A hearing is held, run by Diet Member Kuramitsu, to investigate the studio bombing. Rinroku and Rie attend via sattelite, and Shinjurou is among those questioning him. He harbors a consistent suspicion that he’s hiding something, and that he’s using Bettenou to bend reality. Bettenou is at work, but her loyalties are ambiguous. She does have contact with Inga, who has grown distant from Shinjurou and extracts vital state secrets from Izumi. Upon being discharged from hospital, Rinroku’s van explodes with him and his bodyguard Mizuno inside, but Shinjurou is convinced he faked his death. The truth continues to elude him.
This was a tough episode to follow, but by gum were we entertained. It frankly blew our minds with possibilities. As Rinroku says, there are as many truths as there are people. Indeed, every day, every moment we cultivate our own truths, which may change from one moment to the next. Those like Shinjurou live to find the truth, something infinitely elusive, and even though they may even know what he seeks is an impossibility, he still tries. No matter how much he uncovers, there’s always more. No single human lifetime is long enough; the search for truth is eternal.
Is truth an enemy? A foe to be defeated? Why is it he knows Bettenou is at work in the proceedings that surround him, but no one else does, save Rinroku? Throughout this episode, we were fed a lot of information, but like the Defeated Detective, we feel like we haven’t crafted a satisfactory explanation for wtf is going on. Things are getting very weird; abstract; conceptual. The episode where the author trapped Shinjurou in a fantasy world was only the warm-up; the real mind gymnastics begin here- and next week, end. This is one 11-episode series we wish wasn’t ending.
In the middle of an operation, Shu breaks down and runs away. He keeps getting flashes of Lost Christmas, and other disturbing hallucinations of people being consumed by the crystalline cancer. Ayase and Gai come to hear his final decision, which is to quit the Undertakers. Inori leaves his house, and he depends on Hare for companionship. His visions turn out to be precient, as Segai orchestrates an elaborate trap that corners the Undertakers and unleashes the Apocalypse Virus into the general public through sound waves, killing hundreds.
So yeah, as we expected, Ouma Shu does not take his part in Jun’s death lightly. In fact he does his best to channel Ikari Shinji, going AWOL and hiding out, held hostage by his own cowardice and self-pity. He totally takes advantage of Hare’s kindness, and even slaps Inori in the face, destroying a data chip with a new song she recorded for him. We’re talking primo little bitch here. But I don’t know what he expected was going to happen; when someone has powers such as his, they are expected to do great things. But with great things come great failures as well. Crushing failures. But one cannot sink into despair after one failure, or one defeat. Especially when you’re the underdog. You have to keep fighting.
He supposes he was trying to be like Gai; trying to win the heart of Inori; trying to be someone he wasn’t. But as Hare states unequivocally, the Shu he is now isn’t the Shu he was anyway. Running away from everyone and everything isn’t going to do him any good. His scene of eating a rice ball Inori made, alone, while crying, says it all. Yes, it sucks that Jun died. Yes, it was fucked up. But abandoning everyone when they need you most, and crawling up into a little ball of inconsolable angst, frankly sucks more. Segai and the Anti Bodies are now implimenting a fresh purge of innocent human life. The Undertakers are the only ones who stand in their way, and they’re screwed without Shu. Get your head in the game, man.