「攻め来たるは・・・」 (Semekitaru wa…)
“The One who Comes Attacking is…”
I didn’t expect to see Suou (Sendai Eri) again, but she sure made an immediate impact, snapping back at Utao’s cold behavior toward her goodhearted head and cheek rubbing. The latter made wonder if the series is intentionally trying to make Utao come off as a pet of sorts, especially with all the squeamish noises that Fukuen Misato was making. Along with the noticeable shift toward the lighthearted aspect in the first half, they sure made it plainly obvious that Utao’s completely infatuated with Kyouhei and dangerously close to brotherly complex-like levels. Not like it wasn’t apparent already, but if there was any doubt from the first two episodes, there shouldn’t be anymore.
Of course, getting confirmation wasn’t all for naught due to the cute factor, much like showing how Aki escaped added to the gore factor. With Aki back in the picture, there was a stark change in tension during the latter half, and one that I rather enjoyed after an episode and a half of the goofier side of things. Thus far, Aki’s proven to be a rather intriguing character, killing everyone who rubs him the wrong way except Kyouhei. His reasons for doing so still aren’t all that clear, but he did allude to how Kyouhei should’ve walked the same twisted path that he did, supposedly after the massacre that we still see regular flashbacks about. I feel like they’re overusing that scene, since I’m sure everyone gets the foreshadowing by now; however, this time it did suggest that Kyouhei was in on whatever happened back then and didn’t simply witness Aki killing everyone. The difference appears to be that Kyouhei tried to stop it, whereas Aki basked in it. Whatever the case, I gather we’re not going to be divulged the details until Kyouhei’s ready to someone else — likely Hibino — about it.
In the meantime, Hyuuga Koushirou’s (Murase Katsuki) arrival came with on unexpected development — Aki running away from him. Kyouhei’s childhood friend has done a pretty impeccable job of coming off as a heartless killer, so he doesn’t exactly have the type of personality I would expect to run away from anyone, even if they are a pain to deal with. However, I do like the implication that Aki isn’t the most powerful Seki of the village and simply can’t be restrained, since it adds some extra depth and complexity to his character. i.e. He’s dangerous because he’s calculating and manipulative, not because he’s all-powerful. Granted, he was up against the mysterious Hyuuga Kirio (Kobayashi Yumiko) as well, whom some people might remember from the season preview is described as a young boy that looks just like Utao. I’ll let you guys come up with your own speculations about that, but suffice to say, writers don’t point stuff like that out because it’s a mere coincidence. Let’s not forgot that they’re members of the village’s two big families either.
With all of that going on, they somehow managed to slip Kuuko back into the picture as well. I figured she’d make an appearance when I heard Sawashiro Miyuki voice the boy who saw Utao flipping cars out of the ocean. Bump into Aki and haul his ass away to interrogate him about the village’s secrets though? I can’t say I saw that coming. I suspected Kuuko would get pulled into the loop before long, but not on the wrong side of the fence. Now she’s stripping Aki down and hogtying him up, which I imagine will lead to an interesting dynamic between them. Interesting for me anyway. Absolute nightmare for Kyouhei and Hibino.
* That was a pretty long omake this week with a hyper Utao biting Kukuri. Fukuen Misato’s really pulling out all the stops with this role it seems. Maybe she’s taking a page out of Utao’s book and loading up on sugar by eating a lot of cake.