What a lovely and adorable couple.
— Hey, Saki’s room kinda looks like my room. Well, not really. I wish I could have hardwood floors. They’re easier to clean than carpet. Anyways, I just don’t like clutter in my home.
— Saki points out that Kotoko is far from Kuro’s type, which is probably true. But as you get older, the whole type thing kinda goes away. I’m being kinda hypocritical, though. After all, I’m rooting for Kotoko in the first place because I like girls with a bit of sass in them.
— I dunno, maybe Kuro’s just bored of doing generic high school stuff as an adult.
— Saki says she had to dump Kuro because he’s not entirely human. See, I have a problem with that. So the guy has super healing powers. So the guy isn’t scared of kappas. What does any of that have to do with being human? What does any of that have to do with being a good, supportive partner? What does being human truly mean to her?
— Kotoko snipes at Saki, so the latter snipes back. I know Saki hasn’t gotten over their relationship, but this is all kinda pathetic especially when they have a potentially murderous ghost to worry about. Granted, the boy they’re fighting over is practically Wolverine…
— I don’t think it’s too weird that Kuro hasn’t contacted Kotoko in a week. Saki’s picking a fight for obvious reasons: she isn’t over her ex, and she doesn’t want to let this cocky girl show her up. Still, her assessment is incorrect. Kuro likely knows that if he gives Kotoko any details, she’ll come looking for him. She’s a smart gal. And it’s just as likely that whatever he’s doing is really dangerous. She can die; he can’t. We already know from the previous two episodes that Kuro does care about Kotoko’s safety. This isn’t the romantic love that she wants, but it isn’t nothing.
— That’s a dope-ass ride.
— After Kotoko leaves, Saki starts digging into Nanase’s backstory. Brain’s Base goes so far as to give us a fully animated OP for her short-lived TV show. I definitely don’t need this.
— Saki eventually discovers a wiki for Steel Lady Nanase. It’s like creating a wiki for, say, the Bloody Mary, y’know? Why would anyone go that far? Well, it’s for a specific reason…
— And thanks to this wiki, Saki learns all about the death of Nanase’s father and the unsavory rumors surrounding said incident. Apparently, the old man supposedly ranted about her shortly before he died. They even claim to have found a note saying that she would soon kill him. Do have any legitimate sources for any of this information? No, we don’t. Concerning the mysterious note, it is simply a story that “made the rounds online.” Like I said last week, people generally just want to be entertained. All of the Nanase stuff we’re hearing now sounds plausible, but what’s important is that they help us connect the dots. When you look at a “connect the dots” exercise, you don’t actually see a bear or an elephant. Your mind fills in the gap, because we have this need to make sense of the world around us. And if the creator arranges the dots in a certain way, then they can lead their audience to a conclusion that feels authentic. If it sounds plausible and is entertaining, it might as well become fact to some people.
— For now, Terada remains a skeptic, but he actually does believe in the existence of ghosts (for the record, I do not). He nevertheless has the hunch that something feels artificial about Steel Lady Nanase. Her costume and weapon of choice make her seem manufactured. A regular ghost is boring these days. On the other hand, a faceless idol with a giant steel beam catches your attention. You only read about her and spread her urban legend because she seems so unique. I can’t really disagree with Terada’s theory. Steel Lady Nanase does come off as bad creepypasta.
— Elsewhere, Kotoko provides us another piece of the puzzle: she can’t sense any ill will or malice from Steel Lady Nanase. As a result, our enemy can’t actually be a vengeful ghost. Her actions have no purpose.
— And if Terada’s hunch is correct, then Steel Lady Nanase has no real connection with the actual Nanase at all. Rather, our fearsome foe is a figment of our imagination that we have given credence through the act of storytelling. We have spoken her into existence. Someone gave us the dots, and we connected them. But who is this someone and why would they want to do such a thing?
— Kotoko also stumbles upon the same wiki that Saki had found the night before. The Steel Lady Nanase portrait instantly confirms her suspicions.
— So a steel beam fell on the real Nanase and destroyed her face. I find it hard to believe, however, that they couldn’t identify her using her dental records. I thought you only needed a few teeth, but maybe they all got smashed. Oh well.
— Right now, we have a lot of dots, but no clear picture. Why was Nanase at a construction site at night all by herself? Did her father really die of an accident? How does her estranged sister fit into this picture? An actual detective — perhaps someone like Terada — would explore every possible angle, but without any further evidence, he simply has to close the investigation without making any outlandish conclusion. But the masses won’t hold themselves to such standards. The masses can and will believe whatever they want. It’s fun to tell stories… even if it comes at a dead person’s expense.
— Kotoko sends a messenger to Saki’s apartment. She knows Saki ran away from Kuro after the kappa incident, so I gotta wonder if she is deliberately trying to spook her rival.
— This reaction is a touch over the top, though.
— Oh yeah, the devilish girl is definitely trying to troll Saki.
— Kotoko hurries to Steel Lady Nanase’s current location, but she soon finds the ghost battling Kuro of all people. Oh good, our twosome is now a threesome. Now the girls will definitely have something tangible to fight over.
Is this a reference to the kuchisake-onna urban legend in Japan? Where mass hysteria, rumors and media coverage leads to the spectre kind of manifesting in real life? Reminds me of Paranoia agent, which had a similar theme.
I’m not familiar with Japanese urban legends, so I can’t say. As for the overall theme, I’m reminded of a mechanic in Persona 2 where rumors can come true if enough people believe them. Japanese stories have always been in love with this concept.