「食餌の時間」 (Yami no Naka e)
So many notes, so many… These Summertime Render posts are fun but it’s always difficult to know where to get started. Sometimes I feel like a bulleted list is the way to go, for purposes of organizing my thoughts if nothing else, and this is one of those times. I don’t normally like to compose that way but I feel like I’d be here for twelve paragraphs if I didn’t.
- Let’s talk about Ryuunosuke/Hizuru first of all. This is actually several bullets in its own right…
- First of all, the premonition. That implies time travel obviously, but the sort of time travel referenced later in the episode wouldn’t explain it.
- This “switching” between the twins’ personalities seems to be something all concerned take very literally. And Shadow Shiori later implies that Ryuunosuke is literally inside Hizuko – and indeed, that it was he who took Haine’s eye – and her attack dog wonders where his body is now.
- Explaining some of the stuff we saw, Ryuunosuke/Hizuru can apparently jump ahead two seconds. And for all we know, maybe more. But shadows can sense when it happens (and don’t like it).
- Why is Mio important enough for Shadow Shiori to lure her underground? Is it because she has an “immunity” now?
- Nezu refers to the giant space under the island as the “Hiruko Cave”, and says it was sealed off by the army (who are at the heart of my suspicions about the MacGuffin) after the first Sino-Japanese war.
- Hiruko seems to be the originator of the shadow phenomenon, and what’s effectively the island religion grew up around that. My assumption at this point would be that the Hishigata Clan are ancestrally the “priests”, and keepers of the secret.
- As surmised, Sou was left out of the loop for whatever reason – not deemed trustworthy by Tokiko and his father, perhaps. He was not “chosen”, in Tokiko’s words.
- The shadows indeed seem to need to feed on human flesh. Something Hishigata-sensei apparently provides them at 9:00 every night.
- Shiori makes reference to Tokiko having two “wild” shadows with her, the obvious implication being that the others are domesticated. Again, this slots into my suspicions about the MacGuffin rather neatly.
- Why would the shadows create an artificial seascape, complete with coral and other marine life, in the cave? Or did someone use the shadows to create it for some purpose?
- Ushio is powerful, but very vulnerable. Without the original Ushio around to scan she can’t “heal” her data loss, and it isn’t simply a matter of the damage to her arm – she’s growing weaker as a result of the damage. And what she needs for sustenance Shinpei’s rice balls can’t provide…
Tokiko may have no immediate desire to kill Shinpei and her brother, but Shinpei has clearly deduced that this loop has about run its course. However, he senses he’s close to the truth, perhaps closer than he’s ever been. And Tokiko may have no idea about his looping ability, and the risks she’d be taking by letting him see it. He’s trying to find out as much as he can before he offs himself, but the obvious problem is that this loop has seemed to last longer than the others. How much less time will Shinpei have when he finally does loop back?