“The Cursed Man, Part 2”


「呪われた男 後編」 (Norowareta Otoko Kouhen)

A Poisoned Painting:

Kudos to anyone who called that the painting would be the cause of all this. It was obvious that it had to play a role in this “curse”, but I couldn’t quite figure out the finer details. However, as others pointed out, the paint was toxic and the Fujioka’s coughing and the Mees’ lines on his fingernails were enough to give Sakurako a lead on her diagnosis. As is common with Sakurako, the delivery of her exposition/explanation is a convoluted and detailed as ever, explaining the toxic arsenic component that’s no longer in use, and that the deadly stuff comes behind the canvas where Scopulariopis brevicaulis mold has formed.

Sakurako’s loaded dialogue doesn’t end there, as she goes on to explain that the painter’s advice was shady (because apparently babies don’t respond to colours the same way as we grown ups do) and that the explanation for the early family deaths comes from something oh so simple: stress. Stress and anxiety are mentioned a few times here, but Sakurako’s hypothesises is that the family has congenital anomalies of the coronary arteries – something that can’t be discovered from a simple check up. When pressed about why only the men suffered from it, Sakurako explains that women’s body are able to handle stress better (while men’s bodies may be physically superior in some aspects, there are many ways that the female body wins out, and this is one of them). Truth be told, I’m not an expert in any this, but I’m going to assume enough research was done on the part of the author for this to all make sense; it’s not a diagnosis by any means, but there’s no doubt that it’s meant to suffice as an explanation. All things considered, I like how this was wrapped up – there aren’t any holes in what was said, and all the set-up came back to form a sensical conclusion.

As for Hector… it looks like Fujioka went out his way to take ownership of the allegedly cursed canine in hopes that it would serve as an explanation for his “death”, which he was so keen to make happen that he attempted (and failed) to hack off his own legs. It was a miserable end to this ordeal, yet fitting to what was being built up. At least by the end, everyone gets their time to shine (except for Shoutarou, who mainly watched and listened, as he does).

Butterflies and Colourful Lies:

However, the mystery doesn’t end there. The case may be solved, but Sakurako is correct in having that wriggling feeling that those words from the expert have a deeper meaning than one would originally assume. For once, we’re actually ahead of our ace investigator in this case, which seems like it’s going to carry over until she meets her destined final foe. We’ve seen glimpses of the ominous fedora-wearer with his butterfly imagery and now his colourful lies – clearly he’s got a larger role to play in all this. My main question is simply: why did he want Fujioka to bring out that painting and slowly poison himself (and perhaps his wife and child)? Also, it’s likely he was the presence that Sakurako felt in the last scene of the second episode. Whoever he is, he’s bound to play a crucial role in developing Sakurako’s past and explaining the way she is today.

Speaking of her past, the similarities between Shoutarou and Soutarou are becoming more prominent. Perhaps it’s the way he speaks, or just the way he looks, or because his name is near identical, but she’s seeing her deceased younger brother in Shoutarou, which results in a weird mix of emotions. Personally, I can’t wait to fully delve into this backstory so we can get some insight into here character and focus on some of her weaknesses, and hopefully make her seem like a real person. It’s being being set-up effectively, so when the time does come it’s sure to be a moment worth remembering.

Overview – What’s Next?:

I’m thrilled the set-up from the previous episode paid of in this one. More episodes like these, please!

I assume we’ll be going back to the one-offs from now on, but I would prefer some more overarching stories that are given time to breath. Because the characters were given space, and their conversations didn’t have to insert plots points A, B, and C in X amount of time, both the pacing and the atmosphere were improved as a result. With the tale of the Cursed Man, Sakurako-san proves it can be an effective mystery when given the time to flesh out the details and allow the audience to take an active role in figuring out just what the hell is going on.

