Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Kurozuka 10: Secrets Revealed

Kuon turns. Kuro and Rai find themselves subjected to the worst karaoke singing in history. And the man responsible, Hasegawa, has a few surprising things to reveal...
EPISODE 10: Castle of Mirage
More Screencaps from Kurozuka 10

With Karuta gone, Kuro and Rai continue deeper into the castle. As they near the end of the hallway, they spy Kuon's figure standing in the elevator. Then Rai steps on a trap and instead of helping them, Kuon leaves them to fend for themselves. Hasegawa reveals himself through a holograph projector device and says that he's been waiting for Kuro for a thousand years. Then, he increases the sound waves that are causing Kuro and Rai so much pain, sending the two of them straight to unconsciousness.
The next scene opens with Kuro and Kuromitsu standing among the rubble of ruined buildings in the middle of winter. Kuro waits until the last moment before he quickly dispatches of the masked soldiers that have been following him and Kuromitsu. However, even as he makes short work of the soldiers, he himself becomes a target to a sniper. Before he takes a fall, he manages to throw his sword towards the sniper, killing himinstantly.
Later, Kuro wakes up with Kuromitsu's name on his lips, but the woman is nowhere in sight. After walking around, he stumbles upon her as she is dragging one of the dead bodies to a corner. Kuro is shocked to find that Kuromitsu has decapitated the body. When next Kuro wakes up, he is strapped to a chair in Hasegawa's lab inside the castle. In front of him is a large screen showing the wintery ruined landscape in the flashback. Hasegawa then steps out to explain Kuro's true nature.
Apparently, Hasegawa figured out that Kuro managed to keep his body young, despite being over a thousand years old, by substituting it with a new body every hundred years or so. He also found that each time the substitution was made, Kuro lost all his previous memories. His proof of this is the fact that Kuro's body seems to once belong to a former agent of theirs. And because he wants the power of Kuro's blood, Hasegawa experiments further on its effects, eventually creating Arashiyama (M. Bison), Kagetsu, Kuromazu and -- surprise, surprise -- Kuon. Speaking of the man, Kuon is waiting alone in a room when three men enter. One of them turns out to be the original "Kuon" sent there to eliminate his clone. He shoots Kuon without hesitation but not before revealing to Kuon just what he really is. This causes Kuon to get a flashback of his time together with Kuromitsu, who seems to be working with Hasegawa on the experimentations.
Back to the present, Hasegawa takes a sample of Kuro's blood, intending to use it on Rai. Meanwhile, Kuon has managed to recover from his multiple gunshot wounds, shocking "Kuon" and his soldier friends. They start shooting in panic but Kuon is too fast for them. He reaches "Kuon" and uses his body as shield against the bullets. Then as "Kuon" is dying, Kuon places a gun to his head and pulls the trigger. Back in the lab, Kuro manages to free himself from his constraints and goes after Hasegawa. This pisses Hasegawa off enough to make him use his own experimental serum and turn himself into a monster. Kuro can only gaze at him in wordless shock.

I must say I was surprised by this twist. I mean, yes, it did occur to me that Kuromitsu must be a shady character. After all, in the manga Kuro did not at one point try to hunt her down, so I thought, even though Madhouse did not necessarily incorporate that into the anime, there must be a reason for Kuro's action. And here we have it. She's EVIL!

Or is she?

I don't know because it seems to me like she's only using Kuon as some kind of substitute for Kuro. Then again, isn't she using Kuro also as a substitute for the original immortal (the one responsible for turning her)? Kuro does look amazingly like him.

I'm curious as to how Kuromitsu first got it in her mind to conduct these experiments with Hasegawa. Does it have something to do with Kuro's "imperfect" body? Kuro did get his head decapitated by Benkei in episode 2 before his body could completely turn immortal. So maybe it's only Kuro's blood that is immortal but his body, being "imperfect," has to be changed every once in a while. Kuromitsu must know this and must have realized at some point that she just can't keep changing Kuro's body, especially when he keeps losing his memories in the process. So she decides to team up with Hasegawa to create the perfect immortal body -- Kuon.

Speaking of which, Kuromitsu is a skank. -_- LOL

That aside, looks like the series is heading off towards a very generic climax. Not surprising really as Kurozuka, minus the erotic-vampire-time-leap-mindless-action-blood-and-gore factor, is a generic story. But I can honestly say that I don't really mind because I did enjoy every episode of this series. Yeah, bloody action and flying, decapitated heads! Bring it on!

In that aspect, this series truly delivers. Now, I'm just waiting in anticipation for the big boss fight scene in the end. I hope it's going to be awesome with all the pretty blood and flawless action of every single action sequence in this series so far.

On a minor note: Oh please, PLEASE, don't let Rai die. Because I'm a whore for side characters. And since they already killed Karuta off (I am still quite sad about that), that leaves only Rai.