「矛盾する、頭蓋」 (Mujun Suru, Zugai)
“The Skull’s Paradox”
Continuing off from last week, the biggest question leading into this episode was whether or not Hakaze is actually dead or alive. While we don’t get an answer (not that I expected one yet) this week, we do get some intriguing and thought-provoking commentary, courtesy of Junichirou’s admittance that he verified Hakaze’s bones personally. With that confirmation, the question becomes… what does that mean? For one, it could mean that Hakaze is indeed deceased, and that Aika was killed so Hakaze may use her as a temporary vessel. Interestingly enough, this scenario does fit in with the whole discussion of Samon being smart and calculating, because this ensures that although Hakaze is still “here” and available as a counter in case the revival of the Tree of Exodus (Zetsuen) goes wrong, and it also ensures that she most likely won’t be able to return to power as the leader of the clan. At the same time though, one could also argue that those same aspects of Samon’s personality allowed him to fool Junichirou in an attempt to get him to join his cause. In this case, Aika’s body would be used as a substitute and the end result would be that the clan be reunited. This of course, also means that the potential of Aika being “alive” is a red herring… and it is quite hard to tell at the moment.
Looking back at the story for a moment though, the next thing you have to consider is the Tree of Genesis. It’s been said that the tree preserves logic and would theoretically protect Hakaze (meaning that there’s no way she’s dead). At the same time however, with the tree not being fully healed, one can also argue that it’s not capable of influencing events to such a point where death “due to nature” could be prevented—which is exactly how Samon supposedly succeeded in this respect. And thus, in the end, we’re right back where we started. It’s just not possible to tell at this point, but I’m not complainin’. See, for one, it wouldn’t be a series worth watchin’ if the cat was already out of the bag a mere six episodes in. In addition, this covering of the bases, this ability to make it so that any of a few scenarios could be possible no matter what the explanation, gives this series a much more solid foundation than many other series. There just aren’t many (if any) plotholes to really poke at in terms of the major events in the story at this time and the series really deserves some props for that.
But that’s enough about the bones for the moment, as we get another huge revelation this episode as well: that the Tree of Genesis is perhaps even more likely to destroy the world. To say the least, this wasn’t what I expected at all… but when you think about it, suddenly quite a few things seem to fall into place. For one, it gives additional foundations to Samon’s reasoning for trying to summon the Tree of Exodus. But perhaps more importantly, it seems to give a potential reason for why it takes offerings from civilization to grant powers to the clan members, which is that civilization in general defies logic and the natural order. Thus, if properly restored, the Tree of Genesis may end up actually being the source of civilization’s destruction, as it attempts to restore things to how they should be. Remember, in our world, things naturally tend toward disorder in the first place. Civilization was made in an attempt to establish order where there is none. And well, to say the least, this is some darn intriguing stuff.
Moving on, the next thing that I’m obligated to discuss is the “kidnapping” of Yoshino by Evangeline. I was actually just pondering when she’d jump back into the picture, and well, here she is! We’re finally seeing the “deal” Yoshino made way back in episode two and it seems like it involves stopping Samon in his own, more methodical fashion. In a way, it speaks to the person Yoshino is (thinker, more logical, more willing to depend on the military than his hard headed friend)… but at the same time I did find the sequence of events pretty strange. Deep down, Yoshino had to have expected that there was some small chance that Mahiro would come and rescue him anyway… which would’ve in turn made it a giant waste of the limited talismans they had in their possession. But I suppose, now that you mention it, it might actually be something Yoshino intentionally did to test what kind of relationship he has with Mahiro—whether or not it’s of casual acquaintances or a real friendship. In this respect, it ties in quite nicely with Mahiro as well, as he seems to refuse to accept various things about reality, and is also unsure of one of his relationships too.
And that relationship is none other than the one between him and Aika, whom is revealed to not be a blood relative. It’s another intriguing twist following the one regarding Hakaze and it makes me wonder of there isn’t the possibility that Aika is in some way related to the Kusaribe clan. At this point, even the military director Hayakawa is distantly related, and it’s just not beyond the realm of impossibility considering how intricately everything relates.
Either way, while I did feel the whole abduction and rescue portion of the episode felt a bit out of place (perhaps the only real potentially negative development all series), it did set up nicely for the future. The story is starting to solidify as we get more revelations and settle on major questions we need to answer and it really will be interesting to see how things work out. On a side note, I have to say… there’s something very ominous about Hayakawa…
And last but not least, another special thanks to BakaMochi for the caps! 😀