We’re moving from Gabimaru, Mei, Gantetsusai, and Fuchi group to Sagiri, Yuzuriha, and Senta’s group. Following the previous episode, they finally confronted a Tensen who dropped the bomb to them by the revelation that all the religious beliefs that Hoko and the other residents of the island used to follow were nothing more than a bogus. The Tensen were not gods as the residents believed them to be, they were originally humans who were able to live so long due to centuries of experiments that cost a lot of human lives in the process. Hoko and the now deceased islanders were only test subjects for the Tensen’s experiment.
That’s not even the worst of the revelation, the Tensen, Mu Dan, also revealed that Elixir of Life didn’t exist. To be precise, the Elixir of Life that Gabimaru and the others were looking for was not an elixir that they believed it to be. Sagiri was especially dismayed by this fact because then Gabimaru wouldn’t be able to receive his pardon without it. Fortunately, Yuzuriha was there to motivate Sagiri not to give up yet and fight for their current situation. I’m liking Yuzuriha more and more. She didn’t let pessimistic thought to cloud her mind. (^_^)
The biggest shock from this episode, however… Though I already expected this, it’s still saddening to see Senta died!
I wouldn’t call Senta’s backstory tragic, but it’s still saddening in different way. Unlike his fellow Yamada clan members, Senta was more of a book person and actually aspired to become an artist. Unfortunately for him, his family has a tradition of sending their children to train in the Yamada Clan, forcing him to give up on his dream. As he has no devotion to swordsmanship or aiming to become an executioner, Senta chose the path of Theology, most likely as his way of escapism. Too bad for Senta, his studies resulted in him rising through the ranks and forced him to carry out his duty as an executioner, something that Senta never wished to do.
Ironically, the ones that Senta felt envious of were the criminals he was supposed to execute. Yes, he knew the criminals had done horrible things, but he envied that they get to do whatever they want without being restricted and truly honest of becoming the person they want to be rather than being imposed by others, the freedom that Senta couldn’t have and he must continued to lie to himself and to others. This was why Senta admired and attracted to Yuzuriha’s free-spirited disposition. The symbolism of him watching her cheerfully dancing among the piles of heads while drawing her showed how the desire that Senta had buried deep inside him once again grew.
I felt for Senta here. He disliked killing and had the talent and skill to become an artist, but he was forced to throw away his dream and pushed into the very responsibility he never hoped to become a part of. I know that tradition can be important, but forcing someone wasn’t right either, especially if they have their own dream they wish to fulfill. If I am in Senta’s position, I would also feel the same way. If there was one good thing from his end, he would no longer be bound by his duty as an executioner. His manner of death outwardly was still disturbing, but at the very least he didn’t look to be in pain.