「㐧拾刻」 (Dai Juu Koku)
“The Tenth Moment”
Let’s talk about Sagawa’s backstory. After getting severely weakened in his fight against the Yukawa’s, he’s been more eager about cooperating with Juri to teach her how to escape from Stasis. However, he must first charge through his life story, explaining his background with religion and how he got where he was at today. If his motivation to see the future seemed a little minuscule for the number of fatalities it brought, his backstory is even odder as his trajectory towards twisting faith towards his own goals stems from his dad’s affair with his best friend’s mom. It wasn’t the best note to end on because now it looks silly to leave for a week on the thought that his dad’s adultery was what transformed him into a murderous cult leader that aims to be frozen in time. It’s a very Da Vinci Code twist that trivializes the conflict with Sagawa considering that there isn’t an inkling that their affair has anything in particular to do with the Yukawa’s and the Stone.
Any sci-fi mystery series has their work cut out for them because all it takes is one lackluster revelation to make the journey feel like wasted time. Being the mastermind of the Yukawa’s suffering, Sagawa had a lot riding on his motivations both making sense in the context of his actions and being plausible. To those who have seen the recent Black Panther movie, Killmonger’s motivations waver between revenge and ushering in a new age of warfare. It teeters too much depending on where the story wants to go with him, but it makes sense why he wants to do both with how much he’s experienced up until the events of the film, especially given how much story they can truly tell in a two hour narrative. For Sagawa, what we’ve been given about him up to Episode 10 is that he saw his dad have an affair, his religious background was challenged to the brink of channeling his spirituality towards leading a cult, and uses his influence to find a way to reach his ultimate goal of seeing all of history. Connecting the dots between seeing his dad getting frisky with another woman and tormenting a family so he can see all of history is something the next episode will need to keep in mind.
Sagawa-aside, the MVP of the episode was definitely Makoto, who was able to utilize his new skill to put up a great fight against Sagawa despite his father’s directions. Additionally, Sako was pretty cool in this episode too with his baseball skills being put to the test as he swings balls at Sagawa to distract him while Juri and Makoto go on the offense. There wasn’t enough suffering on Takafumi’s end, but at the very least his secret didn’t turn into a detriment by the time the cat got out of the bag. Overall the battle itself was fun to watch, but with the Sagawa revelation and his shriveled-up form trying to gain Juri’s trust, it’s hard to tell what will happen from here, and whether it will have a satisfying pay-off once everything is said and done.
It was satisfying knowing that Takafumi couldn’t maintain the deception. Rotten is as rotten does. If the rest of the family were like Takafumi, I’d probably have been rooting for Sagawa this whole time.
At this point, I expect Sagawa’s story will continue to show him as having been an isolated boy surrounded by an hyper-idealistic cult lead by his rigidly superior pure father. Seeing the adultery shook him into seeing the weakness in his father and ever since, Sagawa’s been driven to drive away his own weak humanness in a desire to prove himself not only superior to his father but as the True “Pure”. Basically, Sagawa started out with an unrealistic view of the world and was pushed further away from having a realistic perspective so we can’t really judge him by our puny, normal weak mortal standards.
Ie, crazy is as crazy does. This dude’s so crazy he doesn’t need a consistent and coherent “why you so bad?” backstory. Seeking isolated eternity, all knowledge, and control over those: the ultimate escapist fantasy. As for the lives he’s destroyed to get there? Well, a handful of lives are pretty trivial if you’re trying to attain something only reachable by a “god”.
I wonder if he did anything horrible to his father or their cult members. Or was he the type who was cool and calculated and just quietly stole the cult and destroyed the lives of those who didn’t choose to follow him? Is there a generations-removed family connection between Sagawa’s family led-cult and the Yukawas? Please don’t let it be one of those predictable “wrong brother elevated to leader/ true leader fled cult and stole stone” plots.
I’m glad that no one died because of the father, though there’s no hopes for a familial redemption for him now.
I believe that there’s still more to be known about Sagawa’s story, and that he is telling it trying to make them sympathize. But yeah, if they kill him it’ll be “justice”. And now that he teased the possibility of learning to control the spirits by his own will there’s hope that Juri can eventually learn this ability while trapped on stasis. I can see a happy ending for her.
Forgot to say, for me Juri and her grandpa are the “One True Pairing” in this season. I adore seeing the two together.
This dude’s so crazy he doesn’t need a consistent and coherent “why you so bad?” backstory. Seeking isolated eternity, all knowledge, and control over those: the ultimate escapist fantasy.