Yes, I am reviewing these in this fashion — not that the episodes were lacklustre in quality but its actually the opposite these episodes were the most relevant episodes in the series and they rocked! Yes, these episodes rocked comparatively to the episodes we have been treated so far and they had a very nice orchestration of both action, information and interaction. The ambience becomes more tensed and actually creepy with imminent doom. And as usual this post will be SPOILER FILLED so tread with caution.
In episode nine we do continue from that monster that attacked school — all chaos ensues as blood, body parts, pieces of veins and sinew (digested, regurgitated or just plain in the digesting process as in being eaten) are thrown at us in all directions. The panic was real and people’s helplessness was felt. In fact, I actually got their pain and horror at seeing their classmates devoured by macabre literally. Well, as Saya prepares to fight Tomofusa and Yuka takes the few survivors and goes to the only refuge — the roof. Saya was actually doing a crappy job fighting the furukimono and I was actually annoyed. Because of her clumsy fighting a lot of lives were lost but I cannot completely blame her. There were many other factors in play like the stupidity of her classmates of not high-tailing it out when the chance was presented they only screamed and acted really slow. I am not saying people don’t do that but really when a monster is trying to make you lunch people you run ok. And also Saya was enduring some sort of mental constraints too. She was trying to block the creature’s attacks but she was getting interrupted by headaches and so more food for the furukimono.
Soon, the furukimono gets up to the roof and kills the few survivors who were left and Saya sees the dead body of her closest friend, Yuka — which enrages her enough to go kamikaze on the furukimono ( in a cool fighting scene where she leaps into the air) and we see that only Tomofusa has survived. I have to admit I was pretty impressed by Tomofusa he actually went out of his way to try to help Saya when the furukimono got her in a pinch. Now Tomofusa is obviously suspicious of Saya and asks her who she really is. But Saya is in a trance and can only repeat what everyone already knows about her. That mysterious teacher comes and starts to tell if she has killed everyone. But Saya loses consciousness.
Later on Tokizane comes along — now Saya feels odd as she did not see Tokizane with the other classmates and realizes that aside her class no other class was in school though she thought everyone was told to come to school even after the recent events. Before Tokizana had come the little talking dog was present outside her house and Saya had cried hugging him. It was nice to see that she did grieve over all the human lives lost. Of course, I still was annoyed that she did not question all these weird situations but at least happy to know she at least started. Tokizane does not speculate anything (go figure) and he instead decides to confess to Saya his feelings. However, Saya does not understand why Tokizane likes her and questions that (in fact that was a wise decision in my opinion) — but Tokizane says there are many qualities she possesses that are likeable. Saya is obviously still confessed about this matter until her father shows up — there is a tense moment between young man and father until Tokizane decides to come back later.
Well, what do you expect happens — Saya finally throws the big question out: Why can’t she remember her mother? Her appearance? Her name? Her personality?!
I have to admit this episode was very beautifully crafted — we were treated to heavy carnage at first which took up over 50% of screen time but then it went deeper into the plot. Right now if you do not have suspicions on Tokizane and the teacher then you should. I am sure that Tokizane was not in the class as he claims and the teacher going all enigmatic again is not at all a good sign. These two had the odour of suspicion from before and now it just got stronger. I started having suspicions on Saya’s father as well as how he never reveals anything important to Saya aside her need to kill furukimonos and even that is left incomplete. Well, except Tomofusa and Tokizane no one is left alive of Saya’s class and well thats a severe blow to the town though no one is doing anything about it.
Episode ten comes with a monster (who I actuallly thought was Diva) with blue eyes and covered with hair/fur and aside a face has no body or flesh, the she-monster actually is all spine. Not only that she confesses that she wants to eat a human child and that is better what Saya eats. Well, this one kills Tokizane and Saya once again gets unconscious after killing it. When she wakes up she sees Fumito who brings her coffee and guimauve and caresses her. Well, she questions a bit on it — the guimauve. Why is it always pink in colour? Is it always pink in colour? Fumito tells her that depends on what is put into the guimauve. Now I knew those sweets were a big deal in this anime or at least thought about it. In fact Fumito later goes to Saya’s father and suggests that Saya wanted the guimauve and mysteriously stated that he knows that the parent is hungry too and is carrying a silver thermal flask. Yeah, I guess we should suspect them too. Now though I mentioned that Fumito is not a love interest I am beginning to recant that statement. The way he caressed Saya suggests fondness and a certain attraction not to mention he once mentioned that Saya is very important to him. Even Saya got confused as Fumito caressed her face.
