「セカイ樹の種II」 (Sekaiju no Tane II)
“The Seed of the World Tree II”

And so ends the Makina route. Let’s start positive: it was better than it could have been. Starting in media res was a nice touch, since we’re short on time and we really need to get into the meat of things. You may remember that last week I was hoping that they’d do more shoring and less telling, especially of Makina’s kidnapping trauma, and I’m glad to see that they apparently picked up on that and animated Makina spending time with her father’s decomposing corpse. Good times! Something shocking like that is needed to explain Makina’s curious speech impediment (which is not what aphasia is, but whatever) and twisted Electra complex (this is platonic, guys. Of course.). Yet Makina (perhaps to her credit) does not spend a lot of time on psychological navel gazing; it seems we were done with that last episode. Rather, Makina plays the role of a small puppy that we feel bad for when they kick it. it’s somewhat emotionally manipulative, yes, but it’s probably a large part of what the paternal instinct is about. Cute daughters being bullied make dads go action mode.

They were still packing a lot of material into a single episode, however, so overall there is still a feeling that the plot is being delivered in snippets. The cat and mouse game between Yuuji and his handlers was great action (or, at least, as much action as Grisaia really gets; I knew Makina was going to lose but I still rooted for her) but I think it missed some of the suffocating atmosphere of being in hiding and being hunted. It could be Makina’s fault for being irrepressibly chirpy, but in the end it’s still the kind of thing that needs time to develop. Some plot ends also seem to have been played a bit short. The significance of Makina’s sapling was never fully explained, and felt a lot like a strange, ‘it’s dangerous to go alone! Take this.’ moment. The plant, as obvious bait, served more as a plot device than anything symbolic. Speaking of plot devices, the ‘professor’ in the basement also gets an obligatory mention, but will not really be relevant in the scope of Kajitsu. Makina’s photographic memory is also brought up without buildup, just to resolve the plot. Even more conveniently, Yuuji’s assertion last episode that he can’t kill anymore is also promptly forgotten. It turns out, he can! He just needed enough motivation. Of all of Grisaia’s adaptation decisions, this one is actually the most puzzling to me. I usually don’t feel the need to compare anime to their original source, but this one, I think, needs addressing.

*Spoilers for the original visual novel follow*

In the original VN, Makina’s mother does not die. In fact, Yuuji’s most important decision of the route was whether to kill her or not. Pulling the trigger leads to a Bad End. I thought this was pretty significant, and not just because of Yuuji’s oath to never kill again, and doing so being the crossing of a moral event horizon. Yuuji genuinely thought that having Makina commit matricide by proxy was wrong. Irisu Kiyoko may have been scum, but she was the result of a family of scum. She’s the product of her mother, who was the product of her mother before her. In fact, Makina can be considered fortunate for being able to escape that cycle, and having relatively positive parental figures like Amane and Yuuji. Arguably, that’s what The Seed of the World Tree is all about.

Whatever her Freudian excuse, Makina’s mother was not a good person, and I was not exactly sad to see her go. Yet, I feel that by dispatching her so quickly it turns her into a two-dimensional scapegoat villain, with her relationship with Makina and her sister left unexplored. It’s similar to how it was with Yumiko and her father, except Irisu Kiyoko does not even try to look redeemable. It’s too bad we didn’t see more of her before she was assassinated. Her death also raises utilitarian concerns: if Yuuji could just kill her and have Makina expose the dirt on the Irisu family so easily, one wonders why they didn’t do that in the first place. Perhaps I’m also feeling values dissonance on seeing murder turning out to be such a neat solution.

Peeking outside the garden ~ looking ahead

Whatever your feelings on Makina and her mother may be, we have to put them behind us now because next week we are moving on to Amane’s route. I have made no secret of my favour for Amane’s story, and I approach it with a mixture of anticipation and trepidation. I’m really hoping they do it well (though I guess I hope that for every route), but I’m not sure how it’ll turn out. 8bit’s budget situation, for starters, is enough to sow some doubts. Shots are losing detail by the episode; just ask this guy’s hair. Yet I still have hopes that they can do good things with a strong piece of source material. Angelic Howl is a story that benefits from taking it slow, and we do have at least two episodes for it. As I have said before, I only really need Grisaia to do one thing really well, and hopefully this final effort produces a winner. On the other hand, if they screw this up I’m going to be pretty frustrated. I’m looking forward to seeing you all again next week, it will mean I haven’t thrown my monitor out the window.

