「神様の役割」 (Kami-sama no Yakuwari)
“A God’s Role”
So after the story-defining flashback last time, we’re quickly taken back to the lighthearted side of the series during a late-summer getaway. Leading up to that, even Kirio didn’t appear all that bad anymore, suggesting that the Hyuuga family will remain relatively civil until Amaterasu comes into the picture. Moyako’s trip to Tokyo seems to support that suspicion too, since it’s hard to imagine that Koushirou and Kirio will act as they please with her around. In the meantime, it’s nice to see the focus shift back to Aki and a sympathetic Hibino, who asks the question that I’ve been wanting to know the answer of as well: Why is Aki so obsessed with Kyouhei?
Going two months back to the season preview, I had already mentioned that Aki’s purposely provoking Kyouhei to try and awaken the dark power within him (along with what he believes to be his true nature), so the revelation here wasn’t really what I was after. The question I have is what he’s hoping to achieve by doing so. As Hibino pointed out, he seems more than capable of exacting revenge on the village if that were his goal, meaning it’s doubtful he’s trying to enlist Kyouhei’s help to do so. I considered the possibility that it’s at least partly because Aki wants Kyouhei to realize that he’s no different than him, but as for his main goal goes, I’m wondering if it’s simply because wants to see Kakashi spread havoc in the world.
It would sort of be a twisted way of getting back at Karakami — exposing its cult-like secrets and putting it under country-wide scrutiny — which is already sort of happening now that Kuuko’s father Kyousuke is investigating the village. To that end, Kyouhei going on a rampage would probably be a beautiful sight to Aki. Of course, the easier explanation is that he’s doing whatever he wants, having lost faith in the world after what happened to Chihaya, and killing anyone who rubs him the wrong way because he feels that’s what Kakashi are for. I still get impression that it’s something else altogether though, given how Aki could’ve harmed Hibino to push Kyouhei over the edge, yet held back to a certain degree. Whatever the case, he’s definitely proven to be a misunderstood antihero of sorts, so all eyes are what he plans to do next.
As for Utao, all that training looks like it’s finally paid off, after seeing her save Hibino in the midst of a typhoon and even surprise Aki in the short scuffle between Kukuri and Kuramitsuha. Story-wise, I found it pretty ironic for Kyouhei to be reassuring Utao that Kakashi are what she makes of them when he stepped down as a Seki out of fear that he would lose control and do something he would live to regret. I don’t see how he can preach about something he doesn’t even have confidence doing himself, which made the beating he received slightly more befitting. In terms of humor, Utao calling Kyouhei out for being unfaithful pretty much speaks for itself. I kind of wish Kyouhei fired back with a snark remark about how they’re siblings just to see how Utao would’ve reacted.
Anyway, this turned out to be an unassuming episode that quickly picked up in the second half. It’s just too bad we were shortchanged on the first beach half and had to make do with Utao’s imagination and Hibino changing into her swimsuit in the dark.