February 22, 2010

Ga-Rei Zero, Episode 08

In the last episode of Ga-Rei Zero, Mei, who was dead (she got better) appears to have killed Yomi's Dad (YDad) while Yomi herself was off courtin' and sparkin' with Mr Laser Weasel.  Kagura went through a high-end bout of the weepies after killing the brainsucker-controlled school nurse, and her friends decided to beat on her a little bit to boot.  One gets the feeling that things are about to get out of control... so let us see how out of control they get in Episode 08!

We begin with a voiceover from the Schoolgirl in White.

"It was a scene I had seen before.  It was an evening hazed in heavy rain.

"Drowned in the sadness of losing someone important to her, and frightened by the fate that has befallen her.  Unable to do anything, able only to cry and bear the cold passing of time.

"That was me three years ago."

They just keep finding ways to surprise me.  I never would have expected such emotional insight from Ga-Rei Zero...

...and then Mei has to come in and spoil it all.

It appears that Uncle has decided to take advantage of the gathering of Clan members for the funeral to call a business meeting.  Yomi, being the lady of the house and bereaved family member, has to welcome the Clan heads, and Mei is here to remind her of that duty.

Meanwhile, Noriyuki and Kazuki (and by extension, the rest of The Agency) are out and about trying to track down "the demon" that zapped YDad.  The latest maps show that the source of Dark Ki is in the vicinity of Yomi's place, but they can't narrow it down any farther than that.  Mr Laser Weasel is particularly aggrieved, which is understandable: his father-in-law-to-be has just been skragged.

Up on the rooftops, Kagura's father (KDad) makes a sinister discovery.  The fragment of Death Stone implanted in his hand to control Byakuei is pulsing ominously... meaning there's another Death Stone nearby, and it's big BIG.  "Powerful enough to consume a man's soul."  Bemused, he continues on with his search.

The Clan meeting is brought to order.  Uncle reports that, according to the terms of YDad's will, he will succeed as the head of the clan.  As he is unable to perform most of the duties that go with that position...

...his daughter, Mei, will lead in his stead.  One must commend her on her tasteful black orchid, considering the occasion.

The Schoolgirl in Black is understandably confused by this pronouncement.  After all, YDad made it quite clear to everybody within earshot that she was to take over the family. "Yomi will succeed me." "Great, YDad, could you please pass the butter now?"

"What, you believe I'd misrepresent the Last Will of my brother, your 'father'?  And weren't you off playing tonsil hockey with that Laser Weasel guy when he got shanked?  What sort of behavior is that for the head of the family?"  Yomi backs down, instead of gutting him like a fish as he so rightfully deserves.

After the memorial service, Kagura comes to Yomi and asks if she's okay.  Like all good stoics and martyrs everywhere, she simply says yes and tries to change the subject.  Boy, does she need grief counciling, but quick!  The Schoolgirl in White does seem to be helping Yomi's mood, however...

...and then Mei has to come in and spoil it all. "Nice room you've got here, Yomi.  The sunlight will come in beautifully during the day.  Oh, since Uncle and I will be moving in, I'm sure you won't mind moving to a different one, right?  Let's say... hmm, I think Kagura's room will be fine for you.  Kagura, they say that you're a prodigy that'll surpass what Yomi once was.  It's certainly high time for the girl that will inherit Byakuei to go forth and make her mark on the world."  At this point, if you aren't hoping that Kagura takes Michael XII and splits Mei open from sternum to knees, you aren't human.  Of course, being polite, she does no such thing and simply nods.

"Oh, and Yomi?  Since I'm in charge of the demon-hunting in the family now, would you give me Shishiou?  Since you failed to protect your father, you don't deserve to have the family's all-powerful sword, and the Spirit Beast that comes with it."  At this point, if you aren't hoping that Yomi directs Ranguren to houkoha Mei into the next prefecture, you're not only not human, but perhaps not even self-aware.

Instead, she hands the great sword over, completing Mei's triumph.  Gracious in victory, she takes her leave without spitting on the Schoolgirl in Black, but only just.  A moment or two later, she unsheaths Shishiou and revels in the feeling of attaining her life's desire...

...when suddenly, a weird optical effect comes over her.  Lightning flashes, it begins to drizzle...

...and the blue butterflies come back.  Panicked, she runs from the house, a swarm of butterflies in hot pursuit.  Yeah, let's hope Uncle saw that; a great first impression for the new demon-hunter elite, chased away by some pretty blue insects.

In a nearby alley, she turns and fights the flying bugs.  You can just guess how well that works... though why she neglected to summon Ranguren is beyond me.  Maybe she's not as good as she thinks, eh?  Or maybe she's suffering from lepidopterophobia?

Well, we knew she had a messiah complex, but this is ridiculous. 

Intense pain comes over her as she appears to relive the staking she suffered in Episode 06.  Hands, feet... what am I forgetting?

Oh, right.  The naginata through the chest, that's what it was.  All of her wounds, wounds thought healed, have reopened, and from her reactions, it doesn't feel good at all.

