「ブルー・ノーツ・ブルーズ」 (Buruu Nootsu Buruuzu)
“Blue Notes Blues”
One two-cour season and eight episodes later, we finally earn a bit more about Niche’s past as the Child of Maka. Up until now, there hasn’t been a whole lot about where Lag’s faithful dingo came from, so when the preview last time indicated that she would be reunited with the legendary creature and another gold hair, blue eyes, woman with claws for hands, I was expecting big things this week. Much to my pleasant surprise, this episode unraveled some of those mysteries and raised new questions as well, such as whether or not Niche was truly born 200 years ago. The true story behind why Maka no longer shows itself to humans seemed to suggest that it was closer to 20 years, given how it’s the same mayor of Blue Notes Blues that threw both Niche and her twin sister off a cliff because the entire town thought they were cursed. A more likely possibility is that he drank the water from the Blue Notes Scale lake in the holy cave where Maka resides, and has lived all this time due to its rumored effects of extending one’s life to a thousand years. In either case, the bigger surprise was that Niche has a twin sister (Koyama Mami) and that she grew up much differently from her. It was eye-opening in the sense that the two of them are the same age and that Niche may end up in a similarly grown-up body at some point, and also left me wondering why her growth was stunted to begin with. As adorable as Niche is in her child form, her nameless sister is really something else in her adult one. She takes the idea of having hair covering just the right places to a whole new level.
Incidentally, there seems to be quite a discrepancy in their intelligence as well, as Niche’s sister’s speech and mannerism reflect an age-level similar to appearance. From her story about the truth behind what happened 200 years ago, it would appear that the tear Maka shed for a woman named Celica (Ueda Kana) (whom the townsfolk were thinking of sacrificing for the land) is what led to the birth of Niche and her sister. Leading up to that, the revelation that Lag isn’t human seemed to suggest that he’s the result of a successful human experimentation conducted at Akatsuki. The fact that he has a spirit amber as his left eye supports that idea, and probably means that he’s an example of someone who was able to become a spirit. Details aside, it looks like Niche isn’t the only unique existence in this Bee/Dingo combo. Other than that, Gauche was no where to be seen this episode, though Lag did stumble upon the frozen Gaichuu in the cave that was freed by his shindan. Nothing was shown of Zazie either, who’s the one everyone should be more concerned about after the battered condition he was left in. For now, it looks like both of those will continue to take a backseat to the ongoing story about Maka though. The preview actually shows Niche fighting against her sister, plus Lag using his Akabari to do what he does best — bringing people around with the truth. Overall, this was a very good plot-oriented episode, and quite possibly the best one thus far this sequel.