In episode 10 we learn the truth behind Yuzu’s involvement in this game. Which for me, only answers part of the puzzle and makes me go “hmmm” loudly in Akatsuki’s direction.
We wrapped up the previous episode with Kaikoku and Sakura down in the water, encountering what Sakura thinks is a mermaid. However, it just turns out to be a giant goldfish. The giant goldfish is left over from a game back in 9th avenue. Nanami disposes of it, not before it can almost kill poor Kaikoku though.
Meanwhile, Yuzu is working herself half to death to solve this puzzle and get into the white room to save Kai. She does, eventually, fall ill in the middle of things and end up in the infirmary. However, I suppose her persistence or just a desire to end the boycott leads to Paca helping her and the group recovering Kai.
So, Kaikoku says goodbye to the group of dropouts from the underground with a promise to Sakura not to tell her brother about finding her. However, to wish him well and tell him that it’s good that he’s safe.
After he’s free, he goes for a talk with Yuzu in the infirmary where she reveals her position in this game to him. She is the games ‘record keeper’, in other words, an inside spy to take data that can only be collected on the participants by interacting with them. Reactions, emotions, things that can be observed by playing together and channeling that information back to Paca.
A shaky alliance forms between them on the idea that she can be on their side, as much as her position will allow anyway. Besides, who else is Kaikoku going to gossip about the color of peoples underwear with if they can’t get along.
Now that I understand her motives and what she is to this game, I have to stop and question to myself. “What is Aki then?” because, despite everything, her insistence that she signed up to this project to gather more information on Aki. His continued line that they only know each other through their online chats. We know, from the pictures that, that isn’t true.
I was hoping to gain some information on this going into episode 11. However, instead we got some backstory on another character and cute child antics for some of the other characters.
Episode 11 opens up with the next challenge and a congratulations for reaching 50’000 views! We’re halfway to the goal!
A virtual world challenge, or at least, for some of them. Everyone gets put into a pod, a few participants are chosen for the ‘parent’ role and wake up with nothing happening to them. Some of them are projected onto some refined mimic plants and reverted to their child selves. The way to pass this stage is to get the flower on the head of three of the children to grow.
The ‘parent’ roles go to Karin, Zakuro, Akatsuki and Anya. A reunion of the group that first gathered and participated in the ghost challenge at the beginning of the show. The rest of the cast take on the children roles.
Himiko is the first to start growing, as the group opens her up with the offer of rolled omelettes.
Yuzu and Kaikoku open up while in the bath with Karin. Yuzu I understand, I have a few concerns about child Kaikoku and his priorities(and his love of sushi).
No matter what they do though, Makino won’t blossom. Even though they are only required to blossom three of the four children and technically pass. They ask Paca if they can take a little extra time with the challenge to help Makino blossom.
As this is going on, we’re getting flashes of Makino’s past and…it’s really sad actually. He obviously grew up in a broken home, the shadow of his parents fighting plays out in front of him as he covers his ears and the only support he seems to have is from a girl who lives across the street. However, in the end, despite the fact that he loves her. The person she loves, isn’t him. Despite the fact that the show had joked before that Makino’s gaze can make anyone who looks at him for more then a few seconds fall in love with him. He can’t get his parents, or the girl he loves to love him.
Akatsuki walks in to the pod room and goes to speak with Makino. “If you love someone, I think it’s okay if they don’t return the feeling. They may not look at you, or you might not be the person they like best. If you can accept it, it won’t hurt anymore.” that’s, actually some really tough advice to swallow. Still, as Makino thinks about it and opens up to realizing the others are there. As Zakuro gets past his shyness about opening up to people and calling them by their given him and asks the child Makino to be his friend. The flower blooms, into an adorable afro.
The group laughs and good times are had.
It cuts to Paca watching the group from the control room and Akatsuki’s smiling fact on the monitor before it switches off.
“Now then, it’s about time for the real fun to begin.”
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? Are we going to learn the truth about Akatsuki next episode? I’ve always sort of known that we aren’t going to get a proper and satisfying conclusion to this, since the manga is on going. Still, i’m excited to see how the anime plans to wrap up.