Full-length images: 08, 10, 35.


End Card


Will Michiru ever get her money back?! We’ll never find out! Nooooo!


    1. Easy game* = well… I could just go and kill the client(mother) directly – I am SUPERMAN -, but then…that won’t be fun! I should dig the daughter in first before I go kill the mom. Yea, let’s do that. While I am on it, why don’t I become her father? That will make the this whole situation even more arousing! Genius!

  1. I don’t really care that we didn’t get to understand Makina’s mum better. Unlike with Yumiko’s dad, I could not see any other ‘side of the story’. That woman is a sad excuse of a human. I feel like if I searched out the visual novel and played it, I’d be raging too much.

  2. This is what becomes of Yuuji and Makina in the vn, if Yuuji makes the decision to kill Makina’s mom (spoiler warning, obviously).

    Now that would have been a bold choice on the adaptation team’s part!

    Anyway, pretty much agree with this post. On the one hand, I thought Makina’s route was great the way it was, so I never wanted them to deviate much from it — especially since the only anime original content so far (half the stuff in Yumiko’s episode) was very, very bad. Individual scenes, such as the flashback to Makina’s past, were well done.

    On the other hand …… that ending. Why’d they show Yuuji telling JB he can’t kill anymore if they were just going to ignore that aspect of his character? Yuuji and Makina cheerfully arriving back at school like nothing happened within a couple days is pretty hard to swallow. All the tension and the heavy atmosphere of Makina’s route is gone. In the vn the crisis feels very real, and you get a real sense that nothing will ever be the same again after all is said and done. Here, not so much.

    Also gotta love that they played Makina’s ED while Yuuji waltzed into Irisu Global and murdered her mom in cold blood. Like man, that was hilariously inappropriate music for that scene.

    Tunafish Man
  3. I really liked how Yuuji killed Makina’s mom. Since I haven’t read the VN, I didn’t really have any expectation on how Makina’s arc was going to end, and I don’t know if it’s just me but it felt right, for the mom to get what’s coming her way. She was being such a douche to everyone, that it felt refreshing when Yuuji pulled the trigger and killed her.

    Trap Masters
    1. Public service announcement: there are many douchebags in this world, but please think it over before you resort to cold-blooded murder. Especially if they’ve had less than 10 minutes of screentime. Thank you.

      (I feel no urge to mourn for Makina’s mother, but actively celebrating her death seems a bit…excessive. Maybe she donates regularly to a kitten shelter? Who knows?)

      1. That is rather a very deep philosophical question. Some people are just better off dead otherwise they just cause more harm if alive. There is a difference between celebrating death or having to execute a life in turn of peace.

      2. That may or may not be so, but I still wouldn’t feel comfortable taking on myself to determine who deserves to live and who doesn’t base on limited criteria. Denying a fellow human being the right to life seems, to me, to be a very serious matter. At the very least I’d hope for a higher standard than base vigilantism.

      3. I don’t think any single human has the capacity to decide anybody’s death. To do so is just exerting power based on personal feelings.

        What measure determines if someone should be killed or not in the first place? Executing a life for the sake of peace requires considerations beyond the scope of humans. We can always say ‘what if the guy you executed had a twisted personality but ends up finding a cure for cancer that saves billions of people?’

        There’s no capital punishment from where I’m from, but whoever gets executed for the sake of peace, I hope people aren’t celebrating about it. They should just hope they made the right decision. Impulsive behavior like this is only good to watch when the author only writes about all the bad things this person did.

  4. Wow. How could Makina be walking, even with crutches, after getting shot in the stomach area? It’s only been a few days… Does she have the Excalibur’s scabbard embedded in her or something?

  5. When Yuuji just went there and killed Makina’s mother it kind of blew my mind. Especially since he started by shooting her in the leg I thought it was the part where he would intimidate the woman into leaving Makina alone but no! Bang bang AND bang! Now comes the route I’ve been most curious about when I consider Amane’s words from the first episode.

  6. After Makina’s mother hinted that she wanted to sacrifice Makina to be an organ donor for her sister, I was ready to see Mom die, and I was glad it happened. It was obviously a “kick the dog” moment, but it was there. Anyone that vile doesn’t deserve to keep breathing.

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