Aku no Hana – 09

Nakamura Sawa, Kasuga Takao

Even knowing that he stole her uniform and vandalized the classroom, Saeki doesn’t want to break up with Kasuga, and asks him to reconsider. The next day he stays home sick, Saeki confronts Nakamura, who tells her about the contract to bring out Kasuga’s inner deviant. Saeki stops by Kasuga’s house, but he won’t let her see him, so she yells up at the window that she wants to understand him. Kasuga’s mom finds the ink-stained clothes, and Kasuga flees to the riverbank, where Nakamura is waiting with his bike, suggesting they spit town and ride “beyond the hill.” Saeki sees Kasuga’s mom frantically asking people if they’ve seen Kasuga.

Kasuga can’t understand: how can Saeki, his paragon of virtue, grace, and purity, possibly be okay with his actions? We know that she was more mad about him not being honest (even saying she was a little happy about the gym uniform, which…wow…). But now that Saeki knows about his deviant side, he can’t bear to be in her presence, not just because he feels he doesn’t deserve to be, but because he doesn’t want to infect that ideal purity. Saeki wants to know more about him, but he doesn’t seem interested in knowing more about Saeki, because the more he does, the more that idealized version of her in his head is broken down. The more she learns, the closer she wants to get to him.

But after the confrontation behind the school, Kasuga and Saeki remain apart, with their only encounter coming with Kasuga hiding under his covers (not his best moment) and her below his window, hoping he hears her. Contrast this distance to how close Kasuga and Nakamura get in the end, and how intimate her movements around him are, mounting his bike fully expecting her doll to get on with her and ride them out of the “shithole town” where neither of them could find their place. Meanwhile, Saeki and Kasuga’s mom wander the town, both lost without him, not caring what he did to them, and desperate to find him. But he may already be beyond that hill. Like Kasuga’s vision of Saeki, their visions of Kasuga may only be mirages.

Rating: 9 (Superior)

Stray Observations:

  • That close-up shot of a student miming a machine gun targeting the deviant…yikes. Hope that’s not foreshadowing!
  • This episode marks the first time we see Saeki and Nakamura without Kasuga around.
  • Another of this show’s many nice little details: The sound of the gravel when Saeki leaves Kasuga’s house.
  • When Kasuga put his incriminating ink-stained clothes in the washer, we thought he’d, you know…switched the damn thing on!
  • “Is that your mom? She looks retarded.” Nakamura really has a way with words, doesn’t she?
  • Saeki gets her own sad walk!

Suisei no Gargantia – 09


Pinion prepares a salvage operation at an ancient facility, as Ledo leads the attack to drive the Hideauze away. He enters a massive underwater facility that is a Hideauze nest, and commences destroying every enemy he sees, until he finds ancient data storage discs, which reveal that the Hideauze were created from and by humans back when Earth in the midst of an ice age and plans for humans to abandon earth were accelerated. Chamber tells Ledo not to believe the data, and then proceeds to destroy a human-like Hideauze that swims by.

This week Ledo dives deep into the realm of Earth Hideauze, and further into his ingrained vendetta towards them. Even when Chamber warns him they’re running low on energy, Ledo presses the attack. And he ends up in so deep, he discovers something that turns his whole situation on its head. The conveniently-edited, informative video paints the Hidauze as derived from humans who underwent biotechnological experiments, and what’s more, Earth was split into two factions: those who were for this “evolving”, and powers like the Continental Union who weren’t. It could be that Ledo was fighting an extension of that war, however many years in the future.

The video of a world steadily being buried in snow is chilling (no pun intended) and shows that desperate humans will take desperate measures to ensure their safety, including the ability to live and breath in the ocean and in the vacuum of space. It’s also pretty chilling that this info was classified and kept from grunts like Ledo (though his successful effort to order Chamber to de-classify it was a nice bit of work.) Citing protocol isn’t the only card Chamber plays: unlike Ledo, he’s devoid of emotion, and the enemy is the enemy even if they’re not the mindless low-level lifeforms Ledo believed them to be until now. Prior to the revelation the episode was not shy showing Ledo and Chamber annihilating them with extreme prejudice. Now he must feel like a mass murderer.

Rating: 8 

Stray Observations:

  • Pinion is motivated by the guilt of not being able to save his older brother in a similar mission years ago. 
  • We’re interested to see how Ledo handles this. If he stops killing Hideauze, that will throw a wrench in Pinion’s – and by extention Flange fleet’s big plans.
  • Amy only appears in the last minute, walking into her house and hearing Bevel play the flute Ledo made, which brings her to tears.
  • Bevel got some good reverb going on that thing.