「そのわけは…」 (Sono Wake wa…)
“The reason for that is…”
Things are certainly getting BONES-y again down NoitaminA way. Mysterious female singers, byzantine plot developments, noble savages – it’s easy to see why BONES saw these novels as kindred spirits after its own heart.
All in all this was a solidly entertaining and nicely designed episode of No. 6. There isn’t much in the bromance front for the fans to cheer about and the haters to moan about, but Nezumi fans will be delighted to hear him deliver a full-length song, and there is a whole lot of plot advancement and some nice character drama of a non-controversial manner. All of the major plot points get a touch, and none more so than Nezumi’s background. We’re introduced to the man known only – as far as I can tell – as “The Man Who Named Me” (though “Plot Driver” would certainly be appropriate as well). TMWNM is a white-haired old man living in some sort of massive underground cavern complex, surrounded by half-naked – and half-wild – followers.
These are the detritus of No. 6, refugees who were chased out of the city by the evil and dictatorial sickos who ran the place. I think we have our answer as to why No. 5 seemed so different than No. 6 – these places were set up in the aftermath of a global catastrophe by a kind of “Best and the Brightst” gang of social elites in the six remaining habitable places on Earth. And once founded, they appear to exist semi-independently – and No. 6 went bad and then left bad in the rearview mirror. The old man and Karan were there when the city was founded, but he fled after the leaders destroyed a gang of peaceful forest folk, who followed a mysterious being named Elyurias. All the forest folk died after No. 6 destroyed their home in a genocide of fire – except one little boy who would be dubbed “Rat” by the old man.
The old man seems to be at the center of everything – he was the first victim and first survivor of the parasitic wasps, and he knows where all the bodies are buried. But he gives up all his research to Shion on a chip, more or less abdicating responsibility and leaving the coming battles to the youngsters. As Safu suffers in a tank in a lab at the correctional facility, she and Nezumi both hear the song we now know is Elyurias’ – but does this mean Safu is a forest folk, too? And Karan rebuffs Yoming’s advances, both sexual and political, and chooses not to become an all-out rebel and likely corpse just yet.
I confess TMWNM was an extraordinarily convenient plot device, but exposition is exposition – at least we know more than we did before. Not everything – still unclear is just how the wasps came to be and what their ultimate purpose is. Dogkeeper and Rikiga are officially on board the rebel alliance, as Shion and Nezumi prepare to try and rescue Safu. It seems as if Rikiga could possibly be Shion’s father – at the very least, he’s carrying an enormous torch for Karan. I can’t help but wonder if this won’t boil down to a decision by Nezumi – I see him getting an opportunity to destroy No. 6, and weighing the words of the TMWNM (“You’d be just as bad as those you hate”) and Shion’s wishes against his own thirst for revenge.