「美しい花」 (Utsukushii Hana)
In this week’s Gleipnir, being Madoka is suffering as his gang faces the wrath of Clair’s plan to poison them while they make their grand escape. While it wasn’t the most action-packed episode of the bunch, there are many significant developments that came from how the characters worked with one another.
Clair had a welcome amount of attention centered around her as we got to see how the way she operates contrasts with those around her. Madoka was able to directly point out that she’s just as devious and clever as the rest of his crew by the virtue that she was trying to figure out what conditions came from his ultimatum to have one of Koyanagi’s crew members killed to atone for the caterpillar man’s jaw being removed.
When they all have to settle with a plan, Clair is also the one to see through some of the members of Koyanagi’s crew. She picks up on Ikeuchi’s “doom-and-gloom” approach to their decision and happily tells him that he’d be a viable candidate for the one to sacrifice himself seeing as he’s eager to talk about how impossible it is to make any other move. Although this is the episode where he accidentally kills himself by trying to give away secret information under Koyanagi’s oath, Clair was able to get the crew to safety by using Isao’s power to grow plants to burn down a large number of poisonous flowers for Madoka’s crew to breathe in.
There was also a decent level of closure to the angst between Shuuichi and Clair as he lets her know that her ruthless approach to problem-solving is what makes him interested in her. He wants to be able to protect her, but at the same time, he understands more clearly that it’s her willingness to pull the trigger on tough decisions that gravitate him to having her help him strategize what to do in difficult situations. Whereas it might seem like someone similar to Shuuichi would be perfect for him, his main interest is in what makes Clair completely different in mind-and-spirit from him, creating a reassuring atmosphere for Clair to have a better chance at pulling him back into her arms.
In the meantime, there was also some light shed on Madoka and why he is as obsessed with his friends as he is for a crooked forest bandit. His old job and the loneliness he felt from it spawned the coin for him to be able to gain the power he needed to make more friends, albeit with people who prove themselves to have the same scumbag mentality as he did once he gained powers. But in spite of being an antagonist for this mini-arc, he is also dedicated to his crew to a fault as he kills more time trying to save his friends from the toxic fumes than abandon them to chase after Koyanagi’s group. It gave them ample time to leave, but whether it did any good or if Elena’s new request will bring them back to square one is still in the cards for when the next episode arrives.