This review will contain many spoilers of both previous episodes and the episode in focus. ‘Just letting you know ahead of time.
So we begin with Sawa lying down. Her eyes closed. As a man’s voice says, “Death is just an endless sleep, eh?” two gravediggers proceed to dig a hole as Asahi watches on with her umbrella up.
We then get a flashback. A scene that happened just after the end of the previous episode faded to black. Sawa’s brother, who she thought was dead, is now telling her to go. She tries to bring him out of the collapsing building. Telling him, “I don’t want to be alone again!” To which her brother comforts her by saying it is far from the truth. She has someone – – Before pushing her away and having a pile of debris falling on him. ‘Killing him on impact. We get the all-so-common moment where somebody screams, “Nooo…!”. Before we cut to Hanakaze and Kuzuhara standing outside the burning building, which is giving off a heavy magenta aura. Hanakaze expects the worse, while Kuzuhara doubts this. To which Sawa walks out, carrying Asahi like a mother with a tired toddler. ‘Relieving what remained of Nue – and fulfilling Sawa’s goal of revenge. Which then brings up the question: Where does she go from here?
We then cut to Hanakaze talking with a man who comes across as her editor. Because after seeing her work as both a Lady Of The Night and an Umbrella-Crossbow welding fighter of anti-government forces, we tend to forget that she is also a Novelist working on her next book. After the editor reveals that he most definitely has a thing for her, she expresses some disgust before going to the washroom. We then find out that her ‘editor’ is her ghostwriter. ‘If you liked the idea of her as an author, this might come as a disappointment.
Meanwhile, Sawa and Kuzuhara are on board a cable car. Kuzuhara starts to speaking poetically and metaphorically to her. Saying Tokugawa is pleased that Janome is gone. However, it has attracted some attention, with Makoto leaving out clues/bait for them. ‘them’ being the anti-Tokugawa resistance groups. Sawa’s newest assignment is to reclaim the weapons Makoto has laid out. But by this stage, she doesn’t care anymore. Because now she has a reason to live: Asahi. Who, too, comes to terms with being alive after what happened. Kuzuhara tries to keep Sawa from leaving in a fatherly fashion by saying she can use Nue for survival. ‘Before she gets off the car to head home. After the car leaves, she stops for a moment. ‘Asking Nana the Albino Crow why it chose her. We then cut to Hanakaze looking at a piece of paper, asking why it had to be her. ‘While her ghostwriter is running around outside like a maniac with joy. And to him, perhaps his joy is justified. Hanakaze is pregnant. We then see Makoto in great pain, trying to play the Bandoneon in what looks like a hospital bed. Her right arm is injured (despite looking cut off in the last episode). ‘Bringing up the question of whether she planted the guns for the resistance in the first place.
Back at the Mountain View Used Bookshop, Asahi is waiting for Sawa to come home when she witnesses a young girl falling over then being lovingly cared for by her mother. ‘Bringing up a bad memory of her physically abusive life before Sawa rescued her. Asahi then notices white feathers falling, then Nana appearing, and lastly, Sawa, who isn’t too talkative upon her arrival. So, Asahi makes up some dinner, which is an improvement on what she made in episode one. However, Sawa isn’t eating. The reason for this is simple: Asahi doesn’t know that Sawa met her brother for the first time in years, only for him to die shortly afterwards. It has left Sawa very cold. They then talk about the subject of pain: How are your wounds, Asahi? It’s okay. I’m used to ‘pain, says Asahi. There’s ‘not a pain in this world, says Sawa, you can truly get used ‘to. To which Asahi starts to cry and hugs Sawa. Sawa, for a brief moment, snaps out of her apathetic glance to show sadness. Before entering her stoic stance again, ‘to talk about her kind and thoughtful older brother, who is now gone. Her revenge is over. We can assume that ‘life’ can begin again. But Sawa then points out a good spot for Asahi to kill her. We then get a rather humourous moment where Asahi says, “Eat, then. Eat your poisoned food!” to which Sawa agrees to eat, then says, “You lied to me”. To which Asahi agrees, “Sure. But I can poison you anytime I want. Until then, eat!” So that’s what they do.
We then cut to the Hospital where Makoto is staying. We see that in a doctor’s case, there are three doses of Janome’s artificial enhancement. We find out that the Doctor is part of the resistance, and it is clear that Makoto’s reasons for helping them have an air of morality. I will also be switching my pronouns again, as Makoto is either Transgender or a man with Gynecomastia. It hasn’t set in concrete, so back to calling Makoto ‘Him’ again, as it’s too early to know if He is She or They. Anyway, we mentioned morals – the resistance consists of hard-working Japanese people who had their land given to foreigners and their liberty robbed. We then see that Makoto possibly fancies Sawa, and his face lights up when the Doctor tells him that the book shop is open and unchanged. He is given medication before leaving and informed that too much leads to hallucinations and even heart failure. We’ll remember this for future reference.
Waiting in the car for private transport to get him out of the country to fix his hand – – the chauffeur represents the resistance at this moment. When Makoto chooses not to give the blue gems that Janome created, the chauffeur draws a pistol. So far, we don’t know who shot first.
Hanakaze then sneaks into Sawa’s home while she’s in bed. She drags her out for a job. ‘Which is to take out the rebels who got ahold of Makoto’s well-placed weapons. ‘A fight ensues, with Hanakaze doing nearly all of the fighting, while Sawa is experiencing PTSD after witnessing the death of her brother. ‘However, after Hanakaze manages to fall quite deliberately on her stomach, Sawa kills the last rebel.
After this victory, they chat a bit on a rooftop nearby. Hanakaze tells Sawa that she tried to kill the baby without looking for a clinic. She also says that she is leaving Nue, much like Makoto. And new members will come to work with Sawa. She’s going to live her own life, she says. Before leaving Sawa on the roof with the crossbow umbrella as the sun rises. Hanakaze then meets the ghostwriter, leaving us with them running away – – or so we think.
Sawa sees a small crowd gathered around a house that was on fire. As it turns out, a murder-suicide may have taken place. Despite the bodies covered up – Sawa sees a tuft of blonde hair peeking out of the sheet. She goes home, where she questions whether she will ever really get out of Nue. Asahi then presents her with the poison that Makoto gave her. Sawa takes it and then collapses. ‘Filling Asahi with regret for her decision, with the hope that Sawa is, perhaps, reborn.
This – – has gotten pretty crazy, to say the very least. Can you imagine if this show ended on this episode? You know – a cliffhanger where Makoto, Hanakaze and Sawa all die, and that’s it? At this point, I’m having difficulty caring about these characters. It may be the riskiest episode, but it is also one fell flat and lost the gamble. I’m even beginning to wonder if I want to know who Joran The Princess Of Snow And Blood is (Probably the woman in the nip in episode one who took the Tokyo Roster, but who knows). I would say this is worse than the last episode, and unless they can pick it up next time, my comments may not be as praiseful.