Kyokou Suiri

May 17, 2020

Supernatural themed anime. Nah. Not my type. Detective mystery kind of anime. I’ll pass. Not my cup of tea. Even more so when you mix both supernatural and detective genre as an anime, that’s a sign for me to stay way clear. So how the heck did I end up Kyokou Suiri that was screaming with such elements? Number one: I’m a sucker for a pretty face and the promotional poster did well enough to make sure I notice that. Heh. I guess that is enough of a reason but if you need another reason, number two: The partly amusing synopsis that has the main character has a crush on a guy who has supernatural powers like her too. They go around solving supernatural cases in hopes that he will reciprocate her feelings. I don’t think this would be some sort of romcom but I’m hoping to see something of that sort. Oh, who am I kidding?

Episode 1
Kurou Sakuragawa doesn’t remember Kotoko Iwanaga. So she has to refresh his memory that it was in this hospital 2 years ago that she saved him from a bunch of kids. Yup, they were running in the hallways and he accidentally bumped into them, causing him to fall. Had Kotoko not been there to catch him, he could have died. Once he remembers, his cute face has her smitten because it reminds her of a goat. So goats are beautiful? And also linked to the devil… Since he isn’t really amused, she mentions about his recent break up with his girlfriend, Saki Yumihara. Apparently she heard from the nurses he is often here to visit his cousin with a long term illness. I guess the nurses don’t need to worry about privacy policy of non-patients and can gossip away. So Kotoko was pretty jealous he had a girlfriend a year his senior. Now that he is single, Kotoko wants to date him with marriage in mind. Since he laughs it off, she wants to know the reason they broke up. Last year when they went to a trip to Kyoto, while strolling along the river, they spotted a kappa. Naturally they were both afraid. But the kicker was Kurou got afraid and ran off, leaving Saki behind. Since she was going to a different place to work, she took that chance to break up with him. Hence Kurou thinks his cowardice isn’t worthy for her love. However Kotoko smells something amiss. She thinks that it was the kappa who got afraid after seeing Kurou and ran. Thus Saki became afraid of knowing what kind of ‘person’ Kurou was. Kurou dismisses it all as some lie. I mean, why would a guy tell the real reason he broke up to another girl, right? Kotoko then talks about spectres, ghosts and spirits. She is quite knowledgeable about them. When she was 11, she was kidnapped for 2 weeks by spirits who made her the Goddess of Wisdom. She became a mediator to conflicts for low level youkai. If he wants proof, he can refer to an old article whereby a kidnapped girl was found napping at the park with her right eye and left leg missing. She shows proof of those missing parts.

Kotoko then leaves on a bus. A samurai youkai is stalking her. Turns out to be a friendly ghost as he was worried Kurou might do something nasty to her. About that library demon thingy, he hopes she could get rid of it. She doesn’t think it would be difficult if Kurou helps her. Flashback shows how police found her at the park without an eye or leg. The doctor operated on her but found the wound has already closed. A police tried to talk to her what happened but Kotoko seemed to be talking to a little youkai about her eye and leg trade-off in exchange for some godly powers. The next time Kotoko and Kurou meet, he already did his research and although it did mention about her case, there was nothing supernatural. She jokes that it might be a delusion of hers. Just then a tanuki youkai comes pleading to Kotoko for help. The barrier at the library is destroyed. Kotoko seeks his help but he doesn’t want to get involved. Then she guilt trip him that she might die, her body will be featured in tomorrow’s newspaper and he will regret for the rest of his life of letting a girl who confessed to him die like that. Isn’t that blackmail? But it was enough to make him help. In the library, I guess this demon isn’t interested in conversing. Kotoko gets reckless in trying to fight it off. She is shocked when he holds her close. Does he have a thing for getting naughty during danger? His logic is that he won’t let her be reckless again. He lets the demon eat his arm. Of course it regenerates back to normal and the demon chokes and explodes. He notes his meat is poisonous. So who is Kurou actually? When he was 11 years old, he ate 2 different flesh of youkai as much as he could.

