Warning: The series I am reviewing contain depictions of child abduction, disappearance, murder and violence in a future totalitarian society. It also depicts sexual violence. The show also contains relationships implicit and later explicit sexual relationships between young people. That is the trigger warning.
Leave now if you wish.
Also spoilers for the episode and the whole series. Do not read any further if you don’t want spoilers.
Recap: This episode picks up from where the last one left off with Group One and the False Minoshiro. The False Minoshiro at first attempts to prevent them from access but under threat of being torn apart begins to answer their questions. Satoru wants to know why there are so many toads around but Shun interrupts because he has his question but first wants to know the answer to Saki’s ‘Do Ogres and Karmic Demons really exist?’ and has his own ‘How did their society come to be?’ We learn a lot from the False Minoshiro starting with the discovery of Psychokinesis or PK as it is known. Yes Karmic Demons and Ogres do exist. The proper name for the former being Hashimoto-Appelbaum Syndrome and for the latter Lawerence Croakess Syndrome.
The powers humans have is PK. This was discovered in 2011. This power than begin to awaken in humans. But only in 0.3 percent of the population. They could only use a fraction of their power but could destroy entire societies. The turning point in Japan was Boy A who used his power to assault(implied as rape) and kill 19 women. Society began to break down, divide into factions and this lead to war unlike any other. PK uses powers grew so they defend themselves. They became unstoppable. Only two percent of humanity survived.
In Asia four groups emerged. One being the slave dynasties, the other hunter gathers, bandits and lastly one group with technology. The slave dynasties had fallen by the time of the story. The slave dynasties lasted for over six hundred years but ended five hundred years ago. The Minoshiro tells the story of the Holy Blossom Dynasty. In the Slave Dynasty humans with PK controlled the ones who didn’t. We get an explanation to the scenes of the Emperor. His people had to applaud at his coronation without fail for three days and the first 100 to stop were put to death. The Emperor was usually murdered by his successor. This happened when the successor reached puberty. The Emperors reign was bloody and was brought to an end by assassination and the Dynasty fall.
With this the 500 year long dark ages. Now the keepers of the technological group started began to take the action. The false Minoshiro does not know what became of the Hunter Gathers or of the slaves. Why did the technological group survive? How did they stop humans using their PK to kill one another? One way was education, training the Pk. This system creates a bad seed system-problematic children were eliminated (read killed). Humans also became like bonobos who solve their conflicts through sex not aggression. Both mature and immature bonobos-it is implied that Mari and Saki including the others have had sexual intimacy. Lastly genetic modification, humans gained an aversion to hurting one another and the death of shame, if they did hurt each other the attacker would die. Everything else highlights this.
Shun then states that he thinks their society was created to control people and prevent orgies and karmic demons from showing up at any cost. But after this the False Minoshiro is destroyed, it’s last act to project the image of a mother and child. Group one has been caught. They have been caught be a monk from the purification temple. Group Ones power is sealed away. He claims that the False Minoshiro was a demon hoping to trick them. He seals their powers. He then needs to escort them back to the temple. The monks name is Rejin. Shun asks if the False Minoshiro really was lying.
However they are attacked by a group of monster rats. The rat has no tattoo and is not part of a colony. Rejin tries to use Mamoru as a look out but he is too emotionally distraught to be effective. Rejin vows to protect the children as is his duty. They face another group of Monster rats. Rejin takes offense to their attacks and slaughters them.
Satoru praises this but Saki calls him an idiot and says the rats are not their real enemy. However the there arrives Ballon Dog out of the bodies of dead rats.
Cut to credits
Analysis: This is such an awarding episode. Finally we get some answers to why this society exists and an explanation for many of the random scenes from the last episodes. This is also the first time we get confirmation of same sex sexuality in the story. It’s brief but when the False Minoshiro is talking about the sexuality of the Bonobo including same sex sexuality we see Mari embracing Saki back in their classroom in episode one. If you thought that hug was a little more then friendly well that has just been confirmed.
Also this leaves with a question about what became of the people without Psychokinesis? The Slaves and the Hunter Gatherers? Which will not be answered until the end of the series but this being my second time watching I can see where the foreshadowing is pointing. Did I mention how well this anime handles foreshadowing?
Also on the random scenes of the Cherry Blossom Empire, well if you read my other posts you know my feelings on death in stories in particular Manabu Katayama and Reiko Amano. The Emperor and the Assaisians are not part of the main story, it simply is the creators showing us the history rather then just having the False Minoshiro tell us. They are sticking to the show don’t tell concept. Which works. Were the scenes of the Emperor necessary for the anime? No, they could have the story without them and it would still work. Since this is more of a visual history lesson it really is more part of the world building then an actual character dying. But of course the history while building the story is not it’s central-the characters of group one are. That’s why I took such issue with Reiko Amano’s and Manabu Katayama’s deaths because they are not the history of this world they were known to the main characters but we know nothing about them.
Also the interactions between the monk and group one were very interesting. Rejin is clearly shaken up by their behavior, they don’t seem like normal kids to him. Rejin we discover dies at the climax of the episode-though it doesn’t happened until the opening of the next episode. What do I make of this death? Well it is actually a lot better then the other ones. For starters he clearly religious and duty bound. While he is committed to protecting group one he has also left them defenseless in the case of his death. While the rats might be attacking them as Saki says they are not the real enemy. The real enemy is in fact Rejin who has sealed their powers leaving them with no way to fight. Without their Psychokinesis these are just children like today. Even when he dies he will still impact the story because of his sealing their powers will effect the characters for episodes.
Also he showcases the effects of what the False Minoshiro calls the death of shame. While it doesn’t kill him it does begin to wear him down slowly. The first is when the False Minoshiro projects an image of mother and child. But the second is when he starts killing the rats viewing them with scorn as he does so. The kids notice and speculate that perhaps it is because the rats look too much like humans? Well I’ll get to that when the series does.