This week’s episode again focuses on Setsuna and Sara. By this point Rinne’s getting quite jealous, hehe.
Setsuna wakes up with Sara in his bed, and Rinne glaring at them both. Sara assures Rinne that nothing happened, then rushes to take Setsuna down to the beach. Sara’s big idea is that she wants to try milking venom from sea snakes, as she theorizes the poison might help those with soot blight syndrome. But oh no she’s not going to dive in to the ocean and get one – Setsuna is.
With Setsuna underwater, Rinne and Sara have a rare opportunity to talk woman-to-woman. Sara tells Rinne that she has something important to do before her seventeenth birthday in 2 days, and she thinks Setsuna can help her with it. Rinne says it’s also important to her that Setsuna has arrived at Urashima. However their group’s mission to find a sea snake ends early when Setsuna mistakes being stung by a jellyfish for being bitten by a sea snake.
One recurring theme throughout this episode is the idea of destiny. Up until the very end of the episode Sara is very, very sure that Setsuna “is her destiny.” At the same time, because of the ancient legend naming both Rinne and Setsuna as lovers, Rinne feels that Setsuna is her destiny too. It’s a tough position for Setsuna, who is going to be forced to let one girl down if circumstances don’t change.
The next day Sara comes to the Ohara house to give Kuon a special massage. There’s lots of innuendo and fanservice here for a scene that doesn’t bare any skin, and Island hams the implications up to their full potential. Sara gives Setsuna a turn after Kuon, using a special technique on his butt that accidentally makes him “ascend.” * cough * As punishment, Setsuna has to bike Sara around to the 23 homes of soot blight sufferers on the island.
As Sara and Setsuna are working together, we see what some of Urashima’s residents are up to. Karen it seems, is trying to persuade her father to let her attend a university on the mainland, which is AWESOME and I’m so happy for Karen! We get to see Kuon without her hood up for the first time, and Rinne is reading an old book in what I’m guessing is her family’s library.
Near the end of their day, Setsuna and Sara get into a bike accident when the brakes on Setsuna’s bike fail. They land on the beach and both are alright, thankfully.
Sara explains to Setsuna what she told Rinne earlier out on the water, but in more detail: she claims she is destined to go back in time before her seventeenth birthday, meet a man and have his baby. She thinks that man is Setsuna. Back at the shrine, Sara continues with her theory in more detail. She shows Setsuna an old picture of her mother breastfeeding her, and we can see that the face of the man who is presumably her father is burned away. Sara shows Setsuna the scar on her chest – the same scar her mother has. Sara thinks that she is supposed to go back in time and basically become her own child, if that makes any sense.
When Sara was little, she was called the “Child of God.” For 10 years after her birth, no children on the island were born with soot blight syndrome. However after the fire at the shrine which claimed the lives of her parents, the births of babies born with soot blight syndrome resumed. Sara is very attached to the idea of her “powers” (from being the Child of God) being her reason to live. Sara becomes upset and falls asleep soon after she explains this theory to Setsuna, so Setsuna returns to the Ohara family mansion.
Once there he explains Sara’s idea to Rinne, who tells him that it’s nonsense. Rinne gives Setsuna a book covering the Garando family’s history (this was the book she was shown reading earlier) and explains what really happened behind Sara’s Child of God theory.
There is some truth to the story – Sara’s uncle did indeed proclaim that Sara was the Child of God, and recorded cases of babies born with soot blight syndrome did disappear after Sara was born. But what actually happened was that Sara’s uncle forced her parents to perform a ritual. They were to hold newborn babies up to the sunlight and check for changes in the luster of the babies’ eyes. If their eyes changed it was a sign that the baby would almost definitely start to show symptoms of soot blight syndrome before the age of three. The parents would be told that their baby had died, and the baby would be abandoned to die in a secret location. What was the point of this evil scheme? To restore the Garando family’s elevated status on the island – their family’s Child of God erased soot blight syndrome form the island, therefore the Garando family should be revered. But it was all lies.
Sara, the poor girl, wanders into the room just as Rinne is finishing her explanation. She is of course devastated and bikes back to the shrine on her bike with Setsuna on her tail, and Rinne not far behind. By the time Setsuna arrives at the shrine it’s on fire. As Rinne watches in horror Setsuna catches up to Sara, but the shrine collapses into ashes around them.
Sara wakes up a few days later in the island’s medical clinic. Her birthday has passed and she’s still in the present, and of course she’s not dead. So what happened? Setsuna opened the shrine’s “object of worship”, an object that looks like a stone coffin, and hid with Sara inside. Karen explains that 5 years earlier during the fire that killed her parents, Sara’s parents had hid her inside the same stone coffin to save her life.
When Sara expresses confusion about why she didn’t go back in time and mentions her scar, the clinic’s doctor says it’s actually a burn. The story behind it is another black mark on her family’s past: the Garando family had the twisted practice of burning all newborn family successors with the same brand. That’s why Sara has it, and that’s why her mother had it too. Sara’s parents chose to kill themselves rather than repeat the same sick practices Sara’s uncle was enforcing, but did they really have to kill themselves to make that point?? I mean really, leaving poor Sara on her own. ><
Sara is still upset and sounding vaguely suicidal over realizing she in fact has no special powers, but Setsuna forces her to get her ass out of bed and stop feeling sorry for herself. Sara is amazed to see hundreds of beautifully colored paper cranes hanging from the ceiling at the foot of her bed. The residents on the island whom she helps with her massages made them for her when they heard about the fire at the shrine and Sara’s subsequent descent into unconsciousness. So Sara sees, she does have a reason to keep living. The island’s residents depend on her for socialization and her massages.
Side thought: if Rinne is in fact not the Rinne from the legend, could Kuon be that Rinne? She has grey hair after all… Also, if Sara didn’t travel through time like she hypothesized she would, could that be an indication that time travel is not real? What if Setsuna didn’t travel through time either, and just washed up on Urashima with amnesia and some vague recollections based on something he read or heard back home? There’s going to be some big twist coming, I just know it, and I think my official guess is going to be is that time travel doesn’t exist. There’s an explanation for Setsuna washing up on Urashima and his amnesia, we just don’t know what it is yet.
This was an awesome episode and I’m really happy with what transpired. After having a couple of episodes focused on Karen and Setsuna it was Sara’s turn this week, leaving Karen with a minor role. However as I mentioned before I’m super excited to see that Karen might get herself off the island before the end of the season after all.