Nil Admirari no Tenbin Episode 6
I did not come into this week’s episode expecting to come out of it in tears. MY EMOTIONS! ; A ;
This week’s episode focused on Hisui and Shouko. The two were tied together when Shouko bought a book from Sasagoi that was said to be written by a prostitute in Yokohama. It turned out to be one hell of a deep, emotional and stressful ride. My main source of distress was when Tsumugi voluntarily visiting the enemy’s headquarters after Shouko pulled up to the side and offered Tsumugi to come to her room so she could show her the book. I mean, who wouldn’t freak at that? I didn’t trust her at all, in fact I was yelling at the screen, “DON’T DO IT TSUMUGI!” Frankly all I could think of Tsumugi walking into a trap, and so naturally anxiety went through the roof when Shouko gives Tsumugi candy. Luckily, no drugs involved, and the two talk a bit about her husband, Takashi and the book Tsumugi is looking for. But then I freaked out again when Shouko says in exchange for the condition to consider letting her borrow the diary, come and visit her again… followed up with making a promise that as long Tsumugi doesn’t betray her, she won’t betray her either. Of course by the end of the episode we know she actually said it with good intentions, but at the time, all I could think of was, “SHOUKO IS SCARY!” I didn’t trust her the slightest.
But the plot-twist comes in when it turns out Shouko was friends with Hisui’s mother, and the moment she meets him, she knows he is Hiwako’s child, claiming he has a splitting image of her, and immediately gives him his mother’s diary. She and Hiwako used to attend an all-girls school together before Hiwako’s family fell into ruins. When that happened, in order to take care of her siblings, she sacrificed everything and sold her body in the red-light district, where Hisui was eventually born.
It is the first time we witness a warm and positive aura, the diary filled with Hiwako’s love for her child. Instead of a curse, it gave Hisui closure and made him feel loved and beautiful. Being able to read his mother’s diary healed his wounded heart, as Hisui has always felt as though she had abandoned him after he awakened his powers (to wild fire), setting a drunken man on fire when he had tried to force himself onto him.
Unfortunately for us, they didn’t provide us any answers as to why or how she disappeared…. which is fine if they are to continue pursuing that in the game. Worst case scenario (and most likely the case given the nature of the series), she was murdered and that’s why she never came back home. Whether or not it is connected to the fearsome Karasu organization, I can’t complain if such plot is being kept a secret. After-all, we don’t them to want to spill all the game’s the secrets, otherwise where’s the fun in that?
Shouko’s warmth and gentle nature is what makes her such an interesting character. She is fascinating because she is Takashi’s wife, and while she claims he is very kind to her, we can see that she acknowledges he as a scary side, and doesn’t support whatever he is trying to accomplish with the Karasu organization. She wasn’t kidding when she told Tsumugi is would be better to walk in the building blind-folded, there’s some scary shit in that mansion. We saw Takashi and Professor Mozuyama talking in this dodgy room filled with cages. I don’t even want to think what is inside them, and what purpose they are for.
This is precisely why Shouko takes back the pocket-watch and warns Tsumugi situation has changed, and she should never come back to the mansion, and try to avoid doing so at all cost. The reason for this is because she is fearful of Professor Mozuyama and her husband might do, praying nobody will sully Tsumugi’s wings. It is a shame really that it had to come to down this, since Shouko wanted to become friends with Tsumugi, or at least had enjoyed talking with her.
Although this was supposed to be a Hisui central episode, the time was more or less evenly split with Shouko. But while his scenes felt short and hasty, they were still enough to make me fall in love with his character. I did not have a “favourites” chart sorted out yet for this series, but Hisui made his mark this episode and he just flew right up into the top three contenders for best guys.
Hisui has the ability to wield fire, something that was awakened in him when he was almost assaulted by a drunk man while being raised in the red-light district. However that incident scarred him, and he hates himself, his power, and considers himself ugly. He can’t forgive himself for almost killing the man, and believes it is because of his powers, his mother left him. He has a hobby of collecting things that are related to his name or are things that he connects to his mother, such as Jade stones and Kingfisher’s Feathers.
I JUST WANT TO HUG HISUI AND PROTECT HIM FROM THE WORLD! He wouldn’t like that of course because he wants to be the one who does the protecting, hahaha! Besides his endearing personality, I love how he is well aware of Tsumugi’s habit of looking after him as a younger brother, and made sure to draw the line in attempt to prevent himself from being dragged into the “friend-zone” / “brother-zone”. I have to commend him for how he cleverly made it clear to her that he doesn’t want to be perceived as such, but instead wants to be able to protect her, especially from the likes of Professor Mozuyama, who he knows firsthand how dangerous the man is.
The only qualms I had with this episode were with how rushed Hisui’s scenes were. For instance, when he suddenly opened up to her about his past and insecurities, they came rushing out like an open dam. They were all interesting aspects to his character, but it did not give us a whole lot of time to process it, nor let it sink in. It left me under the impression they had to cram it into that small time frame, because it was the only time they would be able to do it without going off course with overall pacing of the series. It is part of a compromise that needs to be made when adapting a game like this. Yet despite the developments being a bit rushed, they still managed to make sure they delivered the emotional impact. It is an element that more often than not gets left behind in the dust.
Last but not least, I found it to be a curious thing how the kaleidoscope was brought up in this episode. This wouldn’t be the first time we see Tsumugi think of Rui when it’s brought up. It is something that ties the two together. Although he has been absent since she has refused his invitation, I am curious to see this is a hint to the direction they are going, and whether or not this will be an open-ending or there is a certain bachelor in mind they intend to have her paired up (besides the potential obvious candidate: Hayato).