Well, Saya dresses up in her uniform — I suppose out of habit — and goes to the cafe. Enigmatically, Fumito has bandages on one of his arms and then Saya’s teacher comes along. She is interested to see the scrolls in the shrine and though Saya’s father is out she asks if she can see them. Saya hesitates but agrees to show her.
This is where the disaster strikes or shall I say disaster for Saya and well revelations to all of us at the same time: all the books/scrolls in the shrine have new bindings and are well empty! Except the one Saya had learned the furukimonos about. Saya is more than confused but it gets worse. She sees two people outside that are supposed to be dead — Nono and Nene, the twins…
Well, I had a certain feeling about the twins too and one of the good things about this show is that it has some elements of unpredictability and well I thought the twins were dead but guess they are alive not to mention laughing maniacally/creepily in sync. They make the world obviously crash for Saya. What is going on here?
Well, we are reaching the penultimate episode and even the season finale so lets say pandora’s box is opened. Saya has finally realized that the world around her is strange, she cannot understand her father and Fumito anymore (not that they were quite understandable in the beginning but you get the picture), her mother’s whole existence is a blank and so are the so-called ancient scrolls! So, what is exactly going on here? The talking dog kept on talking about all these disruptions in her lifestyle and Saya has not made these connections and I think she should have earlier but yeah she is flawed that way I suppose though in my opinion it is pure callousness on her part to not question these things especially if a weird enigmatic creature keeps on referencing them to help you better understand the situation you are in. Most of us, the viewers, may have not trusted the characters at all from the beginning or probably just questioned them well that was good enough for a vague storyline. Characterization still could have been better even if the whole show relied on enigma and despite the action I felt really dissatisfied about the series until these episodes rolled in. Well, we have to wait until DVD release to see the censored gore scenes (I think that is why they were censored in the first place LOL)
The penultimate episodes opens with Saya’s shock at seeing Nono and Nene. Episode eleven pretty much does most of the revelations. In fact, I was pretty impressed with this outer context or shall I say inner context blocking and fabricating an outer context. This whole town is a farce. So no wonder no one was bothered with so many weird things happening and the people dying and going missing. Everyone in the town are hired actors or extras and Nono and Nene and Saya’s teacher are part of the “main cast” so they are given protection against the furukimonos (it seems so is Tokizane, Tomofusa and Yuka). They did say that the extras are all killed except the “main cast” who are special enough to be kept alive.
The real Nono and Nene (that is their pseudonyms by the way as most people have them in this town) are not nice — in fact they are horrible! They make fun of Saya as she is having a breakdown. She wants to keep believing that her identity is true. When she mentions that she is Saya Kisaragi they laugh at her for being given a name like that. Then her so-called teacher tells her that Kisaragi means someone who changes her robes a.k.a change from their selves completely and that this surname suited her because she has been changed to satisfy the conditions of this experiment. Then she goes hentai and clutches Saya’s breast as she states though the mind changes she thought Saya’s heart would remain intact.
Saya falls to the ground and Nono and Nene giggle and state that do not care about her and that they all were in this act as they were promised a reward at the end of this experiment. Now they think it is taking too long so they the teacher and Tokizane have defected from the original plan. Oh yeah, Tokizane comes out of the bushes. And guess what? That guy is as mean and corrupted as the twins. He is not in love in Saya rather the opposite. He thinks she is disgusting and basically a freak. In fact the experiment was designed to see if Saya was going to stay in this sweet self or is she going to revert to her true experienced and instinctive nature. Now, Tokizane has brought furukimono blood. Why is that? Well it seems that Saya feasts on furukimono blood. The twin who pretended to die in the shrine had seen with disgust that after killing the furukimono Saya had devoured its blood. And it seems whenever she does she becomes stronger and starts to remember what has happened to her. Though the teacher seems to be worried about Saya its obvious she has ulterior motives as well. The twins wants their record expunged so that they can go back to normal society and get a job, Tokizane wants money and the teacher wants Saya for herself — she is a researcher and wants to research Saya.
