We got another fantastic episode this week, and thankfully we got the plot bits I was a peeved about being left out last time! After watching this episode, it did make sense why they went about it this way as they were able to seamlessly explain things. Though this just further validates that the first two episodes could have very well been or gotten away with being an hour special. Heck, it might even be fair to say it’d be best enjoyed watching these two episodes back-to-back because they are doing a good job making the first two episodes feel as though they are longer than 23 minutes, that’s for sure!
This week Kiyoka is finally in the spotlight, the much anticipated first meeting unfolded and the first thing that comes out of his mouth is: “Remember, while you’re here you must absolutely follow my orders. If I tell you to leave, you leave. If I tell you to die, you die. I won’t listen to any complaints or rejections.”
What a way to leave a great first impression, Kiyoka!
And this is precisely why I was glad they stopped the episode at where they did last week. Had they gone a little longer and just ended it with those words coming out of Kiyoka’s mouth, my god- people probably would have had a fit. It was so important for the audience to understand where Kiyoka was coming, and be reassured that don’t worry, Kiyoka is a kind and good man! Though I must say, I was I was actually surprised the tone in which he said those ridiculous things wasn’t as icy as I had always imagined it to be. But I think I actually like that the softness implied early on that he’s not some cruel man as the rumours claims him to be.
After being bombarded with marriage proposals from those who sought Kiyoka’s wealth and power, those ridiculous words are tactically used with the very intent to scare off his potential brides. And sure enough, it has been proven effective given how rumours have circulated about how he’s such a cruel man, and he’d make a terrible husband… well, up until Miyo that is. She of course was undeterred by such words as she’s all to used to that kind of treatment. But also unlike the others, Miyo isn’t here for wealth or power. She is looking for a place of shelter where she can survive that isn’t at the Saimori House. Heck, it’s unlikely that they’d even take her back even if Kiyoka had kicked her out. Miyo would have no choice but to look to work as a servant elsewhere. That’s why Kiyoka was so taken aback when she nonchalantly agreed to his insane rules, because it made no sense for a woman who was supposed to have come from a prominent family behave this way!
The great thing about Kiyoka though is that even though they started off on an awkward note, he made up for his mistakes that certainly left the audience frustrated on Miyo’s behalf. He reflected on his actions and Yurie’s comments during work, and not only did he explain why he threw the accusation that she had laced his food with poison, but by the end of the episode he apologized and gave her a second chance to make breakfast again.
He is also exceptionally observant, and isn’t turning a blind eye that something is amiss. He has noticed how she is constantly apologizing for things she doesn’t need to apologize for, and that she hadn’t eaten anything during breakfast or dinner. He has picked up on her thin, worn and malnourished body, that her clothes have been worn to the point they’ve turned into rags, as we even saw the stitching coming undone. None of this makes sense for a daughter who was supposed to have come form a prominent family. So he knows something is up with the Saimori family, so now he’s choosing to investigate, and have Yurie quietly observe Miyo from afar because they both suspects she wasn’t raised like a typical daughter. And best part about is that both of them understand that this isn’t an issue they can press or just simply ask Miyo to talk about with them. So for now, they’ll investigate what they can without having to poking her wounds in the process.
I appreciate that that they will not bring up the issue until Miyo feels comfortable enough to open up about it herself. And honestly I think this is the better way to go about it at the moment, especially since it’s difficult for Miyo to talk about it. She’d be afraid of losing her place as result of it.
And that brings us to the next point: Miyo’s currently in survival mode. Without the power of spirits sight, she needs to find ways to make herself useful in order to ensure she doesn’t get kicked out out the house– or rather, that’s what she believes will happen. So the only way she feels she can be useful is to do the chores. The first thing that comes to mind was to make him breakfast, but unfortunately that backfired because Kiyoka didn’t feel comfortable with eating food prepared by a stranger. Fortunately for her, just when she took another hit of feeling useless for being unable to contribute to heating the bath (even though Kiyoka had explained he has always done it himself since he uses his powers to do so), getting that second chance to make breakfast again was a beacon of hope.
