「裏切りの契」 (Uragiri no Sagi)
“Vow of Betrayal”

It looks like Shinji is a lot more weak-minded that I first thought, although that’s not a bad thing by any means. I find it gives his character more dimension, and it’s far more fascinating to see him trapped in the web of lies he’s created and trying to see him justify his actions rather than seeing him act the part of the perfect little brother. It’s also an introspective look into his psyche, where he’s convinced himself he’s doing the right thing – a traitors’ thought process is a highly entertaining one in any medium since they’re fully in charge of whether or not to act on their morally ambiguous actions. A highly self-centric desire – fear of being abandoned, ambition, etc. – tends to drive their thoughts and most of the time, the fear of abandonment results in a more complex set of emotions than ambition. Ambition is a purely self-serving motive while a fear of loneliness is an issue that presents more intricacies into the proceedings.

In Shinji’s case, he’s clearly driven by the need to belong – it’s pitiful to watch him plead with Aria, and he’s not completely lying when he claims he’s doing this for the good of everyone else. Plot-wise there’s still something missing regarding the severity of the Onikirimaru’s effect on the current situation; character-wise, Shinji’s defection runs somewhat on the same wavelength as Suguru’s. Both have been affected negatively by the spiritual traditions of the village. While Suguru was/is strong enough to endure the consequences and act for the greater good, Shinji cannot. It’s possible his childhood trauma played on his biggest fear, thus amplifying his instinct to be accepted by a community. Perhaps it even caused him to resent the Onikirimaru and what it and the Tamayori Princess stood for. Resentment is probably much too strong a term, actually – they do represent something frightening for him, but he does have genuine feelings of camaraderie for his fellow guardians and Tamaki; it’s more that he believes removing the source of trouble will free them all and allow them to live a life they never had the chance to have. This raises the question of whether or not Shinji knows the Onikirimaru is essentially Takuma. Would he repeat his actions if he knew how closely related the two are?

Now that everyone’s dirty laundry has been aired, the resulting angst will be a fun one to watch. I’m hoping it will give Yuuichi a chance to express himself a bit more, since up to now, he has just been the dependable voice of reason that injects common sense where it is needed. It would be nice to see him get a little more development to catch him up with the rest of the cast. This also applies to Ryou, who is slowly starting to become more and more involved in the thick of things instead of remaining a barely perceptible peripheral presence.

Full-length images: 8, 13, 15, 25, 30, 34.

 

Preview

9 Comments

  1. I think Mahiro really described the situation very well at the end. Even though they are Guardians each one is “working” independently for their own reasons. Deep inside each craves for some degree of freedom for their imposed burden. As for the betrayal is really hard to forgive Shinji and Suguru at the moment. Even with Shinji “I want to save you all guys if logos takes away the evil thing” and Suguru “they want a sacrifice and it didn’t work before why will it work now” I feel in the end Tamaki will find a way to redeem them I just can’t figure how.
    Finally I just can’t hate Aria and Vier and feel they will switch sides. Green hair is good hair not evil. Also evil Loli is not loli she need to follow Asteria. The plot is thick here and the otome side has taken a back seat for the moment. Oh! and before I forget dead to Masataka, man he really deserves a beating for messing with Tamaki.

    Yes!@
  2. What do you mean by saying everyone’s dirty laundry has been aired? Takuma’s condition remains mostly unexplained, Mahiro still knows more than he reveals and we know next to nothing about Ryou. Oh and let’s not get started about the guy from the government. No, the characters still have enough secrets to go around- makes me really look forward to the coming episodes.

    I really like how the show focuses more on the characters who stayed in the shadows during first season- they’re all pretty interesting so it’d be a shame to let them remain in the background forever. Yuuichi was pretty awesome in this episode, though I can’t help thinking that had he used his invisibility trick in a fight before, then Logos might not have succeeded in stealing artefacts afterall ^.^’

    Kizuna
  3. You didn’t mind Shinji? Interesting… At any rate, it’s interesting that they’re keeping up the plot with this season.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    Autumn The Cuzzy
  4. This episode brought exactly what I was hoping for: development for the lesser explored characters! I’m 100% for TamakixTakuma but it’s nice to see more into the lives of the others like Yuuichi. At this point I’d be happy with an entire episode on Ryou because every time he shows up, I’m like: “Please explain yourself already!!!” All in all, I’m happy with the development so far and I’m hoping the Onikirimaru plot solidifies in the next few episodes. And like I said last week, I’m so ready for our guardians to start winning some battles ASAP ^^

    Kira526
  5. The OP is beautiful, its melody as well as its words. The phrase I like especially is “Tsutawaranaide”, that is, “I do not want to let you know (how fast my heart is throbbing)”, which sounds particularly girlish. So do the opening words “When did I realise your fingers were so beautiful?”. The title “Takanaru” itself sounds somewhat fragmental and can reflect bewilderment at the “beginning of a love”.

    Serge

Leave a Reply to Kira526 Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *