I’m really curious (stop the Hyouka references!) to know which chapter of the manga this arc is adapted from, because it is so damn awesome! I was right in deducting that the writers would save the main storyline for the last, since the earlier half had little to no relevance save the glimpses of Shadow Yuuko every now and then. I might be overly biased towards this series, but now that TOxA is finally pulling out the big guns, I can now say with confidence that this series is definitely not overrated. In fact I would go as far as to say it feels underrated in given how this series suddenly turned a full 180 degrees in terms of mood and atmosphere.
I think that the mystery surrounding Yuuko’s death is more or less pieced together as the episodes went by, but it was still better to watch it happen – in first person view. Having not read the manga (so tempted to), I wonder if this is an animation technique or merely copied from the manga itself. Speaking of that I’m betting everyone is envious of Niiya for being linked to Yuuko’s five senses (so jealous!), but at least he paid the price for it. (ha! There’s no free lunch in this world)
To serve as a refresher, during Yuuko’s time there is currently an epidemic going on and Yuuko’s village is plagued by deaths after deaths. Remember during that time, science and technology is just starting to pick up, so there was little the commoners could do against an illness that they did not know how to combat. It isn’t also entirely unreasonable for the village elders to resort to superstition since they know of nothing else and more importantly, they are desperate. Mass hysteria is something that while rare to see, it can also be a frighteningly real phenomenon at the same time.
I don’t know what they did, or what exactly is the deal with the Red Woman, or how Asa-chan got selected, but the crux of the episode starts after Yuuko got thrown into the “hole in the wall”. (when and how did that appear again? It wasn’t there when they were hiding earlier) We all know how Yuuko died, but not her raw emotions and thoughts during her final moments.
First of all there is the moment of indignant and unwillingness to accept the hand that fate dealt to them. One of the worse ways to die is knowing the fact that you are going to die and there is nothing you can do about it. Even for the most calm and collected person such as Yuuko, this kind of outburst is totally understandable. I don’t know if this is the ugly nature of human beings, but when it comes down to life and death moments like these, people often shed their exteriors and the monstrosities start to surface, like how people often drag others down with them in dire situations. Yes, there will be those who aren’t like these, but those people will belong in the minority I feel. Those emotions are real, who in the world can suddenly accept the notion that they are going to die soon without any kind of advanced warning? I certainly can’t.
Alas, there is also the flip-side to what I have just said. At the very end, given enough time (time is relative), reality will start to sink in and rage will eventually subside. After screaming; cursing and swearing, what else is there left to do? Some people probably will start breaking down into tears since death is a pill no one wants to swallow, others would probably try to seek inner peace alternatively, like what Yuuko did and that is really an admirable act.
Now, given how Yuuko passed away peacefully, the greatest mystery still remains the same – “What exactly is the true nature of Shadow Yuuko?” Is it the byproduct of Yuuko’s rage? Is it related to the shrine at all? Or is it really just the darkness that Yuuko discarded as she became a ghost? The other question that I have is – “What happened to Asa-chan and Yukariko?” 2 episode remain, I’m getting real hyped!
- So my twin theory or whatever is totally off, the other lookalike person is actually Yukariko, Kirie’s grandmother. She does seem to have a slight sister complex though.
- The siblings do like to slap each other I guess?
- I’m not sure if being in Niiya’s shoes is worth it..But I’d do it? Breaking a foot sounds real painful though.
- Why did Niiya become a little boy though..?
- The bells are supposedly a good luck charm, but I feel that they have more significance to them.