Years later, and not much has changed.
|Zetsuen takes a break from literal magic this week and explores the magic of revenge/forcing children who come visit you in the hospital to do research for you and somehow turning it into a sort of friendship instead. Ah, anime always has the best life lessons.|
Mahiro and Yoshino head out of the city and into… the mountains apparently. Normally watching characters travel from point A to point B can be a little tiresome, but admittedly, it did work pretty well here. It’s nice that they actually showed us that Mahiro and Yoshino are replenishing their talisman supplies rather than telling us in retrospect that they picked them up and expecting us to fill in the blanks as to when and where. I don’t think they ever specified travel plans either, so having them do this is so much better than just having them wander aimlessly. I still have no idea how exactly they plan to stop Samon (…have they ever had a plan?), but I suppose this was a nice break from constantly fighting for their lives for one reason or another.
That being said, Samon’s plan seems to progressing as well. …Not that we know why he’s even doing it yet. I assume Yoshino throwing the ring as opposed to using magic to get there faster was in order to save on magic (since he doesn’t seem to be the type of character to let the idea of simply using the magic pass him by), but it does seem a bit odd that he’s still holding on to trying to save people after being practically emotionless after wandering through a city of dead people. He has no problems taking his wallet back from the dead, has problems walking into someone else’s house when they’re dead, and then doesn’t seem to feel all that guilty using their kitchen minutes later. …I don’t understand how this kid operates. The only explanation I can come up with is that he lives in the present (which would explain his extremely short guilt period) and he’ll try to save someone in front of him, but after that, he’ll move on with life. Bringing back the idea of his Shakespearean counterpart, Romeo, that makes a lot of sense. Romeo certainly saw his life in the present considering that he married Juliet days after he met her. Those are completely different circumstances, of course, but maybe that personality idea transferred when the author was creating Yoshino.
If anything was accomplished this episode, Mahiro’s behaviour now makes a hell of a lot of sense. Ever since childhood, it seems that he’s had an obsession with revenge. I don’t think a normal child would choose searching for revenge as the appropriate response to someone almost running them over, let alone being able to sense killing intent in the first place. He was able to force Yoshino into helping him as well with little to no effort, so he was certainly something as a child.
Also interesting to note, Yoshino has been as dull as he is now ever since childhood. It’s not just Aika’s death making him an introvert, it seems like the guy really does just keep to himself. That being said, he was also absolutely brilliant as a child. He had great deductive reasoning skills right from the start. …Which is great and all, but again, it seems like we’re supposed to just see that they’ve been the same since childhood with no real rhyme or reason. I can see Mahiro’s arrogance being brought on because of his influential father, but just why did Yoshino prefer to avoid being memorable as a kid? Was there childhood trauma? I suppose this isn’t THAT important to the plot, but it does lessen his character depth if they just leave it at “he’s like that because that’s how he was as a child” as opposed to giving us an actual reason behind it.
The real reason Yoshino figured out the culprit was because he had EXTREMELY obvious murderous face shading around his eyes.
…Overall, I can’t really say that either of them have changed since they first met. They both seem to be following the same formula of Mahiro does something and Yoshino follows whether he wants to or not. They’re practically the same people they were when they first met. Sure, it’s changed a bit since they seemed to have opened up to each other over the years, but it certainly doesn’t seem to be by much. I know that the two of them are tricky character types, since they’re both rather antisocial, and in the end, it’s up to the characters whether what they have is friendship or not, but I can’t help but feel like they could have achieved the same relationship through maybe a single year of knowing each other, even if they were practically forced together. I can see hints of their bond in the plot since Yoshino did come back for Mahiro and Mahiro did trust Yoshino with talismans (which is notable since both of them seem rather self serving… or at least Mahiro is), but there’s not a whole lot more to it yet. The plot can tell be that neither of them would have come this far without the other, but that doesn’t mean that it’s believable. Maybe they can solve this by showing us more teamwork between the two, but right now, I don’t think this childhood friendship plot point is living up to what it could be. I mean, I DID like them sharing the line with each other, but that’s not really enough for me to call it anything.
So for further speculation on where Hakaze is, they’re certainly not in the same time zone. It was clearly morning where Mahiro was and clearly night time at Hakaze’s island. At this point, I’m wondering how the two groups will ever meet up since Hakaze seems to be practically on the other side of the planet and everything happening in Japan seems too urgent for Mahiro and Yoshino to leave.
…At least things aren’t too urgent for fanservice.
Not quite Fosh’s version of ‘backstory’ in both cases this episode, but much appreciated anyways xD
…This wasn’t quite the character development goldmine I thought it would be. The explanation for Mahiro and Yoshino’s odd personalities seems to be “they’re like that just because they are”. Also, their friendship story was great, but their relationship still seems… shallow… somehow. I tried my best to explain it above, but it really does feel like something is missing still in explaining their relationship. Maybe because neither of them have changed much since becoming friends. I can’t say I’m satisfied with the explanation here, but this episode did have it’s merits (and I’m not just talking about the fanservice). Yoshino’s childhood revenge on Mahiro was great and the little points here and there about picking up talismans and Samon still continuing on with his plan were well placed. Just because the action stops for a flashback episode doesn’t mean that the characters accomplish nothing in the mean time. So long story short, some ups and downs this episode, but far from unwatchable.
Next episode involves Aika, so maybe we’ll learn about how her and Yoshino met/started dating? I guess we have to get these flashback things out of the way now since I imagine there won’t be time when they find another mage.