OP2 Sequence

“Idol Dies by Steel Beam”

「アイドルは鉄骨に死す」 (Aidoru wa tekkotsu ni shisu)

Another week, another episode of Kyokou Suiri. And things continue from where the previous episode left off, with Kotoko returning to Saki’s apartment so they can patch up after their encounter with Steel Lady Nanase.

A Cat Fight for the Ages

Despite the fact they’ve gone through a life threatening situation together, Kotoko and Saki immediately go at each other with ferocious pettiness – no doubt because they’re jealous of each other concerning Kuro. As it turns out, Kotoko was full of shit (like usual) when she claimed that Kuro was her boyfriend, and it casts her claims of being deflowered into question. I can’t believe I completely fell for that, again. But it goes to show just how excellently convincing she is. Of course, Saki would eventually figure out and expose all of these lies as the girl who knew him best and nearly married him, firing returning salvos of her own containing tidbits of how intimately close she was with Kuro – much to Kotoko’s chagrin. Seeing them bicker was too much fun.

Furthermore, Kotoko sending harmless youkai to harass Saki, knowing she’s absolutely terrified of the supernatural, was peak pettiness but made for excellently entertaining viewing. Her extremely smug face being cherry on the icing. I loved every single moment here and Kotoko continues to demonstrate why she’s easily the best character from Winter 2020. Other than that, I really wish more romance shows had moments where rivals behaved like this, as opposed to the girls in question playing nice or being absolutely horrible to each other with little in between.

The Mystery of Steel Lady Nanase

However, a more pressing matter remains at hand. Kuro has been missing for a week. And Steel Lady Nanase displayed an extreme amount of violence that both Kotoko and Saki reckon if left unchecked, will result in someone’s eventual death. Which leads us to our mystery premise – who exactly is Steel Lady Nanase and what possible motive could she have for rampaging across the city? That occult style website proved an excellent addition, giving me heavy spooks – and they made it a real thing for viewers like us to visit!

The information from the website indicates that there’s a lot of suspicious circumstances surrounding Nanase Karin’s death. She was suspected of murdering her father, and she quit modelling and went incognito after being hounded by the paparazzi. Saki posits that Karin’s returning as a vengeful spirit for this very reason, as a way to hit back at a society that objectified her body and vilified her based on mere hearsay. Though Karin had a strong personality full of tenacious fight, if I was a detective investigating the case, based on what we know, I wouldn’t rule out suicide as a possibility (alongside murder and accident). Her older sister and whatever she said seems plenty suspicious to me, and I can’t wait to find out how she’s connected to all this – especially since Kotoko senses that Steel Lady Nanase is more like a puppet than a vengeful spirit. Perhaps Karin’s older sister murdered their father then orchestrated her death and is now puppeteering her spiritual form to wreak havoc across the city.

Concluding Thoughts

As Steel Lady Nanase reappears, with Kotoko rushing to investigate, we finally see Kuro making a reappearance too. It would seem that he disappeared to track down Steel Lady Nanase and deal with her on his lonesome, suggesting that he recognises the danger and threat she poses by choosing to leave Kotoko out. While I’m naturally excited to see how their battle plays out – an unkillable, regenerating person against an abnormally strong apparition that can effortlessly swing about steel beams – I have to admit that my investment would primarily be in the mystery aspect, and how the incident might possibly reach a resolution. Based on how prominently Karin features in the OP theme, I get the impression she’ll be joining the cast as an important character – a prospect that admittedly delights me to no end because I’m unabashedly proud of being a melons man. Sugoi dekai! Anyway, that was about everything I wanted to discuss. As always, thank you for reading my post and if you have any thoughts about this episode or speculations about how this mystery will play out, feel free to throw them out in the comment section below!



  1. Kurou is pretty bad for not knowing how to appreciate the ever-so-amazing Kotoko.

    I can only hope this arc being a longer affair means there will be a satisfying payoff to it because none about the investigation so far has made it outside of standard, to-be-expected revelations, least of them all the classic “the apparition is shaped by the people’s perception of it” twist.

    There is also something unnervingly bland about the in-door background art of the show. As a rule of thumb, spice up the visuals during exposition if the characters aren’t doing it themselves.

    Skeleton taxi was fun tho.

    1. Tell me about it. Kuro needs to re-evaluate his priorities.

      Other than that, I’ve been largely fine with the mystery so far, though I’ll admit the overall quality is weighted towards the payoff in this case – which we’ll be waiting on for now.

      And the bland animation isn’t out of the ordinary. Naz aren’t exactly known for setting the world on fire with superb animation.

        1. This. I think Zaiden mistook Brain’s Base for NAZ because NAS is in charge of production and Brain’s Base of animation production according to the OP credits.

          I was also talking about backgrounds, not animation. Those are two different things unless we’re talking about background animation (loosely related sidenote – this has some cool stuff of that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8WcoaYMT70) specifically.

          Heck, I’m p. sure most animation studios aren’t in charge of backgrounds anyway. There is a popular misconception f.i. that P.A. Works has those crazy good background art even though those are done by studio EASTER which isn’t solely dedicated to P.A. anyway (also the Index franchise among others). The studio in charge of this show’s backgrounds is this one: http://studiotenjin.com/index/works.html

    2. A bigger gap for me honestly is the music. Zetsuen had that fantastic classical soundtrack that really played into the almost operatic nature of the material. I can’t remember any BGM from this series at all, honestly (though the insert OP was catchy).

  2. This episode really made me wonder when Kotoko was riding that huge skeleton ghost…Does her status let her command quite a lot of youkais in general? Can’t she gather some strong ones like that massive skeleton and have them restrain the bad ones?

  3. it took me some day off to marathon first 4 episodes, but now I’m hooked…
    between supernatural mystery, some pretty good fighting scenes, and comedic scenes courtesy of Kotoko’s “boyfriend” delusions it is definitely enjoyable ride


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