The Day I Became a God – 05 – Letting the Spell Land

Last week, many a viewer not well-versed in the minutiae of mahjong (such as myself) struggled to keep up with the onslaught of game rules and terminology, even as we were eminently entertained by the spectacle. This week mostly dispenses with the comedy and bombast to tell a far more accessible, relatable, and straightforward tale: how we deal with loss.

Izanami Kyouko’s mother is dead. She’s been dead for ten years, and ever since her death, Kyouko and her father have been different people. The loss of their mother and wife left such a gaping void in their lives, they couldn’t possibly fathom how to fill it. Rather than moving forward with their lives, they both remained more or less stagnant.

When Youta and Hina learn that Izanami’s father has barely left their house since his wife’s passing, and with only twelve days left till the end of the world, Hina has Youta lure him out onto the town with them under the pretense of helping find a gift for Kyouko’s approaching birthday.

While Youta and Hina are with Papa Iza, he marvels at a “future” in which curry is white, and they go on a culinary journey composed exclusively of cheese. Ultimately they learn that Kyouko’s mom left video messages for her and her father, but he hasn’t told Izanami about them nor shown them to her, no doubt terrified of how she might react to them.

Youta agrees not to tell Kyouko about the messages, but Pops didn’t say anything about Hina telling by means of a magical smartphone that enables Kyouko’s dead mother to speak with her. It’s actually Hina speaking with Kyouko’s mother’s voice, and just hearing that voice brightens Kyouko’s face and her day.

Hina is confident Kyouko’s knowledge of the videos will “shake things up” for her and her father…and she’s not wrong! Both Kyouko and her dad sit entranced when her mom appears on the screen, providing messages for her birthdays from age seven through eighteen. Her main message is for the two of them to buck up, “forget” about her, and destroy the video.

Back then, when she was near death, she was pleading for her daughter and husband to move forward without her…because they were without her, and there’s nothing any of them could do to change that. She stages it as a magic trick, complete with hat and wand, and Kyouko is indeed enchanted, compelled to abide by her mother’s final wish…for her daughter and husband to be happy.

As the gorgeous, heartbreaking, utterly devastating sequence during end credits deftly illustrate, they certainly were happy with her…they just have to learn to be happy without her. I can’t remember something making me cry this much since the infamous life sequence from Pixar’s Up—or hell, probably some other Maeda Jun work(s)! This was the Goddamn Tearjerker I’ve been expecting…and it’s probably only the beginning.

Again, thanks to Hina, Youta arrives at the cusp of a romantic breakthrough, this time with his childhood friend and longtime crush. Kyouko arrives at his door short of breath, her heart having rushed ahead of her head, to thank him for the magic phone call. Alas, Youta doesn’t feel right cashing in on what he considers “cheating” by Hina to bring them closer. But with just eleven days left till the end, he’ll soon find himself bereft of such precious opportunities.


Author: magicalchurlsukui

Preston Yamazuka is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

3 thoughts on “The Day I Became a God – 05 – Letting the Spell Land”

  1. Damn you Maeda Jun you made me cry again! Still to be able to convey that much emotional power – it’s gotta be worth a ten!

    1. The mark against this episode that keeps it from a perfect score is my same issue with the show itself: since every episode has been a completely random mission as if pulled from a hat, Kyouko’s development here felt abrupt and rushed.

      Don’t get me wrong, it’s a deeply moving episode with a powerhouse of a credits montage, but also lacks hardly any connective tissue with previous outings. Kyouko was barely in the mahjong episode and has barely said ten words in the entire series up to this point, only for her to suddenly spill her guts in the library.

      Also, for an episode that showed us so much of Kyouko’s happy childhood with her folks, it was disappointing when it didn’t bother to show us Youta at least making the attempt to get something going with Kyouko—especially when she expressly asked if there’s any way she can repay him.

      “How about a date?” is not an unreasonable request from one 18-year-old high schooler to another! While I’m glad it wasn’t another instant rejection like the first time he asked her out, and maybe the timing was off, it still felt like a wasted opportunity.

      Either Youta has a chance at a romance with Kyouko, or she’s just not interested in him that way. Either way, I hope that impasse is resolved before the world ends.

      1. Yes I know what you mean. So far the events seem almost random and apart from the theme of Hina playing match maker for Youta and Kyouko, there doesn’t seem to be much linking them – And even that has a randomness attached to it at times. Knowing Maeda we’ll get an episode soon that will link all its random elements into its central theme. Compared to other Maeda works where the narrative linkages were much stronger, I’m finding Kamisama a slightly less enjoyable experience. However I’m aware there are six episodes to go and anything can happen!

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