Hmm. I have to admit I’m still interested in seeing how this pans out – and while I’m not sitting on the edge of my seat, it certainly has me wondering about the mystery behind the story and the many hints we’ve been given so far. As you can see, Isuzu’s creepy brother isn’t out of the story yet – nor has he given up on Hiroshi. Talk about a weird brother-sister rivalry.
(Be warned: It’s a lengthy synopsis.)
Synopsis: The opening scene gives us a little more insight as to what might be triggering the Red-Eyed Sickness that seems to be affecting a number of people in the town: be it love, lust, or intimate contact, something along these lines causes people to go over the edge which results in them being hunted down and killed by those of the hunting pack.
At school, Kaname, Isuzu, and Hiroshi spend an afternoon in the library reading up on urban legends rooted in Jouga. Kaname shares two in particular: ‘The Red Parading Firefly’ which tells of fireflies that glow red during the night in the old town. Apparently bad luck will come to anyone who witnesses the fireflies, and the fireflies themselves have never been discovered (assuming “discovered” meaning collected for research). The second is an allegory of Hassaku being torn into eight pieces which is both symbolic (somehow; perhaps illustrating the division between the New and Old town, or maybe the internal struggle of its citizens), and represents grotesque murders.
On his way home, Hiroshi “runs into” Issei and fails to deter his advances. If it weren’t for Isuzu who came around looking for her brother, Hiroshi would have fallen prey to Issei’s desires. Interestingly, Isuzu doesn’t reprimand her brother’s actions but rather nervously explains that Issei isn’t well.
The next day, Hiroshi and Mana go for a walk and see a house with a small wolf statue and Hassaku placed at the gate – much like a shrine. As they continue on their way, they hear a violin playing and follow the sound to a house where many people are gathered outside, praying and listening to the music. After the music stops, the owner of the house emerges: her name is Mana Kaori, and she invites Hiroshi and Mana to stay for tea.
While one set of brother and sister are enjoying their time, Isuzu is looking for Issei who had received a phone call, and then left the house, alone. Isuzu’s mother informs her that he went to the Medical Centre to get more medicine; she also adds that Isuzu shouldn’t worry because they are “their” children. After Issei picks up his medication, he meets up with a girl who – presumably – was the one who called him. She begins to confess her feelings to him which triggers the Red-Eyed Sickness in Issei, who then asks her to get out of his car.
On the way home from Kaori’s, Hiroshi and Mana pass by Sakaki – the guy who’s in charge of the pharmaceuticals company. Sakaki in turn meets Kaori who is the spitting image of his former lover, Mieko, who had been brutally murdered (as shown in a flashback in episode two). After realizing that Mana had left her hat, Hiroshi returns to Kaori’s to retrieve it. On his second trip home, he witnesses the hunt and punishment of the girl shown in the opening scene. Throughout the chase, she adamantly defends her actions, stating that she had fallen in love and that she knew what she was getting into. After the scythe comes down, Hiroshi freaks out and runs off screaming for help. He runs into Sakaki a third time who goes back with him to the scene only to find nothing – not even the stain of blood. Despite the lack of evidence, Sakaki believes Hiroshi’s story.
Thoughts: There is a lot going on in this show. This episode gave us a little more to go on in terms of piecing together what might be going on in this town. Of course, it’s still speculation. For example, according to the legend of “The Red Parading Firefly”, we can assume the hunters are from the Old Town. Also, Sakaki is studying the geography of the town, and the fact that Jouga is surrounded by nature has been brought up a couple of times already. It wasn’t until this episode that I started paying close attention to those chants that start off the preview for the next episode. I’ve even gone back to the first episode and copied down the words (according to the subbers). To me, this is where the real legend lies, and you might even find more foreshadowing in its prose.
…Thought I’d have more to say? As much as I try to have more thoughts for this episode, the words elude me. It’s not that I don’t like the show – actually, I’m enjoying it. Maybe it’s because I always read RabbitPoets and psgels reviews before I sit down and write my own (they’re post times are impeccable), and after reading what they have to say, I feel like there’s really nothing left for me to say, haha. It’s a bad system of reviewing, I know.