And the next morning couldn’t have gone better than she could have imagined. Kiyoka enjoyed it and praised her for it, something she hasn’t heard in like an eternity. So it’s an understatement why she cried, she finally got a piece of joy, and not only that, but she had the opportunity to say “thank you” rather than feeling the need to apologize (except when she was crying, she couldn’t help herself then).
While Miyo is finally out of that forsaken household, she isn’t completely free of them yet as she continues to be haunted by nightmares consisting some of her worst memories there. Man there were so many moments I wanted to cry and just hug Miyo and protect her from the world. It was reassuring for a brief moment that to know Miyo wasn’t completely alone for a time in her childhood. After her mother’s death, at the very least she had Hana, a servant who constantly looked out for her– the point she eventually got fired for it when she tried to right the wrong of Miyo being locked inside the storage house.
Kanako, Miyo’s stepmother will take any opportunity to break and destroy anything relating to Miyo’s mother, and we saw that with how all her heirlooms were taken away or/and destroyed. It’s so sad how Miyo did have the courage to face her stepmother in the past, but she was far too young to be capable of dealing with her. After-all, she was just a child, and with no power within the house, it was already a lost battle.
It sucks that she still has to live with that trauma, but it make sense that this isn’t going to be an overnight fix. It will take time for Miyo to heal, including breaking her habit of constantly apologizing by default.
Finally, I can touch on some of the important details that were left out in last week’s episode!
They finally brought up the supernatural side of the story. I guess it did work out fairly well timing wise considering they were able to explain three important plot points within the episode: Grotespquireies, Spirit Sight (or gift which entails their powers), and the mysterious Usuba Family.
Grotesqueries are essentially demons and spirits. They had more of a presence in the past when more people were able to see them. Kiyoka is in charge of the Special Anti-Grotesqueries Unit which exists to keep these Grotesqueries in check. Although nowadays, the numbers have diminished and only a handful of people, mainly from prominent families are able to see them, they still cause problems and need to be subdued and kept in check.
This is also why it’s a big deal for the child of these households to inherit the power of Spirit Sight. Those like Miyo who do not pass the test for Spirit Sight, are more likely to lose their place. This was also why Kaya gets dotted on, because she was the one who passed the test and was shown that her powers evolved quickly to the point she was able to summon a shikigami. That said, it’s really hard to say if her father would have “cared” for Miyo had she developed powers of her own. Heck, had her powers been better than Kaya, I’m sure Kanako would have retaliated even further out of spite– so bearing that in mind, I actually have my doubts about that, but I digress.
And speaking of which, that leads us to what Miyo seemingly is unaware about herself: The value of having the blood of the Usuba Family (from her mother’s side) flowing through her veins.
This was brought up when Tatsuishi called Miyo’s father to take a fit about how he didn’t uphold the deal of arranging Miyo to be married into his family. But as one would expect, he wasn’t trying to bring Miyo into his house out of the goodness of his heart. While her father has effectively abandoned her since childhood, Tatsuishi wants Miyo because she is part of the Usuba bloodline. They didn’t say anything more than that this week, but rather a cliffhanger to show that the Usuba family is kind of a big deal, and even though Miyo has no powers of her own, it’s her bloodline that still makes her incredibly valuable. It just goes to show he really has no interest in remaining associated with the Usuba family, and by kicking out Miyo, he has effectively cut ties with them.
Of course that also raises questions of: What about her mother’s side? Where are they? The Usuba Family is shrouded in mystery as after her mother’s death, Miyo was left to fend for herself. No relatives from her mother’s side had ever come in to take her into their care. Had they done so, I imagine her father wouldn’t have cared if they did, it could have potentially spared her from all that abuse and misery. Fortunately at least one person, that being Kiyoka seeing a reason to investigate her background.
Ooh boy, I can’t wait for next week’s episode, it’s gonna be great! 😀 Do look forward to it!
PS: THE OPENING THEME IS BREATHTAKING AND GORGEOUSSSSSSSS~ AH I LOVE IT SO MUCH! ENDING WAS ALSO SO MANY FEELS!!!! I LOVE IT ALL! I’m not crying, it’s just raining on my face.