Oh crepe.  Even though she's a conniving beeyotch with a small flinty pebble in place of a soul, even she doesn't deserve to have the Big Bad Pretty Boy gloat over her.  "You should just accept it, you know.  Your anger, your hatred, your desires... accept everything.  If you do that, the stone will answer you.  But you can't go back, right?  You longed for it, didn't you?  That's why I gave that to you."  That?

Oh, bloody hell.  Guess we know why there have been two Dark Ki sources showing up on the maps recently.  She screams in agony... and her wounds heal.  And just like that, the Big Bad has another convert.

I don't think I like him very much.

A quick commercial break brings us to the crematorium, where YDad is put to rest.

I have no clever words.  A very manipulative scene, but I'll be damned if it wasn't effective in getting the point across.

Kagura is about to leave when she comes across a despondent Schoolgirl in Black sitting alone.  Maybe not as obvious as sitting in a darkened room, but it's pretty clear that Yomi is pretty much broken at this point.

And it just gets worse when she calls Kagura her "only remaining treasure."  It'd take a stronger man than myself to not get something in his eyes during this scene.

Back at The Office, the new maps have come across... and the two Dark Ki sources are back.  The Boss scrambles the entire active duty team.

After she gets a call, Yomi leaves a sleeping Kagura, taking Michael XII with her.  There's demons to hunt!

The rest of the team is in the Hummer, blood in their eyes.  Woe betide any supernatural beastie that gets in their way.

But Yomi isn't going to the same place as they are?  Curious.

Just as the team spots their target, a flaming armadillo monster like in the first two episodes, a helicopter lands in front of them.  Huh?

The Department of Defense grunts are back!  I mean... um... you know, the English language just isn't built for flashbacks and time travel.  Since this is happening before the events of the first episode, they can't be "back", but we haven't seen 'em for a while, so... oh I give up.  You know what I mean, just roll with it.  A quick pissing match occurs between the Grunt chief and the Agency guys, with Kazuki bitching about kill-stealing and getting a gun stuck in his face for his troubles.  The grunts get to play with the armadillo while the Agency stands around and watches.

Also watching?  Big Bad.  So close and yet so far, guys.

Meanwhile, Yomi reaches her destination... where-ever that is... and her phone rings.

Yup, it's Mei.  Guess the phone call she got before wasn't from The Boss, but from the living dead girl... who's out for blood.  Other than her own, that is.

Say goodbye to the Vespa... and most of the surrounding countryside. 

However, if there's one person on the planet who knows just how effective Ranguren is, it's Yomi.  She manages to cut her way through a houkoha, but she's in trouble and she knows it.


The fight having progressed into the tunnels beneath Tokyo again for the first time (skip it), Mei has Ranguren beamspam Yomi, hoping for a hit.  Like a little kid with a new toy, she is.  Lots of property damage later, she loses sight of the Schoolgirl in Black for all the dust.

"Grrr!  Yomi SMASH!"

Yup, that'll do it.

...and Ranguren is out of the fight.  After all, Mei's not holding onto the sword anymore.  That should put paid to the battle as a whole, in fact.

Oh.  Right.  Death Stone.  Got it.  Nice try, though, gotta give Yomi credit for that.  "It's marvelous to have this power.  As long as I have it, nobody can deny me anything.  And what I most wish for, Yomi... is to kill you."

And the battle is joined in earnest, while Mei soliloquizes.

"You were in my way!  I detested you!  I hated you!  I envied you!  You should have gone!  You should have just died!  This was all because of (YDad)'s whims.  It was because he brought you, a nobody, into the family!  Because of him, the things I should have gotten went to you!  That ruined everything in me.  I hated him so much that it burned me up inside... and that's why I killed him."

Killshot!  Yomi is the victor!

"Idiot."  Dammit.

"He should have begged for his life.  It would have been interesting if he cried and shouted.  He was boring, so I played around with his intestines."  Ew.

"Ew" is not what Yomi is thinking right here.

"And then in pain and agony, he went and died."

"It was such a nice end."

Yomi snaps and begins hacking and slashing at her tormentor, who moves not a muscle to avoid the sword.  A dozen wounds later...

...well, her kimono is pretty much ruined, but that's about all.  Mei goes on the offensive, quickly overpowering the stunned Yomi.

"Now it's my turn."  She stands over the distraught Schoolgirl, preparing for the death stroke...

...when her (healed) wounds begin to bleed.

"Why?  Don't take the Death Stone away just yet!"  Guess the Big Bad is just playin'.

Yomi quickly takes advantage, knocking the crippled Mei to the floor.

At which point, Mei... changes.  The influence of the Death Stone seems to have left her.  It's an obvious change, in fact.  "Don't kill me!  It wasn't me!  It wasn't me!"

"Shut up." 


Fade to black, roll credits.

Oh my.  Episode 09 should be a doozy.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 11:39 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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1 Episode 09:  Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse...

Posted by: Siergen at February 23, 2010 05:20 PM (IbYnn)

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