February 17, 2010

Ga-Rei Zero, Episode 07

When last we left Ga-Rei Zero, the Big Bad (actually a small white-haired pretty boy) had skewered Mei on her own naginata, Kagura had just killed her friend the school nurse (who had been taken over by a brainsucker), and all is higgledy-piggledy.  What, pray tell, will the show that loves to kill its main characters off bring us in Episode 07?

Oh sure, rub it in, Ga-Rei Zero, rub it in.  You've offed one of the more interesting characters you've presented us with, and now you want to make it look all symbolic and stuff.  Nice, very nice.

Wait, what?  Mei's alive? Well that I didn't expect!  Okay, yeah, she's got Godzilla's Toothpick sticking out of where her heart should be, but...

Ah.  You know, I'm thinking that maybe this doesn't exactly fall into the category of "a good thing".

It does get your attention, though.

When Music Appreciation class goes horribly, horribly wrong. 

As the disposal team cleans up the remains, Kagura remains in shock. 

Meanwhile Kazuki hits on her friends: "Yes, that's a real badge."  In the process, he explains what transpired, including the whole "supernatural beings" thing, and that they're exorcists for the Government.  To be frank, the two girls are more than a little dubious about the whole spiel, and who can blame them?  Remember, normal people can't see the supernatural thingies.  All they saw was Kagura mincing the school nurse.

Eventually Yomi arrives.  Kagura runs to her and breaks down, sobbing uncontrollably.  Guess wasting a friend isn't the best way to deal with a mental block against killing human-based beasties? 

Back at the office, Boss asks Kiri for advice.  "Take Kagura off the duty roster.  Until she recovers, she's a danger to herself and others.  And give Yomi some time off too, so it doesn't seem to Kagura like we're only pulling her."  Boss agrees, but is a little off-put by Kiri's cold-hearted attitude towards the whole thing.

Back at the old homefront, Yomi's father (YDad) and Uncle are in another discussion about Yomi's taking over the bloodline.  In fact, YDad is planning on retiring early... like next week, at the next meeting of the clan elders!  Uncle, resigned to the fact, says he'll make the arrangements, and asks Mei to help.  She comes in...

...and looks pretty good for someone who had a shishkebob pushed through her aorta the other night.  When Uncle instructs her to contact the clan heads, she replies with a chillingly flat "Hai."  Meanwhile...

...the Schoolgirl in White is skipping every class and wandering around the school.  Her peripatetic meandering brings her to the Nurse's Office, where she discovers that there's already a replacement.  The replacement, surprised to see the bandage on Kagura's leg, calls her over and changes it for her.  Kagura loses it again and whimpers "I'm sorry, I'm sorry" over and over.

She eventually finds herself at the cemetery with a bouquet of flowers for the grave of the nurse, who "died in a car accident."  As she bows her head and cries...

...her friends coincidentally arrive.  The brunette (Yacchin, in case you're wondering) asks why she's so sad.  "After all, you killed her yourself, didn't you?"  She goes on accusingly, asking if Kagura was going to kill the two of them, too.

"I should just hit you."  "Go ahead.  Hit me.  I don't care.  I deserve it."  Ohfer... of course at this point the Mopey Schoolgirl in White breaks down again.  Yacchin realizes that this is killing Kagura.

Tearful hugs as everybody forgives everybody else.  Back at the old homestead...

...Yomi returns from school, to find Uncle and Mei on their way out.  Uncle backhandedly congratulates her on her coming promotion, reminding her that she isn't really part of the family in his eyes.  As they walk past her...

...Yomi gets a terrible chill, and it isn't from the weather.

Unnerved, she whirls, just as Mei turns...

...and says "Take care."  It seems to be fate that my computer's playlist spat up the Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer" just as I added that picture to the post.  I also just noticed that Mei's eyes are now red, instead of the gold they were when we were first introduced to her.  Nah, no dead giveaway there, not at all.

Back at the cemetery, Kagura explains the backstory of her family of exorcists to her friends, who buy it this time.  Except for one thing: Yacchin asks why Kagura has to be fated to take Byakuei.  "I mean, you could turn the responsibility down, y'know, live a normal life."  A fine question, that, and one that Kagura obviously hadn't considered before... but she does now.

LOLcameo!  Kagura doesn't recognize them, but she does sense the power of two fellow exorcists when they walk by.

Meanwhile, the Sensors of the Ministry of the Environment's Agency for Supernatural Disaster Prevention do their thing.  Their information gets to the Boss via map form...

...and it shows something chilling: the big source of "dark ki" has returned, but this time it appears to have split into two pieces.  Hm, I wonder what that second source might be?

Ah, yes.  I was afraid of that.

For a living dead girl, she's got an awfully well developed sense of the dramatic.  I mean, standing on top of a billboard, silhouetted against a night sky with the blazing city lights behind her?  Yep, she's got style all right.

