Random Curiosity

Mayonaka no Occult Koumuin – 08 »« Mayonaka no Occult Koumuin – 06

Mayonaka no Occult Koumuin – 07

「喪失感と絶望の証明」 (Soushitsukan to Zetsubou no Shoumei)
“Sense of Loss and Proof of Despair”

Earlier on, I assumed that the angels in this series were just another form of Another, with no actual ties to Christian theology. After all, if they were truly angels, why wouldn’t they be in Heaven? Then when Pandora was introduced, it seemed clear that all the myths and legends were real, just not in the traditional sense. For example, Medusa was probably a powerful Another with the ability to turn men into stone, and Anansi was likely an Another too, maybe with abilities and a mischevious disposition similar to Huehuecoyotls’, which was why I was so sure and elated when we saw Cerberus that Hades was an Another. However, it seems I was too hasty in my judgment. Rather then Hades, the Another kidnapping girls to bring back his lost love was none other than the demon, Azazel (Tachibana Shinnosuke).

After briefly skimming through an article on Azazel, I came to the conclusion that the storyline did him little justice. Azazel fell from Grace, not because he fell in love, but because he refused to bow before God. Additionally, by trying to include a fallen angel in the narrative, it’s inadvertently broken the rules of its own premise. As this show likes to remind us, there are angels on earth, coexisting with humans, so why was only Azazel punished for staying on earth and falling in love?

Perhaps he was never an angel of God, but rather an Another who was driven mad by falling in love with a human, proving that relationships between humans and Anothers are destined to end in tragedy. My main issue with the black-haired Another, though, isn’t just that his very inclusion challenges rules that the series has set, or that he lives in ‘Hell” where he is guarded by Cerberus – maybe Hades lends his dog out the way Azazel lends out kidnapped girls – it’s that he’s interchangeable. Without being told who he was supposed to be, I never would have guessed his identity. Now, there’s a possibility that this Another was meant to have inspired legends in both Christian and Greek mythology, which is personally my favorite interpretation, but even in that case, there simply wasn’t enough development for Azazel to live up to the legends he supposedly inspired.

Regardless, the black-winged Another’s story is both a tragic and undeniably creepy one. Like Seo said, he fell in love with a human, but instead of letting her pass on peacefully after her death, he captured her soul, using the bodies of girls who look similar to his love to recreate a vessel for her. Except the poor woman he keeps resurrecting can’t handle being in a body that isn’t hers. Whether he meant to or not, Azazel twisted her into something that disgusts her so much that every time she wakes, she won’t stop screaming until he kills her, and the cycle starts all over again.

As for the office workers, they accomplished surprisingly little. Arata made himself slightly more useful than a Find My Phone app by narrowing down the search for the school where Azazel was hiding through talking to nearby fairies, though ultimately it was Kohaku who not only brought them to the Underworld, but saved them from Cerberus. Cool as it was to see Seo pull out a gas grenade and Kyoichi whip out a shotgun, the triumph of the moment was undermined by how helpless they actually are. Without Kohaku’s help, they never would have made it to Azazel’s lair, and without the help of the Another observing him, they never would have escaped. Although, despite not putting a stop to Azazel they did accomplish the main goal of saving Kyoichi’s sister and getting out of there, which might be all they could have asked for at that point.

If nothing else, kudos to this show for delivering a genuinely unsettling tale. Between the facial contortions and a truly bone-chilling line delivery from Tachibana, it’s a hair’s breadth from a horror story.

Epilogue:

 

Preview

May 20, 2019 at 10:43 pm
9 comments »
  • May 20, 2019 at 10:57 pmSpike

    Meh, I thought they were gonna have some guts and actually leave the girls afflicted by the consequences of the Another. By reversing the damage, the writers basically lowered the stakes and confirmed that nothing bad is going to happen to important characters. A Shame.

    • May 21, 2019 at 4:22 amAex

      It would’ve been one thing if the three had done something, but they effected nothing and everything turned out fine. There should’ve been some payout, like someone impressing Kohaku or the horned guy, and then the girls get cured/released because of it. I like to think that maybe that did happen but the horned guy just wasn’t up front about it, but the way it played out makes it seem like they could’ve just waited in the park instead of hunting Azazel down with the exact same results.

  • May 21, 2019 at 4:16 amAex

    If anyone was Hades in this episode, it was the guy with the horns. He seemed to be the one pulling strings, not so much punishing Azazel but using him to prove a point, maybe even gave him the space to work. No idea who that point is for, but it seemed pretty personal. Azazel was just the “Another” being used, so probably anyone would’ve been just as good as long as they were in love with a human.

    • May 23, 2019 at 6:19 pmStars

      The Underworld would be a good place to keep a human soul. If Hades he be, the fact that he understands how difficult it is for humans and Another to connect shows more awareness than Pandora or Kohaku at least, so that could be exactly what he was up to. Azazel’s arc seems to have reached its end, but it’d be interesting to see the horned Another as a recurring character

  • May 21, 2019 at 5:46 pmsealouse

    Boy that was messed up and unexpected. If you think about it at least one person lost their life (the body) so it’s not all butterflies and rainbows.

    • May 23, 2019 at 5:56 pmStars

      You have a point there. In that case, it’s not looking good for that young woman in the epilogue

  • May 23, 2019 at 8:37 pmGuardian Enzo

    Also, I would say Seo was more than useful. He used the black dirt to track down the likely spot for the hellmouth, which impressed Coyote enough to take the boys to Azazel.

    • May 24, 2019 at 9:00 amStars

      That is true. It slipped my mind that Seo narrowed the search down through gravity fluctuations and then eliminated concentrated ground because demons don’t like that, but ultimately, nothing they did changed anything. The girls would have been released by Hades whether or not Arata and co had arrived. Then again, there’s a possibility that they were released because Hades took pity on them, and this was not something that occurred in previous cycles

      I’m starting to think that ‘Another’ is a collective term for ‘not human.’ I’ve been using it like it’s synonymous for youkai, but it’s much more general than that. There are still Gods, demons, angels (though there really shoudln’t be), and it seems like the original rules still apply.

      Also, something interesting – this episode established that humans can become Anothers

  • May 24, 2019 at 2:03 pmsay

    The horned Another is Bellphegor, a demon (like in the tv series “Charmed”). Perhaps experiencing the contact with Anothers won’t be without consequences for the girls, after all they witnessed something ‘special’, let’s see!

Leave a Reply

Please DO NOT ask or give links to raws, subs, or PVs. Instead, please check the Community section on the sidebar for useful links.
Gravatars are supported, so please sign up for a free account if you would like your own globally recognized avatar.

HTML tags are enabled for comments: <a href="" title=""> <b> <blockquote> <em> <i> <s> <spoiler> <strike> <strong>
** Please use <spoiler></spoiler> around any major spoilers. **