Ore-tachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai Ep08

Suspiciously enough for an ecchi anime that I never really actually cared for, this almost has me attempting to determine more about the story beforehand. I must say, visual novels weave an intricate story (note that I didn't say "well done").

Maybe I should stop using ecchi pics as the lead-in...

This episode cemented a lot of what I thought, especially in it that this most likely is a story about a psychologically-disturbed kid. This episode had Chitose and Narita at the very beginning, but then once again featured Haneda, which was pretty annoying to watch because, once again, it was a cock-sucking fest (in one scene, quite literally). Despite this, it was still an interesting episode because - surprise, surprise - we got to meet Boy #1, Haneda Youji.

Haneda Youji, Boy #1. He was actually introduced a long time ago...

It's not surprising that I didn't notice it before, given just how much information there actually is to gleam from these episodes, but Kobato is actually paired with two people as per the opening, Youji and Itami. In the scene where the winged-girls take their respective heroes to the skies, Kobato is quite clearly pulling Youji and not Itami. She's called Youji her "real brother" in previous episodes, whereas she's just somehow related to Haneda. I suppose there's some kind of incest going on between Kobato and Youji, whereas Itami is just a representation of Youji to her and the other three are tolerable. For appearances' sake, since it's Haneda that leaves the house to go to school in the morning, she probably publicly says that he's her brother while the other two don't really need to be related to her.

Youji looks and acts like the little boy he was when he developed DID.

While a part of me still hopes that there will be fantastical story twists showing that these boys aren't crazy, this episode pretty much cemented the fact that Youji, being the original personality, developed Dissociative Identity Disorder, creating (at least) four other personalities. He's been hiding in the recesses of his mind for at least 10 years, judging by his amusing commenting between 10 and 100,000. Itami is paired with Kobato in the opening probably because he's the oldest and also closest to her, whereas the other three began developing "life" of their own. (By the way, Kobato has really begun to grow on me as more than just the imouto archetype. It's quite interesting to ponder about her state-of-mind; for example, she prepared 4 different types of breakfast because she had no idea who she would meet upon waking up in the morning.)

Dammit, Naru, are you not going to be able to be happy?!

This episode also showed both Chitose and Narita, speaking about some "priest" that had told them a long time ago to keep their hearts at peace. Judging from Narita's scene, the situation is pretty clear. Both Chitose and Narita are well aware of what is going on, probably not even buying the Gretagard fantasy, and are living their daily lives in order to amass money and knowledge to help their host. However, to them, the man to place faith in is Haneda; they've potentially never even met Youji, really. Narita comments on getting Haneda treatment after graduation; these two are resigned that "treatment" will involve their disappearance as personalities, and are willing to leave everything to Haneda (i.e. the next-in-line to be the King of Gretagard). This thought makes me incredibly annoyed, given that I really don't like Haneda and that this means that without a magical twist, these other two can't have lives of their own.

The main girls all after what is most likely an adult Youji.

Surprisingly, Haneda doesn't seem to know about Chitose and Narita's "existence". Even in the first episode he featured in, they spoke of Garuda (Itami) being captured and both Chitose and Narita being missing. Once I take away the fantasy aspects of it, it means that Haneda is aware of all the personalities, may not understand the DID situation (instead opting to fully embrace the reality of Gretagard), and has no contact with any of the other ones. To him, Itami was forcibly put away ("captured"), while Chitose and Narita just stopped showing up. It makes sense; Chitose and Narita meet in the chapel, Youji and Itami hang out in the Abyss, and Haneda spends his time in Gretagard. Note that these are all just different aspects of the host body's mind. The times that Chitose spoke about, with Haneda "scrambling" more and more frequently during his time in the body, would be when Haneda gets "summoned" to Gretagard (quite obviously to avoid real-life problems and fantasize), meaning that Chitose takes control and attempts to act with his surroundings as Haneda. That's a pretty difficult job, isn't it...

Damn right. You can do anything in your fantasies!

The super-ecchi, borderline-hentai (to be fair, 80% of the screen was censored with a white screen; it would be real hentai otherwise) scene occurred in Gretagard, where Haneda got some under the pretence of healing. As much as I wanted to avoid it, it's pretty clear that Gretagard is in the mind, where the characters from his everyday surroundings are role-playing (and, as with the last episode he was featured in, sometime break character to discuss the best way to continue the play). Even noticing the times that Haneda is "summoned" points to this; it's always in a tumultuous situation (i.e. when he was being bullied), and the scene in Gretagard immediately thereafter always correlates to his treatment (i.e. his blonde classmate looking down on him in real life came onto him in Gretagard). In ep05, the summoning was even cancelled by Asuka coming to his rescue; he quite obviously is retreating to his fantasies when confronted by situations he can't handle in real life.

What is that black thing even?

A good question would be how Otori knows about the multiple personalities (at least, he knew about Chitose, Narita and Itami) and Gretagard. I would assume that, given how Youji has been gone for 10 years, Otori at some point was a childhood friend (who either also developed DID, maybe in the same initial traumatic situation, or simply has two extreme faces that he wears, like many other functional members of society), who played the scenario of Gretagard with Itami. Of course, Itami went super-crazy and was forced away, and Otori knew that Chitose and Narita were other personalities, and watched over them without particularly interfering.

I wonder if Narita was forced to help out too...

The episode ended with a cliffhanger, with Haneda retreating to Gretagard to avoid the conflict of not being able to go on a date with Asuka and Chitose came out - but Asuka seemed to know that it wasn't Haneda somehow. This series is quickly shaping up to be a more interesting one, since these kinds of psychological scenarios do interest me. However, the presentation isn't appealing - putting the ecchi aside, there's way too much information just being thrown out indirectly with the general air of mystery still retained. This leads to some dangerous story-telling, considering every new revelation leads to minor details of previous episodes making much more sense in retrospect only. I hope answers start actually coming out soon, with only a handful of episodes left.

(I'm still hoping that I'm super wrong, that Gretagard really exists, and that somehow, Chitose and Narita can continue to exist.)