「絆の綻び」 (Kizuna no Hokorobi)
“Breaking of Bonds”
There was more than enough angst to go around this week, but what was surprising was how fast it seemed to get resolved. Not that I’m complaining, of course! It’s way too early in the show to bring out the brooding, so I’m all for conflicts that get their closure in one episode.
The quick diffusion is largely in part to Tamaki, who does her fair share of angsting in the episode, but bounces right back and brings the group back together. Confrontations that needed to happen, happen and all in all, I’m pleased with the direction Hiiro no Kakera is going. It’s refreshing to see a heroine who speaks her mind, and while I was afraid Tamaki would stay gloomy for a longer period of time, I’m glad she didn’t – it was depressing enough to see the empty rooftop, and to hear Mahiro rip into Tamaki made me cringe a little, to be honest. Words can cut deeper than knives, and his words cut pretty deep.
His outburst tears right into Tamaki’s insecurities, and highlights their difference in status in the cruelest of ways: tool, meet princess. I don’t think Tamaki ever felt comfortable with the notion of thinking of the guys as simple “tools”, and I don’t think she ever thought of them as one, either, which is why the confrontation wounds her that much more. Mahiro’s words effectively destroy any “closeness” they had and puts her at a distance, effectively robbing Tamaki of any right to feel for them. It turns their camaraderie into an illusion, and it’s a wound that could have festered and created one ugly angst fest I have no interest in seeing. Thankfully Tamaki’s resolve isn’t made out of paper and a little encouragement from Yuuichi goes a long way in restoring her confidence.
Her full acceptance of her role is nice to see, and what’s even nicer is the fact she’s trying to force the guys into finding a sense of identity within their roles as people, not mere tools. Not only can they not win without a full understanding of who they are, but they can also never grow.
Plot-wise, I’m a little unclear as to where it is headed, although some movement on Masataka’s part keeps things going. His… position confuses me a little though, and unless it’s a mistranslation, I’m really interested in seeing how “Bureau of Medicine” and the government fit into the whole Tamayori Princess/Onikirimaru scheme of things. The internal conflict within Aria’s crew also helped the plot train chug along, and it actually brings into question who the true antagonist is. Drei is certainly creepy, but his “suspicious old man” meter just skyrocketed this week after the revelation he wasn’t the original candidate to be Aria’s subordinate. It could all be just a coincidence, but in anime, one must be wary of coincidences.