And so we finally meet Michiru’s friend. She’s been a constant presence through out the series through Michiru’s flashbacks. Her friend has always been a rather big mystery, especially since early on we saw that she was taken away by some shady people after she had randomly turned into a beastman. Not only is she okay, but she’s now part of this cult called the Silver Wolf Order. Though I guess being part of a cult wouldn’t be considered “okay.” Especially since she’s basically pretending to be Ginrou, the guardian deity that helps beastmen during their time of need due to the constant prejudice against them.
At first, Nazuna seems to be how Michiru remembers, peppy and sociable. However, being part of a cult usually means the person isn’t the same because brainwashing. And I can’t help but think that Nazuna may be brainwashed or something. Especially since by the end of the episode she reveals that she was basically stringing Michiru along and just leaving her by the wayside, saying her presence wasn’t even needed to get an audience with the major. Yet how she worded things made it seem like she was having trouble so of course Michiru jumped at the chance to help out her friend, even if what Nazuna wanted to talk about with the major was questionable. She essentially manipulated the situation, knowing just how Michiru would act and then called her out on forcing her assumptions and sense of justice on others. It was really cruel especially since she basically told her that she wasn’t really needed. Michiru just wanted to help her friend out! What the heck, Nazuna??? I feel bad for Michiru since the one person she looked up to and cherished as a dear friend essentially stabbed her in the back.
I admit that Michiru definitely made some pretty bad calls in this episode. She assumed A LOT about her friend. And while you can chalk it up to her believing she knows her friend well enough, she still never really asked her what her thoughts about certain things were. But it was still cruel of Nazuna to have done all of that. From the start, we knew that Michiru was very assuming of certain things. Such as how Beastman should act, that the kids she was teaching were Rabbit Town residents children, etc. And every time she acted on those assumptions, it got her into trouble. She still hasn’t learned how to look into things before jumping to conclusions. But I do hope that by the end of the series she can tone that part of her down. Especially since it kind of screams “I’M A SHOUNEN PROTAGONIST” and it’s something I see way too much in other characters. But I admit that I do like the nuances of that mindset where it gets her into a lot of trouble most of the time and that it sends a message that making assumptions is not the best way to go about things.
As soon as Nazuna turned out to actually be a fox beastman rather than a wolf, my mind immediately went to Animal Crossing. While I personally have not played the games, I’ve seen some videos on it in regards to Tom Nook and Red the fox. Seeing Michiru as a Tanuki and Nazuna as a fox made me think about it, especially since both animals they are a part of are known in Japanese folklore as tricksters. Often using their shape shifting to fool people. Not only that, but Tanuki and foxes are supposedly rivals in folklore so my immediate thought was something very bad was going to happen between them. I mean, Nazuna sure looked pretty ominous in the opening… They also kept hinting that they would be on opposing sides. When they were just talking in Michiru’s room, Michiru was sitting on a blue bed while Nazuna was sitting on a red couch. If that isn’t obvious foreshadowing, I don’t know what is. And what do you know, a clear division was put in place between them when Nazuna showed her true colors. While I do think she’s brainwashed, she could also be letting all of this worship and praise get to her head, either way, it turned her into a terribly manipulative person.
Speaking of which, I’m not sure how I didn’t catch it, but Nazuna was in the opening the entire time… How the heck did I not catch on until this episode????
Now I don’t know about you, but Boris gives me the creeps and I feel like Michiru is justified to call him “gross.” Anyone who is voiced by Takehito Koyasu immediately cannot be trusted due to the voice actor voicing some very prominently shady characters. Especially since this guy is the leader of this Silver Wolf Cult which essentially doubles the amount of shadiness surrounding this guy. And then he goes and cradles Nazuna, telling her to “be more beautiful than a god.” Which I feel may be a brainwashing trigger for her. But we’ll see. Either way, that whole scene felt super unsettling and I need him to back the heck up. Even though Nazuna claims that he’s “not gross” and is the one to help her when she got taken to a science facility. That scene said otherwise.
And then we have Shirou who is looking into the cult as well for the mayor since they are demanding residency in the city. And because of Animacity’s slogan of “any beastman is welcome,” it kind of makes it difficult to decline. I still have my suspicions of Shirou being Ginrou considering he immediately ate the jerky after it was given to him. There are just so many hints to him being the true Ginrou, especially since whenever they are talking about Ginrou, he’s always somewhere in the scene. If he turns out to not be Ginrou, I’ll eat my words.