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TheMcD
May 4, 2013

Monaca / Subject N 2020
---------
Despair. Malice.
Values America can believe in.





We begin this episode with a flashback. We see a young Seiko and some dogs.



But oh no, a bike comes speeding along and hits the dogs!



Seiko tries to save the one dog with medicine, but it doesn't work, and the dog dies.



But as Seiko cries over the death of the dog, somebody else shows up.



It's Ruruka! Apparently Seiko tried to save the other dog as well, and it worked with that one.



Ruruka introduces herself, and a friendship is born.



We then get another flashback. Seiko is out in a garden collecting herbs or flowers, undoubtedly something to make medicine out of, when Ruruka calls her over.



It is here we learn that Seiko can't eat Ruruka's sweets because Seiko is on medication herself, and eating sugar would cause awful sideeffects. Ruruka says that that sucks, since the only thing better than sweets is sharing them with friends. Seiko gets flustered, thinking that that means she can't be Ruruka's friend, but Ruruka reassures Seiko that she's still her friend. Seiko then asks if there's something she could do for Ruruka, if she can't eat her sweets.



We get a voiceover from present Seiko talking about how she believes they really were friends back then, but before long, Ruruka just started taking advantage of her.



And with that, we're back in the present, with Seiko on the prowl.



She spots something that looks suspiciously like Sonozuke, and strikes.



However, it turns out that that was just a slightly-human shaped mass of blades with a red cloak draped over it, and that cut the hell out of Seiko's hand.



A bunch of lights turn on all around, and Sonozuke shows up to gloat about how he made that from a special alloy that hurts a lot.



But, well, Seiko wouldn't be Seiko if she didn't have another trick up her sleeve. So she just injects herself with something...





...and her hand just almost instantly fixes itself. Note the green color of the stuff. Chances are good that that was the same Reanimator substance we've seen before.



Sonozuke declares that he will kill Seiko here - and he will do it in the name of deliciousness. Yes, he actually said that.



Next, we're back with Kazuo and Kyosuke, back on the topic of Kyosuke wanting to know what was in Kazuo's head.



Kyosuke flashes back to a point where he was out on a rescue operation and got ambushed by some despair follower...





...but then Kazuo just swooped in, absorbed the blow and knocked the guy into next Sunday.



He then collapsed from the pain and Kyosuke had to carry him back.



Kyosuke talks about how Kazuo's resolve was terrifiying, but then he tucked his tail between his legs, and now Kyosuke wants to know what happened.



Kazuo simply says that he realized that they've come to an impasse with their current methods, and that they couldn't beat despair. Kyosuke just says that that's where he would come in, and Kazuo just asks again if that is what he sacrificed Chisa for, which shuts him up. Kazuo then says that even though Kyosuke thinks so, wiping out the Remnants won't wipe out despair, and victory isn't just achieved through war.



Then, we're with Makoto and Aoi, talking about whether Miaya is fine or not, but they're interrupted when somebody apparently just blows through a wall.



And who would it be but our boy Juzo. Makoto tells Aoi to make a break for it...



But Aoi just grabs a weapon herself and faces off with Juzo. She asks Juzo what he's doing with a weapon if he's an Ultimate Boxer, and Juzo replies that his fists are only for opponents that are worth a drat. Hrm. The two start fighting, and Makoto asks why Juzo is doing this, to which Juzo just replies that Makoto is in Kyosuke's way.





And we're back to Sonozuke and Seiko, with Sonozuke throwing knives and Seiko just knocking them away.



Seiko jumps down, but then stops because she smells something. Something sweet.



She leaps across the room and finds Ruruka, albeit with the two separated by some sort of powerful glass.



We then get some quick flashbacks. With Ruruka asking Seiko to make her some lip balm...



...basically using Seiko as her doctor whenever she's sick...



...passive-aggressively asking Seiko for something to help her with the exams...



