Heavenly Delusion – 08 – Behind the Curtain

Dr. Usami takes Kiruko and Maru past a gauntlet of people who want to ask him about their prosthetics and leads them to the room with the curtain. Beyond that curtain is a young woman being kept alive by machines, calling to mind shades of Akira. Usami wants Maru to try to kill her the way he did the dormant Man-eaters in the garage.

Why not just disconnect her from the machines? Because they’re not just keeping her alive—they’re keeping her from becoming a monster. This is how Maru and Kiruko learn that all Man-eaters began as humans. Maru places his hand on her heavily bandaged body, and discovers that she has a core. He can do what Usami wishes and end her pain. But what does she want?

Thanks to a tablet, the young woman Hoshio is able to communicate her final wish: to see the sky. She’s been in that dark, depressing room for God knows how long clinging to both life and humanity. Kiruko and Maru agree that they won’t do as Usami asks unless Hoshio can see the sky, so Usami makes it happen.

The episode lingers on the logistics and careful maneuvering needed to move her and all her machines and cables just a few feet to the balcony where a impossibly gorgeous azure sky opens up above them. She stares up at that sky with her single blue eye, takes a few breaths, and then Maru lets her finally rest. It is without doubt one of the most beautiful and heartbreaking scenes I’ve ever seen, and not by accident: this episode was guest story boarded by a KyoAni veteran.

After she’s passed, Kiruko and Maru discover that Hoshio left a few final messages on the tablet, thanking Usami for letting her die as a human, thanking him for giving her his eye, and for everything, and telling him she loves him. Usami’s mask slips and he breaks down in big sobbing tears.

As all this was going on, Mizuhashi was apparently killed hitting her head when a rock was thrown by an Immortal Order member. Liviuman storms the facility, and IO’s staff and patients evacuate. Kiruko asks the IO folks about the photo of their Dr. Usami and Robin, and they recognize Robin, much to Kiruko’s delight. They could be inching closer to finding him.

But just as Kiruko and Maru are getting ready to escort Usami after he buries Hoshio, he shoots himself in the head on the roof of the facility, cradling Hoshio in his arms. He’s also holding the same button as the kids’ uniforms in Heaven. Just as he no longer saw any reason to continue Immortal Order with Hoshio gone, he no longer wanted to live in a world without her.

Faced with a dead Usami with a dead Hoshio in his arms, Maru begins to despair, saying that unlike Usami or Robin, his hands “only bring death”. Kiruko hurries to him and takes his hands in theirs, telling him that’s not true. Those hands, my God. Countless people have been saved by him killing Man-eaters. He’s saved Kiruko more than once as well. That matters.

While what happened to Hoshio and Usami is tragic, I’m glad the episode ends on a less somber note, with Kiruko and Maru closer than ever. No matter what happens in this world, if they can just stay together and keep surviving, you get the sense everything will be okay.

Only the episode doesn’t quite end with them. It ends with Mimihime’s dream of being in a dark and scary place, before suddenly being joined by someone who offers their hand (probably her crush Shiro).

When Tokio sees her grinning on the balcony, she asks what the dream was about that made her so happy, and Mimihime says she’s already forgotten. But even if the details of the dream are gone, the emotions remain.

Similarly, the precise nature and timeframe of the “Heaven” where Mimi and Tokio reside remains shrouded in mystery and intrigue, but what matters is that I desperately want to learn whatever answers Heavenly Delusion is willing to provide in its final five episodes.

CERTIFIED GODDAMN TEARJERKER

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Author: magicalchurlsukui

Preston Yamazuka is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

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