Friday, November 28, 2008

Kurozuka 08: What's in the Bag

Kuro gets mind-fucked by an old cripple, who gets him to literally dump a bag of shit into the river.
EPISODE 08: The Cry of Ghosts
More Kurozuka 08 Screencaps

Kuro finds himself back to the time when he first came to Asuka, but he'll soon find out this ain't no ordinary flashback. While walking along the city's winding streets, he meets an old man in a motorbike. Apparently, the man is a cripple and lives off by begging in the streets.
In exchange for a silver coin, he tells Kuro that he's being followed by Master Kami and Poison Ivy. Next, he gains Kuro's sympathy by capitalizing on his being a cripple and then gets him to dump his three-day-old feces into the river. But no sooner than Kuro does the nasty work when he discovers that the old cripple is not who he pretends to be.
It turns out that Master Kami has been fucking with his mind and all this time Kuro is still in the forest outside Kagura. His rebel pals are calling ot him but Master Kami has such a firm control on him that he can't even answer. Fortunately, Kuon shows up and starts shooting. Master Kami cunningly flees into the shadows, leaving Kuro relatively unharmed.

Meanwhile, Saniwa is in bad shape. Poison Ivy has her bound and pierced to a tree. When Kuro arrives, she helpfully reenacts for him the scene leading to Saniwa's current situation. It appears that Saniwa was telling the truth when she said in Episode 07 that the people of Kagura have powers. Unfortunately for her, Poison Ivy has more tricks up her sleeves than she lets on.
So Saniwa ends up pinned to a tree. Without warning, Kuro lunges at Poison Ivy, who nevertheless manages to dodge. While the two are in the thick of battle, their comrades, Rai and Karuta find themselves in an extremely difficult situation. They have their guns pointed at each other's heads and in front of them, grinning like a maniac is Master Kami.
Back in battle, Kuro is gaining the upper hand over Poison Ivy. But she manages to trick him by pretending to be wounded. Then as Kuro prepares to give her the fatal blow, she uses her vines to capture him. Kuro, however, is saved from an untimely demise by the reappearance of Kuromitsu. She makes ridiculously short work of Poison Ivy. Then, while Kuro sits there, staring at her in speechless wonder, she turns around to see to Saniwa. The old woman has the hots for our lovely vampire and for a moment there, I thought the two are going to start making out. Fortunately, that does not happen and instead we hear Kuromitsu promising Saniwa that she'll be rewarded. Hmm, what kind of "reward" would that be? It must be pleasant because Saniwa cries tears of joy.

After that touching moment, Kuromitsu finally faces Kuro but she does not go to him. Instead, she tells him that they can't be together yet until he faces the Red Emperor's Army. Then, she turns around and WALKS OUT OF HIS LIFE FOR THE MILLIONTH TIME. The next day, Kuro and the others regroup, having come to a decision to storm the Red Emperor's stronghold.

Good episode. Then again mind-fucks are always good. I still remember that mind-fuck with Benkei in Episode 02. That was psychotic in a giddy, brain-bleeding sort of way. This one almost comes close. Not as brain-bleeding but just as crazy. I mean, shit-bag, yo! If that isn't the embodiment of lunacy, I don't know what is.

Kuro's got some formidable enemies, that he does. How is he even going to manage without Kuromitsu's help? His rebel pals, with the possible exception of Kuon, are about as much help as a pair of nail clippers. But don't get me wrong. I still like Karuta and Rai (mainly because they're fanfic-fodder) and I was so glad they didn't die this episode.

I give up trying to predict where this series is going or outthink the storyteller. I'm just here for the ride and so far it's highly enjoyable.

YES! Kuromitsu shows up and Paku Romi is awesome as always. I love how she voices the character -- mysterious, terrible, inhuman and ethereal all at the same time. And I'm glad to know that Kuromitsu is far from the damsel-in-distress character. Indeed, I was under the impression that she was and for a while I couldn't accept it.... But hello? Vampire? Immortal? As far as I know, that's one of the definitations for "kick-ass."

I am looking forward to the next episode. I realize this series is only 12 episodes long, which means there are only 4 episodes left. While I get the feeling that the plot is definitely picking up and heading towards a crescendo, I wonder if they can give it an ending that leaves not too many loose ends. Oh well, I guess we'll just see.