Episode 03: “Vanishing into the Snow Field…”
SUMMARY: Picking up from the previous episode, Hei unfortunately gets electrocuted, no thanks to Hazuki’s fancy forcefield-like-producing gadget. It looks like Hazuki, Shizume and Youko (I’ll keep calling them collectively as the “eavesdropping trio” for lazy typing purposes. If you’re wondering why, see episode 1 summary) are familiar with Dr. Schroeder’s studies regarding contractors. Apparently, the forcefield thingamajig is some kind of gadget for analyzing contractor abilities, but alas, Hei’s powers are incapable of being analyzed, causing the gadget to fail. After Hei’s electric bolts react with Suou’s necklace, Suou’s eyes suddenly turn kinda lifeless. She then hears someone tell her this is her chance to escape. She does as she’s told and jumps into the water, pulling Hei along with her and leaving behind Hei’s mask and knife.
Shizume tries to go after them, but fails, and instead mercilessly smashes the still unconscious August 7 to his death. We see more Yin flashbacks saying goodbye to Hei. Apparently, the eavesdropping trio were ordered to obtain the “Izanagi” by all means necessary or else they’d be killed. Hei and Suou are in hiding in some cabin. Suou bugs him about why all of this had to happen to her family, why her father was killed, and why everyone are after her brother. Hei keeps silent. Suou gets all emotional and criticizes Hei for being an emotionless being, remarking that she’d rather be killed than kill people since there are no replacements for people. She angrily adds that she bets Hei can just kill the people he loves without any hesitation. She obviously hits Hei’s sensitive side as she gets a slap from Hei. She continues crying, saying she doesn’t want herself or anyone else to die anymore.
Meanwhile, the evil guys from the Russian military are planning to use Nika to smoke Suou out of hiding (I think they realized the mistaken identity by now). Back in the cabin, Hei is having a convesation with someone (a man who we can’t see on screen). Hei notes that he’s surprised to meet this guy again, and notes that it must be true that the man’s memory is outside his body. The man says it’s a back-up memory, and that he just heard the details about the events after the Hell’s Gate incident. The man says that he’s in the same place as Hei now, and that he isn’t affiliated with the CIA, but to Suou. He then tells Hei that he’s come to give Hei a change in his orders (I’m getting excited, I know this guy’s voice… Fufufu~ He’s aliiive! :o). Nika sees Tanya walking around town and approaches her. She apologizes to him, saying that she thinks something bad will happen if they’re together since as she can’t really keep up with the contractor changes that her body has been experiencing. Nika, being the madly in love guy that he is, tells her that everything’s gonna be alright as long as they’re together and gives her a hug while we see Tanya’s evil, emotionless expression. Meanwhile, Suou’s cellphone rings. Hei takes it out of Suou’s bag and breaks it. Suou notices that the Japan photo book that fell out of her bag has a whale origami in between two pages, written in which is a message “I’m waiting for you” from Shion. Hei notes that the place that’s pictured in the page is Ikebukuro in Tokyo, which he says is near Hell’s Gate and that that area is off limits. With Hei knowing this lead to Shion’s possible location, Suou thinks that Hei will kill her now. To her surprise, Hei cuts off the rope binding her hands and tells her that if she wants to go to Japan, he’ll take her there. Apparently, it was Nika who’s calling Suou. As his meeting with Tanya is nothing but a trap, the military guys spying on them traced the call. The Major tells Tanya that this act is done. She then switches to contractor mode, but we don’t see what happens next to Nika. Hei and Suou manage to escape the cabin before the military came. Hei explains that they tracked her cellphone. As they’re running away, Suou sees an observation ghost speeding through the power lines. Hei tells her not to look at it since it’ll sense her.
