「The Mole Rat Speaks 」
This episode makes significant strides for BNA for pushing the plot forward and giving us clearer details on the identity of the deity Ginrou. In the short span of time that it takes to explain his true identity, however, it begs to question how Michiru will end up handling the info as the paths that the cult and the pharmaceutical company are starting to intersect.
After a fight that takes advantage of the ability to mutilate a person with regenerative abilities as well as Episode 08 of Bakemonogatari, Michiru ends up learning that Shirou was actually Ginrou this entire time. Although she has a hard time separating the Shirou that she knows as a stick-in-the-mud and the almighty spirit of Ginrou that the people of Anima City worship, the Mayor helps her reconceptualize her image of Shirou far more easily by giving her a historical perspective on this information.
The mixed feelings that Shirou has in transforming into Ginrou explains a lot about why Anima City and the cult builds up as much mystique behind the deity’s appearance as it does. As a vengeful beastman who, upon death, absorbed enough of his fellow countrymen’s blood to use his spirit as Ginrou’s vessel, he’s been through a number of catastrophic life events to make him question whether he’s equipped to handle the powers he has. His goal to protect beastmen no matter how violent he must get also lends itself to his past when his path of vengeance has a similarly violent edge to it. And since he’s experienced losing himself in his emotions until the revenge and murder left him hollow, it’s easy to see why he has been ambivalent in letting his power out since he saved the Mayor from a concentration camp during WWII.
It was an interesting decision for them to have Shirou allow Michiru to blab her mouth about Ginrou’s existence to Nazuna considering that he’s known her long enough to know that it’ll come out at some point and it’d be better to rip off that bandaid now than later. Throughout the episode, Michiru’s been trying to get on Nazuna’s level, but she continues to make things difficult by keeping herself at a distance and forcing Michiru to call her by her guru name instead. What this new information means to Nazuna will be anybody’s best guess, but I doubt that Michiru’s word alone will get Nazuna to return to her normal self again.
On the same coin, the antagonist figures of BNA are starting to intersect as Boris is starting to get involved with plans that Alan has in mind. Their coordination makes sense given the theatrics behind the last episode’s final scene, but it’s all the more apparent that Alan has his own incentive for keeping the cult in town by using the Rhino beastman as a catalyst towards their mutual interest in making beastmen go aggro. It’s still too early to gauge if their ultimate goal is to use science for their own gain, to diminish the standing of beastmen in modern society, or to spark an all-out conflict between humans and beastmen, but it should be interesting to see how these paths continue to intersect when both are getting close to reaching their end game.