Ookamikakushi – 6
As weird and creepy as Isuzu has been throughout the series so far, I felt pretty sorry for her during this episode. It has been long established that the affects of the disease are completely involuntary; it’s a compulsion that the affected pretty much have to follow. Not really the easiest thing in the world to say, “OK, I just won’t be attracted to anyone so that the disease won’t affect me.”
She’s tried this for the past couple of episodes, and it really hasn’t taken at all, so Isuzu just decided to go for it. That’s a voluntary action, but I think she genuinely believes that she is different from her brother, since Hiro is her first “true” love, whereas Issei . . . well, I guess we don’t know how Issei truly feels about Hiro, and whether his attraction to Hiro is genuine or driven by the disease. But we can be reasonably sure, I think, that Isuzu genuinely cares for Hiro.
Lord knows why Isuzu feels an attraction toward Hiro, but it’s just another point for the ol’ “Can’t choose who you fall in love with” adage.
I’m still not completely certain about the nature of the disease yet, and how widespread it is — the talk at the beginning of the episode suggests that everyone in town (or at least a good majority) has it. Yet just about every person Nemuru (who is confirmed to be the leader of the Wolf Brigade) has cut down so far has been relatively young. Are the youngsters just more susceptible to the effects of the disease? (That’s the time to sow your wild oats, after all.) The adults don’t seem to be immune to it — if Kaori’s creepy, raw ass arm is a side effect of the disease’s development, then, uh, I guess life really sucks for these people. Is this what happens to people when they don’t unleash the beast (so to speak)?
Things are getting increasingly mixed and confusing in terms of who can be trusted, and who cannot be. Nemuru, she of the nasty random looks to Hiro, really does appear remorseful about killing all of the “fallen”, and she genuinely wants to help Isuzu recover. Nemuru’s uncle, who has looked suspicious in the past, wants to mass produce medicine that will help the villagers. (Like RP, I hope it works better than the pills Issei had. :p)
Meanwhile, the pharmaceuticals dude, who has a not totally known connection to the town, and who previously helped Hiro escape from a bit of danger, actually wants to see the “true form” of Nemuru’s uncle. What is the “true form”? Is it the final stage of the disease? Or is it something that can be controlled? We know bits and pieces about the disease, after all, but without knowing where it comes from, or how it develops, we don’t really know much about it at all. I mean, all we’ve got is that it makes you REALLY horny and turns you into Spider-Man. That’s it. (No word if it causes you to retcon your life with the help of Satan.)
Really . . . do the villagers totally know the ins and outs of the disease? Isuzu’s mother blames Hiro for what has happened to Issei and Isuzu, but that could just as easily be a conclusion to which she has leaped based on fear of the unknown. Hiro moves to town, Issei goes nuts and Isuzu is on her way to going nuts — it’s a given that Hiro is the cause, correct? But I’m not convinced the town’s Evil Council of Doom is being completely forthcoming with the townspeople about the nature of the disease. Remember that the townspeople did not have the whole story about Hinamizawa Syndrome in Higurashi, either.
That said, I can’t completely count Hiro out as the “one person” who the villagers believe is responsible for this mess, although I have no idea how he could be possible for such damage. The guy can’t even take a hit to the ribs without crumpling like Hans Moleman after a football to the groin. RP has repeatedly been skeptical about the supernatural elements of the series thus far. I cannot help but follow his lead at the moment, if only because it seems to be Ryukishi07’s MO so far in his career to present the supernatural, and then completely undermine it (although there are supernatural elements to Higurashi — just not in the expected areas).
Anyway, this post is getting a bit wordy, so I’ll stop here. The series is getting a bit more interesting now that the seedier aspects of the town are rising more readily to the surface, and because the line between good and bad is becoming increasingly blurred.