Kamisama no Memochou Ep08

This episode single-handedly upped my current rating of this anime. I'm just a sucker for these feel-good themes...

This being just out for public display on your desk seems like a bad idea.

This episode finally finished the Renji arc, going out with a bang (and also some slightly anti-climactic scenes, as seen in the previous arc). Things happened just as I had assumed at the end of the last episode, making me feel that maybe this anime isn't really as complex as it probably should be (being a detective show). Still, things were well done, incorporating themes like brotherly love, skeletons in the closet, cute girls in kimonos, brotherly love, super tsunderes, bittersweet endings, and brotherly love. It's pretty obvious what I liked the most.

This is the first time I'm seeing the .xis extension. Apparently, it's for MS Excel.

The episode began with Narumi arriving at the hospital, where all the underlings of the Hirasaka Group gathered outside the room that housed Yondaime. Upon talking to Alice, it became clear that Renji was playing a game other than the one they had expected, knowing that the members of the group were guarding the venue, thus leaving Yondaime alone at the hideout. His only "mistake" was calling the phone beforehand (to make sure that his target was actually there for the stabbing), thus making his cell phone traceable through innate GPS capabilities. While the others tried to find out the exact location, Narumi sadly went to the back room at the hideout to get the information related to the group's promotion, in order to pass onto a girl from the group (since Yondaime was out of operation).

I'm glad he's not a wimpy wimp.

This episode also featured Narumi really coming into his own - at least, in my eyes. Whereas in the past, I had thought that he had no redeeming characteristics and lacked the ability to "carry" the series, this current arc really made me think twice about what his talents actually are. During his "confrontation" with the underlings, he found his voice and yelled at them for giving up so quickly what Yondaime had been working so hard on. Then he proclaimed himself to be the leader of the group until Yondaime was back in action, ordering them to guard the venue instead of walking into traps. However, the kicker was that he didn't really know that it was a trap; instead, he had just been acting on instinct and anger, wanting to keep the members of the group safe (and out of fights). Alice later confirmed that Narumi was correct; Renji had purposely let himself be tracked so that the group members could walk into an obvious trap, thus destroying more of what Yondaime had built and held dear to him.

Even just that amount of blood creeps me out a little.

Narumi took over Yondaime's role as best as he could, after Alice's gentle nudging. On the day of the concert, he had the lead singer wear Renji's embroidered shirt (actually just a copy), which served as a "hint" for Renji. Thus, the final confrontation occurred in a back room of the concert hall, where Alice had appeared (in a kimono, no less, holding a teddy bear). Renji's first question was about the pattern on the shirt, and how it had been "finished". Alice's explanation revealed what I had assumed: Hison was actually Yoshiki, the owner of the fabric store. When Gotouda's lover had attacked Hison, the group took the victim to the hospital and saved her life (although she lost her womb and ovaries). After giving her a lot of money and covering up the incident, they set her off on a new life; she chose to fully give her up her identity as a woman and became Yoshiki. (What that means, I actually don't really know; did she or did she not get a full sex change? I doubt it; she might just be emo and resigned to a life without love for the time being.)

Tortured-looking men tend to do some crazy things.

The revelation that Yondaime had purposely not told Renji in order to keep it a secret that Hison was Gotouda's lover made me understand that while Renji loved Hison, Yondaime probably felt it either less or on an entirely different level. Thus, he sought to protect Renji from devastating revelations. On top of that, he blamed himself for being unable to protect Hison and so most likely wanted Renji to come out of the shadows for "revenge". Given his behaviour throughout this entire arc, it feels as though Yondaime was even masterminding his own demise at the hands of Renji; not only would it give Renji a sense of satisfaction, it could also be Yondaime's way of atonement. Essentially, Renji was playing Yondaime's game, wasn't he?

No mercy for the wounded, even?

However, brotherly love won out in the end. Yondaime huffed and puffed and struggled to get to the venue, being met by a remorseful Renji. After exchanging some "big man" words, the two came to blows (as another ceremony Renji had created long ago called for). It was pretty weird to see Yondaime fighting and getting hit, considering he had seriously struggled to get to the venue. It was almost like kicking a downed man. Apparently, they were both okay with it, so whatever. The concert finished without another hitch and the after-party was full of alcohol (and Narumi's voiceover about brothers and brotherly love).

Ah, a little more togetherness would have been nice.

The episode ended with Renji leaving for Osaka, just as I had assumed he would. He felt that he needed to take responsibility for his actions, and so couldn't stay in Tokyo. I would have preferred that he didn't do such a thing, but I guess that's just because I prefer people staying together. I wouldn't be surprised if he came back from time-to-time; with 4 more episodes in this 12-episode series, I'm sure there's going to be at least one more single-episode story and then a multi-episode arc, leaving him plenty of room to come back. (After all, Yondaime has forgiven his actions and I'm sure Renji is no longer holding a grudge.)

Notepad to get out your thoughts, Alice?

This series has really revived itself for me, with a splendid arc. When I look at it clearly, I don't think the story is anything awesome - certainly not particularly "mystery" or "detective" - but it's really the story-telling that wins. I'm a sucker for such strong themes, such as brothers reuniting or a "higher being" (like Alice) being limited by her own handicaps (like not straying outside the bounds of being a detective). More~