K 05 – Socially Awkward Boys Playing With Fire

This episode was bluer than usual. Also, talk about socially awkward.

It’s a damn shame this show is only 13 episodes. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen such a diverse and fun cast. The chemistry between these characters is gold. You can remove Shiro, Kuroh and Neko from the scenario and still have the rest of the cast carry the show. That’s not an easy feat, and K manages to pull it off very well.

Saruhiko and Yata take center stage in this episode, engaging in the first real one-on-one fight in the series. It was over-the-top, crazy and showcased the talent they have over at GoHands. There was this running scene that bothered me, since it used the motion blur to cover up the fact that they didn’t have enough frames to make it look smooth enough– Brains Base did this quite a bit when they were doing Mawaru Penguindrum. It’s a very minor qualm though, because the rest of the fight looks /awesome/.

Time for Super Saiyan Mode.

These two look like they have a lot of history behind them and their names are related to animals well known in Japanese lore, Yata being the crow and Saruhiko being the monkey. Yata explicitly says that Saruhiko ‘betrayed’ HOMRA by leaving the clan. Saruhiko explains that he was different from them and that leaving was inevitable. For non-manga readers, Mikoto’s method of choosing clansmen is very simple. He asks you to shake hands and if his flames don’t kill you then you’ll be granted some of his power, implying that this is a sign that you’re ‘worthy’ of joining Homra. I’m surprised that even after leaving the clan, Fushimi was able to retain that power and gain another another one by joining Munakata’s forces that opens up the possibility that you may keep on gaining powers by joining different factions. That is, if you don’t piss off enough people who’d end up wanting you dead.

Being a jerk does that, you know?

Fushimi scoffs at Yata’s loyalty and it’s understandable to see why. The characters we’ve seen in SCEPTER4 and HOMRA all demonstrate loyalty to their Kings. Fushimi isn’t that kind of person though, I’m doubtful he’ll ever find a place where he can be himself. All things considered, he’s kind of an anarchist. His name may be an allusion to the Monkey King who rebelled against the Jade Emperor in Journey to the West.

Even their fighting styles say a lot about their personalities. Yata’s is flashy and involves a lot of unnecessary movements. It’s fun to watch, but there’s no way that’s practical. Fushimi on the other hand, doesn’t like to expend a lot of energy but manages to be the first one to land a serious wound because he’s been hiding DEM KNIVES somewhere. He hides them in his sleeves. Nevermind how that doesn’t make any sense. BUT HE BE A NINJA ‘YO, IT’S FUCKING MAGIC.

Speaking of magic—

Shiro doesn’t exist in school records. When Yata questions Kukuri about him, Kukuri claims not to know Shiro.

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  1. The fight this episode felt a lot like a Jin/Mugen fight from Samurai Champloo, with Yata’s style-over-substance breakdancing-inspired fighting style and general loud punk-ish-ness, and Saru… well, mostly just being a thin, pointy guy with a katana and an ounce more discipline. Their colors even match and everything!

  2. You skipped 4. How could you

    *eh-hem* Anyway, I’m not sure why, but I really, really like this show. I think it might be because it’s so fun to speculate about. Every week, there are some new details to muse over. Last week we had the discovery of the bloody shirt, this week we have Kukuri denying knowing Shiro.

    The shirt is pretty straightforward. If it wasn’t planted, it proves that Shiro(‘s body) was the murderer. I would guess that the whole in the roof that he and Kukuri were looking at together was actually made by him or someone chasing him when he returned to the school. In Kukuri’s photo, you can see that his uniform is suspiciously buttoned, to hide the bloodstains.

    This week has a bigger mystery. Shiro not being in the school records isn’t too surprising. His “lost” PDA was suspicious from the start. But unless Kukuri is lying, which is unlikely, we have a very big problem with her not recognizing his picture. We know that Kuroh and Homra recognized Shiro from a video, so it’s probably not just that we as the audience are seeing something different from what the characters see. (Never forget that Sailor Moon looked exactly the same transformed and untransformed, but no one ever recognized her.) It implies some kind of selective hypnosis or some difference about how “Muggles” see the world. And I also remembered Kukuri’s line from the first episode. (What is your deal Shiro)

    Otherwise, I thought Fushimi was very creepy, but his way of twirling his sword was cool. He also does it in the OP. I would guess that him keeping Mikoto’s red powers is not normal, since Yata was very surprised. (What is your deal Fushimi) My one complaint is that stupid Fushimi looks a bit too much like the Blue leader, Munataka (?). They both wear those uniforms, have black hair of similar length and cut, and have glasses. It’s confusing.

    Next week, we get something about Totsuka. Yesssss.

    • Eventually that speculation will have to lead to a conclusion which is what I’m really worried about. If they can pull together all the elements of this show in 13 episodes I’ll be impressed. Otherwise we’ll be getting either an unsatisfying ending or a sequel.

      • I’m a little worried too. If they just focus on the Totsuka murder/Colorless king mystery, they can probably do it, but they’ll need to tie up the loose ends with the Red king too, which might be a great deal harder.

        Although I generally love world-building and such, I’m actually rather hoping they skim over some details of the setting just because it’ll get unwieldy otherwise.

    • Welp. I didn’t expect to have such a busy schedule last week. There were things I wanted to point out like Shiro dressed as Ebisu and THAT REVELATION but alas!

      There’s only two ways you can go with that shirt, and I’m leaning towards Shiro being Totsuka’s murderer (consciously or not).

      I’m starting to think that Shiro ‘disappears’ whenever he’s not within school premises. In episode 1, the show makes it clear that Shiro’s somewhat well known in school. With the number of people Yata went around asking, at least one of them must’ve recognized him, right? That or the person– that Shiro we see killing Totsuka is so different from the Shiro we know that these two images are irreconcilable. Shiro’s such a mysterious character in that sense. I’m starting to think that being the Colorless King sort of adds to that mystery. How did Kuroh even know Shiro was the Colorless King? Through prophecy?

      My one complaint is that stupid Fushimi looks a bit too much like the Blue leader, Munataka (?).
      Agh I always mix them up, although thanks to Miyano and Sugita, I can at least tell them apart when they’re talking.

      I’m really anticipating this episode. Some people have been saying that this is where things get really interesting.

      • Haha, I understand, I was just joking. (how could you leave me hanging for a whole week, huh)

        Kuroh knows that Shiro is the Colorless King because video!murderer!Shiro announces it. He doesn’t say his name though. That’s something to keep in mind. Whatever the video and the still frame photo show, Kuroh and Homra can recognize Shiro from it. When Scepter 4 have that video still frame and a surveillance camera shot side by side, they can tell it’s the same person. So unless Muggles see Shiro completely differently (a possibility, the show has avoided explaining how/if normal people perceive magic), then it really is a memory manipulation thing.

        I actually think it’s pretty safe to discard something straightforward like “the shirt was planted” or “Kukuri lied” because that’s for shows with less magic. Here, the explanation is bound to be ~magic~ of some sort.

        (It took me basically until this episode to realize that one of the extended character shots in the opening wasn’t the Blue king twice, but was actually Fushimi. Yeah.)

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