There are only two more episodes left of MekakuCity Actors, and, while it hasn’t been a perfect ride, I love the way all the little bits and pieces of information are finally coming together to form a story that is not only coherent (sort of), but intriguing. The two most recent episodes were based off of two of my favourite songs in the Kagerou Project, and my expectations were high. They were not disappointing in the least.
Episode 9: Ayano’s Happiness Theory
The episode opens with Ayano’s mother, Ayaka, reading her a story: The story of the little monster, in fact. So if you were wondering when the story-book clips at the end of each episode would tie in to the main plot, the answer is “Episode 9.”
Following that, there is a cover of Ayano’s Happiness Theory in place of the opening. While the cover itself is lovely, the opening art showcases some of the worst opening animation choices I have ever seen. Now, I will begrudgingly admit that after watching it several times over, it’s kind of sweet on its own, but the fact remains that when put in the anime alongside the regular animation, it’s nothing short of jarring and cringe-worthy. But I digress.
Tsubomi Kido, Shuya Kano, and Kousuke were adopted by the Tateyama family, and Ayano was like a big sister to them. Sadly, their happiness was cut short when Ayaka and Kenjrou were caught in a landslide on August 15th, and Ayaka died. Not long after, Ayano finds her mother’s research notes in her father’s room…along with a copy of the little monster’s story.
After reading her mother’s journal, Ayano discovers that she had been researching the origin of the eye-powers of the children she had adopted, and discovered that they seemed to be connected to the story of the little monster, hypothesized that the world the children had encountered was actually the monster’s world, concluded that the story didn’t actually end happily, and worried about what that might mean for them. Time passes, and the school festival happens.
Ayano notices that her father, Kenjirou, was acting strange at night, and clearly had the same red eyes as her adopted siblings. She reads more of her mother’s journal, in which her mother relates what she think really happened to the little monster, including the idea that the monster was being manipulated by a sentient snake. Desperate for answers, Ayano asks Kano for help.
It turns out that this entire flashback was being narrated to Ene by Kano, who tells her that they believe that all the people with eye-powers are possessed by the snakes from the story, and that their Queen, the sentient snake, is trying to gather them together. After hinting that he knows which one of them possesses the snake, he shows Ene something in the school’s secret lab, and the episode ends.
While this episode was more informative than expected, that was probably a good thing. Quite a few key plot points were revealed that I only vaguely knew about, including Takane’s body still being around. I’d only been able to hope at that. I was glad that Ayano was a pretty big part of this episode, as this was the song that made her my favourite, so it wouldn’t feel right if she wasn’t in it. I would highly recommend that anyone who hates the opening watch the PV for Ayano’s Happiness Theory instead. It might spoil a few things, but oh well…
Episode 10: Fantasy Forest
Episode 10 tells us the true ending of the little monster’s story, beautifully weaving Ayano’s Happiness Theory back to Lost Time Memory.
It opens with Azami, the little monster, and her daughter, Shion, who are waiting for Tsukihiko, Azami’s lover, to finish arranging their wedding. He’s been gone three days, which doesn’t bode well.
Some villagers come to kill Azami, and then almost turn on Shion, but fortunately, Azami is not a monster to be easily vanquished. Using the eye powers the Mekakushi-Dan now possess, she learns that Tsukihiko is being held captive and tortured by the villagers because they believe she has enchanted him.
Azami is so deeply grieved knowing Tsukihiko was hurt because of her she decides her dream of having a family wasn’t meant to be. She asks Shion to live happily without her and retreats into the world she created.
Years later, Shion has a daughter of her own: Marry. They live in seclusion from the world, but Shion hopes that one day Marry can safely go outside. One day, Marry escapes, and is captured by humans. Shion comes to save her, and turns Marry’s would-be kidnappers to stone, losing her life and sending them both into Azami’s world, aka the Heat Haze (Kagerou) Daze.
In the Daze, they are imprisoned with Azami by a giant, sentient snake. The snake mocks Azami for ruining her family, and she pleads for Marry’s life. Eventually, she sends Marry back by giving her the Queen snake. This is what started the phenomenon of entering the Daze by dying on August 15th.
After her mother died, Marry lived all alone, until one day, Seto found her, and brought her into the Mekakushi-Dan. The flashback cuts away, and perhaps only minutes after the end of Lost Time Memory, Marry wakes up.
Marry finds that her charge has escaped, and the Mekakushi-Dan’s hideout is completely abandoned except for a boy we know as Konoha, who is terribly confused. Marry tries help him, and then turns on the TV.
This episode might be my favourite so far. I actually wasn’t expecting this part to be an episode, since no matter how important Marry is to the plot, I didn’t think there would be time for her backstory. It was a pleasant surprise, and I felt that it was well-executed.