(A, kimu, kimu! Kono kin no tame ni dore hodo ōku no kanashii koto ga konoyo ni okoru koto de aro u ka!)
“Ah, Money, Money! How many sad things must occur in this world due to money?”
Gosh that episode title’s long!
Anyway, this week brings us the introduction of Shirokane Ginka’s rather comical father… and with it, some insight into the tragic past she had prior to joining Sefiro Fiore in the first place. It was a tad bit surprising that they addressed the whole benefactors bit in terms of how the organization keeps running, but for the most part, the episode ended up mostly predictable in terms of Honda’s fall into temptation (and subsequent dispatch via Ginka’s hands). In that sense, this episode continues the kind of “Daemonia of the week” trend we’ve been getting since the start, but the notable bit here is how we’re starting to get some additional pieces of the puzzle in terms of the grand scheme.
Adding on to the aforementioned revelation of benefactors, it’s also noted that Akari’s “stronger emotional pulse” allows her thoughts to materialize more readily while in the Astralux. Thus, touching her lets one hear her thoughts, and it was quite interesting to see the kind of dilemma this “gift” introduces to the equation when your opponent is someone you know. In that respect, being able to hear what they say could undoubtedly be more of a curse than anything, and it makes one ponder the “ignorance is a bliss” quote. Some things are better off not being known—at least, in some cases—and one wonders if the identity of those involved (and their back stories) may be one of them. Arguably it adds another layer of mental stress and pressure on top of things, and for some of our cast, it may be more of a distraction than anything.
With that said, it makes me wonder at this point if this ability isn’t so much to indicate there’s another way to deal with the Daemonia as it is something more to be taken at face value—that is, something that’s there purely to let the girls hear the last words of those that give in to temptation. In that regard, Akari’s ability may be more significant in how the girls become a kind of living record—keepers of memories that others will forget and of proof that the people possessed lived in the first place. It’s an interesting perspective to ponder to say the least, and it’s something that truly gives meaning to the many images we see of the cast in graveyards, as they’re both grave keepers and grim reapers in their own right.
As such, I’m beginning to get the sense that a lot of what we see may be intentionally made so that they seem predictable, and that the future will give us something that ultimately links everything together in a potentially spectacular way. Of course, part of that belief is somewhat due to my own hopes for this series more than anything, but at the very least, it feels like there is enough brewing in the background to give us something worthwhile before it’s all said and done. At this point it’s likely not going to be Madoka in any sense of the word—despite some similarities in terms of the distinctive visual style within the Astralux and the tragic, dark nature in a variety of developments—but it could be impressive in its own right, even if it seems to be lacking some of the “passionate vision” Stilts mentioned previously.
Last but not least, one other thing to note was how both Ginka and her father both can no longer live without being surrounded by stuff. As they mention themselves, it’s a byproduct of their past and how they’d otherwise be unable to stop worrying about not being able to buy anything again, and it’s significant in its emphasis on how the past still shapes how they live in the present. And just as the past led them to this day, it also led (literally via genetic lineage) the other girls to Sefiro Fiore too, and arguably, it was the past that led the individuals in the past five episodes to fall into temptation too. Notably, it’s the past too that holds many memories, and there’s definitely a lot to be said in terms of how Genei seems to focus on “time” in general, as there’s both this focus on the past and via fortune telling/tarot card readings, the future too.
Author’s Note: Just taking the reigns from Stilts this week due to him being busy. I’ll be sliding back to providing the screencaps when he returns next week.