Hei takes Suou to the train station where a train is to depart soon and tells her to lay low and take the train which will depart soon. He clears her way and gets rid of the guards by fighting them off as Suou runs to the train. But alas, Tanya shows up and blocks Suou. Apparently, she’ll be rewarded well once she captures Suou. Tanya asks her where Shion is, but Suou doesn’t respond (looks like Tanya’s power is indeed to call on swarms of insects to do as she commands…) Hei jumps in and tries to electrocute Tanya, but cannot do so (at least that’s what I think he’s trying to do… unless he didn’t really do it because Suou yelled for him to stop…) Hei manages to incapacitate Tanya though, fights off the military with an automatic, and tries to find some cover for him and Suou. The eavesdropping trio are in the vicinity, along with a bunch of curious bystanders, checking out the scene of flying bullets. The trio decide to barge in on the fight. Hei asks Mao to look after Suou, who’s a bit confused as to who the heck Hei is talking to since there’s no one there with them. (Aaaah! It IS Mao~! :o) It turns out that Mao is occupying Petya’s body (so that’s why Petya was an amazing defensive sqiuirrel in episode 1! xD OK, I’ll refer to Petya as Mao now, to avoid confusion). Mao jumps onto the head of a confuzzled Suou tells her to follow him so they can escape. Meanwhile Tanya’s swarm of insects are bugging Hei (hehe, get it? ^^;)
Shizume then arrives at the fight scene, driving one of the trains while Hazuki slices off and throws blades at the gunmen. Hei narrowly escapes being flattened by the train. Shizume lights up the spilled train fuel, causing an explosion. Suou is totally overwhelmed by all the deaths and the commotion around her. Tanya is still at it with her bugs and is intent on killing Hei. Suou gets out of hiding and tries to appeal to Tanya’s emotions playing the “aren’t we friends?” card, and begs Tanya to stop. Tanya retorts that they were friends, but she didn’t even know that Suou had a brother, until now, and wonders if it’s true that Suou has a brother or if Shion and Suou are actually the same person. A badly beat-up Nika then appears. Apparently, Tanya let him live. He’s still adamant with his affection for Tanya, inviting her to go back home together. An emotionally unaffected Tanya activates her powers and goes on to attack Nika. A tearful Suou screams in despair and this triggers her lifeless eyes again and her necklace glows. We see a suprised Mao (though he seems to suspect something), while a we see a new character with Goldilocks-inspired hairstyle (looks like they’re twins… unless she’s a doppelganger user) who notes that “She has awoken. It has begun,” and they’re sitting in a car with the blonde lady with sunglasses whom we saw in episode 2. July (who’s not with those blonde girls) also notes that it has begun.
Back at the train station, we see a very pissed off Suou angrily thinking that all contractors should just die, as her eyes glow with that red spark when contractors activate their powers. Apparently, her power is to summon a very long and bada$$ sniper’s rifle from her body/necklace (I think it’s the same rifle we saw previously in a flashback in episode 2 when she was hunting with her dad). Suou in contractor mode shoots Tanya with it (although I don’t think she fatally shot her…) Suou then goes on a rampage, shooting the other contractors from the top of a train carriage. We see July on the ground, standing beside the carriage, guiding Suou’s aim by giving her very precise directions where to shoot. As she was guided to fatally shoot Tanya, we see contractor mode Suou shed some tears.
Hei manages to stop her before she can shoot. Suou then collapses as her rifle disappears. Hei, carrying Suou in his arms, asks for July’s name and tells him to come with them. July follows them. In Paris, the blonde woman with sunglasses (who we now know as Madame Oreille) meets up with Mr. Smith again (the man with a scarred eye introduced in episode 2). He’s asks her if she knows the whereabouts of the “Black Reaper” since it seems that he went on his own against CIA orders. Madame Oreille says that she gives information to anyone who wants it as long as the price is right.
