A Monster of the Imagination
We left off with Kotoko arriving at the scene of the Steel Lady Nanase’s recent spotting and to her surprise, Kuro is fighting Steel Lady Nanase.
Kotoko watches from a distance and tries not to get in Kuro’s way. But who is show up behind Kotoko and yelling at her,understandably, for leaving her at the restaurant where she was told to meet to only then be scared half to death by a ghost boy to tell her where to go next, Saki.
Saki scolds Kotoko for leaving her like that, but is interrupted by the man fighting Steel Lady Nanase. She looks at him and suddenly realizes that it Kuro, the man she broke up with and hasn’t seen for a couple of years.
Saki and Kotoko watch as Kuro dodges and stumbles as he fights Steel Lady Nanase. Then Kuro trips over a can and falls to the ground. Steel Lady Nanase readies her steel beam and…
…smashes Kuro’s head. Welp, what a way to die.
Saki looks horrified as Kuro gets his head smashed, but Kotoko doesn’t look fazed at all.
As we know, Kuro cannot die due to eating the mermaid’s yokai flesh.
Kuro gets back up and walks towards Steel Lady Nanase. She readies her steel beam for another hit, but this time Kuro stops right before her strike and dodges it. He slips behind the Steel Lady Nanase and puts her in a choke hold.
As Kuro is choke out Steel Lady Nanase, Kotoko tells Saki that he was able to dodge this attack thanks to an ability that he gained from eating the second kind of yokai flesh, a kudan.
The kudan flesh gave Kuro the ability of perception.
A brief flashback tells of Kuro’s childhood and the beginning of the Sakuragawa family experiments.
Centuries ago, the head of the Sakuragawa family wanted to be able to predict the future to gain unfathomable wealth, so he experimented with his family members and kudan meat. He read in a scroll that kudan’s can predict the future, but that they die immediately after.
Many died and those that lived died shortly after predicting the future. The head of the Sakuragawa was about to give up when he found another scroll containing information about mermaids being immortal. So, he began experimenting with both kudan meat and mermaid meat, but teh results were even worse. Everyone died that ate both meats.
Centuries later, Kuro’s grandmother restarted the experiments again and gave the meats to Kuro and his brothers, sisters, and even cousins, but they all died. Kuro was the only one who survived.
Though he survived the experiment, his grandmother tested his immortality by torturing him, injuring him, and even killing him, to the point that he eventually felt no pain. His life as a child was harsh and gruesome.
But throughout it all, there was one person who was there for Kuro, his nee-san.
Just an FYI, typically nee-san stands for sister, but can also take the place of someone that the person looks to as their sister. In this case, Kuro’s “nee-san” is actually his cousin, who seems to have survived the experiments too or was not experimented on in the first place.
Anyway, back to the present, Kuro is trying to take out Steel lady Nanase but she is fighting back, hard. Kuro eventual gets her to the ground, grabs her head, and breaks her neck.
She does seem to be killed, but is it really the end of the Steel Lady Nanase? She is a ghost after all.
Nope! She gets right back up, repositions her neck back into place and picks up her steel beam again.
Kotoko interrupts the fight by telling Kuro that they need to come up with a better plan to take Steel Lady Nanase out for good. Just then the Steel Lady Nanase vanishes, possibly from Kotoko sudden appearance or the fact that Steel Lady Nanase is outnumbered.
With the fight over for now, Kuro walks over to Kotoko and Saki, with Kotoko reaching out to Kuro to hug him, but he ignores her and talks to Saki.
I love the seriousness in this anime and the comedy in it too. Though not laughing hysterically at the comedy moments, it leaves a nice little chuckle at times.
It also seems like the running gag for the show is that Kotoko thinks herself to be Kuro’s girlfriend, and up to this point it seemed to a self proclamation, but Kuro actually admits to Saki that Kotoko is indeed his current girlfriend, although with a sour and exasperated tone.
Is she perhaps blackmailing Kuro and forcing him to be Kotoko’s girlfriend? Hmm?
Well anyway, the three of them head back to Saki’s apartment to discuss the Steel Lady Nanase incidents.
They discuss the origins of the Steel Lady Nanase and how she was created.
Kotoko stated that the Steel Lady Nanase is just a monster of the imagination, and nothing more.
But what does that mean?
Well, think of it as a game of telephone. One person makes up a sentence or person and then tells it to another person. That person then tells another, then that person another, and so one, all the while the story or person changes little by little over each telling to the point where the original story or person is nothing like the eventual one.
Usually though, the story or person created is no threat or a very little threat, or so Kotoko says. So then, how did the Steel Lady Nanase become so powerful?
Well, the only way to get a story or person to travel to a vast amount of people over a short amount of time is, now, through the Internet.
More precisely, the wiki page for the Steel Lady Nanase.
Now, Kotoko postulates to Saki that the reason that the Steel Lady Nanase looks so much like her photo on the wiki site is that the Steel Lady Nanase was born from the site not the imagination of an eyewitness.
The true identity and the true culprit behind the Steel Lady Nanase is the wiki page itself.
But who exactly made the wiki page, and how exactly can a wiki page birth an actual being from a picture to the real world?
Well, that will have to answered in the next episode.
I will say I love the concept of a monster born from the imagination of someone becoming real. Some of people’s worst fears are born from their nightmares.
Many writers create stories or characters from their dreams and nightmares, and sometimes to them they are real.
This kinda reminds me of Stephen King’s character “It” when it becomes the children’s worst fears and tortures and kills them.
Though it seems the story might be dragging at times, I do think that the anime gives a nice balance between character development and story development. It doesn’t bore you with constant character dialogue, while leaving the story on the sideline, or focus solely on the story progression, while leaving the characters uninteresting.
Thanks for reading.