And here I thought I would have time to write Episode Nine before Episode Ten came out, but thanks to the wonky timing of releases, I’m doing two in one.
Episode Nine didn’t advance the storyline much, focusing more on Stella’s affections for Sister which put her in a face-off/combat situation with Maria. If Maria was an ordinary woman, I would have felt it necessary to warn or protect her – much like Recruit, but let’s not forget what kind of woman Maria is: Ruthless.
It’s not just her tongue that’s sharp; those shears she carries and wields with adept skill can cut through whatever her words don’t with pinpoint accuracy. Leave it to a woman like Maria to easily silence (and cause blood loss to) a man as tough and well armed as Sister. It was amusing to see Maria deal with Stella: She didn’t just let the little girl have her way, but at the same time, she took the time and effort to befriend her after securing her place as victor (and the only woman for Sister).
On the flip side, it was weird to see Stella blow up in her emotional instability and become… well, a man.
I’m sort of unsurprised at how petty Star was though, bringing Stella into her state of jealousy. Misery does love company, and Star was certainly miserable after Nino and Recruit’s kiss. He didn’t even change his clothes – and he’s about the only character who has a varying wardrobe on the show. Of course Stella’s reaction was more epic than Star’s, haha.
And now he’s joined the ranks of Stella’s subordinates. That’s one more for Stella.
I suppose there’s a lot of curiosity regarding Maria’s past now, but I don’t think we’re ever going to learn much more about her, especially considering how quickly she caused Sister to “forget” about when they first met. I’m sure she was some country’s top assassin, and when she and Sister first crossed paths, they were supposed to kill each other but they fell in love instead. And then they moved to Japan to escape the bounty on their heads issued by their respective countries. …Or something like that.
The second half of the episode focused entirely on Star and his back story. I’m not sure how likely it was that his album was at the top of the Oricon charts, but I think it is very likely that a good producer can bring a bad musician to the high ranks of popular music. So maybe he was successful, and maybe he wasn’t. What we do know is that he felt he was only riding on the wings of his producer, glowing in the light that radiated off him, rather than shining himself. We also know that four years ago, Nino was already living Under the Bridge and helping anyone who crossed her path with her straightforward Venusian philosophy.
Episode Ten started up with some philosophy of its own, and one I rather like, to be honest. As Recruit narrates, wishes aren’t fragile spheres of glass that can be crushed, but rather balls of mud that only firm up when pressure is applied. Its appearance isn’t beautiful, but it’s formed with one’s own efforts. The mud will never become precious gems or rare jewels, but you keep at it to make it the world’s most beautiful ball of mud.
And has anyone noticed that Recruit is pictured without his tie more frequently now?
Before we get into any serious business involving Recruit’s father, we begin with a fire drill – which is important, of course. And it’s not so much a drill as it is a game that’s played on an annual basis Under the Bridge. Headed up by Sister, the community Under the Bridge gathers around a “simulated” fire and works together to pour water on… the Mayor.
Oh that Mayor is so funny. If we learn more about anyone, I’d really like for it to be him. Why is he the mayor? How did he become the mayor? And why does everyone love and respect him so much? He’s done very little to warrant his authority over the community (not that he exercises it much except when it comes to giving names to new additions) but at the same time, he is always there, acting reliable even if he isn’t. Plus Sister’s comment about owing him a huge debt makes me more than curious. What could the Mayor have possibly done for Sister?
The Kappa does show moments of genuine leadership though, like when he assured Recruit that his place in the community Under the Bridge would be safe no matter what his father was scheming. It was a heart-warming moment when Recruit allowed himself to be soothed by the Mayor’s promise which just goes to show that it’s not just Nino who’s teaching him new things and helping him grow. Everyone has accepted him as a member of their community and even the Mayor has recognized his place Under the Bridge. Recruit is definitely one of them now.
Which makes me wonder how he’s going to fight against his father. Not only is Ichinomiya Papa challenging the home of all his new friends (not to mention Recruit’s new home as well), but Nino has taken a firm stand against moving their community further down the riverbank. I have no doubt Recruit will take the side of his lover and community but what can he possibly do against his father?
(I’d like to see Recruit rally the the community Under the Bridge to counter his dad. What with Stella’s brute strength in cute packaging, P-Ko’s natural destructiveness, Sister’s well-stocked arsenal, and the Mayor’s good looks, they might do okay. Or they could just send Maria… They’d never know what hit ‘em until it was too late.)