“So far, so good”
Episode 05 of Lycoris Recoil drops an even bigger bomb on the audience than what the Lycoris of the last episode faced when we find out about Chisato’s artificial heart that was granted to her by the Alan Institute. But isn’t that the same institute that’s tied up in a massive conspiracy alongside weapons dealers?
HOW DO YOU SNIPE SOMEONE WITH A PISTOL?
Well, there’s no time to think about that because now they’re currently tied up in a completely different conspiracy as they constructed a fake identity for a dying hospital patient to eliminate one of Mika’s former pals Silent Jin. The emotional manipulation the show does to get you invested in its characters came to good use in this episode with how they really built a strong narrative around Mr. Matsushita.
A patient that’s being controlled has no autonomy of their own, so they could easily be dragged around by a third party and have them “Weekend at Bernie’s” his presence as a fully-conscious businessman suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease and the memories of a family stolen from him. On top of this, Jin is notorious for being silent until he has a private moment with Mika, leaving him unable to clear the air that he’s never been involved with a hit on Matsushita’s “family”.
ONE THING THAT ANSEM AND CHISATO HAVE IN COMMON
If Chisato wasn’t fit enough to overpower Jin or pacifistic enough to refuse the demand to kill Jin, then the Institute would’ve gotten away with their set-up eliminating Jin. What makes that even more disturbing is that Matsushita claims to know about the Alan Institute’s role in giving her a heart, which definitely might end up causing Chisato to have to come to terms with what the Alan Institute has planned for her.
I’m not sure what to think about the reveal that Chisato has an artificial heart from the Alan Institute. Seems like it would be a way to sneak in a (No pun intended, I swear!) heart-breaking reveal that Chisato might be living on borrowed time. If her heart can’t be manually shut down by the same people who seem to be able to just have hackers and gunmen on retainer, then they’ll most likely try to use her artificial heart to control or manipulate her into doing something crazy.
Regardless, it’s more than enough evidence that Chisato will be manipulated at some point by the Alan Institute into doing something drastic against her will. Whether that’s breaking her code of pacifism or sabotaging LycoReco will hinge on how intertwined the Institute is with Majima and the arms dealers that keep brutally murdering Lycoris agents.
There is hope, however, with her alliance with Takina as someone who would be affected by Chisato’s peaceful optimism and aim to help her out any way she can. I also can’t help but feel like there’s added symbolism to their visit to Sensoji, considering that the temple is both a tribute to Kannon, the bodhisattva of compassion, and a symbol of peace and rebirth in post-war Japan.
While it’s easy to connect the dots towards Chisato’s own joyful personality, part of me feels like Chisato will be able to surpass the limitations or fears that come from having an artificial heart constructed by potential enemies. Things might look foreboding on the horizon, but like Chisato, we have to hold onto the blessings we have and the blessings we can give others as we hope for a brighter future.