Short Synopsis: Toriguchi shares his theories with Akihiko.
Highlights: I can’t recall having seen any episode for the past year that had more dialogue in it than this one…
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10 (Excellent)
Wow… just wow. When I thought that the previous episode was full of dialogue, this episode becomes even more extreme: the entire episode, safe for a few flashbacks and the intro, took place in one room, featuring just three characters talking. Like mentioned above, the only episode I can think of that matches the amount of dialogue here is from Seirei no Moribito, when Barsa got her spear fixed. I really love these sorts of episodes, which are really mind-boggling to try and understand. But yeah, the hard part comes in understanding them.
I think that the first half focuses a bit on a side-story, when Akihiko shares a bit of background on the spiritual roots of the series. The drawing with the four gates that Toriguchi draw reminded me a lot of the four Gods that watch over Kyoto from the four different directions, but it also seems to be a drawing of a shrine that Toriguchi once visited, which resided on a mountain and had four different-coloured shines in the different wind-directions. I originally thought that that was something only Kyoto had, but it seems that there are more shrines of this type, with a smaller scale.
I think the whole point of that first half is that they’re discussing what Akihiko’s powers might be, and they move across different possibilities, like fraud or spiritual powers (which Akihiko both denies), in order to get a good comprehension of what he can and can’t do (which will probably be of a vital importance in the series’ second half, when these guys will probably start solving the case around the boxed murders). What caught my attention is that this series fully acknowledges that most mediums are frauds, despite being a supernatural series. I’ve only seen this at Ghost Hunt before, and it’s an interesting effect, giving the real supernatural effects even more of a mysterious flavour. Especially in this series, since we still haven’t got a bloody clue what went on back there in the research facility.
In the end, it seems that Akihiko prefers to be called a medium, as that’s where his powers seem to fit in best. I don’t believe he explained how exactly how power worked, but I don’t care whether he did or not, those are just mere details. The fact remains that this series is doing more than just basing itself off a few cultural references randomly grabbed from Wikipedia, but instead tries something much more complex, that goes beyond mere customs and folklore.
In any case, I found it pretty amusing that Akihiko thought that Sekiguchi and Toriguchi were merely visiting him because they wanted that background on his powers, but of course there’s much more than that. In the second half of the episode, Toriguchi reveals that he’s discovered quite a bit about the case with the boxed limbs. A strange guy came to him with a story he wrote (it seems that Toriguchi is also some kind of editor, explaining why he knows Sekiguchi), and his story sparked a few strange parallels to the box-murder-case. The guy didn’t seem to care how much he got paid for it, as long as it gets published.
When Akihiko analyzes it, it seems that the manuscript was written by a woman, and the writer somehow stole it from her. Toriguchi also suspected this, so he paid the guy a small visit at home. He wasn’t there at the moment, but he got greeted by an middle aged woman and old man, in a house with a room full of boxes, of the same kind of those who were found earlier, but the old man then scared him away. If I understood correctly, then the woman used an excuse of how the old man still needed to drink his tea to buy a bit of time for him, but then I wonder why he didn’t hide the boxes.
Toriguchi then tells about a how he spoke to a guy who lives next to the house f the old man who scared him away. People seem to call him Hyouei (or something that sounds like that). It turns out that he once was a famous box maker (hence the boxes, I guess). He seems to have become that because his father was also one, and it also seems that his grandmother had some sort of spiritual ability. He was quite famous, but at a certain point he became unable to create his boxes. He seems to have a wife and son, but Toriguchi couldn’t find out where they went.
The episode ends as Toriguchi tells how he found an old letter that Houei’s grandmother seemed to have written. It talks about a piece of paper, if I understood correctly. This piece of paper contained the word “Mouryou”.
So lately, I’ve seen some discussion about why we watch raws. I do so for a bunch of reasons: it’s consistent, I’m impatient, it’s the only way to watch unpopular shows as Les Miserables and Porfy no Nagai Tabi, and without subs and I can focus more at the visual expressions and effects instead of trying to keep up with the subtitles. This episode was obviously an extreme case of an episode that’s very hard to watch raw, but at the same time I love a bit of convolution once in a while. In this episode, when I watched it for the first time, a lot went over my head, but at the second watch, when I grabbed myself a dictionary, things suddenly started to make sense. And I can also rely on some of the commenters for filling in some of the gaps or mistakes I made (especially many thanks to Zerozaki for his patience to continue pointing out the things I missed or misunderstood for every episode. ^^;)