「友達／絆と鎖」 (Tomodachi / Kizuna to Kusari)
“Friend / Bonds and Chains”
Well the fated reunion is finally here, and damn does it certainly go all out. It’s all about the Suzuko suffering this week.
It’s no surprise Chinatsu laid into Suzuko heavy this week, but it’s still difficult believing just how quickly Chinatsu’s personality has shifted. Tart remarks about Suzuko holding her back and making her weaker are punctuated by adulation for the freedom battles have given Chinatsu. The girl has literally gone over the edge, convinced through some twisted sense of logic that Suzuko is the source of all of her problems, and by eradicating her memories of Suzuko everything will solve itself (hint, it probably won’t). Female logic might be one of life’s great mysteries, but Chinatsu certainly takes the cake for the severity of its infliction. It becomes tastefully ironic too when noting that Chinatsu actually bears a hint of regret regarding her actions—seems she isn’t fully committed to her grand scheme of memory manipulation. Chinatsu may have shut Suzuko down hard this episode, but a part of her remains unwilling to shed all those memories just yet.
The one “good” thing Chinatsu accomplished this episode was explicitly highlight Suzuko’s neediness. Suzuko definitely requires an anchor for support, whether that be her idealized memories of Chinatsu or the vicarious Chinatsu replacement Riru. Indeed this week revolved around collectively ramming that realization down Suzuko’s throat. Although Chinatsu began this abject lesson, funnily enough it was Hanna of all people who reinforced it by poignantly identifying Suzuko’s reliance, all the while beating the tar out of our shocked heroine. It was a fight (much like the reunion) that was largely inevitable, though I never thought it would serve as Suzuko’s biggest bit of enlightenment so far. While a clear and powerful message, Suzuko will still need time to internalize it and embrace a new mindset—it’s not often your long-time friend turns on you after all. Such time Suzuko may not have, however, given that the Bookmaker looks to be setting up (in his perverted, dacryphiliac manner) his grand-daddy of all Selector battles: Chinatsu versus Suzuko.
Although the focus this week was certainly on Suzuko’s suffering, there were a couple of intriguing plot lines moved forward via Hanna and Shouhei too. Hanna in particular has the full array of warning lights at this point: she only needs one more coin to win, has some variety of painful childhood memory afflicting her, and no known plan (yet) for what memory she wants to change/create/destroy. I fully expect Hanna will find out what the catch is for winning this game first, probably around the same time Chinatsu and Suzuko end up fighting—no better way to maximize the suffering. Shouhei furthermore offers an interesting tidbit concerning fighting. We saw how quickly Suzuko’s coin darkened previously, but apparently Shouhei can avoid fighting and still “win”, provided he retains a coin after 90 days and accepts random memory loss. I’m not sure what’s going on with this given previously known information, but it seemingly indicates the game rules aren’t hard and fast. I actually wouldn’t be surprised now if there are multiple means of winning and potentially different rates of coin “degradation”. This question and the results of winning does are the only unanswered bits remaining (barring what happens to defeated Selectors body swapped with their LRIGs), and the ones we should hopefully have answered soon. Given that boisterous preview, we may not have that long to wait.
Chinatsu’s remarks are hilarious when taken together with her smirk face. Why yes, I would love to do it with you too 😛
Shouhei is not only a tragic white knight of yore, but also Lostorage’s Ruuko. Just look at that love of battling.
Bookman is as Bookman does. I’m quite certain now he deliberately sets up battles to maximize emotional distress—why else care about Suzuko’s and Chinatsu’s relationship so much?