Saya is force fed the blood and she starts to remember what has happened. She was attacked by a group of mysterious soldiers and a man who was in charge. The man wanted to capture Saya as he was fascinated by her uncanny nature commenting on how the Japanese government and U.S. military want to keep her secret. Soon, something akin to a chiropteran (who was next to the man in charge in human form moments before, I have a feeling he is playing Saya’s daddy now) from the movie knocks Saya out cold. All this time Saya’s eyes were red and the twin comments how whenever she consumes the furukimono blood Saya becomes like that. The teacher is hungry for more information. She states that a paranormal event called shrovetide (she has always been fascinated by the occult and is a researcher on it) where demons are allowed to feast on humans may happen soon and Saya is supposedly a key to that so she maniacally feeds Saya the rest of the vial of blood Tokizane had collected from a dead furukimono. Now, Saya remembers that whenever she was getting stronger and getting more of her old self back she would be back to that room with the flying wind-chime blood vessels and all chained up with her excess blood getting pumped out of her to make her weak. Then it is her blood on the floating things and well the man in charge comments (from a recent case) that this it was close and that it would have been hard to get her back. The man tells her that her blood would be put to good use. In fact he said he will feed her blood to “him” (kinda can guess who that is) and maybe he did feed certain quantities back to Saya via the guimauve mix.
Well, while the defectors are having their ball party a furukimono that looks like a demonic version of CLAMP’s Cerberus comes out of the library. Now the teacher has promised the trio that the surveillance cameras and recorders were off so that their actions would not be noted. But it seems that they weren’t careful so now a big furukimono is after them. They escape only to run into Tomofusa and Yuka who state that they aren’t allowed to hurt the main character, Saya, in any way and that as the whole town was created to keep watch on Saya and the experiment they are constantly under surveillance. Well, they had to explain that when Nono and Nene keep on persisting on how they had their recorders off and everything (they say they don’t need them on when they are not monitoring Saya) so they demand an explanation from their pseudo-teacher. They want their records expunged and if they caught they won’t get their reward, Tokizane says he is risking his life so he needs to get paid and well then the teacher screams that she needs to show Saya as living proof to her theories which were dismissed before her publication period expires. It seems everyone only cares about themselves but surprisingly Tomofusa seems to genuinely care about Saya as he asks if she is alright though she is still the defectors captive. Well, the teacher is angry saying that the experiment is defeating its own purpose because “he” keeps on hypnotizing and using drugs on Saya when she is getting her memory back so she’ll revive Saya’s old self and show “him” tell “him”.
When that “him” does come forward and the twins and Tokizane look scared and the teacher too seems to be in big trouble. Well, surprise-surprise it is Fumito smiling and asking what does she wanna tell him.
Well, in the penultimate episode it is revealed that Fumito has been the guy in charge all this time.
So, we have approached the end. Am I happy I saw the series? Well yeah. True that the first few episodes were crap the finale seems promising and getting good. I think this series started after Episode eight and well as a rating it’ll get a 3.5/5 and well I agree with Star Crossed anime’s blog that the story did have something that made you wanna watch it but its characterizations were weak until the end. I know most of the characters were frauds but even so they don’t do much in their fraudulent personas aside acting mysterious or confessing attraction, love, admiration or plain affection for Saya and aside lunch time she hardly interacts with any of her friends. Also the extras could have stood out more as they have been tricked into this farce — I expected more with their masses disappearing that they would do things like scream, yell or cry out for help. Though the anime had Truman show elements it cannot always tacitly employ them.
What I did like is the 360° personality swaps of the characters — Nono and Nene seems to look like they were engaged in illegal sexual activities (one of the twins wanted to keep the uniforms because they wanted to get some girls dress them up in it and don’t get caught in doing that :\) so much for acting all sweet and innocent. They kind of also explain to Saya firstly of how the town is a farce by saying how the school has no winter uniform and how she cannot remind her childhood friends and the people in charge might invent them later. The teacher is really obsessed about her research and while the revelations loses all her subtlety and becomes crazed, direct, forceful and a total hentai to boot. Not to forget Tokizane who becomes a foul, cold-hearted selfish man (I hope its him getting eaten by demonic Cerberus in the finale preview).
It only seems Yuka and Tomofusa have not changed with Tomofusa showing signs of actually caring about Saya (as someone mentioned in Wikipedia that he might have actual feelings for Saya). When the twins were whining how they were sick of the farce and want to go home Yuka reminds them that when they signed up they were told of these conditions so there’s no reason to whine and defect showing that Yuka is as strong and possesses a rigid backbone as shown in episode nine when she was helping others get up the roof.
The series finale will premiere soon and we are promised a movie in 2012 — let’s hope we get to see the real Saya the one the experiment couldn’t contain.