「銃声」 (Juusei)

There was a specific scene in this episode where everything clicked in my head. I also found myself profoundly touched because it hit too close to home. The scene I speak of is when a drunk Himeno squats in front of her fridge. Bathed by the moonlight in her underwear, she looks down for a moment, as if gathering strength. “Ok, we’re going to do this,” is what it feels like when she opens up a can of beer. This scene reminded me a lot of my late teens and early twenties when I was doing a lot of drugs. Partying Wednesday through Saturday, sometimes the odd Monday and Tuesday, trying to connect with people through this same way she did, under the influence. And I’d do so by telling myself that otherwise I was simply a socially awkward and uninteresting person who lacked spontaneity and authenticity.

My fears and Himeno’s were different––mine came from fearing inadequacy whilst hers came from being alone––but we both used the same mechanism in order to mask our fears. In Gunfire, Himeno’s character demonstrates that if you suppress a part of yourself through fear, for long enough time, it will eventually manifest itself in an uncontrolled way. Time, and time again Himeno doesn’t allow herself to be truly seen. Looking back now, I think the vomit in the mouth scene works as a great metaphor for this: if you suppress something, it will come up and it will be messy, chaotic, uncontrolled and dysfunctional.

Coincidentally, the things Himeno seeks in life are not too different from Denji’s. She wants intimacy and connection. But differently from him, she’s already lost people she was once connected to, and thanks to that she’s developed a fear of being left alone (while Denji never really had anyone to begin with). So, in today’s episode of There Goes Gabie Again: Traveling To The Beyond, we’ll be dissecting Himeno’s self-inflicted isolation and loneliness, her fear of being alone and what that looks like when it’s masked as well as her particular way of masking it.

Do you guys remember the whole, “Himeno-san is always like this when she gets drunk, she’s kissed almost everyone in our squad”? That behavior is the first mask we’ll be tackling in this analysis, and it’s an affirmation type. We know Himeno’s afraid of losing the people she’s close to, and that she desires intimacy and believes she’ll never have it. When she drinks, this fear screams at her face. And her reaction? To mask it by seeking short-term intimacy. She immediately seeks means to temporarily feel good about herself. By kissing others, by straddling and touching Denji and speaking candidly she gets to tell herself, “I’m intimate with people, I’m connected.” Which is the exact opposite of what she truly feels, “this feels bad, I have no connection or intimacy, I’m alone.” Sadly, we know that in the long-term this only increases the loneliness. But the reason we fall into the same trap is that it helps us introduce a small amount of positive emotion. In Himeno’s case she’s actively isolating herself from others in order to protect herself from being alone. It sounds crazy when we rationally think about it, I know. But there’s nothing rational about fear stories when we’re believing them to be true. 

There’s a reason positive affirmations have become so popular in new-age spiritualism. If I keep repeating to myself every day “I don’t have to be perfect, I can just be myself.” I’ll never have to come face to face with the fact that what I actually believe about myself is that there’s something wrong with me. That I’m a bad person who lacks in many ways. I mean, why face our fears if we can mask them with words of empowerment in a delusional loop. 

When compared to Makima’s moment with Denji, the bedroom scene between Himeno and Denji holds a lot more meaning, but it’s also ten times sadder. Through Himeno’s more mature lens, we juxtapose just how much Makima’s play was entirely manipulative whilst Himeno’s is because she’s deeply alone and isolated. And Denji’s just here for the ride.

Speaking of Ms. Devilish Beauty, in comes the second mask behind which Himeno hides herself: blaming. “Makima-san is the reason Aki-kun’s not with me,” or something along these lines. Himeno even criticizes both Denji and Aki for having feelings for Makima in the first place, as if they’re fools for falling for such a wretched personality. This need she has to tear something down in order to feel better about herself (regardless of it being truth or not), is a way for her to blame her circumstance in extrinsic factors beyond her control. At the same time that she feels slightly better about believing her fear, “yes, I’m alone because Aki’s immature, and blind and Makima is a horrible woman, and I am not. It’s her fault.” It’s not really because of her.

Thirdly and lastly is hiding. And we see that through how Himeno engages with Aki. She’s superficially flirty, friendly but distant. But we now know that’s not how she wants to engage with him. She’s not being authentic. Himeno avoids initiating any real connection and intimacy. If risk taking points to the right, she’s going left. The entire veranda exchange between Himeno and Denji was all just talk. And if you felt like there was something off about their interaction, I did as well! There was no real intention behind her proposal. The sun is shining, they’re both laughing, goofing off and having a good time, and it almost makes us forget about the evident black void lying behind last night’s busted door.

I reiterate to last week. I really think at the core of this series we’ll be looking a lot at the nature of fear itself and how it affects our lives. How paralyzing fears can rob us of meaningful and impactful experiences in our lives. And if we let them, they’ll rob us of the things we truly want and value.

I’m genuinely taken aback by CSM. Himeno’s themes are adult themes that we’d normally find in Seinen and not Shōnen. And can we talk about her actual death scene?! Not only does she die, but her body vanishes in thin air. Her entire existence becomes nothing but a ghost memory, no physical body to bury or mourn over. Like, damn, that was depressive. Brilliant writing though. Great character study and theme exposition. I loved it.

The ending sequence was also a great touch to add weight to Himeno’s arc. The stakes are really high. I did not expect a character like hers to die so early on (if she’s really permanently dead as I suspect, as opposed to Makima-san who I think will make a comeback with her weird eye). No spoilers please, if so, then please use the spoiler html code tag.

ED8 Sequence

ED8: 「First Death」 by TK from Ling tosite sigure


  1. I am not a big fan of killing characters so I am on two minds about this episode. I will need to see how the show handles the aftermath of all this before I really decide how I feel about it.
    And the rule of cool tells us that the so-called Katana Man should burst out of the fox devil (and said devil also provided some exposition) but the sequence leading up to that kinda left me scratching my head. So Power (uncharacteristically) punches this dude instead of using a weapon, at which point I think they want him alive for questioning. They prove me wrong in the next second, with Aki sacrificing a body part to kill a, at the time, seemingly normal human. Like, what….
    I overall enjoy this show of course but I am an empty half of the glass sort of person.

    1. Dude Aki realised that it was kill or be kill. One of them was going to gave to die. Also I actually appreciate the fact that Chainsaw man gas the balls to kill off some characters unlike most popular shonen. And their deaths hold weight and are not brushed aside. The series is much deeper than you think.

      Zemo x2
    1. Aw, thank you. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed that bit.

      And about what you said: indeed, it definitely caught me by surprise. As a long-time fan of ASOIAF series, it’s not like I’ve never seen it done before, but it’s certainly not common in Shōnen.

  2. i personally am not a fan of overextensive psycho-analysis (which I think this is, if not most definitely verging on), but i commend the eloquence with which the points here are made.

    so not quite my cup of tea, but i can recognise that it is well-written and so kudos for that.

    as for the episode itself… quite a shocking turn of events. talk about coming out of left field. was not expecting that after all the goofiness recently. will be interesting to see where it goes from here.

      1. everything else minus the freudian psychologising – which comes across as just unfounded speculation to me personally.

        caveated by saying this as this as an anime-only viewer, perhaps more details suggestive of/supporting your hypotheses are presented in the manga. again, just my personal opinion.


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