“Dark Prison of Scattered Flowers”「昏き花散る迷宮（おり）」
Wow, we’re definitely saving best for last as things take a dramatic turn with Apollon this week in a very enjoyable episode. Being a God means having a great gift/burden and we’ve not seen it more acutely than with Apollon’s powers of premonition.
Apollon once fell in love with a human girl Cassandra (Uchiyama Yumi) (again, ignore the actual Greek mythology you’re familiar with) and shared his divine powers of premonition with her in a bid for them to be closer. What he didn’t expect (in spite of said powers of premonition…) is that she’d see her future in death while her beloved God lives on eternally, causing such grief that she chose suicide at the thought of being separated from Apollon. This brought much sorrow to the sun god, so much so that he convinces himself he can never be truly happy (幸せ shi-a-wa-se) in spite of his overall sunny disposition which we can increasingly see, is a facade to his true self. I liked the reference to episode 2 where we first witnessed Apollon’s fear of losing Yui – it’s rooted in his loss of the only other human being that ever mattered to him. It’s details like this that shows some thinking went towards series composition.
Cassandra has yet to cross over to Hades’ territory because she has unfinished issues in the mortal world. Her soul lingers and has tried to reach out to Apollon though such efforts often backfire, causing him more grief (what do you expect Cassandra?! Anyone dragged out to the middle of a pond in the middle of the night would be upset.). Unable to contain his sadness any more, Apollon’s heart turns dark, blackening his shackle (ring) as a dark shadow looms. Despite being the god of gods, Zeus knows no method of saving his own son. Is that why he set this school up?! Was this entirely for Apollon to understand humans and therefore work through his unresolved despair towards Cassandra? I sincerely hope not.
In any case, being a fellow human being, Cassandra possesses Yui to finally deliver her loving farewell message to Apollon. I liked that it wasn’t grudge but sheer folly on Cassandra’s part that resulted in her overstay in the mortal world. Ain’t that a happy ending? We don’t have more time for a deeper and complicated plot anyway. Plus, this is a show that takes a lot of plot liberty – this week there’s no explanation as to how Yui has the same dreams of Cassandra as Apollon does and why is Melissa MIA when Yui clearly needs guidance. Having finally sorted out how he feels towards Cassandra and humans in general, the shackle binding Apollon’s divine powers breaks away just as Zeus promised, leaving the other gods hopeful that they can eventually do the same.
This was quite a dramatic episode but thankfully not in a melodramatic over-the-top way. The pacing was all good up till the end where Zeus and Thoth-sama had their it-takes-a-human-? eureka moment. That scene though crucial, somehow felt a bit shortchanged. Given the serious tone this week, there weren’t many lighthearted moments although Thoth-sama’s wall-slam (壁ドン) was even more dramatic than usual plus the added bonus of a desk-slam (机ドン) was again hilarious! And Loki-loki’s new nickname for Apollon アホロン (A-ho-ro-n) is really apt and funny, why didn’t they use it earlier?!
Now that we’re down to the final 3 episodes and each of the 6 main gods have each had their turn, I expect we’ll get down to the final arc where the boys have that showdown we caught a glimpse of in the opening episode. How things will work towards it is speculative but my guess is that it’ll be an event triggered by Yui or Balder since there seems more to Loki’s statement from last week that it’s up to him to kill Balder. Either way, these past 3 episodes of Kamigami have left a good impression in my books and I’m fairly confident it’ll end well.