「暗雲の予兆」 (Anun no Yochou)
“Omen of the Dark Clouds”

Looks like Hiiro no Kakera is giving that plot horse a good kick in the behind – things seem to actually be happening, and although the segue into Shinji’s past and the lead-up to the revelation of his betrayal was a little clunky, Suguru’s development evened things out tremendously in terms of writing.

The price of duty ties heavily into the overarching theme again, and while it’s not overly emphasized, it’s easy to see the consequences of continuously forcing the guardians’ roles onto them. For Shinji, it’s cruel to take away his sense of belonging from him just because he didn’t seem to have the powers required from a guardian – while it’s definitely not easy to stand by his attitude in the present, it’s much harder to point fingers at a little boy who just wanted to go back to his home. The traditions of the Kifu village, the gods, and even the Tamayori Princesses are depicted as cutthroat and cold-hearted, painted firmly in black and white. There’s no greys anywhere – everything is done to upkeep the spiritual balance and individuality becomes a lost thing.

That said, Suguru’s supposed “grudge” needs no explanations. In fact it’s commendable he was able to separate personal conflicts from his role as a guardian so well for so long. Losing a parent is a traumatic event in itself, but to have his life dictated by the very forces that took his mother’s life is an internal strife that knows no bounds. Irony aside, it’s difficult to blame him for any of his actions as he has an extremely legit reason to turn his back on his duties, if the betrayal is real. It’s hard to discern how joining Logos will help Suguru achieve his goal of stopping the ceremonial offering – perhaps a better question to ask at this point is just what the ceremonial offering is. I assume it works like any other ritual sacrifice… if so, then who is the martyr this time? Tamaki? She would be the most logical options, yet as the Tamayori Princess – the very being that keeps the world’s spiritual balance in check – she seems a bit of an off choice. Sacrificing her defeats the purpose, which doesn’t leave many people as viable sacrifices.

In any case, Suguru’s straightforward approach to his actions are a lot more likeable than Shinji’s half-hearted excuses, especially since it doesn’t seem like he clued the rest of the group into his own betrayal. That strikes me as a duplicitous move on Shinji’s part, where his character crosses the boundary from a lost boy who wanted a place to belong to a traitor who is choosing to put his comrades in danger. This is a fairly important distinction as right up until Suguru caught onto him, Shinji was still a wholly sympathetic character. It’s hard to argue with his desire to be accepted back into his community, and it’s a motivation the audience can root for. But now the hole he’s digging is completely of his own volition, which shifts the empathy away from him. Not only is he making excuses, it seems he’s unwilling to own up to his own wrongs. I have no doubt in my mind a redemption is in store for him very, very soon – I can only hope it’s just as satisfying as the other character-defining moments in Hiiro no Kakera have been. Hopefully the execution will be a little better that time too, as some of the exposition in this episode seemed a little on the weak side.

This second episode is definitely a lot better than the premiere both in terms of content and character development. Events are actually occurring instead of remaining in stasis due to recaps, and the switches in focus to different characters are much less jarring than it was last week. Here’s to hoping next week is even better than this one!

Full-length images: 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 17, 18, 19, 21, 23, 24, 25, 28, 30, 32, 34, 35, Preview 01, Preview 02.




    1. It was more noticeable this episode , but hasn’t Mitsuru been skittish/tense most of the time anyway?
      Maybe that’s just me , but she does seem as though she is hiding something big.

  1. Nah..Show Spoiler ▼

    The pacing here seems a bit strange, having the truth and the twist in the same episode..At least, the plot is moving..

  2. I was definitely much happier with this episode than I was with the first one! And I completely agree about the empathy toward Shinji’s character prior to this episode. I was certain of his betrayal in the last season so I was glad to see that he was found out almost immediately this season. But then, instead of coming clean, he allows Suguru to carry all the weight as the “traitor” so to speak. I was pretty disappointed in that. On the other hand, I can’t blame Suguru for his decision right now as he’s been holding in the pain of losing his mother for an exceptional amount of time. Although it’s just as Tamaki said, I’m going to trust him and keep hoping that this is some kind of plan rather than him actually joining Logos for real.

    So overall, I’m hoping there’s some great character development headed our way! I’m definitely going to be waiting for Shinji to redeem himself since now Tamaki really only has four guardians at the moment. Also, I’d really like for her team to start powering up and winning some battles this season! I’m excited and nervous to see what’s going to happen with Takuma’s reawakening powers but I’d also really love to see more about the other characters as well. Fingers crossed!

  3. Good to see we’re jumping into the plot this season! With the way things are going, they’ll be able to wrap up the events of the game quite nicely, maybe hit on all the events tying the different paths together? There’s more than enough time to do so, and enough content to hit a major story point per episode…

    Autumn The Cuzzy

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