To be honest, I thought this episode was one of the weakest yet. It wasn’t bad, but just wasn’t the level I’ve come to expect. It was too straightforward, especially compared to the usual.
This episode was all about love. And everyone’s love is different.
- Himari. Himari loves Kanba. For Kanba, she leaves Shouma, her soulmate, behind. She is willing to die to prevent Kanba from falling into darkness. Is her love selfless or selfish? Initially, it seemed obviously selfless. But the more I thought about it, it’s actually selfish in a way. All Kanba wants is for Himari to live. And that it is the one thing she is unwilling to give him.It brings to mind the idea of “chasing” from the previous episode. Himari is unwilling to be caught, and flees into the hands of death. The chase will never end.
- Masako. Masako’s love is directly contrasted with Himari’s. Note how we have the nearly identical hug scene from both of them. Masako asks Kanba to say that he loves her. Himari begs Kanba to forget about her and let her die. Superficially, Himari’s love demands nothing in return, and Masako’s demands Kanba’s love in return. But if Hiamri is Kanba’s world, then Himari, by telling Kanba to let her die, demands the world. Masako is a huntress, and Himari is the chased, a rat who is always on the run.
- Kanba. Kanba proclaims that Himari is his world, and will do anything for her, even bombing and murdering people. (This is kind of similar to Yuno’s love, as I mentioned last week.) It’s the most selfish love of the three, demanding that others suffer for it.But unlike Yuno’s, Kanba’s love has become inauthentic, a shadow of desire. He is no longer moved by Himari’s pleas. He feels no emotion when she hugs him, and has no interest in the tender kisses they once shared. His penguin no longer has any interest in porn magazines, and instead reads weighty books. Himari is Kanba’s world, but his world has become but a shadow of Himari’s self. His scorpion soul has burnt out. And the magic only works the first time.
As Tabuki realizes in this episode, what he, Yuri, Himari and all the invisible children needed was for someone to tell them they were loved. But even when they had this, it still wasn’t enough once that person died. This is why, despite accusations of chronic uselessness, Shouma is the only person who has been permanently able to save people from becoming invisible. He was able to save both Himari and Ringo, by sole virtue of letting them know he loved them and by not dying. Shouma is the boy who lived.
Set the World on Fire
There’s a lot of fire imagery going on in this episode. We should keep in mind the story of the Goddess’ torch, the forbidden frame whose ashes will save the tree. Here, Kanba is gathering the ashes of that torch to save Himari.
Kanba claims that he will burn the world to ash to save her.
But Himari is the world to Kanba. Just as #1 burns the porn mags which were the world to him, Kanba himself is turning Himari, his world, to ash, in order to save her. The torch is the sheep themselves.
I never thought I would see Ringo accuse someone else of being a creepy stalker.