「袋の林」 (Fukuro no Hayashi)
“A Trap for Hayashi”
It’s apparent to me that there’s a very strict hierarchy within the Company. In the beginning, Hiroki and Tsukasa were equally part of the lower half of the pyramid and at Katsuragi’s beck and call. Both young, complete opposites, and each with enough potential to become stronger. But it seems Tsukasa already holds a pretty powerful position in the Company which explains his sudden outburst and demeanour towards Katsuragi. I hadn’t expected mysterious Tsukasa to turn so…vicious. His cold and crip words rang through me as sharply as they did Katsuragi.
Hiroki and Satoru have more in common than they know, only Satoru is better equipped to go against the Company should he need to. The conundrum is that Satoru doesn’t realize Hayashi has been opposing the Company for the past two years. Instead, he believes Satoru is on a super top-secret mission in China which is why he hasn’t been in touch with him. And because of that, he has no reason to want ‘out.’ As long as he stays put, Hayashi will return by his side and the Company is taking advantage of the poor kid.
Satoru’s story is a sad one. He loses his family at the hands of the Company because he was regarded as an asset right off the bat. The Company manufactured a malicious situation in which there was no other option than to take him under their wing. Luckily, Hayashi had it in him to try to shield Satoru from the cold hands of Katsuragi, until two years ago that is. I mean who wouldn’t when faced with a powerless child, completely merciless against the Company’s top brass. Although we don’t know their entire history or relationship, it’s clear that Hayashi was more than a mentor. He played the father figure for Satoru. Teaching Satoru important ‘escape’ mechanism to get around the Company is no less of an act a parent would take to teach their kids how to protect themselves.
However, it looks as though the Company was unaware of these methods. Within their respective roles as ‘pets,’ Satoru has the advantage whereas Hiroki is trapped and doesn’t even know it. Unlike his older counterpart, Hiroki is oblivious to his surroundings or to the internal workings of the Company. He has this naive outlook on life perhaps because his perimeter is highly dependent on Tsukasa’s presence. This is supported by the fact that he chose to create an image based on Tsukasa’s own and that he chose to open a fish store, essentially surrounding himself with his own ‘peak.’ Nothing else exists outside of the life he’s built with Tsukasa, which is is why within a few hours, or days (this was unclear), without Tsukasa, he goes into a dark, depressed mood, unable to function. Now if this is not the perfect definition of a pet, I don’t know what is. His reaction is just like that of a dog’s or cat’s when their owner leaves home for a few days.
The only reason for why Hiroki has been shielded so is because Tsukasa went through something that left him with a trauma. Could it be that Hayashi’s first and original pupil was Tsukasa? Was Tsukasa abandoned by Hayashi when Satoru came into the picture? There is a series of questions coming up and I can’t wait to see how they’re answered. There’s also a relationship at stake here. What will happen to Hayashi and Satoru?
Overall, this episode made sure to keep the ball rolling. The mystery behind Hayashi’s disappearance is slowly unravelling. New mind-crushing techniques are being revealed alongside character weaknesses like Katsuragi’s valley and Tsukasa’s obsession with Hayashi.
The thrill of watching Pet comes from observing the different pieces slowly coming together, so I don’t mind in the least if the story gets progressively convoluted as the series goes on.