「東雲に消ゆ」 (Shinonome ni Kiyu)
“The Daybreak Disappearance”
Shut up and get in the robot.
This week’s Kuromukuro pays particular attention to one of its weaker aspects: Yukina. This isn’t to say that the character is irritating or bothersome, just somewhat bland and uninteresting in context to everything else that’s going on. She certainly has her moments of promise, like when the conflict with her mother is addressed or her past with her father is brought up. This time around, Yukina comes into contact with a more central and relevant concern.
She doesn’t want to fight giant robots.
In animes past, strapping and timid young fellows are reluctant to enter the fray because they’re insecure of their ability, even though all they really need is to believe in themselves. Yukina, on the other hand, merely just doesn’t want to. She’s just a student who’s been forced into this whole matter—bigger than anything her meager, unachieving life could ever think of touching. The traumatic conclusion of last week’s events are further reason that a high school student has no place in this battle. Now, some may conclude that this makes the inner conflict unexciting or boring, and that may very well turn out to be the case as episodes carry on. However, there’s some serious potential here.
It’s a serious creative challenged to force this completely unmotivated character into fighting such a risky, large-scale war. This is completely out of her comfort zone, and she has zero to little interest in the matter. I predict that some greater explanation of her father’s disappearance, as well as her budding fondness for Kennosuke, will play a part with getting her into the pilot’s seat once again. The way I see it, all of this will play some large part in uplifting Yukina’s character—in essentially, making her an engaging, motivated, and interesting character for the rest of the series.
Something I’m also excited for is the main antagonizing force. Don’t get me wrong—there’s not a lot of interesting material here. Their aesthetic appeal leaves little to no impression (generic armor, clichéd throneroom in space, etc.) and their motivations—unconditional and undying praise to some faceless godlike entity—do nothing to set it apart from much of what came before. What’s interesting here is that they’re human! Now this itself isn’t a unique plot development, but its effect on Kennosuke’s resolve is intriguing. His entire life purpose is built upon revenge, which itself is facilitated on the nameless, inhuman nature of his enemy. Until now it’s been easy for him to focus his anger on “the demons.” However, now that he’s learned that there’s more at play here—that his foes could be actual people—he’s left confused and in denial, as he refuses to acknowledge they’re anything. As he learns more and more about the enemy, his character motivations and constitution could evolve in continually dynamic ways.