NEVER a good sign.  Nothing good can ever come from a smiling ex-corpse standing on top of a billboard.  Or, for that matter, a smiling ex-corpse not standing on a billboard.  Let's just assume that a smiling ex-corpse is a bad thing and let it go at that.

The next day, the two Schoolgirls in Opposing Colors are training in yet another park.  Yomi is hard-pressed to keep up with Kagura, barely able to keep up a viable defense, much to her surprise.  And then...

...a hit, a palpable hit!  But, um, Yomi doesn't seem particularly disturbed.  "Yes, you hit me... but you still lost."  Kagura is confused, until Yomi says "look down."

"Striking simultaneously means you die too.  But you've gotten strong, Kagura, it took me a long time to find a way to get that counterstrike in."  The praise doesn't seem to please the Schoolgirl in White.  Troubled, she asks Yomi if it's okay for her to live like this, and tells of her thoughts of retiring from the biz.

Like any good big sister, Yomi says she'll support any decision Kagura makes if it'll make her happy.  "I'll always be there for you."  Just then, Kagura's phone rings.  It's her friends, inviting her to dinner.  She runs off, leaving a sad-looking Yomi behind.

A laser weasel arrives on the scene, reminding Yomi of her notadate with her fiancee.

Back at Ye Olde Home, YDad is doing paperwork in preparation for his retirement.  He hears footsteps behind him, and he instinctively asks "Yomi?"  Another footstep, and he turns around in surprise.

Oh dear.  Meanwhile...

...Yomi and Noriyuki are on their notadate.  They talk about Kagura's soul-searching, when the Schoolgirl in Black brings up a shocker of her own.  She isn't sure at all that she deserves to become the head of her Clan.  Seems Uncle's constant pokes and prods have had an effect, particularly when combined with the Schoolgirl in White's blossoming ability.  "She's become so much stronger in such a short time.  She's mastered techniques in a short time that I could never hope to know."  Like any good boyfriend hoping to get some action, Noriyuki doesn't hesitate to point out that it's not like she's chopped liver or anything, and she darned well deserves the accolades she's being given. 

They lean in, and...

...the phone rings.  It's Kagura, calling from the eatery.  The look on his face says it all. 

She's happy again.  Hasn't made a decision yet, but she's actually beginning to show signs of life... a good sign.  She doesn't even notice that Mr Laser Weasel is kissing Yomi during the conversation!  After the call, Yomi shuts off her phone, since she's now officially off-duty.

But all is not well in Kaguraland.

After dinner, she returns to Yomi's place, still downcast.  But her combat-trained senses note something's wrong.  Nobody answers her calls, no friendly voice welcoming her back.  Concerned, she begins to investigate.

Finally, she walks into YDad's office, only to find a horror scene.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to get bloodstains out of a wood floor like that?

Defib paddles in use are usually not a good sign, particularly when one of them is being applied to the stomach area, and the other to the center of the chest.  What, is the EMT trying to stimulate his spleen or something?

Much later, a happy Yomi comes home, only to find her lil' sis waiting for her.  "Kagura?  What's wrong?"

One short dash to the hospital later, Yomi is confronted by her Uncle.  "Where the hell have you been?  We've been trying to reach you, you irresponsible little hussy!  And you think you'll be able to run this family?"

Just then, Mei breaks in.  "First, Yomi-san, you have to say your goodbyes to your father."  Always there with a comforting and kind word, our Mei.

Fade to black, roll credits.

As you watch this episode, you get the distinct impression that the show has begun to really hit its stride, and has finally started to roll towards the endgame... even though the series is just halfway through.  Distinct feeling of dread towards the end, for sure... it's great!  What's going to happen in Episode 08?  We won't have to wait long to find out!

Is anybody actually reading these things, or am I just talking to myself here?

Posted by: Wonderduck at 11:33 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
Post contains 1636 words, total size 14 kb.

1 I'm reading along - just haven't had any comments to make recently.  There is an episode coming up soon where I will have some questions/comments, assuming you keep doing these reviews.

And as long as I have your attention:  Which do you think is stronger?  Laser-weasels, or cyborg-ducks?

Posted by: Siergen at February 17, 2010 11:45 PM (IbYnn)

2 I've come this far and burned this many words, Siergen, I'm not gonna give up now that it's about to get really good. 

Cyborg-ducks.  ALWAYS cyborg-ducks.

Posted by: Wonderduck at February 18, 2010 12:25 AM (G8/ak)

3 Speaking of cyber-ducks, one presumes you've been watching Sunred, then?

Posted by: Mitch H. at February 18, 2010 09:49 AM (jwKxK)

4 One may presume so, but one would be incorrect.  I know it exists, but that's about all.

Posted by: Wonderduck at February 18, 2010 06:06 PM (G8/ak)

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