Similar to how the beginning of the series shifted from character to character for their introductions, this week was looking to be Bela’s turn in the spotlight, and in some ways it was, but the stars of the show were undoubtedly Val Titan (Touchi Hiroki) and Harazy (Kohara Konomi). The duo were introduced fending off an attack from a human wielding the power of electricity. Val Titan, or Gravity Man, took a pacifistic stance, wishing to avoid confrontation as much as possible – a hard feat when you’re on the run. It was only after Harazy was harmed that the man threatening them lost control of his powers, resulting in him electrocuting himself to death. Very strange, indeed.
BEM makes good use of darkly lit scenes to invoke a mysterious atmosphere that alludes to a growing sense of paranoia, doubt, and uncertainty as fear of the ‘humanoid monsters’ spreads. Who can you trust when anyone could potentially turn you in? When cornered and on the run, Val took a risk by trusting Bela. He’d met her previously when she and her classmate defended Harazy from one of the men sent to capture them, but seeing her standing in front of him, alone and offering aid no normal high school girl would have been able to offer, must have set off some alarm bells. It goes to show how high being kind to Harazy put her in his esteem that he trusted her at all, and also because she, like them, is not quite human. Val Titan lost the ability to breathe the Earth’s atmosphere after spending too long in space and Harazy, as young as she is, is actually a tremendously powerful psychic. In order to protect her, Val Titan stole her from the facility where she was kept, concealed his identity and then pretended to wield her powers. Unfortunately, Bela was overwhelmed by a police ambush at the docks and was forced to retreat after Bem and Belo rescued her when Harazy succumbed to her powers in her grief, thus putting an unhappy end to this tale. While we may or may not see Harazy again, the stakes have once again been risen. One wrong step and Bem, Bela, or Belo could find themselves on an operating table, which begs the question of whether becoming human truly worth the risk of becoming an experiment.
The solemn mood and calming OST by MICHIRU lended to the tragedy unfolding. This is an undercurrent of unfairness in this series, most prevalent in the separation of social class illustrated by the division of Outside and Upper, that stood front and center here. Val Titan and Harazy never wanted to hurt anyone. They only wanted the freedom to be safe and happy, and when the opportunity was so close, it was snatched away. Most likely, the trap that was set had the secondary function of trapping Bem, Bela, or Belo as well, so it’s safe to say that the pursuit of humanoid monsters isn’t going to end. There’s an Unseen Council pulling the strings, and with every life they ruin, the chase becomes more and more personal.