I’m referring to those giant eyeballs, of course. I understand that in revealing Yoshino and Mahiro’s past, the show attempts to reinforce one of its main themes, i.e. there’s a certain level of logic to the world, but quite frankly, this episode is boring. The only new stuff we learn pertains to our two protagonists, but neither of them are particularly interesting nor complex enough to warrant such an excursion.
• There’s still no explanation of just exactly how our two protagonists got through the quarantine. I guess it must not have been that extensive.
• When Hakaze declares her veneration for just the Tree of Genesis, we get a close-up to one of the komainu statues. Rain drops make it look as though it is crying:
These statues originated from China, and they have typically served throughout history as guardians to repel evil from hallowed grounds. Shortly after Hakaze says that her “only god is the Tree of Genesis,” a fruit appears and the black iron syndrome strikes again. I’ve no idea if there’s any real connection between these two events, but I figure I may as well point it out.
• The episode then contrasts Yoshino’s pure-hearted nature against Mahiro’s somewhat cold-hearted approach. I can understand Yoshino’s desire to protect the old couple and the two children, but things get a little cheesy when he gives up his umbrella to the two-kids-turned-statues. On second thought, this is probably just custom. I guess Yoshino sees a bit of himself and Mahiro in the two kids.
• The characters keep referring to Yoshino as though he’s rebellious, but again, the notion doesn’t seem to fit. Of the two, Yoshino’s the one who is hesitant about lodging in a some random person’s home even though Mahiro reasons that their actions won’t matter to a victim of the black iron syndrome. He even apologizes to no one in particular before stepping foot into the house. If Yoshino’s lying, he’s such a good liar that he’s even putting on airs when nobody’s watching (except the audience, of course).
• What’s with this anime and celery?
• I don’t understand the redundancy sometimes. Take Yoshiro’s conversation with Hakaze, for instance. You could honestly edit much of the voiceovers out and just trust the visuals to do the heavy-lifting. I am specifically referring to these lines: “Mahiro’s father was a pretty prominent figure back home. Because of that, the school couldn’t admonish Mahiro, since they were worried about trouble with his father. The other kids got that feeling, as well. So he was sort of in a different league.” So what do we see?
We see a younger Mahiro come to school in an expensive black car. A chauffeur even opens the door for him. As Mahiro makes his way to class, all of the other students stare at him nervously. It is obvious from these images then that Mahiro’s in a different social standing than the other kids. It is equally obvious from these images that Mahiro gets special treatment from everyone. So why, I ask, does Bones not just allow the visuals do the work it is meant to do? C’mon, anime is a visual medium. It is thus so unnecessary and boring for the characters to drone on incessantly instead of allowing for the subtleties of the visual narrative to come through.
• I guess on some level, Mahiro’s suspicion about the mugger reveals two related notions about himself and the world around him. First, Mahiro seems to have always had this desire to make sense of the world. The anime’s been hammering us over and over with the idea that the world conforms to some sort of logic. Even as a kid, Mahiro didn’t accept that it was simply an accident that a mugger ran him over with a bike. This plays into his current desire to make sense of his sister’s murder. Secondly, Mahiro’s suspicions about the mugger weren’t unfounded. As such, nothing happens without a reason. This ties back into Mahiro’s desire to not necessarily avenge his sister, but to find the culprit. There has to be a motive to why she was murdered, and her brother has made a deal with Hakaze to find out why.
• We get to see that the younger Yoshino has finished his celery for no damn reason other than the fact that the anime is obsessed with the vegetable. Plus, Yoshino’s telling this story to Hakaze, so I have to imagine he decided out of nowhere to include this little anecdote: “But the second time around, I put mayonnaise on the celery and had no problems finishing them!”
• I wonder if Yoshino’s account of how he and Mahiro became friends is even close to being a hundred percent truth. We keep getting hints of Yoshino’s more duplicitous and rebellious nature, but even as a kid, he seemed rather white-bread and straightforward. Of course, this is his story, so he could just be misleading Hakaze… but for what purpose?
• The teacher goes so far as to pin “Mahiro’s Guardian” to Yoshino’s shirt? Is this another example of the show’s humor? Honestly, I can’t tell. I just find it ridiculous.
• In the end, Mahiro visits the two-kids-turned-statues and leaves behind a half-finished bottle of water. Like Yoshino leaving behind an umbrella, Mahiro is sort of venerating the dead. I know firsthand that Chinese culture will leave offerings of food behind to venerate the dead. If Japanese culture shares this particular custom, then I guess it doesn’t surprise me one bit. On another level, the scene is trying to convey the idea that Mahiro’s nicer than his outward nature might imply. Like the rest of the episode, however, there seems to be nothing more to the idea than just this.