We now come full circle, arriving back where we began in the first two episodes. Things are different now, however. We know these people. We now who Yomi is, and we know why she has turned against the SDCD, her friends, and her own beloved sister, Kagura.
We know why she is a monster.
As we are about to discover, however, we still do not know the full extent of the tragedy that befell the SDCD that fateful night they faced one of their own, one of their most trusted, in battle. This week, we learn just how bad things really got when Yomi, consumed by hate and rage, decided to wage war on the people she believed would protect her.
In a way, it’s an interested choice that this episode opens on Nori, as his obsession with proving Yomi’s innocence blinds him to the larger problems. In his own way, despite his intentions, he has failed her as well, and worse, betrayed her when she needed him most. Not to prove she was innocent, but to be by her side when she lay in that hospital bed. That he never came there was a sin he will pay heavily for.
First, we watch as he revisits the scene of Yomi’s attack, searching for more clues as to who attacked her the night Mei died. As he does this, Kazuki and Kouji discuss his behavior. Kazuki wonders what’s gotten into his friend, seeing as how he hasn’t so much as giving Yomi a phone call since she woke from her coma. Kouji gets it, though, realizing that Nori is playing it safe, what with their engagement being broken off, and Yomi under investigation for murder. He doesn’t want to crack in front of her, not when she’s in the shape she is. He is, in his own way, trying to protect her, and give her strength, by not falling apart in front of her.
Kazuki considers that for a minute, then insists that Nori wouldn’t abandon Yomi when she needs him. Kouji agrees, but reminds him that Nori isn’t the kind of person who does anything half way. Until he can prove her innocence, he can’t visit her. Basically, that he can’t allow himself to go into that hospital room, with nothing but his heart, when even that means nothing after his dad breaking off the engagement. He needs to take Yomi something more than flowers. He needs to take her salvation.
Sadly, for Nori, he will never be able to give her that gift. Not even when she asks for it.
Just as Nori is discovering that whatever messed Yomi up came from a single point of origin, he gets a text, showing him a spirit energy map with a powerful spike. Not just any emerging specter, either, but a Cat-B, a Kasha. And where is it, you ask? Why, on an overpass. Yes, this is the same Kasha we saw back in episode one, the one that tore the SPCDH’s Mobile Unit One to shreds before being put down by Tooru and Natsuki of Section Four.
From here on out, kids, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.
Back at the hospital, Kagura is still trying to figure out what happened to Yomi whens he gets a call from Kiri informing her of the Kasha that’s appeared. Before Kiri can order her to the site, Kagura erupts into panic, telling her that Yomi has vanished and blaming herself. Ayame jumps on the line, trying to calm her and get some information while Kiri directs the rest.
Once she’s calmer, Ayame promises Kagura that a team is on the way, reassuring her that none of this is her fault. Kagura still fears the worst, however, remembering the school nurse who was taken over by a Latcher. Refusing to believe something like that happened, she tries to call Yomi, but gets no answer. Emotionally wrecked by everything that’s happened, she collapses, crying, begging Yomi to just tell her that she’s okay.
Elsewhere, Kouji is bitching about the traffic, which is backed up due to the disturbance. Kazuki spots an Osprey flying low, heading towards the Kasha, not knowing it’s Section Four. That’s enough for Kouji, who heads onto the sidewalk, declaring it the scenic route, because he’s an amazing driver.
While the investigative team is going over Yomi’s hospital room, Kagura has gone to meet with Chizuru and Miku, pouring out all her fears, and sorrows. She knows, is the thing here. She knows that Yomi needed her, not as a blindly loyal friend, not as the ever faithful little sister, but as someone who could see her flaws, her mistakes, and love her anyway. It’s too late, of course, but Kagura does understand, that in her declaration of blind faith, she caused whatever happened to Yomi, because with her disappearance, Kagura has realized what Yomi couldn’t tell her.
In a moment of rage, a moment of pain, she lashed out. She didn’t need Kagura to refuse to believe her capable of it. She needed Kagura to know it, and accept her. She needed Kagura to forgive her. Having been denied the possibility of that, Yomi vanished, and Kagura, while not knowing the specifics of how, does understand the why.
