「私たちの目的」 (Watashitachi no mokuteki)
Now that was more like it. With the Yanome arc over Fumetsu no Anata e returns much closer to the essence of what makes it so effective, and it should revert to being in the very top echelon of this season’s and this year’s anime. I can’ t stress it enough – the less conventional this series is, the better it works. March was a very conventional heroine and the denouement of her story a conventionally sentimental drama. It was well done, but nothing we haven’t seen done well dozens of times before in anime.
Now we move on to the real meat of the story, much firmer ground for Fumetsu – a new arc with a more interesting protagonist starting next week, but also an interesting bridge here. Pioran was certainly not someone you’d have immediately picked out as a key character. But she is, to be sure. She’s the one who takes charge of Fushi’s education as a human being, and it’s an area where he has a lot of ground to make up. She needs a protector and provider, he needs a teacher – everybody wins (including us).
With March now a part of Fushi’s persona portfolio, he shows a deft ability to use each form to his advantage (though he dislikes being Oniguma for obvious reasons). That includes gathering food both for himself and Pioran, who’s so hungry she tries to pull a Legosi on Fushi’s leg. When in March form he seems to have something of her provider sensibility, and provide he does. A deal is struck, though it’s debatable how much of a willing principal Fushi is. But the old woman does keep up her end of the bargain – she starts teaching Fushi the basics of language. When he sees her copying a map, that’s when his interest really perks up.
Given that Fushi clearly maintains something of the personality of his form’s original owners, it’s hard to say how much of what we see is properly him, and how much their residual influence. But Fushi is curious to be sure, intent on growing through learning (seemingly March’s influence there), and picks up the skills Pioran teaches him more quickly than any human would. She pledges to take him to her homeland across the sea, where her lover – an intellectual – might know something about who or what he is.
Before that can happen, however, the pair receive a pair of visitors in the night. The first is the mysterious being who created Fushi – the one bit of indisputable magic so far in the story, besides Fushi himself. The second is a creature which sets about attacking him in order to steal the memories – and the one who made them – from Fushi. One might be tempted to believe the Immortal is a neutral here but clearly he’s not – he even gives Fushi some advice on how to survive the attack and win back what’s been stolen. That requires a combination of all his personas, although ironically it’s March, nimble little monkey she is, who proves the deciding factor in Fushi’s win.
The choreography in this unconventional fight is really excellent, but not to be lost is the message the Immortal leaves Fushi with. He talks of his objective “to preserve this world” – and how Fushi’s attacker was sent to the world to impede it. Fushi doesn’t understand of course, but the point is clear – the being is not an impotent observer, but someone who will involve himself when the moment suits him.
Free now to continue, Fushi and Pioran do indeed go on to her village, and Fumetsu no Anata e to the next major arc in its story. This is a gu-good arc in my opinion, one of the series’ best in fact, so if you were starting to waver a little as we progressed through the previous arc I’d advise you to stick around – things are definitely on the upswing. In fact I’d argue that started with this excellent episode, getting Fumetsu back on the right track, and this series on its best footing is a lock to be one of the best around.