「懐玉－肆－」 (Kaigyoku -Shi-)
“Hidden Inventory 4”
I’m amazed at how MAPPA continues to deliver week by week with outstanding results — this time managing to blow it out of the water even more with this week’s episode. Let’s discuss this because there are so many things to unpack here. First of all my jaw was on the floor the whole episode, sure there are some bits here and there where the animation falls short of extraordinary. Going for that weird blurry frame editing technique anime is so well known, where animators lower the framerate of their animation, and the editor is forced to blur between them. Saving both time and precious frames. However, like I said, my jaw was on the floor this whole episode. Let’s start from the beginning.
After brutally killing Riko in cold blood, Touji makes his appearance and dances around Suguru, stalling for time as he explains how the Forbidden Vault is constructed, and why so many corridors surround it. If things had gone differently they would have been walking those corridors and opening doors to get to the center. Where they would have promptly delivered Riko.
Instead, they just crush through the lines of corridors. In the in-between they have a little chat and try to get each other but to no avail. MAPPA did a great job at keeping the tension between these two characters alive even though they were just having a normal chat. Life and death were still hanging on the line, even through what seemed like a chat among friends. Suguru almost gains the upper hand after casting a spirit that creates a domain where it can only be broken by the answer to a question, and tries to absorb the spirit Touji carries on his shoulders. But is defeated and Touji scars a giant X across his chest.
Twitter jokes aside, Touji seems like he has gained the upper hand, however, that is not the case. As he was to deliver Riko’s body to the Star Religious Group, they worship Tengen-sama as their deity. Touji gets paid doubled and the priest goes on about something – something, faith or something, the rambling of a madman with no sorcery to speak of, so nothing more than a believer blinded by faith. Touji dismisses him and they go on their merry way. Not before Touji finds himself face-to-face with Goujo!
This was bound to happen, of course, we all knew Goujo was coming back, but the explanation and plot points of exactly how – was the interesting bit. Negative curse energy alludes to me, but Goujo did a wonderful job of explaining it. In essence, it’s just negative and positive numbers. Likes Zeno’s paradox, Goujo’s limitless power essentially allows him to have an infinite number of curse energy. So just before his death, he channeled just enough to keep himself from dying. In the state close to death, he found what I could colloquially refer to as the root. The root of all magic. Things might get a little esoteric from here on out so bear with me.
Before let’s not forget Shiu and Touji have a little conversation which strikes me as odd. It makes me question what’s the extent of their relationship. The whole thing was planned and they were basically hiding in plain sight. Rich people think on a different scale. Touji suggests that Shiu ‘take him out’ to one of the fancy restaurants he ‘uses for clients.’ What clients exactly? What does Shiu do for work? Is he some type of male escort? I mean my mind went places. Then Shiu claps back with ‘You never pay for a guy, anyway.’
Shiu says that with a smile so nonchalant that it begs the question. What exactly is the deeper meaning behind this conversation? What’s the subtext? Could be many things, but my brain points in one direction. Then Shiu say’s ‘I’ve already decided I’ll only see you. Either for work or in hell.’ Sorry – but in what context exactly? What are they trying to say or hide
Maybe just maybe I’m overthinking and the context was lost in translation – I found a manga panel from that scene that suggests a more normal conversation where Shiu just claps back by saying ‘You don’t plan on paying anyway.” So that’s a lot more normal and doesn’t suggest any other type of subtext.
Anyway – here comes the cool part of the episode, Goujo makes his appearance, and the imagery here is just so cool, Goujo floating in mid-air like he’s beckoning the heavens. Touji compares it to something akin like Goujo is high. Sure he is high on power, or curse energy, and in essence, Goujo also comes off as some kind of madman who has found power beyond his imagination, and has gone beyond the limit of limitless. Has gone one step closer in Zeno’s paradox to touching the root of all magic. But in the process has created a cascade of even more infinite dominoes or steps to actually reach the root. This might just be one step in his reference to reaching the limits of infinity. I loved it – it’s so good! Oh must I forget to mention, the OST for this scene was just so good!
A fight ensues and everything is in its right place. Purple is my favorite color. Goujo manages to decimate Touji’s upper torso, and in his final moments, Touji dies like a soldier, standing up and with his chest puffing out. Even in his final moments, his pride got the better of him. It was also his pride that was his downfall. But his pride made him such a delicious villain – tasty in the writing sense.
And the question I asked a couple of episodes ago – what exactly is Touji’s relationship with Megumi? It seems something more like a father. After all, he named him. So I wonder how this will affect the future of JJK because if Megumi finds out the truth, that Goujo killed his father, how will he actually feel? Or does he already know?
After the ED credits, we see a red sky, a sunset not orange, but tinted blood red. Usually meaning something is off. We see Suguru being approached by the worm around Touji’s body. The origin story of our next villain perhaps?
Nevertheless, we see Suguru approach a red basement, where he is greeted by a crowd of applauding believers. In a scene similar to Omedeto Shinji Getou is holding Riko’s body as he approaches Suguru. The conversation that ensues is creepy at best, as Goujo suggest they kill all of the people of the church, no curse users are left. But was this their plan all along? Some things are still left up in the air. Thankfully Suguru stops Goujo from committing mass murder. And the scene ends with a visible line cutting both of them, suggesting Goujo has lost all empathy for human life. Leaving Goujo in Red and Suguru in blue. For what does he stand for? And who’s morally correct here? This clear parting suggests that Getou might be more of a villain going forward, might we only keep watching? Things are getting interesting for JJK, and even though we had such a great explosive episode. It left enough room for future episodes to keep us hooked!
Full-length images: 39.