「星空の絵本」 (Hoshizora no Ehon)
“Starry Sky’s Picture Book”
It’s been said that it’s the children who end up suffering most when conflict arises. And if there’s one thing made abundantly clear in this week’s episode, it’s the fact that amid all the conspiracies, political power plays, and attempted sabotage, it’s our main cast—one consisting entirely of children—that ends up getting caught in the crossfire.
Indeed, with the revelation that the Ark Faction seem to be believers in the notion that the Earth’s done for and can’t be saved, it’s interesting to note how their actions from previous episodes essentially hint at them not caring whether or not the Kiltgang succeed or not. All things considered, it makes you wonder what exactly is coming in the future, and the role the Earth Engine will ultimately play in it all.
There’s a fascinating assortment of questions coming out from this show, and despite the fact we received some key revelations this week, the only real thing we know right now is this: it’s a conflict started by adults who’ve since influenced their children in ways that we probably can’t even imagine. At least though, this episode gives us a bit of a glimpse as to what exactly how they’ve been influenced so far, and there’s something to be said about how Teppei never met his “dad” until today, how Akari also met her mother for the first time in years this week, and how Daichi’s (who ends up being notably absent from most of the episode) also had to live without his father since a young age. Needless to say, they’re far from normal children at this point—the way they act and their reactions to everything tell a thousand words—and it really is a testament to how long-term conflicts and issues really do end up affecting the children the most.
With that said, it makes you wonder if what Nishikubo’s comment about “owning up to his mistakes” didn’t so much refer to his treatment of Teppei and Hana prior to Daichi’s arrival as it was his inability to keep them from being involved in everything. In that context and the lack of parental guidance our cast has received as a result, it adds a lot of extra meaning to how Nishikubo’s trying to take a more paternal role for our group, and potentially shady agendas notwithstanding, he’s turning out to be one of my more favorite characters from this show. His deployment of Teppei just to let him see his father was especially awesome of him, and it was great how well he (and the people behind the show) hid his true intentions until the very end.
Ultimately, it was a great episode development wise, and there was a lot of quality “romantic” storytelling tossed within it all. The thing that I’m wondering though, is whether or not Eiji’s actually still alive or whether Nishikubo’s just telling him a little white lie… Well, I guess we’ll see, because if he’s alive after all this, there’s no way this’ll be the last time we see him. Looking forward, it’s Salty Dog making yet another move—this time on Hana (that belly button forte!)—and things just keep on coming for our young cast.
Random Extra Tidbit: As an aside, it’s interesting to note how Governor Yomatsuri was glad Akari visited despite her only using that visit as a pretense for the secret operation. Needless to say, she and Nishikubo are clearly cut of a similar cloth, and I guess it only made sense they ended up together way back when.