...and getting some sort of stimulant from Seiko, who warns Ruruka that she has to use it in moderation, which Ruruka doesn't really react to. We then get some voiceover from Ruruka basically ascribing the change in the relationship between her and Seiko to Seiko not trying her sweets, saying something about how it was basically the only thing she did well, and still Seiko refused to acknowledge her talent. So basically, she's a prick that either forgot or willfully ignores that doing that might actually kill Seiko.



And now, she finds herself face to face with a Seiko that has had absolutely enough of Ruruka's bullshit.





In backing away, Ruruka pushes a nearby keyboard, which causes the lights to go even brighter.



Ruruka then spots Seiko's shadow and has an idea.



She steps closer to the shadow...



...and Seiko immediately moves out of the way. It seems like we now know what Seiko's forbidden action is.



She whispers something to Sonozuke (who showed up at one point during this scene) and he then runs off. Seiko asks what he is doing, and Ruruka replies that he's going to get a weapon with which they can finish her off once and for all. Ruruka also says that she thinks she's figured out Seiko's forbidden action.





And to test it, she runs towards Seiko's shadow again, which causes Seiko to drop down. Indeed, it seems like her forbidden action is "having her shadow stepped on".



Once again, we're back with Kazuo and Kyosuke. Kazuo continues to elaborate on his line of thinking - he says Kyosuke believes that the wholesale slaughter of the Remnants would lead to hope, but that line of thinking is flawed. It's exactly that line of thinking that led to the Kamukura project. Kazuo says that only a fool would think of that as the end-all-be-all.



And from this, Kyosuke somehow comes to the conclusion that Kazuo is the attacker.



And then we just cut to Yasuhiro being outside, yelling at Makoto to let him in and being chased by the attack helicopter.



Next, we see Sonozuke in a room, searching for something.



Turns out that it seems there were two weapons hidden in that room, a blade and a gun. Sonozuke wonders if he should throw away his pride as a blacksmith, then picks up the gun.



Yasuhiro continues being chased and narrowly escapes an explosion.



That explosion then knocks over a bookcase in the room Sonozuke is in, revealing...





...a secret exit! Or entrance, whatever.



We cut back to Ruruka gloating about how she figured out Seiko's forbidden action by noticing that Seiko panicked when all the lights turned out, and how she kept avoiding Sonozuke like poison. But then Ruruka says that she might be willing to let Seiko go, heck, even bury the hatchet.



All she would have to do is try one of Ruruka's sweets. Yep, she's still on that. Seiko replies she's told her countless times that she'll die if she does that, but Ruruka still only seems to regard that as an excuse. However, she comes up with an alternative. All Seiko would have to do now to get off the hook is kill Kyosuke. Seiko says she can't do that.





Turns out that after she got expelled from Hope's Peak, Kyosuke took her in and gave her a second chance.





So instead, Seiko goes back to pill power and makes a fairly logical decision for someone who's so hopped up on pills she can leap through the air like she can fly and seems to hardly flinch from pain:



Just bash all the lights in!



And just like that, she's right back in Ruruka's face.



And as Seiko starts bashing in what I assume to be bulletproof glass or something, we get quick shots of the flashbacks again and voiceovers from both Seiko and Ruruka wondering where it all went wrong. From Seiko's point of view, she needed a friend, and would've followed Ruruka to hell for it, giving her everything because she wanted Ruruka to like her, but Ruruka just thumbed her nose at Seiko - all she was to Ruruka was just a tool. From Ruruka's point of view, the reason she asked so much of Seiko was because she believed in Seiko, because she admired how Seiko always had a solution for any problem - Ruruka ultimately wanted to be like Seiko.





And then, the glass shatters and Ruruka starts running away, with Seiko in pursuit.



Meanwhile (you know, I said it before, but I really have no idea how "meanwhile" this all is - were those two fighting all this time?) Aoi and Juzo are still fighting, with Aoi taking this opportunity to slam that two-pronged pipe into the ground over Juzo's pipe, locking it down.



We then get a real Scooby-Doo shot with Ruruka just running straight past all this.





Seiko, meanwhile, decides to take some time out to beat up on Juzo.





