「失意の果てに～告知～」 (Shitsui no Hate Ni ~ Kokuchi ~)
“The Limit of Despair ~ Announcement ~”
Is it just me or does this show have the strangest pacing ever? Seeing as how it’s only going to be a one season show, I can’t understand why so many things were revealed now instead of later. Nitpicking aside, it is nice to have a small “break” episode. Instead of back to back cases, it felt nice to see the other characters in their own light. Starting with Yakumo, I found it really refreshing to see more of his childhood. As Haruka and Nao go through baby pictures of Yakumo, I have to say that he is probably the cutest male baby I’ve seen. With that huge red eye and chubby little cheeks it’s hard to believe that something that cute can exist. Plus it’s nice to see pictures of Yakumo’s whole family together – once again proving that he wasn’t a child that his mother just “threw away”. Something that I haven’t touched on a lot is the music in this series. Using the previous scene as an example, the background piece really helps bring out the emotion of the entire scene. Even though Haruka and Nao are joking around and having a good time as they flip through pictures, the strong classical score in combination with some close shots of Yakumo face really help focus the attention on his inner thoughts. Without using words, it’s clear that Yakumo is happy as he looks at pictures of his mother showing her love for him.
Besides Yakumo, this week’s episode focuses a lot on Isshin. Besides the fact that he is probably the most inspiring character I’ve seen this whole season, I can hardly believe what happened to him this episode. During a routine visit to the hospital, I cannot believe he is actually diagnosed with CANCER. This is anime I’m watching here, not some Asian drama where beloved characters start dying from diseases! The only good thing I can see coming out of this was how Isshin himself reacted to his diagnosis. Keeping a level head, he not only handles the entire situation but manages to create one of the most emotion-filled moments of this entire series. Literally after walking outside of the hospital, he notices a little girl sitting in a wheelchair. This girl is terminally ill and is focused only on the fact that she’s going to die. Pulling the “I don’t have anything to care about since I’m going to die anyways” attitude. As Isshin starts to talk to this girl, the conversation slowly moves toward the question “What happens after I die?” In an almost philosophic way, Isshin beautifully manages to both ease the girl’s heart and change her perspective on life in one fell swoop. Paraphrasing his amazing speech, he essentially says that no one knows what it’s like after they die, however, those who pass will continue to live on through their family’s and friend’s hearts and memories. Almost as if he was holding the key to her heart, Isshin unlocks the feeling this girl was withholding and brings hope into her life. I don’t know about you, but I started feeling knots build in my chest. Who would have thought that such an amazing scene would come from a show like this, and from Isshin of all people!
In terms of the general plot or current mystery, not much was revealed this week. Besides Nanase being captured by the police and watching Ishii show off his newly gained confidence the episode felt like it was moving slow. Seeing how this is going to be a four episode long arc, I hope it’s milked for all it’s worth. I expect dramatic emotion and tears to be flying out of my eyes by the end! From the looks of it Isshin will be the next target in Yakumo’s father’s on-going attempt to open the “darkness” in Yakumo’s heart. While I can’t blame him for his choice since Isshin’s death would probably effect Yakumo the most, I can’t see Isshin dying especially after he’s been diagnosed with cancer.