“The Monk’s Immorality”
Flashbacks, Flashbacks, and More Flashbacks!:
It seemed like we would be getting a few flashbacks based on last week’s preview (and how weird are those previews – the dialogue that is spouted at the end of each episode is almost as weird as the show itself), but I did not expect nearly an entire episode dedicated to exploring the histories of a select few characters. Reactions to this episode seem to be mixed (more mixed than usual), as they’ve shifted the formula and actually attempted to flesh out these characters a little more, while still making Nanakimura seem like a horrifying place to live. My reaction is much the same as every other episode: I like it. I’m having a blast watching this, scoffing over the ridiculous lines of dialogue coming from the mouths of these ridiculous weirdos.
We got a varied selection of insights into these characters, ranging from traumatic to just plain silly. Funnily enough, Lovepon’s is easily the most serious of the bunch, as she had to witness her mother get abused by the local monk who she remembers as a giant oni face. It’s not subtle in the slightest, but that has never been the case with Mayoiga, so expecting otherwise is more of a reflection of your own expectations rather than what the show intends to deliver. Regardless, her obsession with executions felt sudden given the time we had to establish her backstory, but it fits her character and actually makes her seem more like a person and less of a mascot that the rest of the cast doesn’t think much of. We also see Jigoku got a silicon implant in his head to make him tall enough to enter the military, but that didn’t work out for him. Nyanta got her obsession from guns after being bullied at school and then trying to take her revenge on the girls from afar before being caught again and attacked by wasps. And then there’s the most absurd of all, which comes from Mikage, perhaps the most serious character of the cast. He wanted to make successful toy trains, and failed. People laughed at him, and now he’s emotional scarred. I… don’t even know. But I kind of love it.
The Forest of Visions:
While all these revelations feel crammed in a single episode, it mainly works because it clarifies just what’s happening around the forests of Nanakimura, and establishes that something supernatural is going on. We’ve got the giant floating oni face, the silicon boob monster, the enormous wasp, the demonic looking train accompanied by a chorus of laughter, and also Mitsumune’s ripped up teddy bear (that’s what it looks like to me) with a human eye, as well as a giant Mitsumune from a few episodes ago. What seemed like a random sequence of events now makes sense: everyone’s greatest fears are manifesting themselves in a physical form. There is more to this than a few roaming bears, clearly. Unless, of course, someone had personal trauma in their past involved some grizzlies.
Overview – What’s Next?:
With all that clarified, we can now move forward and see what else lies ahead. We’re learning more about these people, and I’m not minding the direction this episode took, though I do wonder if Masaki really is a ghost. Unless she disappeared several decades ago and hasn’t aged since, I don’t see how that confirms anything. She could have just went missing by herself and joined this bus tour for her own reasons – but at the very least she has reasons. There’s been something fishy about her since the third episode, so I expect a big revelation is around the corner.
P.S. My favourite moment of the episode might actually be Koharun swerving past Dahara and instead heading to Valkana. That was painfully hilarious. Also, Koharun needs to stop randomly singing. It was weird at first, and just plain creepy this time around.