Meanwhile, at the Hachiko-jima Police Station in Japan, we see Kirihara who seems to be working there now as an officer. We hear Kirihara talking to Kanami (the astronomer) about BK-201’s star fading away during her last stargazing session. Kanami says she’s never heard of a fading star before, only falling stars. She tells Kirihara that this may be a good opportunity for Kirihara to give up on BK-201 and find a new man already. At Kirihara’s office, she gives Saitou a call, saying there’s something she wants to ask him about BK-201, but Saitou apologizes saying he can’t give information regarding contractors to people outside their department. Apparently, she was exiled from the department she used to lead. Then, Saitou speaks in a serious tone and asks if she’s heard of “Section 3”, to which she answers she hasn’t. Saitou goes on to tell her that she should be wary of this “Section 3” and that she shouldn’t listen to them if they ever show up in front of her. -Alas, as if on cue, a man called Kobayashi from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIAC) enters her office. He proceeds to tell her that 2 years ago, an information leak in the internet caused the public to be aware of the existence of contractors; however, there was no trace of the “Syndicate” that was mentioned in the leaked info. He then bluntly admits to Kirihara that the MIAC is just a front and they’re actually Section 3 and their objective is to completely get rid of all the Syndicate’s remnants. As Kirihara looks like she doesn’t want to have anything to do with them, Kobayashi tells her that BK-201 is not dead, adding that she won’t be able to find anything about his whereabouts from her current position now, and invites her to join Section 3. Saitou seems to have heard everything as Kirihara is shown to disconnect her cellphone call to Saitou.
After the ED, we see Hei, Mao (in Petya the amazing squirrel’s body), July and Suou aboard a ship leaving Russia. Mao remarks that Hei is drinking a bit too much, then asks about Yin. Hei isn’t able to answer this directly. With an angry expression in his eyes, Hei says that he will kill “her.” Mao is surprised to hear this, while Suou is paying her remuneration by doing origami.
~ end of episode
**OK, maybe overdid this “summary” a bit and it’s a tad too detailed. I’ll try to keep my fangirlism to a minimum and try to cut back on the details next time. ^^;
IMPRESSION: I didn’t like the OP that much the first I heard it in ep 2, but I’m warming up more to it now. I realized that it kinda fits as Suou is more of the lead character this time rather than Hei. I assume this “Izanagi” is the meteor core fragment? Assuming that the meteor core fragment is with Shion/Suou, I suppose they’re after Shion/Suou too. Um, so it looks like the eavesdropping trio are off to get rid of Hei since he’s getting in their way. But if the character page in Wiki is accurate and if it does turn out that the trio is part of MIAC too, and since Hei used to be part of the Syndicate and the MIAC (as Kobayashi said) aims to rid remnants of the Syndicate, then I guess it follows that part of their mission is to get rid of him too… Hmm. On a different note, I really love the slightly techno-ish and funky beat music during the fight scenes this season courtesy of Kouji Ishii. It’s a far cry from Yoko Kanno‘s touch of jazz-inspired music from season 1, but I think this funkier beats are a good touch this season. I think it adds in to the excitement while all the action and contractor combat scenes are happening.
Goodbye, August 7. It was nice meeting you these past 2 episodes. Though you’re not nearly as awesome as November 11, you gave a fairly good fight. Um, he’s dead, right? I think I saw some blood after Shizume smashed him. Oh, and Hazuki rocks with her mad “light saber” skillz! Moving on, during Hei’s fight with Tanya it looked to me like he’s unable to use his powers, and he also seems to ponder about that as he was staring at his hand a bit later. I think my previous hunch could be right, that Hei’s star merely fading rather than falling is connected him losing his powers (see episode 2 impressions) I still think it’s temporary though, but I’m not so sure about that.
