Finally, the payoff: this episode puts to rest the mysteries of who killed the Nanase family and more importantly, why Yakumo’s mother tried to kill him. There’s adequate suspense and action, but also lots of lengthy scenes of people explaining things, which is kind of an undesirable by-product of creating such a complex story fraught with twists and turns. Still, I’m glad things were cleared up; my mind was glazing over with all the connections.
First of all, Miyuki herself killed her family. She went all O-Ren Ishii on them to be precise; having simply had it with them all. Takeda, who proposed to Azusa just before the murders, was framed for them, sending her into a spiral of depression and confusion. The glasses-wearing guy everyone calls “That Man” exploited that, driving Azusa into even deeper despair. Her attempt on Yakumo wasn’t an act of hate, but desperation. Her spirit confirms this; having shot out of the red pendant he gave Haruka, which gets them out of a pickle.
With this new knowledge of his mother’s feelings, and the temporary retreat of Nanase and “That Man”, Yakumo opens up a bit more, now cognizant that far from being alone, he is in fact connected to gobs of people – living and dead – who truly care about him; especially Haruka. With a more clearer picture of his past and his place in the world, he seems to be on a path of caring about her in kind. Rating: 3.5