Hello! I’m back to my usual schedule after a bit of rest. I’ll be spending this week catching up on my writing and drafting/planning what I’ll be doing in the following weeks. What I have in plan in addition to my Tricornered reviews and tact op Destiny episodic gallery is a special review to mark my 250th post. Celebrating stuff is important! And it motivates me to write, as well.
If we were to summarize what happened in this episode; the focus shifted a little from the characters with supernatural powers to people who interact with them, and it’s revealed that the less you believe in the unseen, the less you are affected by it. And through Hanzawa’s investigation/talk and seeing parallels between Hiyakawa and the current victim, we learn more about Hiyakawa’s past.
While I wasn’t able to write about it, as you can see I’m still keeping up with Tricornered diligently. And as I predicted, with doing fewer jumps and having a more linear narrative, the story is picking itself up. And needless to say, the review contains spoilers about an important past event.
I think there are two main points I want to talk about from today’s episode. From the moment we first met Erika, I noticed she had an interesting cadence to her speech. Unless there’s a reason to it, like character traits or certain emotions, we don’t hear characters fumble or stall when talking. Even when they are shy or scared, or have trouble talking for certain reasons, their speech has a certain rhythm to it. But Erika sounds off. Off in a similar sense to Hiyakawa. I didn’t ponder too much on it but after today’s events, I can see that they are connected and the roots lie in being neglected as children. I found that to be a nice touch in their characterization.
And the second point would be Palm of the Hand Research Society. What’s with me and religious/spiritual communes lately? I finished one novel and a webtoon with a similar establishment centered in their plot. What’s more, I was reminded of a friend’s husband who is a bit… eccentric, to say the least. He went on and joined a spiritual group for fun who believe the world will be saved by cats and tried to incorporate quantum mechanics’ laws into real life, and would go to their meetings every Saturday. I even read the pamphlets they handed since we’d make fun of them while drinking. Because I know him I can safely say he went there for laughs, but the overall phenomenon of finding comfort and connections in such places or beliefs is a bit strange for me even if I can more or less understand the reasons behind it. When the group was suspicious of my friend’s hubby, he was cut off for some funny reason I don’t remember. When I asked why he felt down about it, he said he was gonna miss the cookies they served during the meetings.
Too bad things weren’t fun or consensual for little Hiyakawa. From an early age, he was kept inside an all-white, padded room. The sole human connection he was allowed to have was with his caretaker and pleading strangers with curses that appear before him. His lack of control in the past is what currently drives him to exercise the same reign over Mikado.
This is how I read this episode, but I’m glad to see that everyone is still in agreement that Hiyakawa is a douchebag and Mikado is being mistreated. Some, in return, treat him the way they should (like Mukae) or show no respect to his boundaries in their own way (like Erika). But there’s still an agreement there. In the previous episode, Mukae explicitly confronted him to change the way he treats Mikado and, essentially, his manipulative way of ‘loving’ him. My boy is still confused as to what could be wrong in the way he acts but looks like he’ll gradually start chipping away the parts that were engraved in the commune. I’m curious how his past will be revealed to Mikado and what his reaction will be.
Another detail I loved was the more Hiyakawa talked and added words to his vocabulary that enabled him to describe his experience, the more he remembered and was able to make connections between the past events. I’m not sure to what extent this is conveyed, if it is conveyed at all, in the manga but hearing it through nuanced and careful voice acting made this episode one of my favorites.
And the whole discussion about beliefs. As someone who didn’t grow in a religious environment and an atheist, I’ve always thought thinking in a certain way even though you can’t precisely know what the outcome or the end result will be can be a form of belief. Believing in people being inherently kind. Or believing in science, despite being riddled with politics, sexism, or ableism, will eventually take us to a better place than we are today. If the argument against God’s existence is ‘compelling evidence’, as Carl Sagan puts it, I can’t prove without fail that those predictions will eventually become true. And the scene where Hanzawa looks at his wife and uttering “You are the one person I do believe,” struck a chord deep in me. No wonder I liked him from the start.
This is all I had in mind! What did you think about the reveal? Do you think the series tries to excuse Hiyakawa’s actions or paints him in a more layered, ‘showing the underlying reason but still marking it as wrong’ kind of way? I’d like to hear your thoughts! Until then, take care ~
The rest of my The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window reviews:
- The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window Episode 1 — Encounter
- The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window Episode 2 — Binding
- The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window Episode 3 — Malediction
- The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window Episode 6 — (dis)belief
- The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window Episode 7 — Atonement
- The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window Episode 8 — Loneliness
- The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window Episode 9 — Confluence
- The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window Episode 10 — Resolve
- The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window Episode 11 — Confrontation
- The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window Episode 12 — Destiny
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