「夢の理」 (Yume no Ri)
“The Reason Behind Dreams”
Definitely one of the better series of the fall season, Zetsuen finally returns after a longer than expected hiatus—with an episode that brings mixed feelings. For the most part, episode 13 brings with it a variety of flashbacks, giving us a quick refresh of everything that’s happened up until now and the reasons behind each character’s involvement. I can’t say I expected this… and am just a tad bit disappointed as a result, but for an episode filled with recaps, I have to say it was done pretty well—mixing in hints of the post episode 12 world with a look back in the past.
And what a new world it is. I’m not quite sure exactly how much we can trust from the sequence of dreams Mahiro had, but it looks like the Tree of Genesis made quite the return—bringing with it wide spread destruction and leaving two billion dead in its wake. Interestingly enough, it’s a mixture of both those that opposed the Tree of Genesis, as well as anyone and anything with even a shred of intent regarding crime or war. To top it off, the deserts have been replaced with forests and the food shortage problem a thing of the past too—wait, WHAT? Really though, at this point I don’t really know what’s real and what’s fake at the moment. I’m not quite sure if it was merely meant to show us the mindset of Mahiro… or if the world really is as the dream sequence says. There was just something quite surreal about it all… but at the same time, given the capabilities of both the Tree of Genesis and Tree of Exodus, as well as the multitude of game-changing plot twists in this series, I wouldn’t discount this possibility.
Regardless, there’s two big things I felt like were particularly worth talking about. The first involves the sequence where Mahiro and Aika discuss how “this story doesn’t end in tragedy” and the follow up with a younger Yoshino, who asks Mahiro if he wants to “really end a tragedy with a tragedy.” I know it’s probably best not to read too much into these words considering the series’ propensity to sneak things on us, but it makes me wonder if “this story doesn’t end in tragedy” might refer to the entire series itself—that should Mahiro not attempt to find Aika’s killer and continue his revenge, the world will sort itself out. On that end, it seems to insinuate that the story can indeed end in a tragedy regardless, but only if he chooses to do so.
This in turn links to the second big thing, which is the reveal of our unnamed Mage of Exodus. If the rumours are to be believed, then he could restore the world to “normal” (what exactly does this mean?). Presuming normal is a good thing (better scenario than now) and that the Mage of Exodus did indeed kill Aika though—suddenly it works out quite well with the above theory, because Mahiro’s chase for revenge would lead to the Mage of Exodus’ death and the inability to restore the world to normal –> tragedy. It’s quite intriguing how this works out theory wise… but meh, don’t mind me. Just voicing out some random things—nothing worth taking with more than a grain of salt.
Still, despite how the episode worked out and the many questions abound, the fact of the matter is that Zetsuen is finally back and all is well. If the end of this episode shows anything, it’s that there’s a lot more greatness left within the series, and there’ll be some exciting times ahead—including some Hakaze x Yoshino moments too. On that note, it looks like the series will end up 24 episodes, so there might be some slow build up before we get to the grand finale though.
P.S. Gotta laugh at the fact that the first face Mahiro sees when he wakes up is Samon’s… who sneaks in a sly comment about Yoshino being healthier AND smarter than him to boot.
ED2: 「僕たちの歌」 (Bokutachi no Uta) by 佐香智久 (Tomohisa Sako)