I’m going to be honest, this episode made my anxiety levels fly off the charts. The conclusion to the episode wasn’t even that bad, but by the way it was being built up, I totally expected something far worse to happen. I just felt myself on edge as soon as they decided to go outside the city and I anticipated the worst. While yes, something bad DID happen, I fully expected some sort of horrible racism to go down.
We get a little more lore on the Beastmen and I found it pretty interesting that at one point, they were worshipped like gods… which makes sense considering a lot of different gods are portrayed with animal features. They even go into detail about how their beast forms are decided by ancestry and will be one specific animal, not a hybrid of two separate animals. I also like the added feature of showing two different animal parents and their kids. Looks like the ancestry is mostly determined by the mother from what I can gather from those pictures. That or it’s more likely, which would make sense. We also find out a little more about Michiru’s case where a human actually developed a beast factor, something that is normally impossible. Not only that, but her beast factor is more unstable due to her ability to shape shift. It makes me wonder if Michiru will be okay like this. If her cell structure is unstable, wouldn’t that mean it could one day just fall a part since it’s not a natural phenomenon?
Speaking of which, Michiru actually managed to turn back into her human form for the first time and I have to say… her beastman form is much cuter lol. No offense, Michiru. I’m starting to believe she can change her form to what she believes is necessary at the moment (or at least strongly believes). Since whenever she shapeshifts, she always has a strong desire for something, whether it is to stretch her arms to reach, hear a conversation or shouting for help and a strong arm to break a glass tank. It’s like she always makes what she really needs in the moment happen, as if she has to have a mission in mind to make the certain shape shift happen. It would make sense since this is the first time that Michiru actually thought about really wanting to return home. Sure she always wanted to go back to being human again, but I feel this was the first time that she thought about it in “mission” sense. She needed something to go back home and her shape shifting abilities took her desires and spun it so she could shift back into a human. At least, that’s what I can take away from it at the moment. Her abilities are still such a mystery.
We also get introduced to a new character, Nina the dolphin. Who not only seems to be a vlogger, but the daughter of The Family’s boss. She honestly reminds me of Primarina from Pokemon. She’s cute, but very naive towards the discrimination towards beastmen and seemed to be very interested in the culture and what goes on in the mainland.
As soon as Nina brought up that she was invited to a human party on the mainland, fear made my stomach sink. I even started yelling “NO NO NO NO!” when Michiru decided to go with her. This could only end badly! We’ve seen how badly beastmen have been treated on the mainland. Heck, a group of them were hunting Michiru down as she attempted to enter the city for the first time in the first episode. I was so scared for these two kids’ safety because I knew that some way or another, their cover was going to get blow and it was going to get messy! Bad things always happen at parties like these!
And I was right! …In a way. As soon as Nina just burst into her beastman form out of excitement, I had to pause the episode and scream “NOOOOOO!!!!” My anxiety was already pretty high as soon as they decided to go to the mainland to this freaking party, but now it just shot through the roof. However, I was surprised that they didn’t start treating her badly and even showed disdain towards the discrimination towards beastmen. But, the whole thing felt… weird? Like, right off the bat, they were making assumptions about her life. Not to mention it just felt a little too showboaty with how they introduced her as a beastman to everyone at the party.
When Michiru went into the bathroom my immediate thought was that she’s going to overhear some pretty discriminatory things by some girls who come in after her. Because that’s literally what happens every time in these kinds of scenes. And while they did say some pretty mean things about her, they weren’t as bad as I thought. I honestly thought they were planning on completely humiliating Nina at this party or even start beating on her. But it turned out to be something worse when Lisa put Nina in a tank of water… without any air because she seemed tired. Like, GURL, dolphins need air too! They’re not fish! Even if someone didn’t know how beastman worked, you’d at least know how dolphins work! How did she even get her in there???? I mean, at least Lisa didn’t seem to do it out of spite and just seemed ignorant towards how dolphins freaking function. But still!
Thankfully Michiru was able to get Nina out of there before she drowned. But I’m afraid that everyone at that party would start looking at beastmen in disdain after that. Considering Michiru hulked out and smashed the glass fish tank. Maybe this will come up again in later episodes because that felt like such a big thing.
I’m glad that these people weren’t TERRIBLE like all the other humans we’ve come across in this series. However, it puts some light on a secondary problem. Ignorance. While Lisa didn’t mean to hurt Nina, she assumed a lot about her and didn’t seem to care to get to know her. Though I feel like she posed as a necessary foil for Michiru, since Michiru herself had a lot of assumptions about beastmen at the start of the series. However, she seems to realize that she needs to get to know beastmen more and even decides to continue on living in the city.
A lot happened in this episode. Not only was the stuff with Michiru and Nina happening, but man… I knew this series was violent… but I didn’t expect THAT to happen at the peer. Like man, it was pretty hard to watch and hear this guy get singed by a burning cigar, but then he was basically murdered by being dragged into the ocean by the end of a boat… While it didn’t show it, the insinuations left it pretty obvious as to what happened. That scene legit terrified me. Maybe it’s because it felt so real, but man, that shocked me. If Shirou hadn’t stopped Flip from going to the mainland to start a war, hoo boy, there would be some serious bloodshed.
Speaking of Flip, after he showed up the first time, I wondered what the heck kind of animal he was. Looking at his teeth, I figured he was a shark… but no, he’s actually a scary looking dolphin. But man… I think he looked even scarier when he wore a nice face… shudders
I also don’t trust this mink lady. She keeps appearing whenever Michiru is troubled and always seems to get her into more trouble. Sure she helped point Michiru in the direction of getting her wallet back, but it ended with Michiru nearly getting sold off along with the other children. Not to mention she basically distracted her enough in the first episode to get her wallet stolen. She just seems so shady and we know nothing about her. Though it seems she’s trusted by Shirou but I dunno… HMMMMM…
Also… WHO PUT AIR PODS IN MY ANIME???? WHO DID THIS?! WHO LET THIS HAPPEN?! All jokes aside, I don’t know why it both triggered and tickled me at the fact they had air pods in this anime. Maybe because it’s just such a meme that I’m like: OH HECK NO at the sight of them.
While I’m relieved that nothing too severe (kind of) happened at the end, it still felt like it was wasted potential in a sense. This entire episode felt like it was being built up for something super serious, but instead took a safer route out. My anxiety is grateful, but the other part of me didn’t feel satisfied. But I can understand they didn’t want to go too all out for just episode 4 and I’m sure they have something big planned for the series finale later on. Also I can see that they were mostly using this episode as development for Michiru. However, that last scene where Michiru finds a facelook post her mom posted wishing her a happy birthday with a photo of a cake nearly broke me. This just further proves that Michiru had a good relationship with her parents and it hurts to see that they still think of her even after what happened. Not to mention her freaking profile picture is a baby picture of Michiru. UGHHHHHH sobs. Why don’t you just stab me in the heart right before ending the episode?