Episode 2
Kurou has gotten more famous among the youkai ever since that ‘stint’. He elaborates further about the youkai he eat. While one of them (the mermaid) supposedly granted him eternal youth, the other negated the effects of that youth. Kotoko wants him to accompany her to the mountains to hear out a serpent god’s complaint. He rejects her because he wants to eat his pork miso soup tonight! Of course she tracks down his house and tries to convince him again but once more he rejects her. This time he gives her a jacket (since she’s wearing a lovely one piece dress, I mean, who goes to the mountains all dolled up like that?) and some of his food. You’re on your own. So no choice, she heads to the mountains while pouting about the attitude of her ‘boyfriend’. She meets the serpent god at his dilapidated swamp. Previously he was the water god but with humans gradually forgetting about him and nobody made offerings to his shrine, it has since been in decline. The pressing question he wants Kotoko to answer is why a woman dumped a corpse into his swamp and said she hopes for him to find it. It is bad enough humans pollute and throw rubbish into it. Now a human corpse too? A few days ago, police discovered the body of Hiroo Yoshihara who worked in a construction company. They found a suspect, Aoi Tanio who is his girlfriend. Although she confessed to the crime, they find her story hard to believe. From the police records, Kotoko reads previously she had another boyfriend, Yoshikazu Machii. He too worked in the construction company and was embezzling money. He managed to get a female worker to commit suicide with him to make it look like a lover’s suicide. Aoi became distraught on this and moved back to her home at the base of this mountain and lived as a shut-in for 2 years.

One day, Yoshihara appeared at her doorstep and claimed he was the one who killed Machii and he was the real culprit who embezzled the money. Because Machii and the female colleague found out about it, they threaten to go public so had to kill them and make it look like suicide. Yoshihara is now repenting because recently he has been hit by a spade of misfortune. In her rage, she killed him. Besides dumping his body in the swamp, she also dumped the murder weapon, a knife here. Now, this is all the official recorded statement. Kotoko now deduces what really happened. Yoshihara called Aoi to meet up and because she was suspicious about it, she called Machii’s younger brother. So when Yoshihara came to confess, it was the brother who got enraged and killed Yoshihara. Because the brother still had a future, Aoi agreed to sacrifice herself as the culprit. After all, she has not much to lose compared to him. Dumping the body in the swamp was to give him an alibi as well as to wash off the evidence of the killer. Although Aoi can clean every inch of the house to rid of evidence, what about the evidence outside? Hence her words of hoping him to find the corpse is her way of praying for rain to wash the evidence outside. The serpent is enraged because this is not how an offering should be made! He wants a young girl as sacrifice! Is he joking?! Before he jumps to further conclusions, Kotoko reminds him of 2 ways to wish for rain. The conventional way of praying to a god and there’s the other way of provoking the god and to anger him so as he will rampage and make it rain. The serpent remembers it did rain the next day after the body was dumped. But why did Aoi say those ambiguous words and not specifically for it? Because there might be other humans nearby and they may have heard what she said. Then the police may have looked further into the investigation for an accomplice. Of course Kurou shows himself. He heard everything. So was he worried about her all the while? Good boyfriend. But the serpent is still dissatisfied why Aoi really threw the body into this swamp. Uhm, was he not listening? Wasn’t it to wash off the evidence on the body?

Episode 3
Apparently there’s more to it. Kotoko believes Aoi wanted to retrieve something she dumped here many years prior to the corpse. That was what the whisper of hoping to find it meant. And that thing she is hoping to be found is a foetus from her miscarriage from her ex-boyfriend. She was pregnant with his child when he died and that was when she didn’t know the truth. That was why she dumped the foetus in the swamp. After the truth came to light, she regretted her actions. It’s the same reason she dumped the corpse there so as to let the police investigate and help search. She wants to retrieve it so as to give the foetus a proper burial. Of course that foetus will never be found as the serpent has been directing the little spirits to clean up the swamp from time to time. After 4 years, you think it would not be there let alone not at a decomposed state? Kotoko returns with Kurou as she explains further that her deductions may not be 100% the truth and are based on the most reasonable facts. There was a chance the serpent may have misheard what Aoi said but would such a great guardian ever admit they misheard something? If it was in the slightest chance, this would have destroyed the original premise of the story. Kurou admits this fearsome power of hers but is still worried of putting herself in danger like that. He suggests accompanying her the next time she goes out exterminating youkai. But she takes this as a sign of admission that they’re dating. Gotcha?

