“Moon Viewing Recital”
“Otsukimi Risaitaru” (オツキミリサイタル)
Probably the best episode ever of this series – so far in any case. It felt like the final stretch of a compass, bringing everything full circle and really went ‘back’ to the good, old Mekakucity days where a single episode had a healthy helping of drama, laughter, music and colour. Questions are finally answered and the gang is finally together at last. I have a feeling the finale is going to be one heck of a bang.
What we learn this episode: Shintaro wakes from a nightmare with red eyes and a snake behind him, claiming to be his power, the power he had long before his current self was born. The snake tells him that long ago he made a pact with the Queen – Marry – promising never to forget the tragedy that had passed and we’re to assume that the tragedy is the death of all their friends that he keeps seeing in his flashbacks. Shintaro finally comes to understand that the power he’s always had was being able to figure things out, which only confirms our suspicions that he’s already got an eye power, but I wonder who it was he lost in order to obtain it. He wasn’t there when Ayano died so I don’t see how it can be her. The snake asks him one last question; what he’s going to do with all this knowledge, and Shintaro grabs a pair of scissors and holds it to his throat. At the same time, Momo and Kido are still chasing an emotionally distraught Hibiya who still has enough wits about him to call Momo an old hag. When they finally get him to calm down, and promise to help him retrieve Hiyori, however, a group of men corner and kidnap them. It turns out that they were the same people who had tried to kidnap Hibiya and Hiyori earlier on.
Meanwhile, Kano has the world on his shoulders as he recalls the task he and Ayano had had to do as children. The snake inside their father has taken over his mind, and had wanted to place snakes into Takane and Haruka, in order to gather all his snakes together and fulfill his host’s wish; to bring his wife back to life. In order to do that, though, Ayano and Kano discover that Kano, Seto and Kido have to be sacrificed. In a rooftop showdown, Ayano tells him that he’s never going to get all the snakes if one of his potential hosts dies, and so she throws herself off the building, right before Kano’s eyes, and gets consumed by a gigantic snake. Horrified and in shock at his sister’s suicide, Kano tries to attack his father’s body, but the snake tells him that his father and the rest of their family really will die if he doesn’t do what he tells him to. So Kano becomes his lackey, in a sense, and helps him kidnap both Haruka and Takane’s bodies, converting them into their new forms, Ene and Konoha. Kano goes back to Ayano’s grave, where he meets a worried Seto, who asks him what’s wrong, but Kano’s too full of guilt and grief that he lashes out and tells him just read his mind if he wants to know. Seto, though, the kind soul that he is, tells Kano that there’s nothing he could have done that would break their bond as brothers, and agrees to use his power to read his mind.
At the same time, Hibiya, Momo and Kido are in captivity and come up with a plan to get a message to their friends. With no phone and no Ene to help, Momo decides to use her powers to attract the world’s attention from the outside, while Kido uses her powers to blind everyone in the building to their actions while Hibiya watches in awe. Cue music and a whole lot of dancing, and the world outside hears Momo’s song, while their amused friends figure out pretty quickly that they’ve been abducted and move in to help. Marry and Konoha literally fly towards the building they’re being kept in, and at some point, Ene’s become Takane again with her old body, and is running through the building looking for them. She’s soon joined by Seto and Kano and the three race off to save them. Once they arrive, Momo introduces Hibiya to the Mekakushi Dan and everyone looks so damn cool. In an unknown location, Shintaro finally arrives and apologises to a tearful Ayano for taking so long, telling her to come with him as the rest of their friends are waiting for them.
Episode highlights: SO many highlights in this episode, but I shall limit it to a few. The first one is definitely the music at the beginning, where Shintaro figures out his power; the piano piece was absolutely stunning, as was the art, which was all black, white and red. Those are the colours of some serious shizz going down. Another highlight was Kano and Seto’s scene, while Kano falls apart but Seto just hugs him when he begins to cry and tells him that they’re brothers. There haven’t been many tender moments in the show so far, but this was certainly a beautiful one. As always, I love it when shows really play up familial bonds, especially between siblings because when it’s done right, it’s done right. The penultimate highlight was all the characters running to Momo, Hibiya and Kido’s rescue and then finally seeing them all together – save Shintaro and Ayano – at the end. All I’m thinking about now is the Mekakushi Dan kicking ass and taking names like the badass kids they are! And finally, Shintaro and Ayano’s reunion was beautiful and there’s really nothing more I could add to that resplendently tender and affectionate moment between them. Two emotional moments in one episode? You’re doing a lot of things right, Mekakucity Actors!
The verdict: Definitely the best episode ever since this show started all those weeks ago and I’m just gutted to see it coming to an end. This really was a fun episode and its episodes like these that really got me wanting to cover this show so much. Well, that and the incredible voice cast, because who can resist some of those names? The show has had its ups and downs but this was so way up there that it’s hard to hold a candle to and I’m seriously hoping the final episode is twice as good as this one. I can’t believe we’re almost at the end; it feels unreal. But all good things must come to an end and we’ve got one more round of these awesome characters to go before we close the curtain! Just, please give us all a nice, clean and above all, HAPPY ending for these kids because they sure as heck deserve it.