Chizuru and Miku know even less than Kagura, however, and understand even less still. From their perspective, Yomi just ran off and is refusing to take Kagura’s calls, in part because Kagura does a lousy job of explaining things, but also because there are things she can’t tell them. With this lack of understanding, they try to reassure Kagura that Yomi’s probably sitting somewhere, thinking stuff over, and will come apologize soon enough, if Kagura is patient.
Now, as all of this is going on, the obvious question is, where did Yomi go? Suddenly granted a regenerated body, and the power of an unsealed Banestone, and fueled by hate soaked rage, what is the first place she’d go? Why, to visit her Uncle Yuu, of course, who is hanging out in Naraku’s study. Obviously, she’s come to sit down, have a mature, reasoned conversation with him about everything that’s happened, right?
Yeah, no. She’s totally here to kill his slimy ass and reclaim the Shishio.
Actually, she’s there to demand he beg for his life. When he can’t figure out what’s going on, she decides to do to him what Mei did to Naraku. I can’t say I’m sorry, either. While I know I should be, and accept that there’s a part of me, a big part, that is likely broken, I am just flat out not sorry to see Yuu suffer. After all, had it not been for his power hungry ego, none of this would be happening. He is the one who drove Mei to be jealous of Yomi, to the point she turned on her own family, after accepting a Banestone, and killed Naraku, tore Yomi’s world apart, then tried to kill her, too. Yuu does have this coming.
Just, maybe, not this way. This is the next step in the tragedy that is Yomi Isayama. Overwhelmed by her rage and hate as she is, it’s easy to forget that she is also driven by grief at the loss of Naraku, the man who saved her life, took her in, raised her, and gave her purpose. That loss compels Yomi as much as her rage does to become the very thing she despises most. It is the root of her anger.
Who here can honestly say they have never entertained a revenge fantasy or two? I’m sure we all have. Suddenly given the power to carry it out, while having that inherent moral compass suppressed, and our conscious silenced by an intruding force, who would by any different than Yomi?
For me at least, this is a thought provoking moment.
Elsewhere, an explosion rocks the city as a swarm of blue butterflies lifts off Tokyo Tower. Mitogawa is content to sit back and watch shit go to hell. He’s such a dick. He’s also not alone. Garaku approaches from behind, making no attempt to be stealthy, knowing full well it wouldn’t work.
Mitogawa admits to being surprised by his presence, and even apologizes for his wife, who we will all remember as being Kagura’s mother. He may be a dick, but at least he’s polite. Garaku gives no fucks about that, though, accusing him of all the horrid shit he’s done. Mitogawa asks if he seeks revenge, and Garaku denies him even that joy, claiming to be here as a Vanquisher doing a job, nothing more. This bores Mitogawa a bit, but Garaku is done chatting anyway and throws a Phurba (Buddhist dagger) at him. Mitogawa has no fucks to give either, though, and disperses into a swarm of butterflies, claiming he hasn’t come to fight, just to see how things turn out.
Garaku is not overly happy about this. Probably because Mitogawa is such a dick.
Turning back to the Disposal Team, we join them where we first met them, sitting in traffic. Nori arrives, claiming to have a lead that will allow him to prove Yomi’s innocence, once they find her. Kazuki tries to seem like he believes it, but his expression shows that he thinks Nori’s grasping at straws. Nori doesn’t notice it, instead turning his attention to the job at hand, which brings us up to where we met them in episode two.
It’s the same with Kagura, who has gotten herself together and reported for duty, since at this point, there’s been two Kasha’s already, one taking out the SPCDH Mobile Unit, before Section Four dealt with it and the second, then went off the radar, what with them being dead. The third is the one the Disposal Team is on its way to deal with, and Kagura is hanging out under the train bridge, eating Pocky, and chillin while she waits for them to show up with the beastie.
Which brings us back to the Disposal Team getting rolled in their Humvee so Kagura can slice and dice. Continuing to follow the events of episode two, we get the conversation between Kagura and Nori, but now know what it all means. We get a bit more as well, as both of them try to accept blame for what’s happened to Yomi, and Nori telling her that he knows for a fact someone did this to Yomi, he just needs a little more time, and a little more proof.
As before, the dead SPCDH guys get up, all zombies now, leading us into that fight, and the utility conduit being blown open, unleashing more zombies. We also better understand Kagura’s repulsion at seeing the Latcher controlled dead after what happened with the school nurse. Back in Ep 2, Nori wondered if someone was pulling the strings, prompting Kazuki to ask who could do that. Now, we get another step forward, as Nori makes the connection that whoever attacked Yomi may be behind this as well.
