Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ga-Rei - Zero 06: What a Heart

As more and more evil spirits appear in various parts of the country, the SDCD has reason for concern. Especially when Kagura is still so inexperienced in battle and Yomi, who is supposed to be helping her develop her skills, dotes on her too much. It's no wonder then that they try to recruit a freelance exorcist and Yomi's cousin, Mei. Question is: will she accept? Or will something totally unexpected instead happen?
EPISODE 06: Beautiful Enemy
More Screencaps from Ga-Rei - Zero 06

Tsuchimiya-dono is out in the woods, exorcising dozens of Category Ds. Meanwhile, his daughter, Kagura, and Yomi are in the middle of a deserted street, looking for the cause of a Supernatural Disaster they detected in the area. At first, they find nothing. But when a random car comes by, the evil spirit finally reveals itself.

Yomi identifies it as a Category C, Yamanobi. It attacks by mimicry and has been the cause of signal jamming in the area. Thus, when Yomi tries to fight it, she ends up fighting with an exact copy of herself. Likewise with Kagura. After some mishaps, wherein Yomi almost gets hit by her own Ranguren's Roaring Blast and Kagura gets wounded in the thigh, they manage to kill the Yamanobi with the help of Mei, who only lectures them and points out their weakness.

At the SDCD headquarters, Kiri reports to Ayame what occurred during Yomi and Kagura's mission. Ayame apparently wants to recruit Mei to work for them but after their offer is rejected, Kiri supposes that it must be hard for Mei to work with Yomi. Meanwhile, Tsuchimiya-dono has arrived home from his mission and has a long talk with Yomi's father concerning Kagura and whether or not she is ready to take on the family responsibility.

Speaking of whom, at this time, Kagura is in school with her two classmates. While at the infirmary to have Kagura's bandages replaced, they get into a discussion with the school nurse about a recent accident involving broken glass. They are, of course, referring to Kagura's earlier mission. Back at the SDCD headquarters, Ayame and Kiri sense that there is someone behind the sudden dense concentration of evil spirits in the country.

After school, Yomi and Kagura go grocery shopping. Still smarting from Mei's chastisement, Kagura wants reassurance from Yomi that she is doing good. Yomi readily gives it to her. Then, once they get home, Isayama breaks the news that Tsuchimiya-dono is back and Kagura must go home to welcome him. Once she's there though, it's not a warm welcome she gets but a lecture about how their ancestors absorbed the Byakuei into their souls in order to give themselves the ability to fight evil spirits and how parting ways with the ga-rei means parting ways with their own souls and welcoming death. Before leaving the room, he repeats that Kagura must become strong.

A few days later, the SDCD members find their hands full with various evil spirits appearing all over the city. Mei helps out but when she detects a more powerful spirit somewhere close by, she goes there alone to investigate. It's a mistake on her part. The evil spirit is a white-haired boy who reveals that all the other evil spirits are drawn to him because of his sesshouseki. Mei stabs him with her scythe but to her shock, the boy does not even flinch. Instead, he uses his butterflies to look into Mei's heart and sees all her hatred, anger and jealousy. After killing her, he says that he in turn is drawn to those with wicked hearts.

At that time, Kagura is in her school, facing a person who is once her school nurse but who is now under the control of an evil spirit. The nurse has tried to attack Kagura's friends and they are only saved when Kagura arrives in the nick of time. But now that the enemy has been revealed, Kagura again hesitates to kill. She only manages to kill it after reminding herself over and over that it is her duty to exorcise evil spirits. Even so, after the deed is done, she doubles over, retching out her horror. Her friends then come out of their locker and sees her there, kneeling before the school nurse's corpse.

And another random character dies. It's so Ga-Rei - Zero to introduce one potentially cool character in one episode and then kill him or her off the next.

I kind of liked Mei, with all her scheming and devious plans, which all turned out for nothing. I can't believe she died that easily. I mean, she could not even put up a proper fight. Although she did have some nasty tricks up her sleeve. Stabbing someone like that. That was quick. So it's ironic that she died by her own weapon.

Or maybe she didn't die. Maybe while she's on the verge of dying, that white-haired boy would give her a part of the sesshouseki and turn her into evil. That'd be exactly what happened to Yomi. Foreshadowing much?

And speaking of sesshouseki, doesn't Kagura's father have one? You might ask. In the manga, Kagura wears it as an earring, rationalizing that its evil powers won't corrupt her soul that way. But Kagura's father has it embedded into his hand. So....that's an odd discrepancy then. Won't he get corrupted? Of course, I realize his macho image would suffer if he wears a pink earring, but maybe he can wear it as a pendant. I don't know. It would be interesting how this one would play out.

Doesn't Kagura strike you as selfish? I could tell that Mei's words hurt Yomi more than it did Kagura. At least, with Kagura, there is no question of her being the next in line. But Yomi is only a foster child and her claim to the Shishi-Ou is dubious as it is. To be told that it's not enough to be the next in line, she has to be qualified for it is the worst thing anyone could have said. Yomi does not have a truly valid claim to either. And yet, Kagura has the audacity to ask Yomi for assurance that she is good enough. Tsk-tsk. Such a child is Kagura.