Two years later, we see Saki working as a traffic police. Her colleague, Tokunosuke Terada is puzzled about her report. A guy crashed his car after seeing a puppy ran across. However the initial story he heard was different. A faceless woman in a frilly dress and big boobs wielding a giant steel beam was what he saw. So why did Saki change the report? Saki knows that Terada is also looking into the case known as Steel Lady Nanase. She was an idol (mostly popular because of her huge racks) who died in an accident. A steel beam smashed into the hotel she was staying. Ever since, there has been sightings of her but recently there have been reports of her attacking others. As Saki was there at the crash site, she felt something eerie and believed that guy’s statement. Terada thinks somebody is behind this prank and that an organized crime may be behind this. Of course Saki who believes in ghosts knows Nanase is the real deal. Because she is a ghost, the police cannot deal with this anyhow. Saki is forced to relive haunting memories that her ex-boyfriend is one. She knew he was not an ordinary human seeing he had regenerative abilities. But that fateful night when a kappa appeared, it was afraid of Kurou and pointed him out as a monster. This has Saki thought she needed to reconsider how she could stay with him. After breaking up, she could see more supernatural events ever since. On her way home, she stumbles into Kotoko facing off with Nanase! Kotoko tells her to run but Saki is tired of running. She charges at Nanase! Oops. She’s a ghost. Punch doesn’t connect. But Nanase can actually hurt her! This is cheating! Luckily Kotoko is able to touch Nanase and gives her a good kick. Nanase flees. Saki thinks Kotoko is also a ghost but she doesn’t entirely deny and is more of something in between. Kotoko doesn’t want her to get involved anymore but on the contrary Saki is more interested to help and insists she come to the station to record her statement. After showing her badge, Kotoko then realizes this is Kurou’s ex-girlfriend! Feeling awkward? Saki doesn’t remember her until Kotoko proudly points out she is Kurou’s current girlfriend! Oh damn. Saki punches her! Heh. This will be a graver fight than with Nanase!

Episode 4
Saki patches up Kotoko but still can’t believe she is Kurou’s boyfriend. After all, she is sure Kotoko is not his type! Kotoko shows picture proof of their being together. Kurou looks sad and annoyed in all photos. I’m sure that’s not him being shy. Saki mentions about the future she and Kurou plotted out but she never counted him on being not human. Kotoko corrects her that Kurou does look like human although cannot be categorized as such. So that still means he is non-human, right? Kotoko then introduces herself as the Goddess of Wisdom. If that’s the case, pure priestesses can’t be deflowered, right? Dating without making out is going to be hard. Not impossible. Just extremely hard. The ladies get serious talking about Nanase. But it ends up about Kurou because Saki knows Kurou isn’t the kind to leave his girl and do dangerous things. So what happened to him? Kotoko mentions he has been missing for a week. She couldn’t contact him and before he went missing, he left a message telling her not to come look for him. So maybe the guy just hates her? Saki ‘brag’s how Kurou was always there for her and always replied her messages. Since this isn’t going anywhere, Kotoko leaves but advises Saki if she ever sees Nanase again, make sure to run. Saki continues her investigation on Haruko Nanase or more popularly known as her stage name, Karin Nanase. When she was first scouted by the talent agency director himself (those boobs of course), she wasn’t a big hit and wasn’t popular for a year until she landed a late night drama role. Some flamethrower girl with an intriguing opening credits! With her rise to the top, comes misfortune too. Especially that accident that killed her father. Official reports stated he fell down the stairs. But rumours spread that Nanase might be the one who killed him as there were ‘evidence’ of a diary entry of her plotting to kill him. Also, there was a huge insurance amount on him. When this whole thing blew out of proportion, Nanase kept a low profile by staying and hopping from one hotel to another. Until she met her death with steel beams falling onto her. Everything from her neck above was crushed and beyond recognition. But her belongings on her and in her hotel room proved it was her.

Saki talks to Terada about Nanase being a vengeful ghost. He finds it artificial because of the way she dresses and swinging around a steel beam, it is something that the masses would love to hear. There must be something in the shadows behind this other than Nanase’s will. Saki realizes that if Nanase was indeed a vengeful spirit, she wouldn’t be pandering to the masses. There is a possibility that Nanase’s death could be a murder case instead. Kotoko is also doing her online research on Nanase. There is a creepy occult website on her. Even creepier, the image of Nanase is exactly depicted as the real ghost. Like as though the person who saw her personally drew an exact replica of her. She realizes it is actually the opposite and if that’s the case, it would be hard to defeat her. As the info all over the internet is a mess, she needs a reliable source. Like the police. This means going back to Saki and asking for a favour. Oh boy. As Saki continues to look into the files and is perturbed of the statements made by Nanase’s older sister, Hatsumi, she heard a knock on her balcony window. Oh sh*t. Freaking out at this little tree spirit at first, he assures he comes in peace and is only here to deliver a message from Kotoko. She wants her to meet up. While Kotoko is waiting at the diner, a ghost reports to her the sighting of Nanase nearby. So she has the ghost wait for Saki while she goes to find Nanase. Soon enough, she sees Nanase fighting off somebody. Isn’t that Kurou?!