She then notices the scrapes on Aoi's arm and just seems to want to give her something, but it's hard to not look threatening when you look like Seiko does right now. But then, something busts through a wall behind them!



It's Miaya!



Or, Monaca, rather. She wonders if she should do this, but figures just a little won't hurt.



Also, she seems to also be able to control the robot with an arcade stick of sorts, which is pretty rad.



Miayabot shoots her wheelchair-mounted rocket launchers again, with Monaca saying that a girl's gotta keep herself entertained somehow, right?



This gives Aoi and Makoto a chance to bail.



So after all those explosions, let's cut to Kyoko quietly doing detective work. Koichi asks if she's found anything yet, and Kyoko says that yes, she found quite a lot, but she needs to also check Gozu's body, so she and Ryota head off.



We're then back with Kyosuke and Kazuo. Kyosuke begins his explanation as to why he thinks Kazuo is the attacker by saying that only very few knew about this base, and of those that knew, even less would have the ability to cut them off like this. It all makes sense, except for the why. Kyosuke asks why Kazuo would align himself with the Remnants, to which Kazuo replies that he's not, though he admits it's a logical conclusion, albeit one fairly simple for a mind like Kyosuke's. Kyosuke then asks if he's not the attacker, who is?



Kazuo then replies, but we, as the viewers, are not allowed to hear it, so all we get is silence.



But Kyosuke can hear it, and he can't believe it. He can only dumbfoundedly ask if that's true, and Kazuo...



...reveals his forbidden action. To that, Kyosuke can only laugh.



He then declares he's done second-guessing himself, and charges Kazuo...



...who somehow pulls out the thing he was impaled on and stabs Kyosuke right in the eye with it.



Which then leads to Kyosuke straight slashing Kazuo's throat.



Kyosuke then says that Kazuo doesn't know him, and doesn't know what he has in store.



Kazuo manages to gargle out that while that might be true, Kyosuke knows nothing about the nature of hope.



And then he dies.



Kyosuke checks the time limit, leaves his blood-soaked jacket behind, and heads out.





We then cut to Seiko, who's not doing so well. She's really beating herself up about being unable to help anybody, like the time she tried to save Daisaku and failed. She calls herself useless and says she just wanted to help, that that's the reason behind everything she does.



She then pulls out a wrapped bonbon out of her pocket, and says that she just wanted to be a friend, and asks if that was so bad.



Then, the timer hits zero, and we fade to black.



We then get the continuation of the flashback from earlier.



Turns out that Ruruka gave that to Seiko when they first met.



And Seiko held on to it all this time...



...quite a long time...



...until her death, in fact. And that's the episode.



But not quite, because we get a post-credits stinger again. It's Kyosuke! What's he doing?



He's injecting himself with some stuff.



It seems to have been quite painful.



Oh dear. You might not notice this, hell, I had to double-check myself, but those are the same eyes Seiko had after going on full pill power earlier this episode. That can't be good for Makoto. And that's the episode! Next time, it's back to Despair Side, where we'll learn something about a character that has shown up in Despair Side before, except he hasn't really shown up. Also, an old favorite makes her return!

As an aside, there's a few educated guesses you can make as to certain people's forbidden actions. Take a guess, if you want to! There's one that seems particularly obvious, and one that can also seem like a fairly obvious connection.

What the gently caress just happened?: We get more Seiko/Ruruka backstory, and the basic gist is that Seiko felt like Ruruka just used her like a tool, but Ruruka just kept asking things of Seiko because she admired Seiko's ability to come up with solutions. A large part of their current battle revolves around Seiko's forbidden action, having someone step on her shadow, but eventually, Seiko gets to Ruruka and chases her, though she eventually gives up on that in favor of helping Aoi and Makoto fight Juzo. Seiko eventually ends up being the next victim after the time limit runs out. Also, Kazuo got killed by Kyosuke, but not before telling him who the attacker was, which had to be true because Kazuo's forbidden action is answering a question with a lie. Kazuo also stabbed Kyosuke in the eye. Also also, Sonozuke stumbled across what seems to be a secret entrance/exit.