Hiro-baka may have no interest in doing this and that with icky girls, but he certainly has no problem being knocked out cold by them.
When Hiro-baka isn’t getting pussed out, this episode provided some pretty significant info. The episode starts off with faceless village members demanding action from the old village elder. They’re pissed because it’s hot and they don’t have enough juicy delicious hassaku oranges to feast on. So their solution to this problem is to demand that they take out all of the fallen "wolves" (these guys must’ve eventually moved to the US and joined Congress, but I digress). But the lead wolf secretary (or administrative assistant) convinces them that mass genocide is no solution to the problem and it’s better to deal with "that one person" even if it goes against the "rules." Much hush hush and usage of ambiguous pronouns.
Meanwhile, in a "twist" we figured a while ago, Nemuru’s uncle has shed his dark tendencies and seems to be taking the path of the light side, in trying to get pharma-dude to mass-produce some pills that could help the villagers. I hope these aren’t the same pills that failed Issei. Ah well, I guess it’s the thought that counts. But pharma-dude instead has plans of his own, as he lets Nemuru’s uncle know that he knows the secret of the "Gods" and asks to see his true form.
Hiro catches Isuzu on the roof of the school again and although Isuzu puts up a good front, he sees that she’s still very bothered by the loss of her brother. When they head back to class, Isuzu gets a strange warning from her homeroom teacher for ditching a previous class. Was skinship around in 1983? This teacher is much too energetic and I’ve become very suspicious of his unyielding optimism. Is that warranted or am I just a cynical bastard?
Skip to the next scene where we see Kaori’s violin lesson cut short due to a sudden bout of heavy coughing. As Hiro and Mana leave, they notice the crowd of old people heading up to Kaori’s place. The same one’s that had been praying when Kaori last played her violin. Meanwhile, things are looking dour for Kaori’s health, as she reveals some symptoms that are new to us.
The next day, when Isuzu doesn’t show up to school again, Hiro stops by her house to check up on her, but Isuzu’s mom lays down the cock-block and prevents him from seeing her. Once back inside, she breaks down over the loss of Issei, blaming Hiro for tempting Issei. Isuzu becomes upset, because she’s realized her feelings for Hiro and wants to see him, but is rendered momentarily speechless when her mom hysterically tries to keep her from leaving. However, Isuzu eventually heads out to find Hiro, claiming that she’s different from Issei.
I thought it was interesting that Isuzu’s mom was so forthcoming in blaming Hiro. Mostly because I wouldn’t have guessed that she’d be so forthcoming in acknowledging Issei’s gay tendencies. Especially in this small town, back in the year of 1983, in conservative Japan. I thought she would’ve been stuck in denial. But maybe she was too overcome by grief to rationalize it away. Or maybe this was a particularly progressive town. Or maybe there’s something amiss with Hiro (trappish as he may be, he’s a pale comparison to Hideyoshi).
Interesting. So Nemuru’s people. These people of the old village. Apparently they consider themselves as a different "species." Truth? Or misdirection? We’ll see. Meanwhile Nemuru (she is wolf-chan! Glad I got that right ), leaves the house to take care of some personal business.
Isuzu tracks down Hiro and gets aggressive with him. Hiro or Mr. Tough Guy, has trouble fending off Isuzu even before her wolf powers kick in. Now does Isuzu place his hand on the left side of her chest, because a.) that’s her favorite boob? b.) she doesn’t know where her heart is? or c.) she really is part of a different species and her heart is on the right side of her body? or d.) animators’ mistake? I wonder. Kana. Kana?
However, before she can get her infecting kiss in, Nemuru shows up to spoil the fun. Nemuru suggests that there’s a way to save Isuzu-chan, without having to go to the extreme measures that was necessary with Issei. Nemuru doesn’t explicitly deny Isuzu’s accusation of killing Issei, but I still wonder if he’s really dead. We then get a fight scene where the two girls do crazy physical feats.
But Nemuru eventually gets the upper hand, and Isuzu retreats taking flight with Hiro to some tall abandoned building or construction site in the area. Right about now I’m questioning everything I’m seeing. Not just because Nemuru and Isuzu were taking flight like an old kung-fu flick, but also because I’m pretty sure when Isuzu was moving in on Hiro, she was digging into Hiro’s arm – with bloody results. But then when you see the two together, no blood. Continuity error or clue? Hard to say.
When Isuzu gets a moment alone with Hiro, she bares her heart out to him, talking about first love and saying that she would be willing to give up the future just to share this one moment with him. It’s actually a really touching confession. Then she asks Hiro if he feels the same for her… and his answer was so tactless that it caused her to immediately jump off the building in tears, until the wolf pack snatched her (ostensibly saving her). Oh Hiro-baka. There’s a time for brutal honesty and there’s a time for smooveness. This was a time for the latter.
Nemuru then arrives at the scene and Hiro’s yelling at her, demanding answers. She tells him that Isuzu’s safer without him chasing her down. But Hiro continues to hound at her, at which point she gently taps him on the stomach with her scythe. Hiro proceeds to fall to the ground – knocked out cold, in perhaps the most embarrassing knockout that I’ve ever seen. The whole "rag doll effect" was probably birthed by Hiro.
It’s amazing. Even Hiro’s tough guy acts backfire on him spectacularly. Just when I thought he couldn’t be any more of a wuss, he becomes the first character ever to get clobbered by a love tap.
Otherwise, I thought this episode was a solid step forward. I’m surprised that we’re not getting an arc reset and the next episode seems to pick up where this leaves off. I’m interested to see where pharma-guy’s request goes. I wonder, is the "one guy" that the shadow old village clan keeps referring to Hiro, or pharma-dude? I’m going to miss Isuzu-chan, because I thought she was a character that was easy to empathize with. Whereas I could give a crap about Hiro.