak attack. I didn’t sign up for that. Can’t we go back and change that outcome? Please?
Objectively speaking, Uzume’s defeat here does propel the plot forward much faster than I was anticipating. As far as this sequel is concerned, Minato’s promise to Uzume to take care of Chiho in her absence pits him against Izumi almost immediately. There’s no more beating around the bush either, as Matsu sent an electronic attack to the East Sekirei’s company and its subsidiaries’ computer systems and their stocks to show her disapproval of how he messed around with Uzume and Chiho. He pissed off Sekirei No.02, so now this shit is on! Izumi didn’t look all that worried with that 72GB SD card he’s carrying around, but that may change once he starts duking it out with an Ashikabi who can rival his own flock of Sekirei. Out of all Minato’s Sekirei, Tsukiumi seems to be the one most bothered by Uzume’s defeat even though she refuses to show it, so I imagine she wants to give Izumi a piece of her mind too for his underhanded tactics. Kazehana and Homura seem to be handling it the best on the other hand, and even Miya came by to show her respect to Uzume by sharing a drink with them rather than chewing out Kazehana for drinking.
The one good thing to come from this is the really lovely song by Hayami Saori in remembrance to Uzume, which is titled “I’ll Remember.” It was about this time in season one that we had a one-off ending theme and sequence by Saori as well, so it’s a very nice addition even it’s under less than ideal circumstances story-wise. More so than this ending theme, the slow piano version of the normal ending theme played during Uzume’s passing was even sadder. :'(