「リベンジ / 策謀 / 風の道」 (Ribenji / Sakubō / Kaze no Michi)
“Revenge / Intrigue / The Way The Wind Blows”
Since I’m obviously three weeks late, I’ll unpack these three episodes in one go. No surprise that I’ll be focusing most of my efforts on Tsukasa, a character I honestly never thought would take up so much space when I first watched the premiere of Pet.
The story has developed into something really dark and intricate. No one ever really has an ally, and enemies are at the ready. It’s all about power, rank, acquisition, and stability. There are two things to keep in mind when watching this series unfold. First, the Company, its employees, and its image users (pets) are hired for nefarious jobs by powerful corporations in both Japan, China, and perhaps elsewhere. And second, the Company has its own sets of rules and hierarchy, meaning there’s always conspiring happening behind the scenes.
This is where Tsukasa comes in. Since I’m covering three episodes in one post, I’ll jump between timelines and events to build a complete story. In episodes 6 and 8, we get a lot of information around Tsukasa’s upbringing. He was removed from Hayashi’s care, the only father figure he’s ever had. He was then cast aside by the Company and initially brought up for no other reason than to donate his organs to the top bidder. However, he was promised a position within the company should he be able to find and groom his very own pet, which he successfully did with Hiroki.
When we were first brought into this world, we knew Hayashi had deserted the Company putting a target on his back. However, it’s only in the last few episodes that we discover Hayashi’s demise meant Tsukasa would finally make ‘rank’ within the Company as the CEO’s adoptive son. Alongside Jin and Long, Tsukasa will be part of the ‘head’ family. That’s some feat he accomplished! But it doesn’t end there.
Tsukasa’s has been holding onto hardened emotions. From having to prove himself to absolute strangers to being completely abandoned by his father-figure who then adopts another ‘son’, the boy grew into a vile and sinister man. Always plotting, always calculating, Tsukasa was awaiting the moment he could take down Hayashi and his pupil, Satoru.
It’s really interesting watching Tsukasa deal with the consequences of his actions. After taking down Hayashi, he’s been unable to eat, sleep without horrid nightmares, or even take care of himself. His calm exterior is slowly fading and giving way to a distressed green monster. With every thought or image of Hayashi, he can’t keep down the contents of his stomach. And it seems, there’s no winning for him. In the latest episode, the Company head and Long are both threatening to reveal his secret to Satoru. If Satoru finds out Tsukasa crushed Hayashi, then Tsukasa will inevitably be crushed. The pressure of the whole situation is eating at Tsukasa and I’m ready to wager that he’ll be making a big mistake in coming episodes that will cost him Hiroki’s trust.
All Satoru is waiting for is his mentor to return. He’s been told Hayashi is doing a special job outside of Japan which is why he hasn’t been in contact but the truth is, Hayashi’s been crushed. And the secret is out of the bag. In episode 8, we saw both Hiroki and Satoru bond during a job where they had to crush an ambassador. Satoru, finding similarities with Hiroki, opens up to him about wanting to have Hayashi return in his life, and he tells him about doubting what the Company told him. So, now that Hiroki knows about Hayashi, there’s a strong chance he’ll reveal the truth.
Hiroki has already made the connection between Hayashi and Tsukasa. And now that he knows his own mentor has crushed his own peak giver, the bond they once shared is slowly being shred to pieces. Meanwhile, Tsukasa, who always shielded and protected Hiroki with compulsive lies, is plotting to take down Satoru, the final piece of the puzzle. His final threat.
The only little piece I can’t seem to wrap my head around in these episodes are the ‘babies.’ Meiling is a said baby. I assume a child who was never properly given a peak or a way out. A child whose consciousness is controlled by other people’s emotions. She was ‘educated’ by Hayashi but what happened for her to remain trapped? Her story, her reality, is a sad and sombre one, but what role does she play in taking down the system?
I definitely want to see Satoru and Hiroki team up. If that happens, I have no doubt the Company will crumble once the pets exercise their true power over the employees and their superiors.