Thanasis is a writer, professional geek, and assistant editor at MANGA.TOKYO. He started watching anime with the mecha shows of the 70s and hasn't stopped since. He loves JRPGs.
Episode 5 of Kuzu no Honkai continues drumming on the same slow, distorted beat that characterized its first episode. Black and white are just the two colors that are used to paint the grey area where all our protagonists find themselves, a morally grey area that doesn’t allow for anything ‘good’ or ‘bad’, anything ‘right’ or ‘wrong’.
This is not an anime for those who still think that shoujo manga are based on real life situations. Sorry, Masamune-kun. I guess your revenge plan would have gone horribly wrong in the world of Scum’s Wish.
Kuzu no Honkai is not a black and white world; we have already established that. In this grey world of grey feelings and grey situations, we learn more about Hanabi’s past. A past in which she was robbed of her sadness. A world where her only comfort, the only haven she could be herself was the presence of Kanai-sensei. A haven that was taken away by that psychopathic bitch that is Akane-sensei. In the arms of a crude (but cute) replacement, she still sees the face of the one that took her beloved onii-san away from her. Poor Ecchan.
Mugi, on the other hand, takes back all the lost screen time from the last episode to place himself firmly in the plot. He knows that Akane-sensei is a slut, but I sincerely doubt that he knows that she is psychopathic slut. His own needs and his connection to his past drive him to call his senpai and realize once again the emptiness of having sex just for the sex.
I thought that she can’t live without a man. It was then that she became a fragile, sympathetic girl… but I couldn’t help falling further into her trap
But Mugi and Hanabi have a different relationship:
At times, Mugi and I are incredibly close. But at other times we are completely strangers. I sense we have more secrets and avoid every chance we have to ask about them. I wonder why…
Even though Hanabi entertains the thought that since she is sleeping with Ecchan she might not need Mugi anymore, the passion that comes with that rooftop kiss dispels all her doubts. Sleeping with other people has ignited a newfound feeling for each other. They are terrible persons, they know it, but they also know that they can see it in each other as well. They are similar. They are terribly similar.
Kanai-sensei: Ok. He is a little too normal to be part of this cast. I am betting on a mother complex, since that’s the only thing that we know about him until now: he lost his mother when he was a boy. I wonder how his relationship with Akane will go forward.
Color: In the opening scene, Hanabi’s world is presented as grey and dull, the same way as she feels, devoid of color. Kanai-sensei is the only one who gives her ‘world color’ and for the same reason, his presence gives color to the anime’s palette as well. Great touch.
Sex Scene of the Week: I have to go with the passionate kiss between Mugi and Hanabi as they enter his apartment. There is nothing like a steamy, wet kiss to get things going. It’s one of the most erotic things ever.
Psychopath: Last week’s review was a tribute to Akane’s psychopathic traits, but I feel then need to repeat myself because at some points in this episode she actually felt a bit… human? Yet, the last scene just reinforced my opinion that she is a textbook example of a psychopath. She takes pleasure in hurting Hanabi. She skillfully manipulated Kanai-sensei’s infatuation with her to make him sleep with her. She can fake all range of human emotions according to the situation. She feels no guilt about her actions (on the contrary, I think she feels quite proud). Last but not least, there is not a single proof that she has ever felt attached to another human being.
Love… what is love? Certainly not what the campus slice-of-life romance stories and the Hollywood romantic comedies want us to believe. Or maybe it’s Kuzu no Honkai that looks through a kaleidoscope of pessimistic attitudes and sad heartbreaks that may have inspired the original writer. If you ask me, I think that Kuzu no Honkai is just presenting a side of love that is as unique as the people who feel it. Even Kanai-sensei with his almost childish behavior is part of the game, like a fly caught in as spider’s web.
I do not expect any kind of resolution in the end of this journey. What I expect is for the main characters to fall further into despair and, if the story allows it, to come to a sudden epiphany that may save them from their fate, unless it’s too late.
‘Selfish’ is one of the words that could describe Episode 5 of Kuzu no Honkai. The anime has a cast of selfish protagonists who use each other to gain something, usually a feeling, that is either too difficult to identify or so easy that it feels fake and absurd.
Did you enjoy Episode 5 of Kuzu no Honkai? Let me know in the comments below! Don’t forget to check the rest of our episodic anime reviews, and if you want to read our previous reviews, check out our Anime Info page for Kuzu no Honkai.