We spend this week totally away Tokio’s side of this story, and since last week the gears turning in my head have be believing we’re dealing with two different timelines. If Tokio and Kona are Maru’s parents, then “Heaven” is a facility that was running just before the Collapse.
This also supports the theory that “Heaven’s” children were the experiments that led to the creation of the Man-Eaters/Hiruko, which caused the Collapse, and why Maru has the power to kill them. Mind you I’ve not read any of the source material, so we’ll see how right or wrong I am!
What’s great about Heavenly Delusion is that the theorizing is fun, but not vital. I’m fine to let mysteries to unravel in their own time, and in the meantime we have this beautiful story of the found family/rom-com duo of Kiruko and Maru roving the gorgeously rendered ruins of civilization.
This week the pair put their two brain cells together to make a sign advertising their Hiruko-killin’ services, and the show pulls of a nifty bit of misdirection. We’re led for a moment to believe they’re about to be captured by Immortal Order, but they’re actually scooped up by a group zealously opposed to IO, called Liviuman.
Led by the charismatic Mizuhashi, it is an organization that opposes IO’s efforts to replace human bodies with machines and achieve immortality. Mizuhashi herself was the victim of a forced amputation of her leg, and while wandering the facility, encountered a human being chopped in pieces yet still somehow alive enough to beg her to kill them.
That’s some haunting, Mitty-ass shit right there, and sent shivers down my spine, because my mind immediately went to Dr. Usami, the doctor who put Haruki’s brain into his sister’s body (evidence of which is clear when Kiruko is bathing and her hair is back, revealing their head scar). He’s still up to his old tricks.
Kiruko is obviously naked when they’re bathing, and Maru notes that “she” seems “less coolheaded” than usual, like the Haruki in “her” is coming out. Kiruko hops out of the hot bath, stands before Maru in their birthday suit, and declares that they’ve “always” been Haruki in their head. Maru gets in the bath after them, chastened…but also turned on.
The next day, Kiruko and Maru agree to take care of the Hiruko rumored to be located on Immortal Order’s premises. Mizuhashi rallies Liviuman and stages a big loud protest as a diversion, allowing our duo to slip into a well-lit parking lot—a curiosity in a world with no power grid.
As for Hirukos, they find none that are moving, and instead find several small, white growths that appear to be dormant. Maru uses his touch to kill them for real, one after the other, until Kiruko locates the “big boss”. I agree with them that it’s almost more annoying that they aren’t moving, but it’s also far creepier.
When the boss’ face lights up, other Hirukos suddenly spring forth from inside the floor, walls, and ceiling, exhibiting an ability they haven’t seen before. The Kiru-Beam has no effect on the swarming monsters and runs out of juice. Kiruko is set upon by one, then two, then five of the little blighters.
Then, the unthinkable happens. One of the Hirukos grabs hold of her harm with its blade-filled mouth and bites down hard. Her arm is chomped off; then one of her feet. Maru is several yards away, similarly overwhelmed. Kiruko can’t do anything.
Fearing this might be the end, Kiruko calls out for Robin to help before passing out. But then they comes to…with Maru kissing them. He’s doing so to snap Kiruko out of what was apparently a hallucination; the boss Hiruko hypnotized her into thinking Hirukos were everywhere and making them shoot at nothing.
If Maru wasn’t there—and immune to the hypnosis—Kiruko might’ve been toast for real. That said, they still don’t let Maru sneak another kiss—one was enough, and they acknowledge it was necessary to snap them out of their trance. But goddamn was that nightmarish and stressful. I honestly didn’t know if Kiruko was actually being horribly maimed before our eyes.
With all the dormant Hiruko killed, Kiruko and Maru start to hear the approaching footsteps of fine black wingtips. A man in a well-fitting black suit, lavender tie, and eyepatch appears, holding a gun and inspecting the dead Hiruko. He then turns to the duo, and his gun clacks as he does.
That said, he doesn’t pull the gun on them. Instead, he asks them if they can kill something else for him. Kiruko says sure, if they can, and depending on what exactly he wants. She also mentions she’s looking for Dr. Usami, and the much younger man than she knew says that he’s Dr. Usami.
Clearly, the not-good-at-all doctor’s research on immortality has borne some fruiton on a personal level. We’ll have to wait until next week to learn the unspeakable but inevitable human cost, and if we’re actually dealing with a post-“Heaven” scenario in which Maru is the son of that facility’s residents.