17 Comments

  1. So she does wind up with the dog. No surprise. If the dog is attracted to dead things it’s going to be in heaven at her house. I have in image in my mind of her chasing the dog around the house with a bone in it’s mouth. 😀

    The butterfly man either has a connection to her or she’s just accidentally getting in the way of his nefarious plans (trope!). This episode seemed to be partly a setup to introduce him. Maybe where she’s attracted to interesting bones he’s attracted to creating interesting deaths? Can’t get much more unusual than being killed by a painting.

    1. Really? Because I’ve watched Gosick, and there was a scene featuring Victorique’s eyes glowing as she “reconstructs” her Chaos pieces.

      https://randomc.net/image/GOSICK/GOSICK%20-%2004%20-%2026.jpg

      So isn’t that similar? I didn’t find Sakurako’s glove-putting simulation as an annoyance of “not being right”
      https://randomc.net/image/Sakurako-san%20no%20Ashimoto%20ni%20wa%20Shitai%20ga%20Umatteiru/Sakurako-san%20no%20Ashimoto%20ni%20wa%20Shitai%20ga%20Umatteiru%20-%2001%20-%2028.jpg
      like what Victorique’s mind simulation does.

      Hence, if you happened to be a fan of Victorique’s mystery solving stuff, then you probably should think twice avout Sakurako’s simulation being similar to Victorique’s own.

      gosick.wikia.com/wiki/Victorique

      Richie Kim
      1. For me, I can accept Victorique’s eye sequence because it was simple and the sequence sort of reminds me of “gears” working in her head.

        On the other hand, for Sakurako, the glove scene feels a little pretentious and visually exhausting (if that makes sense). That’s how I feel when I compare both of them.

        Dualash
    2. The scene don’t really annoy me much, I’ll treat it as the cut scene to enter to solving arc. So, it’s can treated as stopping point for those mysteries fan who like to hypnosis their own theory before see if it hit the mark.

    3. The thing I liked about the previous episode was that I didn’t have to watch the glove-scene. Once I came upon it in this episode, I automatically paused the video and clicked ahead to skip the sequence (I’ve also done this for episodes 3 and 2).

      The twinkling light that hits her forehead while she has her eyes closed is just… no. There’s no need to “transform”, so I don’t get what that light is supposed to be accomplishing. Also, she has already come to her conclusions in her head beforehand, it makes no sense for her to have a sequence to get into “the (thinking) zone” to solve the mystery.

      Kuma Kuma might be correct in treating the glove-scene as a mere cut-scene just before solving the mystery. I’m still going to be skipping it in future episodes.

      Monimonika
  2. I didn’t expect a twist on the reason Fujioka suddenly called Utsumi for help.

    Nevertheless, this case has the most interesting sub-plot with:

    1)the mysterious antagonist being almost revealed in the most sinister way a villain killing his victim (indirectly) slowly
    https://randomc.net/image/Sakurako-san%20no%20Ashimoto%20ni%20wa%20Shitai%20ga%20Umatteiru/Sakurako-san%20no%20Ashimoto%20ni%20wa%20Shitai%20ga%20Umatteiru%20-%2005%20-%2002.jpg

    2)Shoutaro (almost) proving to be a reflection of Sakurako’s deceased brother.
    https://randomc.net/image/Sakurako-san%20no%20Ashimoto%20ni%20wa%20Shitai%20ga%20Umatteiru/Sakurako-san%20no%20Ashimoto%20ni%20wa%20Shitai%20ga%20Umatteiru%20-%2005%20-%2035.jpg

    My prediction on the next case will involve Shoutarou’s teacher, who is hinted in the OP sequence to miss his 3 female friends (students?) dearly.
    https://randomc.net/image/Sakurako-san%20no%20Ashimoto%20ni%20wa%20Shitai%20ga%20Umatteiru/Sakurako-san%20no%20Ashimoto%20ni%20wa%20Shitai%20ga%20Umatteiru%20-%2001%20-%2008.jpg

    Richie Kim
  3. HalfDemonInuyasha
  4. so, it is almost like in Umberto Eco’s Il nome della rosa, only with pisoned painting instead of book…
    Sakurako seems to have unknowingly stumbled upon her nemesis, if butterlflies symbolic etc. is right?

    ewok40k

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