OP2: 「Re;Re」 by ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION
We fastforward 15 years after our last episode to see that Satoru has been in a coma this entire time! Sachiko has been taking care of him like the good mother that she is (I think it’s already agreed upon that she wins mother of the year by the way) and tending to his body as he lays in unconscious. When Satoru wakes up, he doesn’t have the shock effect that I think most doctors would expect from someone that doesn’t recognize his own face. He has a deeper voice, longer limbs and he’s an adult! Except with the mind of an 11-year-old… except he doesn’t because of his “special case”. Satoru is experiencing this inbetween deja-vu effect where he was familiar with everything going on around him but doesn’t know how he got there. It’s not enough to make him freak out, but I think his family, doctor and friends were more concerned at how well he was taking everything – given that he was an 11-year-old moments ago. You’ve got to give him a lot of credit for maintaining his composure even though he’s probably so confused and lost on the inside. Not being able to walk is also frustrating.
Now on to the biggest discussion point of this episode (for me at least)…
Yashiro Gaku… or should I say, Nishizono. His backstory is revealed in the beginning of the episode and very quickly might I add. He details a bit of why he changed his name later on, but none of that matters now that we know who he is. It’s the beginning that really intrigued me because this is the epiphany moment that I’ve been waiting for with Gaku’s motive. Why does he do what he does? In a nutshell, the anime explains it with the Spider’s Thread story and Gaku’s relationship with the hamster, Spice and how it translates to humans. I thought that this was going to be tale of how Gaku was a psychopath even as a kid, and I think there are early signs of it, however I wish there was more to it than that. From what I can tell, Gaku likes the satisfaction of killing – watching his victims fall and that rush or adredeline of capturing them and succeeding in his hunt. He does it carefully though and his acts aren’t careless so in a head to head wits battle against Satoru, he as the upper hand. He’s charismatic (even towards children), he establishes trust between himself and his victims and he kills cute pets… which are all signs of a psychopath, although not exclusively so. Which is why I would’ve liked to see more of his obsession and how it developed so strongly. I get that the anime probably ran out of time so we’re just going to have to accept that bad people do bad things but psychopathical serial killers, usually have a “good” reason for doing so. I did dig into this a bit more and without any major spoilers here, if people do want to hear more about Gaku’s past, chapter 32 of the manga details that very well. There’s a lot that’s missing from the anime which I wish they’ve included.
The biggest surprise this week was not the 15 year jump but actually seeing everyone grownup! And Kayo has a baby?! With Hiromi?! What is this…? How did that happen? I can imagine all the ships sinking as everyone realizes that in this future, Kayo doesn’t end up with Satoru but his friend instead. Not that I can blame her – people move on and things happen while you’ve been unconscious for 15 years so I don’t blame Kayo or Hiromi for what happened. The audience just has no context which makes you raise an eyebrow or two. Their reunion was bittersweet in my mind, just because I was really hoping for romance to spark between the two of them (when they got older). On top of that, Satoru doesn’t have a clue what’s been going on and he sees everyone progressing life without him while he’s just… stuck in 1988. I’m happy for Kayo though – she’s finally found the true meaning of a family and home and now she’s has a child of her own whom will grow up very happy I’m sure.
By the end of the episode, Satoru regains his memory and given that there’s only one episode left – that wasn’t a surprise. I wish there was a bit more context as to how and when, but I think the gloves and maybe hanging out with with Kumi all the time did the trick. I thought there was a relationship between Kumi and Gaku, or Kumi was Gaku’s next victim, but that didn’t seem to be the case after Satoru woke up. Now that Satoru has his memories back, unless Gaku attempts to murder Satoru again, he’s headed straight to jail. The proof will be hard to find (given that it’s 15 years later) but I think we’re headed to a happy ending regardless. Does Satoru still have his revival powers? Now that is the question… but I’d like to think not given all that’s happened. He’s saved his mother, he saved Kayo and Airi and now he just has to condem Gaku to prision.
Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: The intro from Gaku was super creepy… like he gets a high from dangling hope in front of people. An unexpected twist. I never thought Satoru would be in a COMA for the next 15 years! How did he manage to escape anyway? A change in the intro?! So late in the game but I thought it matched the English title well – #Erased #BokuMachi