「笛を吹く少女」 (Fue o Fuku Shoujo)
“The Girl Flautist”
Despite being the first other girl we are introduced to, Neiru’s story is the last one we learn about. I just want to mention the world where she saves eggs was both beautiful and cool – an impressive bridge with cars splayed across. Albeit unsettling just like the other ones. And the way she lithely darts around firing rifles and executing slashing attacks reminded me of Bayonetta in terms of smoothness as well as animation quality. Previously, she said she fought for her sister.
But we learn that’s only half of the truth. Her sister stabbed her in what can be extrapolated as a fit of jealousy, before committing suicide – news that Neiru finds out about after she wakes up in the ICU. Why would Neiru fight for someone who betrayed her like that? In her own words, whatever she means, she does it to soothe the aching of the scars on her back. That’s a tragic back story for sure. While we know that Rika shamed Chiemi for being fat, and Momoe made Haruka feel self-conscious for being a lesbian, we’re missing too much context between the lines here, as is the case with Koito too. Why?
The Question of Personal Responsibility in Cases of Suicide
Having had the chance to bond with the other girls, Neiru finally feels comfortable enough to talk about her past. I wonder, where does this leave everyone? Rika raised a rather sensible suggestion. Perhaps selfish. That there’s no need to risk their lives fighting anymore, because the suicides were not really their fault, and they have family members who love and care about them. I guess it also shows that Rika deeply cares about her newly made friends, because she’s trying to remove them from an evidently dangerous occupation. And I certainly don’t trust the mannequins. Their carefree laughter felt extremely sinister.
I mean, they were always suspicious entities that gave off Kyubey vibes. That said, I wouldn’t fault people for speculating that they might have had good intentions to cure the girls of their trauma. As opposed to solely exploiting them for some sort of exploitative gain we’re not privy to. If you ask me, I’m not even sure this process is therapy for their trauma. Sure, the girls can think they’re saving people who faced predicaments like their deceased loved ones. And they did meet each other, bond and become happier people. However, they seem to be reliving these past traumas.
As u/SadDoctor points out on the r/anime episode thread, going through the eggs, getting hurt, exposing themselves to danger is like a form of self-harm to relieve themselves from the trauma as a way of getting their pain and grief under control. That’s a really gnarly way of looking at the situation. But I reckon this makes a whole lot of sense. These girls aren’t recovering or becoming better people by saving eggs. They’re recovering and becoming better people because they’ve come to know each other.
To wrap up, Ai’s pain seems to stem from the fact that she doesn’t understand why Koito committed suicide. She has her suspicions. Inklings regarding the student counsellor. But she has nothing concrete. However, the teacher is aware that Ai is onto something. He came across as completely suspicious in this episode, wanting to have one on one sessions with Ai where he could draw her then switching to Koito when he was turned down, overhearing bits about the conversation while wearing an ugly expression, despite the fact his niece Momoe defended his character. Something tells me these good times we see the girls sharing won’t last forever. I hope it doesn’t happen, but I suspect sooner or later, one of these girls is going to die. And reality will come crashing down.
Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. Let me know what you think, and as always, thanks for reading this post and see you all next week!