Speaking of Yomi, that’s her cue, and right on time, she shows up to make these guys night even worse. Back in episode two, I talked a bit about how well written the dialogue was, and how shocked everyone was to see Yomi. As we return to this moment, we understand it all too well. Yomi calls Kagura, attacks with Rangurren, and flees, leading Nori and Kagura to pursue, bringing us to them entering the utility conduit.
Another detail that we didn’t get the first time through these events was that during the battle with the zombies, Rangurren appeared and attacked Kazuki. This will become important in a minute, as it will shed a lot of light on a comment Yomi made to Kagura during their fight in episode two.
Kagura and Nori head down. Kagura tries to figure out what’s happened, if Yomi has gone rogue, and if they can bring her back, before the two separate. This time, however, we follow Nori as he runs into Yomi, who points out that while he could never visit her in the hospital, he can sure track her down into the tunnels.
She claims to understand. After all, who’d want to walk down the aisle with a homicidal mute cripple? Nori argues that wasn’t why, that he couldn’t come to her without proof of her innocence. Yomi softens a little, admitting that she understands it, even appreciates it, but it no longer matters. Nothing does, she tells him before tossing him a Phurba and telling him that he has to kill her.
His duty, to destroy spirits who defile the natural order. Like it or not, she is that now. He has no choice. Yet, he hesitates. She asks him to do it. Begs him to do it. Orders him to do it. Ye, he hesitates. He can’t do it. He loves her. He can’t kill her. Even though he knows he should, that he needs to, and that she wants him to.
Seeing that he won’t, Yomi gets annoyed, calls him predictable, and summons Rangurren, who is carting Kazuki in his mouth. This is to make it easier on Nori, as she will kill Kazuki if Nori doesn’t kill her. Nori insists Kazuki has nothing to do with this, but she counters by pointing out all the times Nori blew her off to go hang out with Kazuki and play darts.
When Nori still hesitates, Yomi stabs Kazuki in the shoulder. Nori begs Yomi to stop. Kazuki begs Nori to kill her. Yomi points out the dagger. Nori struggles to even breath, torn between saving his best friend, and the woman he loves.
Yomi literally does everything in her power to make his choice easy, taunting him by saying they can pretend its all a game of darts. She taps various points on Kazuki’s body, laying him out as a dart board. As she does, Kazuki begs Nori to save him. Paralyzed, Nori can only watch as Yomi stabs Kazuki over and over again, calmly talking about what a good game it is, how fun it is.
Then, as she screams for Nori to kill her, as Kazuki screams for Nori to save him, Yomi disembowels Kazuki.
She knows. Yomi knows. It’s too late now, of course, but she knows she’s made a devils deal. She is no longer in control. Her anger over Yuu and Mei’s treatment of her, which lead to Naraku’s death, has spilled over into everything she has kept bottled up. It no longer knows any bounds as she seeks vengeance for every single sleight she has suffered, no matter how minor. Yomi is only along for the ride, unable to stop herself, and the person she trusted most to save her, by killing her, can only watch as she takes Kazuki’s life.
Dismissing Rangurren, Yomi, Kazuki’s blood on her face, walks away as Nori collapses. Next on her list, Kagura. As they battle, Yomi assures Kagura that Nori won’t come. That he doesn’t have the guts. Back in the second episode, it seemed as if she had already killed him. Now, though, we know. She did far worse than that. It would have been merciful to kill him compared to what she did. Even worse, she didn’t want to do it. She really, truly, wanted Nori to be the one to stop her. She believed in him, loved him, so much, she trusted him to kill her, and in this, he has failed her.
We learn that Yomi survived the gas line explosion Kagura created by using Rangurren to shield her, leading to their confrontation back up on the street, where Yomi ordered Kagura to never refer to her as a sister. This brings us to the end of episode two’s events, as Yomi pulled back to kill Kagura.
Her swing, however, is used to deflect the Phurba Garaku threw at her back. As Kagura tries to register the arrival of her father, he laments the shame of Yomi having fallen to darkness, unleashing Byakuei. Yomi calls it a blessing, and prepares to battle him.
At last, we know. We know what it means.