「片翼」 (Monsutaa (Hen’yoku))
“Monster (One Wing)”
The Ikelos Familia
Contrary to my expectations, while it’s still not possible to ascertain Hermes’ motives, I misjudged him and thought the dubious Ikelos Familia members were under his wing. Since it wasn’t too clear they were a separate familia. The two seem to have conflicting goals, considering how Hermes and Ikelos had a tense confrontation. But it tells us a lot. Hermes is a shrewd god who will keep his thoughts and cards close to his chest, while Ikelos will brazenly express his less than moral thoughts. For the sake of entertainment, he is happy to turn a blind eye upon his familia’s misdoings.
And while he denies having any personal involvement, we clearly saw at the beginning of the episode that he’s in the cahoots with Dix. So he’s definitely dishonest. I’m pretty sure Hermes has his suspicions, but there’s not much he can do about the situation without any concrete evidence. It’s definitely a good thing that the Ikelos Familia didn’t get their hands on Wiene. Dix chastises his fellow Familia members for failing to capture her – before he ruthlessly slaughtered a caged and helpless monster that had no way of fighting back. That man and his god are both extremely bad news. And I’d wager that they’ll be the primary antagonists of this arc.
The Monster Conundrum
As I speculated last week, Bell began struggling to kill monsters because of his emotional attachment towards Wiene – especially the Medusa which looked like her. On the one hand, he’s been taught that these monsters are a threat to people’s safety, and must be killed for the good of the world as well as the monetary compensation one might gain from the crystals they drop. On the other hand, he’s come to realise not all monsters are senseless beasts. Perhaps he even killed a monster who possessed the same logical faculties and capacity for emotions that Wiene has. And that kind of thought really weighs on Bell’s mind. Suddenly these monster have become a lot more human, and it’s a torturous dilemma for our little Rookie – who’s really just a pure-hearted cinnamon bun.
Unfortunately, things go from bad to worse. Wiene overhears Lili declaring that she’s a dangerous nuisance who should be released for the good of Hestia’s familia, causing her to flee the house in tears, running into the Orarian night. Thankfully, I’ve never been unwanted or rejected like that in my life. But it must easily be one of the worst feelings ever. Especially as a child with no one else to rely on. And my heart intensely ached for the little girl.
Lost in an unfamiliar place, deeply missing Bell and contemplating on why people would say such cruel words, she gets a harsh taste of reality. That the denizens of Orario deeply fear monsters and would most certainly discriminate against her without asking questions first. With good intentions filling her heart, Wiene is forced to expose herself when she tries to save a little beastgirl from being crushed by a cart – to the shock of a crowd who quickly bubble into a hostile mob intent on lynching her.
Seeing an innocent and pure child like Wiene being stoned, terrified and sobbing truly broke my heart. And it plays into a darkness that is very much present in the hearts of humanity, even if we struggle to acknowledge it at times. We fear what we don’t know. And as Ouranos says, it’s a real pity that the hope Hestia’s familia showed in proving that humans and monsters could potentially co-exist were brutally shattered by the town square incident. I wouldn’t say this is the end of the line. But I can’t see how the mortals will get around to accepting monsters any time soon with that sort of reaction – especially considering that monster saved one of their own, and still got stoned.
One final thing – I was really shocked when, for the first time, Bell didn’t stand up for what was right. He didn’t reassure Wiene regarding her anxieties and could only look on with a troubled expression. Needless to say, it left me really disappointed in Bell. The Ikelos familia are hunting for Wiene – and it’s likely they will torture, enslave or outright murder her. If she dies, there are no takebacks or second chances. So I hope he’ll snap back to his senses before Wiene comes to any harm. Anyway, that was everything I wanted to discuss. Thanks for reading this post – and I hope people who were unsure about Season 2 (like myself) can be convinced of giving Season 3 a chance.
ED: 「Evergreen」by sajou no hana