Oh, and major revelation about Petya! So that’s where the mysterious voice is coming from! We heard a voice in episode 2, telling Suou to run to the back of the house where there are no enemies… I initially thought it might have been Hei, but now it turns out that it was MAO! He’s occupying the squirrel’s body and he’s aliiiive! ~Ohoho, so that’s why Petya is prominently featured in the OP/ED too! Wow, I was not expecting that. I had a feeling that the cats they keep showing us in episodes 1 and 2 were some sort of omen, but I wasn’t really expecting that they would actually bring back Mao! Haha. I suppose since we didn’t really see Mao “die” in season 1’s finale, there was a big possibility of his return… For a quick recap of the S1 finale, we only saw then that Mao got disconnected from the network since the signal was getting weaker (or something like that) inside Hell’s Gate. I can vaguely remember that Mao mentioned in one of the season 1 episodes (I’m not sure, but was it in episode 8?) that he needed to connect to a network in order to keep the animal instinct from taking over his human/contractor consciousness. So since Mao is alive, I guess the cat was able to escape Hell’s Gate and Mao managed to retrieve his consciousness somehow. I hope we get to learn more about it soon. Either way, I’m glad Mao’s back. I liked his character. Now if only they’d bring November 11 back… I’ll be a very happy camper (am I asking too much?? :D)
The story has become even more interesting now that Suou has become a contractor. I think her power is pretty cool, albeit a bit weird. Did you see how very long that rifle was? She goes into a magical girl mode as she “summons” the rifle using her newly acquired contractor ability (very long and heavy rifle, unlock! xD) Lol, it also somewhat made me think of Legolas from “Lord of the Rings”… she just jams her hand in her pocket and readily gets bullets from there. Speaking of abilities, I wonder how exactly Suou acquired it. Could it be because of the necklace reacting with Hei’s ability? I mean, since Hei’s power (which came from his sister Bai) is capable of altering stuff at the molecular level and if the meteor core fragment is hidden in the necklace, then I guess it’s quite possible that Hei’s power triggered Suou’s change into a contractor. Although, it’s quite unclear to me at this point how that happened. I might need to re-watch some season 1 episodes sometime soon. But anyway, I’m hoping that the series would shed some light on this in upcoming episodes.
Moving on to remunerations, I think Suou got a fairly easy remuneration if all she had to do was make origamis… I mean compare that to pulling sections of your hair out, breaking your fingers, eating flowers, slashing your wrist, or having to sit in a wheelchair… I think she got off with a fairly easy one. Uh, I’m a bit confused about Shion and Suou now. In episode 1, we see a bunch of origami in Shion’s room right? I thought Suou made them for him. Suou had a flashback concerning this and the hunting part we witnessed in episode 2. Could this be a clue about contractors’ backgrounds? Hmm. Now, I’m even more curious about the Shion. What are his powers? Tanya’s remarks about Shion and Suou being the same person also seems possible… although we saw Suou and Dr. Pavlichenko actually interacting with Shion in the same room makes it a bit unlikely (unless the Powers-that-Be are deliberately leading us to think that). Could it be some split personality disorder? Or it could also be that Shion and Suou really are twins. Hmm. I’m merely guessing here though, so don’t take me too seriously.
I wonder who Madame Oreille, Mr. Smith, and those twin Goldilocks are… They seem to be quite intent on going after Hei too. Oh, and that part after the ED… Who the heck could Hei be talking about when he told Mao that he’s going to kill “her?” Who could this person be? Could it be Yin? Could she have had to betray Hei somehow so she can save him or something? Like some kind of deal with the devil or something like that? Or perhaps Hei was talking about a different person… Well, I’m quite sure it’s not Amber since she died in the S1 finale (um, she did die right? She used up the last of her power and had to disappear by not existing anymore since her remuneration was to become younger and younger. Since she used the last of her power so Hei could save Tokyo, I assume that she doesn’t exist anymore as her loli toddler self became even younger to nonexistence…)
Moving on again, looks like Kirihara is working as a police officer now rather than the section chief of Foreign Affairs, where Saitou seems to be still working. I’m just glad that Kirihara’s back, although I’m not too sure about her joining Section 3 is a good idea. But beggars can’t be choosers right? She had to do what she had to do in her quest for answers and for BK-201. I hope Kirihara won’t do anything stupid and die in the process too. Heh. MI6 needs to level up their game. July is with Hei’s company now, and August 7 and April are dead. I think there’s bound to be another MI6 agent on the way.
Episode 4 preview… Looks like the gang made it safely to Japan. I see a TRAP! Kirihara is back in her pantsuit, and someone seems to be aiming a long rifle at Hei’s back as he’s walking away…
:: Contractor/Doll Notes::
- As per Hei, an observation ghost can sense you if you look at it.
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