「自由の島・ジャナンダ」 (Jiyuu no shima jananda)
“Jananda: Island of Freedom “
Tonally speaking, you could hardly ask for a greater contrast than last week’s episode of Fumetsu no Anata e and this one. From somber and introspective we go to something altogether bombastic. The quiet agony of Fushi’s introspection gives way to a grotesquerie of death and deception. It’s effective as a transition, no question about it, but I must say that for me I like the persona of last week’s ep rather better than this one. But Fumetsu is a series of many faces, and they’re all a necessary component of its overarching identity.
So basically Jananda is Australia then. That’s pretty much the place Tonari (the girl we met last week) describes to Fushi. A former prison island for some unnamed colonial power, now more or less left to fend for itself. It still has prisoners but they’re basically the working population for an island short on resources human and otherwise. It’s also worth noting that on Jananda killing is legal (not technically true in Australia) which gives the population – including kids like Tonari and her crew – a strikingly blasé attitude towards it.
As for the tournament that Tonari has convinced Fushi to enter, it’s basically a melee – last one standing at the end moves on to the single combat round. Fushi realizes he hasn’t really thought this through. If he shows his immortality in the arena, the secret is out. But if he doesn’t he doesn’t win and Pioran doesn’t get rescued. Plus, well – he dies. Then there’s the fact that he doesn’t want to kill anybody either. Black Thing does his best to manipulate Fushi by reminding him that he’s already “killed” several people (including Gugu), but Fushi has developed enough human understanding to know when someone is manipulating him with semantics.
All sorts of uncomfortable truths comes from the mouth of Tonari, who clearly lacks the moral compass to have any shame over her own actions. Among them, that Pioran is at least rumored to be a mass murderer – having killed ten people by poison, supposedly. Black Thing won’t help him, and Tonari and her gang only want Fushi to win the tournament and make them money. On his own Fushi has designs of trying to get to Pioran himself, but meets with little success. A breakthrough comes when he accidentally kills a mole, giving him access to a conveniently small form – but Tonari’s friend Oopa’s owl cuts short his efforts and delivers him to its master.
As it turns out Fushi blowing his cover was probably moot, because it seems as if Hayase was already on his trail. That whole very disturbing licking thing aside, this raises a whole new set of problems for Fushi, who’s as yet blissfully unaware of her presence. She’s watching him in the arena the next day, where the horrific events of the previous round are repeated in no less horrific if somewhat less chaotic form. Fushi doesn’t want to kill his opponent (who’s a total freakshow), but none of his forms seems to suit his current needs. At this point he pulls a rather surprising (even to himself) club out of the bag.
What to make of Fushi being able to transform into Parona? It raises questions no matter how you look at it – it’s not something we can square with the information we currently have. That’s a matter for the future, but for now Fushi has more immediate problems. It’s tough to see him alone like this in such a brutal and unforgiving place, the demands it makes of him more than his still limited experience allows him to meet. But the world of Fumetsu no Anata e is a pretty bleak one any way you slice it, so this is more or less par for the course…