Darker Than Black (Episode 8)

I must be dumb if I was not to notice this. Darker Than Black is a series of cases done by Hei, being told in two parts of episodes. Episode 1 and 2 is one case. Then episode 3 and 4 is another case. And the same goes for two sequential episodes. And remember my remarks of how bad Yoko Kanno did for Darker Than Black OSTs? I would like to withdraw those comments. Surprisingly the music is good and suitable to the nature of the episode this time. In fact it was done well for some previous episodes as well. I must have been to ignorant to notice. Probably because they reduced the comical factor in this episode, bringing back the original dark theme of the series. I am sorry, I was wrong. I do enjoy the OST… finally.

The episodes begins with Li and Huang going through a list of the employees of the Fiore Perfume company. Huang believed that if they can find the industrial spy, they can also find the Contractor who is after them. They were also looking for Mao whose whereabout was unknown. Meanwhile a detective named Yabuta Tatsuo came to the doors of the widow’s residence, bringing Mao inside a cage. Earlier Gai and Tatsuo were discussing about the case of a corpse inside Toshiko’s mansion. The police managed to identify the skeleton as Katsuragi Toshiko based on her dental records. Her cause of death is apparently accidental, due to a fatal fall from the broken railing of the old house. In the conversation, Tatsuo called Gai as “Matsukichi”. Gai told the detective that the name “Matsukichi” is his old name as his name now is Kurasawa Gai. Tatsuo told Gai to stop pretending to look cool to investigate the case by himself. It appears that Gai was once a police but left the force to open his own private eye agency. Tatsuo thinks that Gai does not have what it takes to be a detective. On his way back, Gai was still thinking over the case of Toshiko’s death while he was being followed by the body snatching contractor. Then Gai stumbled upon Hei and the Contractor ran away. Gai questioned Hei for him to be there at night. Hei simply answered he is taking a walk, enjoying the starry night and pointed upwards. Gai looked up but when he looked back at Hei, he was already gone.

Darker Than Black
“My name is Gai… Kurasawa Gai”

Gai was at the widow’s house, asking for her if she is doing fine. Gai brought up the cat issue to her and the widow told him that it was the wrong cat. Meanwhile Mao was trapped in the cage and was desperate to go out. Mao lamenting for losing his wireless communicator (the bell that he always wear) at Toshiko’s house. Then the weird housemaid came over. Back to the widow, she told Gai that Toshiko ever visit her once when Yuzuki (her husband) was still married to Toshiko. She described Toshiko as elegant but had scary eyes. She also noticed that Toshiko never wears perfume, saying that her husband did not hate her body odour. The widow bitched about body odour. Gai made his leave but was stopped by the creepy housemaid who returned the cat (Mao) to him.

As he walked back, he was followed by the Contractor earlier. He came to the river and was bother of what to do with the cat. As he suggested to throw the cat to the river, Mao barked at him for being cruel towards animals. Stratled by Mao’s voice (and not to notice that the voice came form the cat), Gai turned back and the Contractor appeared to him. The Contractor wants his jacket back. Gai recalled to know him from a cafe before. Gai asked why is he following him but quickly jumped to conclusion that he is related to his case. The Contractor was clueless about what he is talking about. Then he asked Gai if he is a Contractor. However Gai mistaken the term “Contractor” as a hitman contracted to kill Toshiko. To avoid further arguments, the Contractor possessed Gai’s body. The Contractor tried to adjust to the body as he falls over, knocking down the cage containing Mao to the river. He commented of how bad the body he had possessed. Mao had the urge to make a move and decided to possess the nearby crow. The Contractor was about to hand over the jacket when Mao in his new body snatched the jacket away from him. What seemed to be a good escape for Mao ends up with him knocking over the bridge. Mao was not used to his new body yet. So Mao switched back to his previous body. The Contractor approached the ill-fated crow to reclaim his jacket and came to understand that there is a Contractor nearby. He head over to Mao as asked if he has the ability to possess bodies as well. He added that Mao had also lost his original body while trying to kick Mao into the river. Mao was lucky to have Hei came to his aid just in time. Hei binded the Contractor to the neck and the Contractor was about to possess Hei’s body. However Mao quickly warned him of this and Hei immediately tied him to the river. The Contractor swapped back to his previous body then used the opportunity to grab the jacket and run away. Gai who just regained his body back, fell to the river, bringing Mao along to the water. Hei intended to chase the fleeing Contractor but Mao cried for help as he was about to get drown. And yeah, the Contractor managed to escape.

