A rather artistic direction (of course that could be said about the series as a whole at this point), putting the flashbacks in black and white. This arc seems to be more similar to the first arc, solving a past crime, relying on past narratives, than the second arc, which was focused on the present and preventing a future crime. A nicely sandwiched narrative, I’d say.
The bit about Gennai Hiraga, who was a very smart guy who worked with medicines, inventing, writing, and art, was an interesting tie in with the supernatural mythology. Given that he worked with medicine, it fits super well that he would have had experience with werewolves.
“I won’t scream”- famous last words there. No matter the language/country- English, French, German, everyone pretty much reacts to Aya the same way. I imagine that would get pretty old pretty quick for Aya (and hence her delightfully dry, acerbic sense of humor).
As always, the detective trio steals the show, Tsugaru with his clever “leg up” and waterfall puns and the ladies with their equally hilarious jabs at the “headliner”. Throwing Tsugaru’s pillow down the chimney because they needed something that was ok to get dirty was quite the jab.
The crime in question this time is a series of murders of teenaged girls supposedly committed by werewolves. The most recent victim being a girl, Louise, who received a visit down the chimney from someone/something who certainly wasn’t Santa Claus. Aya already has her suspicions, pointedly questioning if the bodies found matched the purported victims, which could present some interesting possibilities with whatever is going down in this remote village. Committing a crime takes a balance between not trying at all and trying too hard- the latter being a dead giveaway that something else is afoot. The werewolf (if it was a werewolf) for one was guilty of that- everything was too messy, but also too neatly done, almost scripted for it to be a random werewolf rampage. Add in the fact that Louise needed a wheel chair to get around and need to be carried would have required careful forethought on the culprit’s part, which Aya doesn’t fail to point out. All in all, it hints that something deeper is going on here. That and the intro we were privy to, which pretty much spells out that this isn’t so much as a crime scene in action as a rescue operation.
It was kind of matter of course that the bite-mark evidence was a copy of Goethe- I was starting to wonder when some reference to that would show up. The bite marks on Tsugaru’s handkerchief and the ones on the book matched, suggesting the same culprit more than a copycat, though I’d be skeptical of that until I saw the actual teeth. Whereas the family hyper focuses on the bitemarks, a potential clue that gets suspiciously brushed off is the rifle that went missing around the time that the supposed werewolf attacks began. We witnessed an “Oh shit” moment when the old guy tried passing off the werewolves’ location as someplace completely different from the “Forest of Fangs”, only to find out his BS wouldn’t stick- something smells here and it isn’t the werewolves (or is it?). I have a hunch the gang is a lot closer to the werewolf town than the people living there would have them believe.
Of course, from the diamond and the intro scene in this episode, we know the werewolves do exist, but I’m kind of skeptical if the werewolves are really behind this, or if they are, if there’s more to it than a simple mad rampage. As is often the case, prejudice and bigotry is an ugly, unhygienic bandaid people slap on top of their own insecurities and weaknesses to try and claim that they’re good, healthy people compared to the “outsiders” when in fact, they’re not. In this scenario, the werewolves happen to be the scapegoat of choice for these villagers. Although, maybe the villagers’ stereotypical “hate the supernaturals” spiel is a bit too scripted to be real…