「魂をつなぐもの～憑依～」 (Tamashii wo Tsunagu Mono ~ Hyoui ~)
“Connecting Spirits ~Possession~”
This week’s Yakumo is probably the best one so far. I think this show can finally hold the title Shinrei Tantei Yakumo. From the continuing murder spree on high school girls, malicious spirits trying to possess people for their own gain, to Yakumo finally exposing some of his past and opening himself up to others. Finally, there seems to be an overarching plot that is bringing together what this anime is supposed to be about – detective work involving some kind of supernatural phenomenon. I’m also really excited to see that in this episode nothing was solved. I think the past few episodes have felt really rushed since Yakumo always manages to solve the “mystery” (hah) in the span of a single episode. But instead of that feeling of suspense and surprise one would expect at the end of a mystery, it felt bland like a birthday without a birthday cake. You ALWAYS need birthday cake at a birthday. Jokes aside, every episode up to now felt like some crucial element was lacking somewhere. Maybe it was just to help build up the suspense for this episode? Whatever it was, it was done right.
Other than the whole mystery aspect blatantly missing, I used to find it hard to like Yakumo. He lacked everything that I could connect with. Depicted as a snarky unkempt college student, Yakumo really doesn’t grab your attention at first. Then his outrageous attitude is revealed and you start to hate him. Some bits and pieces of his past are scattered around but nothing is connected. It leaves you wondering “What is that guy’s problem?” This episode stitches all those pieces of the puzzle together – finally giving Yakumo a true identity. Yakumo really isn’t that bad of a guy. Having such a crappy past can really change your outlook on life. I mean Yakumo’s own mother tried to kill him with her bare hands and then disappears without a trace. Only leaving behind the red necklace that Yakumo accidentally managed to rip off of her neck. Those kinds of traumatic experiences clearly explain where his closed personality comes from. However I also think Yakumo finally broke out of that shell and is becoming a likeable character. From what I took as a joke about someone being gay with Gotou to finally opening his heart to Haruka, Yakumo is finally showing some true character (At least compared to how he used to be).
With a dual overarching mystery going on, Shinrei Tantei Yakumo seems to finally be gaining speed. The main mystery of an unknown serial killer taking the lives of high school girls and the mini mystery of how to save the daughter of the chief of police both have lots of meat behind it. As we already know, the mystery serial killer is the mystery man with red eyes (who always shows up at the end) with his goal being trying to figure out how to implant souls into living humans – more specifically trying to place a doctor’s dead daughter’s soul into a living girl. The mini mystery also seems to be linked by the idea of putting souls into living humans. As Yakumo stated, spirits shouldn’t be able to steal a person’s body in hopes of living through that person. Yet someone who just died is attempting to. Both mysteries pose a very interesting question – who is pulling all the strings and how are they doing it? Next week, it looks like Haruka will be the next target for soul transplanting. But with the newly reformed Yakumo, it looks like he won’t let it happen without putting up a fight.