Darker Than Black
Mao landed himself into trouble

Darker Than Black
“Hey! Birds don’t wear jacket. So give it back.”

Darker Than Black
Birds can play dead too

The next day, Gai catch a cold thanks to his late night swim. Kiko talked over to Gai about the widow who was seen around Toshiko’s neighbourhood. Gai decided to check into this matter. While Toshiko’s mansion was cleaned out by the city hall authority, Gai noticed there are plastic bottles filled with water outside the house. Not following? Me either. But hang on because the answer is out at the end of the episode. Meanwhile Hei was seen in a park with Yin and Mao. Hei asked Mao to identify the Contractor they met last night but Mao seemed spacing out. He was stratled then explained to Hei that he had just received a broadcast from the network. Apparently Mao’s brain is connected to a server as a cat’s brain is not sufficient. Otherwise he will lose control of the body and the cat’s consciousness will take over – the same thing that happened before at Toshiko’s house. Yin identified the man as Ukiyama Norio who can control gravity. Now are you not being reminded by the same Contractor seen in the first episode? Louis, the French Contractor. So there might be Contractors who share similar abilities if this should present. Hei was confused by this as he thought that Ukiyama has the ability to possess human bodies. Ukiyama was known to work with Amitabh Kapoor, a Contractor from Northern India who has the power of possession. This take no brain to figure that Amitabh possessed Ukiyama’s body. Even Mao thinks the same and he added that Kapoor lost his body in an accident and snatched Ukiyama’s body before his body died.

Darker Than Black
Cat rescue gone bad

Darker Than Black
“Too sick to make out with me huh?”

Later at night, Gai went over to the widow’s place to explain Toshiko’s death to her. The police figured that Toshiko had a cardiac problem and they presumed that she had a heart attack and hit the railing before fell to her death. Though the police considered the incident as an accident but Gai thought the otherwise. He questioned her for sending him to Toshiko’s house but the widow told him that it was the cat. However Gai denied this as he saw water-filled plastic bottles outside the house, a popular practice to get rid of cats. This shows that Toshiko hated cats and it was not possible for Toshiko to steal the cat from the widow. Gai figured that she sent him there to find the body, making him a suspect. He told her that a witness saw the widow at Toshiko’s house about 6 months ago, the same time when Toshiko was believed to have died. He suspected the widow as the real perpetrator. The widow asked for proofs for the allegation but Gai did not have any. He said that it was only intuition and asked the widow to admit to her crimes. Gai is just silly. How to admit to a crime that has no proof to point to? The widow laughed it off, saying that there was no proof in the first place. I guess even the widow thinks it is silly. She revealed to him that Toshiko was already dead when she got there. She admitted to have visited Toshiko six months ago after hearing that the mansion was piling up garbage. She did not want to ruin the house as that the place where her late husband grew up. Seeing the house with her own eyes, the house was in a worse mess. So she figured she had to say something to her. She entered the house, only to see Toshiko’s dead body lying on the floor amidst the garbage. She denied to have sent Gai there to convict him to murder Toshiko. She was just scared becaus nobody has found the body yet. The fact remained was that Gai was being used. Gai asked the reason she did not called the police and was answered that she did not want to get involved in the case. Meanwhile the Contractor is meeting another employee of the Fiore Perfume company.

Darker Than Black
Water-filled plastic bottles are supposed to get rid of cats. Lets try that.

Darker Than Black
She smelled something fishy…

Darker Than Black
… Not so fishy, just one dead body.

