「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! 😀

Full-length images: 2, 4, 6, 10, 12, 22, 24, 29, 34, 40, 44.




    1. *facepalm* How many times do we (the rest of the world) have to say to Americans .. cousins marrying ISN’T incest .. get over it already .. yeah it might not be genetically healthy to marry a close relative but there is no freaking way any sane person would consider that incest.

      That’s of course assuming Aki and Mahiro are cousins .. there wasn’t even any indication they are blood related AT ALL XD

      1. It’s still highly controversial. Different countries have different opinions regarding the issue, and while Japan may legalise it, I still think it’s technically incest – just not to a greater degree than say, parent-child or full-blooded siblings.
        Aika and Mahiro are not blood related, but sexual relationships between step-family members might still fall under the category ‘incest’.

  1. To me it seemed pretty clear that she was dead. Like they said, she had to leave her bones behind and return to the skeleton (that was hers). I’m sure she couldn’t have done so if the skeleton wasn’t hers. I don’t trust Yoshino, but that’s just me. I can’t help feeling bad for Mahiro. I have read most of the manga and there are some serious Shakespeare quotes! Why it’s relevant will become clear a little later on. This episode definitely made the series higher up on my list!

    1. She truly is a bitch(or maybe the bitch),I’m not referring to her relationship with those two BTW.I will only say this,you guys are in for some nasty surprises in the future.
      Also f u wnt spoilers go 2 mangafx 4rums.But I should say this,now I really regret reading da spoilers.

  2. I look forward to episodes of this series more than any other each week. And more questions too…While Mahiro seems pretty to understand, Who is Yoshino? Even though the story is told from his perspective(i.e. he is the only person who has voiced out thoughts), I have a hard time understanding who he really is, and how much he actually knows….and Who is Aika? I’ve heard speculation that in the same way Hakaze is related to the tree of genesis, she is related to the tree of exodus.

  3. Actually in the manga abduction and rescue didn’t happen. What happened in the manga was that Yoshino told Mahiru he’d call his girlfriend to get him to leave alone for a bit. Then he only talked with Yamamoto about the plan and the item exchange. Hayakawa wasn’t involved in the deal directly from what I remembered. So yes abduction and rescue is anime-only.

    1. Yeah, I am begin to think that anyone read the manga.
      This scene not happend in manga, so I think anime will changing some things for finish story or arc.
      But I have to admit I like the rescue for Mahiro, I like friendship of both.
      Although, next episode will continues changing things because kiss in manga mean nothing.

  4. I definitely forgot about the deal Yoshino had made back in episode 2! So watching him get “kidnapped” was super confusing for me at first ^^;;; But other than that part, I’m really enjoying all the twists and turns in this show. I agree that it’s nice when shows don’t give everything away in the early episodes. I also really like how the relationship between Yoshino and Mahiro is developing. And it’s really interesting how a lot of it has to do with their relationships with Aika. Every time an episode ends, I wonder if Mahiro actually knows about Yoshino dating Aika. Because sometimes it looks like he’s just waiting for Yoshino to finally admit it.

    1. I don’t think so. If you see manga, Show Spoiler ▼

      What I think is that the anime is starting to change certain things to accommodate that neither end is in sight in the manga.

  5. Mmmmm, I really wish I’ll someday see an anime were adoptive siblings see each other as siblings. All the pseudo sis/brocons can get kind of tiring, and SAO is already doing it this season.

