Alright. Pet decided to literally end their first season with a bang. Satoru is shot in the leg, true, but that isn’t the bang I’m referring to. The two main points in the show are Hiroki’s decision to wipe Tsukasa’s memory clean, and Jin finding out Katsuragi was her father.
Did anyone see it coming? The Jin-Katsuragi relation? I’d never imagined the story she told Satoru when they were together in the hotel would be about Katsuragi. As she told her story, I had my share of doubts about whether it held up any truth, but now, this sad story has ended in tragedy. Jin shot her own father and lost her mind, hoping that Tsukasa will help her avenge his death, and Long’s.
And of course, this I knew was on its way, Hiroki could do only what he was asked for Tsukasa. He wipes his memory clean of everything and anything, not willingly, but it happens nonetheless. He removes Hayashi from Tsukasa’s memories, leaving him a hollow shell, reverting to a child rather than being crushed completely. The pain Tsukasa carried with him was too overbearing for him to live with so, and as his final deed as a good pet, Hiroki offered him this final piece of solace.
What a miserable cast of characters. Tsukasa could have just left with Satoru, tried to recapture a semblance of a normal life, tried to forgive himself but, instead, he was so far gone and warped in his vengeance towards Hayashi, he wanted Satoru dead as well. After all, Satoru’s presence alone is what instigated all the pain he’s carried with him. Hiroki and Satoru, even if they’re safe, are still lingering on saving those who ‘raised’ them as pets. It’s like they can’t shed their sense of loyalty as pets… If you ask me, I would simply move on, not dwell on the past. That’s what Hayashi wanted for them in the end, for them to live fully and independently of the Company.
The story’s execution and perhaps even its exhibition was on rare occasions a little offputting but overall, I really enjoyed Pet. The premise itself was what first captivated my interest: exploring the minds of people with mind-controlling abilities in order to commit crimes. And rather than explicitly focusing on said crimes, the focus shifted to the heinous individuals who committed these horrendous acts and their very own psyches. Whenever we were brought into the thoughts, histories, and memories of each character, it’s as though you could feel their guilt, their happiness, their sorrow seep into you.
A good example is what we just saw Hiroki do to Tsukasa. We’ve learned through the entire series how much Hiroki adores Tsukasa, as a friend, a family member, who knows? But he cared for him deeply, almost unconditionally. So watching Hiroki succumb to Tsukasa’s wishes was really hard to do. The construct of Tsukasa’s mind crumbled in front of Hiroki, leaving him feeling helpless. Many of the mind-altering scenes offered a combination of images that represented a deeper emotion, which left us, as viewers feeling uneasy or suffocated by the amount of pressure we know each character to live with.
I definitely think the connection between the image users of the story (Hayashi, Hiroki, Satoru, & Tsukasa) is what leads this story forward. The Company’s convoluted history and hierarchy, I could do without. At times, it seemed to take over and was quite unnecessary, which created a lot of confusion. But, overall, it only impacted my overall experience slightly.
Something I could do without or perhaps have changed, was the father-daughter exposition between Jin and Katsuragi. It’s a good ‘bang’, as I mentioned earlier, to end the series on but also completely unexpected. Perhaps the fact that I’m lingering on it is what is meant to happen but I can’t help think it was a bit of a ‘cop-out’ to help set up what comes after the events in this first season. That said, Katsuragi’s story is extremely sad. He sacrificed so much and because of it, I assumed he was a basic one-note character. Turns out I was wrong about him being a bitter Company asset and the entire time, his true self lied withing a little red briefcase. Right as his feelings returned, he takes his last breath. Sounds like a Shakespearean tragedy when I say it like that.
Imagine being next to your daughter for so many years and never knowing her. Or imagine the trauma Jin went through knowing the same and having killed her own father. Yikes.
If this series gets renewed, I’ll definitely be watching because, as I said, the characters have left an imprint. But if not, I’ll read the manga. I hear it’s pretty great.