On one hand, I’d be willing to say that a lot of the mystery is beginning to unfold. On the other hand, this is a Ryukishi joint, so there’s no reason to believe that the mystery’s solvable at face value.
I got a kick out of seeing Issei’s Higurashi-esque paranoid reptile eyes. We got the angry toad eyes in Umineko, but it was the reptile eyes in Higurashi that really brought the heebie-jeebies. The episode starts off with some goons from the old town’s vigilance committee stopping by Issei’s place to give his parents a warning. But Issei’s parents ask for a chance to work out it together as a family and the goons leave with no knuckles cracked or legs broken.
Meanwhile, Hiro and Kana-chan are surprised to see Isuzu taking a day off from school, but not before Hiroshi catches Nemuru staring at him and confronts her (in the most squirrelly manner possible). Hiroshi asks why Nemuru’s beefing with him, telling her uncle that he’s
an otaku a strange kid, but Nemuru dismisses him, telling him that she has nothing to say to him.
Meanwhile, things are coming to a head in the Tsumuhana household, with Issei’s parents wondering if he’s a lost cause, and instead turning their efforts at making sure they don’t lose Isuzu too. The family meeting gives a little more context to Isuzu’s mom’s comment last week ("after all you are our children"). It seems there was nothing sinister meant by it, but rather was a somewhat awkward way to express that they would stick together as a family. When Isuzu goes up to see Issei, we do see Issei in a moment of clarity as he apologies for worrying her. But once you’ve got the reptilian eyes, you know it’s over.
Meanwhile, back at school, Hiro inquires further with Kana-chan about the Jouga’s urban legends. Specifically, he asks whether she had heard of an urban legend featuring a killer loli with a scythe. When she says no, Hiro then tells her about the incident from the night before. Unfortunately for him, Kaname takes it all as a big joke.
Later, Isuzu realizes that Issei’s escaped the house through the window and frantically begins searching around town for him. She should have just gone the next door over though. Because we get our first unmistakably supernatural moment! As Issei goes Spiderman and catches Hiro in his web of delicious yaoi killer kisses.
Luckily for Hiro, a car happens upon the scene and Hiro uses the moment to break away from Issei and run away… leaving his helpless, teenage moe girl rescuer helpless to the clutches of Spider-Issei’s deadly kiss. Maybe Hiro figured that Issei was only interested in shotas, and wouldn’t go for the girl, but… way to ditch your rescuer ya jackass. This was about 10 times as cowardly as Hiro’s pants-crapping hightail from the last episode. At least he had a good reason then. But this time? Way to totally get someone else killed without even a warning. If I ever get stuck with Hiro during a werewolf attack, I’m tossing him out to the hungry crowd before he finds a way to screw me over. Fortunately for the girl, she receives a much more normal kiss from Issei. Apparently he only pants like a dog when he’s trying to kiss guys.
The bad news is, she’s been bitten by the werewolf bug and has to go into quarantine. It’s starting to make sense now why Nemuru and her wolf clan are such prudes. If you knew about a group of people going around purposely giving people mono, wouldn’t you do everything you can to stop them from doing so? Oh sure, it can cause a crimp in your love life, but left uncheck, the whole town could be affected by the disease!
Unlike the previous "killing", Nemuru sheds tears after doing away with Issei. This role, whatever exactly it is, is obviously weighing on her as well. Meanwhile, it’s striking how helpless Isuzu’s parents seemed to be. It was as if they’d accepted that they were going to lose Issei. Admittedly, I don’t know if there was anything they could’ve done with him once he got the reptile eyes. But if they really wanted to try to save him, I wonder why they wouldn’t have heeded the vigilance committee’s warning and moved back to the old town. What is so bad about the old town that they would be willing to risk losing their son by not going back?
The next day, Isuzu returns to school, but is unable to bring herself to look at Hiro’s cowardice. Oh, you say she wasn’t even aware of his cowardice? I say animals can smell fear. And since Isuzu is practically half-werewolf, I’m sure she could smell his anti-GAR-ness a mile away. Hiro does catch up with her after school to ask if she recovered from her cold, but she tells him that she wasn’t sick. Just when it seemed like she would duck his question by saying Issei moved away, she goes wide-eyed as Nemuru turns the corner and walks by the two, at which point her grief and anger boil enough for her to admit that Issei was murdered.
Couple other notes. It seems the wolf statue and the orange is placed in front of houses where someone has been lost. It’s starting to make a little sense why pharma dude seems to be so interested in gather more test subjects. If we’re to believe that Kaori (or former-Kaori) was killed because she was infected by this disease, then she would have passed it onto pharma dude as well. So to cure himself, he needs more research material, as the current pills are just not effective enough.
Now when I mentioned the first supernatural moment above, I was obviously discounting the Nemuru and her wolf clans as a supernatural element. From the beginning I believed that was logically explainable. But Issei climbing walls? Well, that’s a whole different story. Which makes me wonder, just who’s eyes are we seeing this story unfold from? If Higurashi and Umineko have taught me anything, it’s to not take what I see at face value. Do we really believe that Issei has crazy supernatural powers, or was that perhaps a reflection of Hiro’s paranoia?
Finally, I’m not convinced that Issei is "dead." Again we see a big splash of blood, but we saw that along with Hiro in the last episode. If someone were to inspect the spot, I’d guess that no body or evidence of a crime would be found. So what happens to these people? Do they get "spirited away?" Did Issei leave a piece behind?
But now, former-Kaori’s murder doesn’t seem to fit the pattern. Because pharma dude found some evidence of her death, if not her body, then the large pool of blood. Are there two different groups at work here?
Seems like we’re coming to a head. I wonder if they’ll continue the story, or if we’re set up for a reset soon. Kana? Kana?