  6. Oh my…
    We do not get the solution to the Schroedingers Hakaze, but we do get some very important info on other fronts.
    Firstly, Samon suddenly looks not that bad guy – maybe even a sort of anti-hero (his actions still kill perople) when he spills that Tree of Genesis can be actually more dangerous to the world than Tree of Exodus. How exactly that works, is not sure at the moment, but it certainly does involve balance of civilization and order vs nature and chaos…
    Secondly, we do get who is behind Yamamoto – basically Japanese governmemt own secret witch hunters army… And with Yoshino’s info they certainly are bound to mess up Samons plans at least a bit. Yeah magic beats mundane and high tech army is perfect source of offerings for mages to use, but at the very least they can provide a vital distraction to Mahiro and Yoshino playing Hobbits sneaking into Mount Doo… erm, Fuji.
    Last but not least Aika suddenly isnt looking so innocent, with her possibly two-timing, and involved in “fake incest”. I am more and more inclined to think that either Yoshino or Mahiro killed her now, with possibly shock and/or guilt leading the perpetrator to forget/suppress his own deed? Given almost everyone we meet is somehow related to Kusaribe clan it isnt out of question?

  7. Personally I think Hakaze is alive and well on the island and Aika is dead & that was her skeleton on the mat instead. Also I think that Samon maybe a pawn in one of his trusted associations’ hands. As we’ve seen in the other episode the tree seems to almost fully protect the ones with magic and people with talismans no matter the situation so if Hakaze is really the tree favorite person or one that protects the most I don’t believe she could be killed so easily even if there is limited things for her to use on the island. Also Hakaze said herself there is no such thing as ghost and that the tree follows logic so using Aika body as a vessel or being in different times period should not be possibly. Hakaze is answering them in real time and she also was able to use magic from her location. Also I don’t know if that was on purpose or accident but it looks like the skull of the skeleton when it was on the mat was cracked. If Aika was brutal murdered a cracked skull wouldn’t be that much of a surprise. On here people have even mentioned how much Aika reminds them of Hakaze which they do to me too, so them having a similar skeletal structure would not be that much of a stretch. This could also explain why Junichirou thinks it was Hakaze’s skull.

    Going on these bases it makes me think that Samon is a unknowing pawn in someone’s game. This someone maybe right by his side and doing things to get him to fall in line. This mystery person could have noticed Aika looked similar to Hakaze, killed Aika to use as a substitute later, suggested the whole put Hakaze on the island thing & made sure that the skeleton in a barrel was there when Samon went to retrieve the body. It would also explain why there was a skeleton when Samon returned to the island and him not suspecting any of his associations he would believe that it had to be her skeleton that the animals had cleaned. Both Samon & Junichirou both believe it is her just from the skull. These are just my thoughts from what I have seen happen so far. I just might be thinking completely out of the box or from which too many crime shows but the way the twist have been so far, I really wouldn’t be surprised if any of this or none of it at all happens.

    1. too many assumptions(“Also I don’t know if that was on purpose or accident but it looks like the skull of the skeleton when it was on the mat was cracked” puts too much weight on tht) and to be fair the show doesn’t give us much material to work with.

  8. Yoshino is revealed to be quite the inscrutable Machiavellian here. I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised if, in Shakespearean fashion, it turns out HE killed Aika. Maybe for the “greater good,” maybe so Mahiro couldn’t have her…

    In episode 1, Mahiro says of Yoshino: “Although he isn’t a good guy, he isn’t a bad one,” to which Aika herself replies, “He’s a con artist who puts up a good front posing as an average guy. People like him can lie with a straight face.” (CR; “Juuyou kidori no koukatsu na yatsu desu. Aa iu hito wa heiki de uso wo tsuku” — lit. “A sly fellow of important affectation. Such a person can with coolness/unconcern tell a lie.”)

    Also, in the same episode, Samon and his men are seen on a boat traversing the ocean at an unknown moment in time. The men express unease: “Will this truly be enough to seal the Princess?” to which Samon replies, “On that island she will become bones.”

    1. Interesting thoughts. I’ve always thought of Yoshino as the “main” main character. Mahiro seems like to have a “hero” type personality that is easy enough to understand. However Yoshino always has a very “dark aura” around him at all times. We really don’t know who he is or what he is supposed to be in the show. Can he be a villain protagonist? possibly an anti-hero?


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