As one arc closes, another begins…
Hoshi: In my one year of aniblogging, I’ve realized something about A-1 and their original stories: they have really, really, really low points where the story is just crap, and then actually good, HOLY-SHIT-I-DID-NOT-SEE-THIS-COMING high points where the story is really great. They frequently have me going up and down, hopeful and doubtful, ranting on their crappy points in a story and praising on their good points in a story. How I can put up with this and still keep them as my second favorite company, I will never know….
Hime: Have you guys been enjoying the full length version of Wired Life? I’ve pressed the reply button so much the song has lost all meaning. Only kidding, it’s still great.
Hoshi: As Shiemi hears the news of the attack at the dorms, her mother steps out, leaving her alone in charge of the store. Mere moments after she leaves, a noise comes from the garden. Outside, lying in the pouring rain, is a woman who’s badly injured. Sheimi tries moving her to treat her wounds, but can’t! Suddenly green men appear, willing to help her and the injured woman…
Yukio, on the same train he appeared on last episode, sits with his grandfather, who tells him that he wants to take him in since their guardian, Mephisto, has been arreseted by the Order. He then reveals how he had been confined by the Vatican for 15 years for being the father to Yuri, the woman who concieved Rin and Yukio, the children of a demon. The Grigori burnt their mother as witch to restore the authority of the Order. As Yukio asks why he’s only telling him, and not Rin, they pass into a tunnel that suddenly shows inside a large building. His grandfather calls it the Dragoon Laboratory, a factory for anti-demon weaponary. He goes on to say that the Order has become a puppet to Mephsito, and can no longer protect Assiah. Holding out a hand to Yukio, he asks him to join in the starting of a new age….
Meanwhile, Rin joins in on the interegation of Neshaus in the Great Cell, asking why would his wife, who he told was dead, by walking around, trying to hurt his friends. Shura suddenly mentions quickening, a technique used to bring back the dead. Neshaus explains that he did indeed deep freeze and preserve her corpse, but one day he found her capsule open, and in a green house by the facility, saw his wife, Michelle, alive and well. He knew a demon posessed her corpse, but he couldn’t bring himself to kill her. The Order soon found out and tried to arrest him, but when they started burning down the intstitution, Michelle let out a terrified scream, sending Neshaus on the attack. They escaped to Japan, but as she began to remember her fiery death, Michelle became a vengeful demon and sought to kill everyone connected to Satan.
When asked why he didn’t tell anyone, Neshaus says there’s nothing that could help her since she’s essentially a corpse and will begin to rot soon. Unable to stand still, Rin decides to search for his wife with the help of a seal that connects Shura’s familiars. He suddenly gets a call from Shiemi saying they need to talk, and immediately heads over. Meanwhile, Michelle wakes up in the middle of a garden where Shiemi appears, explaining that she had collpased in their garden and was taken to her granny’s secret garden, where they are now. Michelle mentions that the place is similar to the Garden of Amahara which surprises Shiemi. She even asks her to be her friends since she had never met anyone who knew about it before. However, Rin enters, sword out, yelling for her to get away. Before she can, Michelle grabs hold of Shiemi and puts a pair of scissors to her throat. She doesn’t last long, collapsing a few moments later from her injuries. Shiemi pleads to Rin, saying she’s not a bad person since the green men are so willing to help her.
Rin leaves to make a report to Shura, but as he calls her, the Paladin shows up unexpectedly. His subordonates grab hold of Michelle and Shiemi and bring them to the surface, where Rin has already been apprehended. Just before the Paladin can do anything, Neshaus forces himself in between them, saying he’ll take all of her sins. The Paladin, however, is umoved and begins to strike down his sword on Michelle. A sudden clash of swords, and Rin manages to stand before her, deflecting the Paladin’s sword. The two fight, but before it can continue any longer, Shura uses her sword to knock Rin down, afraid he’ll lose control. Suddenly a shot rings out…
Seen behind Rin is Michelle, shot in the chest as she stepped in front of him. Neshaus manages to catch his wife as Rin tries to find the person who shot the bullet, but he’s quickly held back by Shura once again. Lying in Neshaus’s arms, Michelle speaks about the Garden of Amahara, a place where she’s sure they’ll find and can live in peace. As the couple walks away, the Paladin orders them to be arrested, but the green men of the garden help them one last time by shielding them in a sphere of thick vines. All of a sudden, the sun shines through the clouds and a ring echoes through the sky. Everyone begins to retreat as Shura explains the bell means an urgent summons from the Vatican. Shiemi and Rin are left alone in the garden; Sheimi hopeful that they will find the Garden of Amahara…
Meanwhile, the Paladin reports in, but at the top of the staircase isn’t the Grigori, but a single man, Ernest Frederick Aegin, who’s dimissed the Grigori to take on their duties. He calls to his cloaked men from behind the Paladin, shouting that it’s time for them to take the offensive and bring peace to this world. Among the cloaked men, one stands, ready: Yukio Okumura.
Hoshi: Continuing from my intro, I feel like A-1 had devised this evil plot to give really crap episodes and then suddenly, completely blow me away with an amazing episode and I’m left sitting here praising the hell out of them for totally trolling me. Its like, “Oh we’re going to make you really disappointed in us, and then bring out the big guns next week so you’ll love us again even more.”
