「捕食/悲劇と喜劇」 (Hoshoku / Higeki to Kigeki)
“Devouring Prey / Tragedy and Comedy”
After receiving some hefty revelations previously, Lostorage slows down this week to let us ponder over the concentrated crazy that is Bookmaker. We have known for a while just how insane the guy is, but given the plentiful number of reaction faces this week, it seems that was just scratching the surface. Bookmaker deliberately tracked Shouhei in the hope of watching Chinatsu crush his hopes and dreams, but when that gambit failed, got devious and stuck him (and a thoroughly oblivious Rio) into a prisoner’s dilemma instead. When Piruluk finally confronted him, Bookmaker outright crushed her, all the while merrily enjoying the sexualized banter and jabs at Piruluk’s true (and consciously suppressed) personality. I’m slightly surprised Bookmaker did not actually turn out to be one of the first generation LRIGs like Piruluk given his blackness, but considering his penchant for psychological torment (which is above and beyond what Ulith or Akira were capable of), it does make sense. More and more this guy is turning into the final boss of the show.
Shouhei of course was our boss’ victim this week, who literally took his white knighting with him to the grave. I personally never liked Shouhei—mostly over his creepy attachment to Chinatsu and emo-esque personality—but damn, the battle with Rio was certainly a horrific bit of cruel and unusual punishment. Bookmaker was right that Shouhei had some level of obsession over Chinatsu (he certainly crushed on her hard), but I doubt it was to the degree our sadistic matchmaker espouses. Hell the poor guy used Chinatsu to artificially recover his memories, promised to leave her alone after, and refused to “kill” Rio. For all his weaknesses, Shouhei definitely did not deserve his fate. I particularly liked too how Shouhei’s LRIG Donor expressed clear remorse over his disappearance, starkly highlighting how depraved this whole game has now become. Donor’s reaction is interesting too because it suggests not all LRIGs want their freedom that badly, some apparently (whether due to their imbued memories or Selector interactions) are perfectly willing to support their Selectors. It will be curious if Donor or any other “living” LRIGs (besides Piruluk) expunge Bookmaker’s little sadist party and also decide to seek a final solution to this despairing game.
With Shouhei gone too we can now expect some serious fireworks between Chinatsu and Suzuko. Chinatsu was clearly showing signs of breaking last week, but those signals were strongly reinforced here, first with the sparse memorial to our cute pixie Selector-cum-LRIG, and then with Shouhei’s sudden disappearance. The girl is all but openly doubting her choices now, with only Meru apparently keeping her committed to her goal. Considering Bookmaker is now itching to see how serious Chinatsu is to obtaining strength and destroying Suzuko, it’s not long before Chinatsu will be forced into making a permanent decision regarding the matter. That timeframe may be shorter than we think too, given that next week’s preview title all but gives away the upcoming premise. Schedule it in boys, Suzuko versus Chinatsu, the fight is on.
I’ll be disappointed if Hanna’s role in all of this is over, it cannot just be as simple as win, get a free memory, and be done with the game. There must be something else.
Either Bookmaker has some insanely powerful cards (with delayed effects), or else he has the ability to warp the Battle Space. Both options aren’t good.