「ミコトとミコト」 (Mikoto to Mikoto)
“Mikoto and Mikoto”
Remember Mikoto’s backstory that they kept shrugging off? Well here’s the flashback that explains it all on this week’s Peach Boy Riverside. It gives you a brief, albeit bastardized version of “The Story of Momotaro”, but with the added inclusion of an ogre child who may or may not grow up to have the torch passed over to him.
It might have seemed like the past episodes have kept saying “you know the rest,” because it operates off the assumption that you knew the legend. But because Momotaro’s legend was semi-told in this episode now it feels more like they assumed you already saw what happened 9 episodes into the future. It makes for some messy storytelling, especially when the episode ends with a fragmented section where Sally picks up an incapacitated Mikoto several years into the future.
But even still, it was nice to get a gist of how exactly the anime depicts “The Story of Momotaro”. Instead of assuming that it went exactly how you might’ve seen it in another story, movie, or TV show, they took the effort to depict Momotaro in a way that would mesh with the Peach Boy Riverside canon. It gives you a nice backstory of how he became the famed ogre-slayer and explains how his values and experiences would cause him to sympathize with Mikoto’s plight.
From the flashback, it’s also easier to see why Mikoto would end up unhinged. With his father becoming an ogre that ate his mom and Momotaro having to mercy-kill him while adopting his son as his own, Mikoto had a difficult life at such a young age. Right when he thought he wanted to kill Momotaro, he ended up being even angrier about ogres coming in to kill Momotaro now that he’s gotten to know him. And because he’s just a kid, it’d be easier to see why he’d be vengeful of those who uprooted his childhood and needed to use his ogre hunt as an outlet to channel all of his rage towards having to grow up and survive on his own for most of his life.