「マヤの死」 (Maya no Shi)
OMG! With the suspicions surrounding Mikaze’s true identity and Maya potentially being Nostradamus’ Key all coming to light, the story surprises me with the introduction of black witches and white mages. Who would’ve ever thought that Chihiro and her black suit accomplice were on Maya’s side all along and protecting her as per her father’s request. All this time she seemed just as suspicious as Mikaze with her clean-up of all the occult-related incidents, so when she revealed that she used her magic to fake Maya’s death and then transformed into a white mage to take Mikaze’s true witch form head-on, I was completely blown away.
It might just be me, but there’s something unbelievably awesome when a silly character like Chihiro suddenly turns out to be a cool and crucial one to the story. After ten episodes of dropping hints here and there, this episode alone brought everything together in such a satisfying way that none of the previous ones felt wasteful — not even the ones that seemed to get off track. While the explanations with magic was pretty outlandish when I first heard it, I honestly didn’t care because the entire series seemed to come together at that very moment. Even the notebook that Maya received from her father and has kept with her since episode two served its purpose in more ways than I was expecting it to, namely acting as a protective ward that’s prevented Mikaze or any of her occult followers from attacking Maya thus far. Evidently, it didn’t seem to prevent her from approaching Maya in the past, so it was difficult to see that coming. However, it did make immediate sense of why Mikaze’s been getting close to Fumiaki and started seducing him all of a sudden, as Maya appears to be the key to stopping Mikaze’s plan of opening the gates of hell on July 21st.
At this point, it’s probably safe to say that Mikaze is Nostradamus’ Key, even though confirmation has yet to be made with a photograph. The preview does suggest that will be one of the focuses in the epic clash to stop her next time, which looks like it’ll get even more involved once Smile and JK run into the old grannies. One thing I did appreciate was the story bringing up the prospect that Maya could still be the key herself, since she wasn’t thinking about killing herself when she took a picture of herself in the mirror way back in episode two. For those following my posts, I brought up this very point back in episode four and have been using it to justify Maya as a possibility, so it was nice to see that was exactly what the writers were going for. Incidentally, we still don’t know if Maya is the key since Fumiaki wouldn’t let her take a picture of herself out of fear that she may be it and he’d have to kill her. Somehow, I respect him for enduring a vicious stomping from Maya when faced with that possibility, simply because it showed that he wasn’t completely wrapped around Mikaze’s finger. He also wept some serious tears when she thought she was dead and was filled with rage when he thought Chihiro did it, both of which drastically improved his image in my eyes.
In addition to seeing the battle of good versus evil unfold now that Maya no longer has the notebook protecting her, I’m rather curious about whether or not Chihiro faked Junichirou’s death as well. He bears a remarkable resemblance to the commander in the future like some people noticed long ago, so I’m starting to wonder if he went into hiding for the next thirteen years and is now sending Maya help from the future to try and change the past. Assuming he somehow figured he wouldn’t be able to prevent Nostradamus’ Prophecies from being fulfilled the first time around, it could very well be that he went into hiding to devise a way to do so, even if it meant using time travel after the fact. Chihiro’s decision not to tell Maya that her father’s actually alive even now would support that idea, as word getting out would put him in danger and prevent time agents like Fumiaki from being sent back in time to begin with. Whatever the case, I think I speak for a lot of people when I say, “We may have magic, but shit just got real.”