Shiro and Kuroh are surrounded by SCEPTRE 4, led by Lt. Awashima. Kuroh refuses to go quietly, so they draw their swords. Neko uses her illusory powers to transform their surroundings from a soccer pitch to a busy city center, but the illusion is broken by Munakawa. Kuroh holds him back while Shiro and Neko escape, but he’s no match for the Blue King. Neko conjures another elaborate illusion of Shiro awakening as a King, and the three escape to an alley. Shiro insists Neko lift the spell causing his amnesia. When she starts restoring memories from before she met him, Shiro remembers being pushed out of a plane.
As long as they were on the run from this group or that, Shiro and Kuroh could maintain the status quo, and Neko’s powers could facilitate that maintenance, extending it indefinitely. But whatever amnesiac husk of Isana Yashiro we’ve been watching so far has developed a sense of duty to his “friends” Neko and Kuroh, even if Neko regards him as master and Kuroh keeps lording the threat of slaying over him. The trio is up against the wall this week, and Kuroh is put in a situation where he could be seriously hurt or killed because of Shiro, and he wasn’t going to let that happen.
Whatever the hell an “unknown strain” is, they’re crafty sumbitches, and Neko is a particularly powerful one. Her offensive abilities amount to elaborate parlour tricks, but they work long enough to keep Team Shiro a step ahead, which is good because King Munakata means business. We particularly liked the illusion of Shiro admitting he’s lied the whole time and seeing his Sword of Damocles appear. We bought it just like Munakata, until he vanished to the sound of a meow. But Shiro doesn’t want Kuroh or Neko getting into any more danger on his behalf. It’s time he knew who he actually was, and take responsibility if it turns out he’s really evil.
Rating: 8 (Great)
Mahiro and Yoshino find shelter for the night in an abandoned rail car, and both spend much of the cold night thinking about Aika and the past. Mahiro remembers when Aika asked him if he wanted her to be his woman, while Yoshino recalls a trip the three take to the Fuwas’ Summer house, where Aika passes secret texts to meet in a place to have their first kiss. They are even almost caught by Mahiro embracing on the beach. When the cold morning comes, Mahiro and Yoshino continue on their journey to confront Samon.
But, look, the morn, in russet mantle clad, Walks o’er the dew of yon high eastward hill: Break we our watch up; and by my advice, Let us impart what we have seen to-night.
So says Horatio to Marcellus in Act I Scene I of Hamlet. Again, we’re sorry to say our knowledge of the play is very limited, but in the context of this episode, it’s an awesome, if a bit stuffy, line, like most lines of Shakespeare. Both Mahiro and Yoshino have dreamed of a ghost – Aika – one who still dwells within their hearts. But while Yoshino was pretty darn sure what Aika meant to him – he had the good fortune of not being her stepsister – it’s a little more nebulous what she really meant to Mahiro. Or maybe it wasn’t – he was in love with her, and made that clear to her, and didn’t want her dating anyone else until he could figure things out. Only Aika already dating Yoshino. So yeah, Yoshino can’t so easily ‘impart what he has seen that night’, for it would spell betrayal of a guy already lost in a sea of vengeance and regret.
Let us remember in the episode in which Yoshino and Mahiro start hanging out – Yoshino doesn’t like him much then, and whether by the teacher in the past or by Aika in the less distant past – Yoshino’s always been paired with Mahiro as a kind of rock. Aika even jokes about them being a better match than she and Yoshino – Yoshino being quiet and passive, Mahiro impulsive and forceful. Indeed, we see Aika leading Yoshino along for the whole flashback, and who can blame him? Aika is a perceptive and gorgeous young woman with an infectious air of confidence and wisdom beyond her years. Her loss has left a hole in the lives of both men. Comfort and solace may not lie over that high eastward hill.
Rating: 9 (Superior)