No Battler, no Beatrice, and smashed rabbits makes me a sad blogger. The background on Ange and Maria was helpful, but I do miss the stars of the show.
Aw man, I’m not sure if I’m jealous of or if I feel sorry for Shotataru. Mmm, let’s go with jealousy for now. But the way the Seven Stakes moved in unison was more creepy than anything. And then when Ange joins in the orgy of fun, it results in her skimping on her studies and getting picked on by her classmates due to her horrendously low test score.
Eventually the prodding goes too far and Ange summons the seven stakes and orders them to kill her classmates. But a strange thing happens on the way to a mass murder. The Seven Stakes don’t do it. They don’t necessarily refuse. But instead they try to talk Ange down from the ledge. Ange though will have none of it and begins killing off each of the seven stakes by denying them and the existence of magic. Mammon leaves with some stinging words though, accusing Ange of relying on her delusions to do the dirty work that she refuses to do herself. But what exactly does that mean? Does Ange need to pick up an axe and go Ryugu Rena on her classmates? Does she need to start the bloodletting? Or was Mammon questioning whether Ange really, truly wanted to go through with it? But once
Once the Stakes are destroyed, Ange turns her anger towards Shotataro. I thought Maria’s reaction to Shotataro’s imminent destruction was particularly well animated. Then for a second I wondered how good this show would look if Bones or Gainax produced it. But anyway, as she’s about to kill Shotataro, Ange has a flashback to an earlier time when she called Maria an idiot for believing in walking, talking stuffed animals (not quite, but more or less). Interestingly, 6 year old Ange had a lot more sense and seemed much more mature than 9 year old Maria (or maybe they were even younger). I wonder how much of Maria’s stunted growth was due to Rosa’s stellar parenting skills. Snap back to reality, and Ange collapses in tears.
Next, cut to a Maria memory. The transition here was very abrupt and totally discombobulated me. Where are we now? Last thing I remember was Lambda trolling Ange. Did Lambda then leave before the start of this episode allowing Ange and Maria to start talking again? I am going to assume yes. Because now we see the continuation of Maria’s story, except it shows another instance where Maria was left alone while Rosa went off to shack up with her boyfriend. This time Maria’s got some new rabbit
poet musician friends in addition to Sakutaro. But a late night trip to the convenience store goes awry when she ends up losing her house key.
One thing leads to another and the next thing we see is Detective Oishii’s reincarnate trying to get in contact with Rosa, who gets outed by her workers for having gone on vacation. Maria wonders if she’s a poor little girl? Sakutaro disagrees, but based on the beating she’s going to get when her mom returns, I’d say yes. Maria is a very sympathetic, poor, little girl.
And yeah, cue the child abuse. Right in front of the social worker. I wonder if Ryukishi07 has a relatively low opinion of social workers or the child welfare system. They’re always so ineffective in his stories. I’m glad the social worker tried to stop Rosa’s abuse, but there’s only so much you can do when you get kicked out of the house.
Noooo! Rabbit Musician! With the pesky social worker out of the way. Rosa goes on a rampage that would make Satoko’s uncle proud. Throwing Maria down to the floor. Smashing her rabbit mariachi band. And then the coup de grace – brutally decapitating Sakutaro – to Maria’s horrid dismay. Again, I thought DEEN did a nice job animating Maria’s expression during this scene. It was the perfect mix of horror, anguish, helplessness and anger. Also kudos to Yui Horie and Ami Koshimizu during this scene, because they did a great job pulling all the emotion through this scene. I don’t condone Rosa and I certainly won’t justify her, but to some degree I could understand her anger. It’s frustration, it’s exasperation, and I think more than anything Rosa was taking the anger at herself out on Maria, unfortunately. Poor girl.
Still too bright with the tint DEEN. With Sakutaro dead, Maria turns to Beatrice and asks her to revive Sakutaro. But Beatrice just informs her that it isn’t possible, because the one who created Sakutaro – Rosa – has denied him. This is a recurring theme during this episode. If one believes in something, it exist. Once one does not believe in that thing, it ceases to exist. The Seven Stakes. Sakutaro. In response, Maria asks Beatrice to teach her the magic to kill her mom – nay, the bad witch possessing her mom (harkens back to arc 1). Beatrice, who seems very concerned about Maria throughout, agrees to do so.
Now, what I wonder is whether this version of the story is what’s actually written in the grimoire (assuming it came from there), or whether it’s Ange’s negatively interpreted version. Because Maria goes to lengths in the previous episode to communicate her optimistic view of what’s written. This seems more in line with how Ange would interpret events written in the grimoire.
Ok, back to reality again. This time in 1998. Ange and her bodyguard are riding the Hanyuu Maru ship to Rokkenjima. And Ange comes to the realization of what i mentioned above. (Magic’s) existence is dependent not on other’s beliefs, but what one believes. And with this new revelation, she calls back the Seven Stakes and Shotataro, vowing to take on Beatrice to learn the truth.
Meanwhile, we meet Kyrie’s younger sister, Kasumi, the one who’s out for Ange’s head. First Ange had to live with Eva, who was miserable. Now she gets pawned off to Kasumi, who immediately tries to kill her. If Battler was looking for a good luck charm, I don’t think Ange’s the one. Also, is the fact that both Kyrie and Kasumi are voiced by the same seiyuu important? I’d be very disappointed if Kyrie somehow turned out to be a villain.
So what’s next? Ostensibly there’s going to be three "games" going on once the action starts. The game between Battler, Ange and Beatrice in the meta-world. The 1986 murder mystery. And then the ensuing game of cat and mouse between Ange and Kasumi. I’m glad. Because I’m getting antsy. Five episodes to go. Let the games begin.