Back to the widow, the widow confessed to have partly intended to leave Toshiko’s corpse there. For Toshiko whose body odour was pleasant to Yuzuki, she wanted her body to rot among the putrid stench of the garbage. A not so sweet revenge for her – a smelly revenge. Psycho! Gai came to Toshiko’s defense, blaming her to steal Toshiko’s husband away from her and got everything. The widow then said that Yuzuki was obsessed with his sensations (I’m talking about the five senses) and to think that the older Toshiko was able to defeat her in that sense was unacceptable to her. However to Yuzuki, smell is the most important sensation. Things really got sexy here as she said Yuzuki would smell every part of her body. Yet his favourite smell is not her smell. Now back to the Contractor, he told the other guy that he will leave the country once he got the item from him. It turns out that the waiting man was Hei. Hei dashed to the Contractor and quickly used his power to kill him. So much for a fight. It seems that Hei used some kind of electric force to kill him but I’m not really sure about that because his true power is still unknown. Wouldn’t it be cool if he has the same power as Peter Petrelli (from Heroes) do? Then Mao came to them to check things out. Just before the Contractor died, he took out a sock from his pocket while spilling out more vials. Then he sniffed at it and he died.

Darker Than Black
Step one to tango

Darker Than Black
Step two requires special effects to have those dazzling eyes

Though the widow thinks that it is strange for his husband’s particular obsession, she felt that body odour had a special meaning to it. More to defining one’s character. Okay, I get her. Well in the end, Yuzuki loved his first wife Toshiko though he also felt the same way for his second wife. He loved Toshiko’s body odour just like he loved her. Lets say, it has some sentimental value to it. Hei looked at the vials as Mao explained that the vials are stolen by the industrial spies (the former employees of the Fiore Perfume company). Ukiyama or Kapoor had been taken those from the industrial spies, probably for his obsession for scents. I guess the perfume company wants the vials back, so the Syndicate was involved (just my thoughts into this). Huang then appeared, demanding the vials. Mao looked at the dead body and noticed the sock that the Contractor smelled to before he died. Hei assumed it was for his remuneration (which is actually true as seen from the previous episode) but the Contractor did not use any powers beforehand. Huang shrugged it off as a weird and unexplained behaviours of Contractor but Mao figured that he wanted to smell it because the smell is what had remained of his original body that had perished. He has already paid off the contract when he lost his body. The same thing happened to Mao as well. That makes perfect sense because we did not see Mao doing his remuneration after possessed the crow and back to his cat body earlier.

Gai was about to leave the widow’s house when rain began pouring. It was the creepy housemaid again, this time she brought an umbrella for him. And also she behaved a little differently, seemed a little shy (or happy) when she gave the umbrella to Gai. Oh no! She have a crush on Gai?! Now that’s creepy. The next day, Rika (the ramen restaurant owner’s daughter… kept Mao as pet, which she called Mao as Hernandez) was walking down a street when she saw a black cat. She mistaken it for Hernandez but she realised it was not him. The cat jumped off the wall and it turns out that it was Mii-chan, the widow’s lost cat. Gai simply put that the cat was never found because there might be no missing cat after all since it might be used as an excuse for another unrelated case. Anyway he still received the money from the widow as he enjoys the reward.

Darker Than Black
Is it Mao? Hernandez? Mii-chan? For sure, it’s one fat cat!

From the disappointing start of the story, this episode was surprising good. I must say that the story this time is not so good but to have two unrelated case brought into one picture and unfortunately the link of the two is an idiot who is Kurasawa Gai. However it is nice to know of how the Contractors in this story got mixed up in Gai’s investigation. First was the missing cat that leads to Toshiko’s death. Then the killings of the former employees of Fiore Perfume company that was done by Kapoor. The link was made probably when Gai mistakenly took Kapoor’s jacket. One more exceptional feature of this episode is the rounded screen effect, which I see as stylish. So this episode was not bad after all.

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