“Kūsō Foresuto” (空想フォレスト)
This was a much better episode than the previous one, although there are still a whole load of confusion regarding the snakes and the monster’s story. Also, how the heck did Seto manage to get lost in the forest and end up at Marry’s place? Suspension of disbelief only drives a story so far…Nevertheless, quite a dramatic episode and very sad in some parts, adorable in others.
What we learn: The monster’s story continues in first person from the previous episode’s epilogue with the monster and her daughter waiting impatiently in their home, hidden in the forest, waiting for her husband, Tsukihiko, to return before they left this world and entered the one she created. Unfortunately, Tsukihiko had been kidnapped by a bunch of masked men who believe he’s under some kind of spell and are set on killing the monster. People like that frustrate me beyond belief because they just won’t listen. A group of these towns folk somehow manage to find the monster’s home and attack her and her daughter, Shion, but the monster manages to use her powers and turn them into stone, all save one. Feeling guilty and disillusioned about e danger she’s put her family in, the monster decides to leave her family behind and enter the other world in hopes that it’ll keep them safe, much to Tsukihiko and Shion’s despair. It turns out, though, that the only thing waiting for her in the other world is imprisonment and loneliness as the snake (Miyano Mamoru) keeps tied up. At some point growing up, Shion married and conceived a child, Marry, having kept the promise not to ever use her power. Unfortunately, one day, Marry, who had been playing in the woods against her mother’s wishes, gets attacked by a group of men from the village, who, like their predecessors, wish to get rid of Shion and Marry and anyone who’s ever had any relation to the monster. She uses her power to free Marry and attacks one of the men, only to die moments later. Both Marry and Shion are somehow taken to the same realm that the monster is being held captive in but the monster begs the snake to let Marry go at least, and she’s thrown back into the real world, where she lives a lonely life in her tower. One day, though, a young Seto hears Marry’s cries of loneliness and finds her tower. While Marry’s initially fearful of accidentally using her powers against him, he swears that he’ll never let her be alone ever again and the two immediately develop a close bond. Back in real time, Marry’s just woken from her nap to find Shintaro missing and goes out in search of the rest of the gang. On the way, she stumbles across a lost Konoha and brings him back to the Mekakushi hideout. While watching the news together, Marry recognises that Momo’s powers are at work as a mob flocks around something. Having heard from Konoha himself that all he wants is a friend, she and Konoha decide to set out to see what their friends are up to that’s causing such a commotion.
Highlights of the episode: The absolute cuteness that is Marry, and the hilarity that is two very airy fairy, white-haired characters making friends. The fact that the two of them are just so oblivious about everything around them is just so funny because it’s literally like the blind leading the blind and I’m both amused and terrified for their lives as they set out into the big bad world. These two should never be allowed to make decisions of any kind together as I feel like the two of them have the power to bring about armageddon without even trying.
The verdict: A decent episode that brought to light the true story about the monster, the snake and her family – although I’m beginning to wonder about the timeline of this whole world because how young is Marry, really? I did enjoy Marry and Konoha’s scene together because Konoha is one of my favourite characters, in all his innocence and sweetness, and Marry provided a good dose of fluffy girliness. I suppose this has now set the stage for the final few episodes and I do hope to see all our characters working together before the end.