「鬼の伝承」 (Oni no Denshou)
“Tradition of the Demon”
What? Plot? In my Hiiro no Kakera? Quick – someone roll out the red carpet because it needs to be given the VVVVVIP treatment and convinced to stay! Seriously though, there was a huge leap forward this week, and it was even weaved in together nicely with some character development!
With the bits of information given out, I found I could finally start making some guesses about the plot – specifically, the roles of each of the guardians. It’s been strongly hinted they aren’t humans and even before the big reveal, some of the “demon” identities of the guys have been pretty obvious (e.g. Onizaki Takuma, Yuuichi’s affinity for O-chan, etc); what I didn’t expect was for Takuma – the “Oni” – to have the role that he did. It brings about several questions, the most prominent one being: what is the purpose of having him as a guardian? It’s almost ironic that such a destructive existence would be helping to protect the world now, but I suppose that’s what makes it all the more complicated for Takuma, who recognizes all too well what the legend means. It’s never pleasant to be told you will end up destroying everything you love – it’s a predicament many a hero must face, but with a strong-willed heroine at his side, I see some light at the end of the tunnel for Takuma.
There are several other things that I wouldn’t mind getting clarification on, such as what his role will be in the upcoming battle against Aria’s crew. They seem to be apprehensive of the Oni, and even though its role in the past has been as a destroyer, I wonder if Takuma will become some sort of “trump card” – it would be in line with the hints that have been dropped through the OP sequence, as well as being a logical step for Takuma as a character. Overcoming destiny is a recurring theme in Hiiro no Kakera and after this episode, I find it such a befitting one for him.
With the revelation of the Oni’s role, there’s also the issue of the three gods. The Tamayori Princess is a no-brainer and I didn’t find anything particularly surprising regarding her involvement. The three gods – the Youko, the Orochi, and the Yatagarasu – provided most of the meat for conjectures. Here’s my theory: Youko can either be Yuuichi (or O-chan), Orochi may be Suguru, and Yatagarasu is most likely Mahiro. I say that since Yuuichi has had a strong connection with O-chan from the very beginning, and the two do resemble the fox god in some respects. Mahiro has been referred to as a “karasu” (crow) before, hence his role as the Yatagarasu in the legend. Orochi is the biggest confounding factor, but the one reason Shinji doesn’t strike me as the snake god is his last name – Inukai. “Inu” means dog, and Suguru’s green hair looks closer to the green skin of the snake, anyway. The most surprising part (and arguably the most interesting) was that only the Yatagarasu survives. It’s intriguing to see how this legend is playing out in the present – Mahiro seems to have the most knowledge, and although the information was relayed to him by Grandma, now I wonder if this legend was the reason she told only Mahiro. I don’t know to what extent the present will parallel the past, but it really seems to foreshadow a darker fate for the guardians if it doesn’t get subverted.
The legend also leaves one of the guardian’s roles blank, and perhaps this is because over the years the descendants deviated from the traditions of their ancestors, but I still find it significant that only three gods were shown instead of four.
In any case, this episode certainly gave the audience a lot to think about in respect to the plot, and I’m definitely invested enough to see where it goes. And if every big revelation leads to scenes like these, that’s always a plus!