“Is love something that grows on trees?” As clueless as Kabane might be, he has an inquisitive and virtuous mind.
We’re now four episodes in and have a little more grasp around all of our characters. While Kabane remains central to the story, this episode focuses on Akira’s. We’ve only gotten a glimpse of his story; a missing twin brother, a faraway clan in the mountains of Aomori, and a daring escape. It’s only one piece of the puzzle but this is true about all the characters we’ve met so far.
True relief came after Akira’s ability was revealed. Emotionally and mentally shielded by his brother, Akira’s never had to fend for himself. And now, with Kabane at risk, his brother missing, he musters up the courage to use his ability as an ice kemono (yuki onoko) to freeze the kemono frogs brutally attacking his friends. I was also quite surprised by the strength of the ability. When he initially shared his ability to freeze water with Kabane, I was very visibly disappointed. Without a water source, there wouldn’t be much point would there? Boy, was I wrong.
Outside of his ability though is the mystery around his clan and his brother. Akira originates from a village located deep within the Aomori mountain where men are only born every 100 years. And it seems like two of them (twins) were born at the same time and possibly shunned by the rest of the village (primarily female). Hence their decision to bolt, I think?
There is much more to be uncovered in the various characters’ backstory and something tells me that the more we navigate forward in Kabane’s story, the more we’ll learn about his past alongside his friends’, perhaps even how they intertwine.
Backtracking to Kabane. I know I skipped over the first arc of the episode, the love between Yoruno and Mao-chan the nekomono, however, I think the most important thing here was Kabane’s understanding of love. Rather than seeing the ‘feeling’ as something that exists between a couple or lovers (like his parents or this duo), he interprets love (koi) as the action between individuals, regardless of who they are. And he expresses that with a simple gesture towards someone who engrained a positive feeling inside him. Pretty simple and straightforward if you ask me and we’d all benefit from Kabane’s perception of it.
Overall, I was pleased with this episode. I’m still not in awe of this series but I’m captivated.