IT’S A CONSPIRACY I TELL YOU That being said, while last week’s episode was disappointing, this week’s was just great; the ending being the best part of course. I’m surprised they continued with Neshaus’ story until now. I guess they needed something to transition us onto this final arc as the series inches its way to a close. They wrapped it up so nicely, and that last scene with Shiemi and Rin together looking at that protective sphere that went around the couple had me a bit close to tears.
To be honest, I don’t believe Ernest’s story when it comes to Yukio and Rin’s mother. I sense there’s deception going on from this strange man. That tragic story of his daughter (if she even is his real daughter) might have been for some rouse to gain Yukio, whose one damn good exorcist, on his side. I’ve always imagined they’d pit the twins against each other, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s what they’ll try to do in the end; then again, it does conflict with Yukio’s overprotection of Rin. Anyways, this is all just speculation. There’s so many ways they can go with this, we won’t know what’s right until it happens. But that’s the fun of it~ With this war-like atmosphere going on, I can’t help but feel incredibly anxious. THERE’S STILL SO MANY QUESTIONS –SOB- Just bring Sunday around quicker, please. My fangirl heart is already strained enough…
ALL YOUR FAULT, PENGUINDRUM~
Hime: This episode was brilliant. If there’s a point where the silly becomes epic, then this was it. The sheer amount of energy behind the actions of the characters, coupled with the big and impressive visuals really just capture the very best of shounen action. If you’ll allow me to gush a little over this episode; let me first say that it is very clever, in that it both closes an arc and yet sets up for the final one with a jump-out-of-your-seat reveal. It’s tender, badass and full of those bitter-sweet moments of human weakness that you forget AnE can capture really well when it tries. While I was watching it I mentioned on Twitter that it started out very like a movie and I stand by that. More so in the first six minutes where the exposition is made all the more exciting by the tense score and the sweeping landscape. The direction is simply amazing; the way every scene is organized and coloured makes for a rich and varied atmosphere that only emphasizes the scale of what’s happening. Props to Ryuutarou Sakaguchifor upping his game on this one. The dialogue was also something I noticed as being particuarly sharp and even a little poetic at times, too. AnE does have a tentancy to be a little redundant and repetative in it’s script, as most standard shounens do, but here (like everything else) the writing was kept nice and tight and to the point.
Ah, but for the manga fans I’m afraid this is as close to Toudou as we are going to get. Don’t feel sad though, it might get re-vamped in a few years…you never know. I actually like the fact it’s sort of trying to do the same thing.. Maybe the mangaka gave A-1 and little summery of where the story was going and they ran with the idea, chipping in along the way. Either way, it’s creative licence so really they can do whatever they want. While the story and execution is technically better in the manga, it’s hard not to get caught up in the animes enthusiasm. There was a lot of twists and turns in this episode and I have to say I ain’t buying Grampa’s story. At least not totally. He’s too shady a character, and the story he serves Yukio seems a bit too “boo-hoo poor me, I had a hard life but I’m here for you now!”. It’s all a little too conveniently timed and you can’t say the way he appeared before to Angel wasn’t a giant middle-finger to the Vatican.
As for Yukio…Well, I have 2 theories to explain his decision to join the Dark Side (yes, I’m calling it that, you know how I love my Star Wars references). The first is that he was genuinly beguiled by his “Grandfather” and truly believes that their’s is the path of good. His emotional instability and “potential to be manipulated by devils” has finally caved and he has become just that, a pawn. To be used and abused until his downfall/death or “ohshit, maybe turning my back on everything I stood for wasn’t the best idea” revelation. Either way in the preview sounds like he at least is confronted by Rin though the older Okumura isn’t successful in getting through to him. Uguguguguuu~ Jun’s angry, evil voice is so sexy. “Let go of me, Nii-San!” (Oooh, what’s he doing to you?) Anyway, the resentment and jealousy that he has been harboring since he was a child has now consumed him. You can see where this comes from, too, and it makes sense in the larger scheme of things, though not so much when you really disect it. Yukio was originally someone with great integrity and it’s hard to buy that (no matter how jealous he might be) he would actually want to harm Rin and disgrace Fujimoto’s teachings.
The second explaination is that he can actually protect Rin better if he’s one of them. He would have knowledge of what they were planning and could make sure Rin wasn’t put in the line of fire, at least at first. Granted it’s a more desperate path but we’ve seen how his obsession is stretching to include doing bad things to get his way. This would also include him joining them to bring them down from the inside. Now, Yukio is a smart bastard. He gets this offer, and sure he’s vulnerable to suggestion at the moment, but there’s still the possibility that the boy genius is in there, recognising that these guys are bad news. The only way to find out more is to get inside their organization and sabotage it if it’s dangerous to those he cares about. If he just ran back to the Academy what would he really be able to tell them? And at this point he is deep within enemy territory, so he’s really in no position to refuse anyway. If he did, would they honestly let him walk out of there alive with all their secrets? Don’t think so.
So there are my theories, I could be wayyyyy off but it’s still fun to try and decipher a character’s motivation when they do something so shocking. I don’t see how they will incorporate his “mark” into this new plot but there’s been enough build up that it would be such a waste to abandon it. I can speculate until then what it means. Well that’s all I’ve got on this episode, only thing left to ask is *puffs post-coitally on a cigarette* was it as good for you?
What will become of the Order, and our Esquires, now that the Grigori are gone? What’s Ernest’s plan for the offensive, and why exactly has Yukio changed sides? Most importantly, as Rin is seen locked behind bars and Yukio is heard saying “Let go of me”, how will the brothers act towards each other from now on? Until next week then~!!