Episode 5
What’s worse than hiding and watching Kurou fight? Why, Saki coming by to yell at Kotoko for abandoning their meeting place and leaving a message to a ghost! But be quiet! The fight is in progress. Saki wants to help him but Kotoko doesn’t want her to bother with that. Kurou is fighting clumsily and gets bloodily clobbered. Of course he regenerates and when he does, it’s like he makes a comeback and starts strangling Nanase. Now the tables are turned? Kotoko believes Kurou has another ability, that is to see the future. This is thanks to the kudan (cow with human head) meat. It all began when his ancestor was obsessed in wanting a premonition ability. To do so, they believed in eating a creature with that ability. Hence the kudan. However many died after eating it. The experiment continued silently until one day Kurou’s grandma had all the kids eat the kudan meat she secretly cooked into their meals. All of them died except Kurou. Grandma was so happy that the wish finally came true and then killed him so as to see if death could give any foreboding abilities. Kurou is then subjected to mortal wounds as experiment to see if he could see the future and being an immortal. So over the years Kurou has grown ‘accustomed’ to the pain that he doesn’t feel anything. Of course it is soon discovered the abilities Kurou got was different of what they wanted. Back to the fight, Kurou snaps Nanase’s neck. Of course ghost girl revives. You can’t kill a ghost like that, right? With Kotoko stepping in, Nanase disappears. Now the true fight begins because Kurou ignores Kotoko to greet Saki. How dare you do this to your current girlfriend?! Although Kurou admits Kotoko is his current girlfriend, he sounds like he is doing her a favour. Kurou makes Kotoko apologize for whatever, whether she is at fault or not. He is sure she would have troubled her in some ways. Kotoko gets jealous thinking he might have some feelings for his ex. Better break up this mood now. Or is breaking up an option?

The trio gather at Saki’s place to talk about Nanase (aside Kurou not batting an eyelid admitting Saki is hotter than Kotoko!). Kurou explains that he was fighting Nanase because the youkai were seeking his help. After observing him being an asset to Kotoko, they don’t find him that scary. Kurou went on to look for Nanase until he stumbled upon her. Strangely, unlike other youkai, Nanase do not fear him. Although Nanase is a ghost, Kotoko believes there is a way to defeat her completely. To put it shortly, the manifestation of Nanase is because she is a monster created out of imagination. People spread rumours about something and that something manifests and solidifies because of the common traits people believe in. Thanks to the power of internet, this is why Nanase is able to manifest and become so powerful in a short span of time. More accurately, there is a site that accurately depicts her, thus spreading the rumours at an alarming rate. It would be strange for a ghost of a rumour to look so precisely as this when there has been no solid eyewitness. Hence it is the opposite. The illustration on the website wasn’t modelled after the ghost but rather because many imagined Nanase as so, therefore the ghost took that form. Everything is backwards. The site wasn’t created because there was a ghost but rather the ghost was born because of the site. So this site is actually the true identity and form of Nanase.

Episode 6
It sounds simple, right? Just create a better story to attract the mass and make them believe in this new story. That is why Kotoko needs details from the police so that she can create a story that will surpass the current rumours. They need to make people believe that Nanase isn’t a ghost and once that happens, Nanase will naturally cease to exist. It doesn’t necessarily be the truth as long as the story they make is more interesting. That’s why Kotoko will use rational fiction to counter Nanase. She needs 2 important factors: Who is the culprit behind this and why the culprit is doing this. Kotoko finds Nanase’s files hidden underneath Saki’s pillows. Since she warned her not to get involved but was stubborn, Saki is now forced to reveal the police’s findings. As we know, she is hiding here to avoid the media after being accused for killing her father. It feels weird that she would be waiting at the construction site at night. While it might seemed that somebody called her to meet, her phone records showed that only her manager was being contacted and nobody else. Hence meeting somebody else was ruled out. There were also evidence of cigarettes around her body and in her pocket. They believed she was smoking while waiting. It couldn’t be from the perpetrator because it was raining heavy that night so I guess the rain washed away any saliva DNA whatsoever. Even more baffling, when the steel beams fell, she died in a way that showed no signs of self-defence. Like as though she wanted to commit suicide. Though a theory surfaced that someone knocked her out beforehand and placed her on where the steel beams fell, it is unlikely since she was running away from the media, it could be that she was in a desperate situation and at that moment she thought death was better for her. After the police ruled her death as accident, there was an unofficial theory that it could have been suicide. Hatsumi had a motive for killing her since she would have gotten all her sister’s inheritance. She was the only one who denied her sister was in a suicidal state. She seemed convinced if Nanase were to die, it wouldn’t be in such a way.

With all those facts from the police that Saki knows, it is time for Kotoko to visit the murder site and ask the ghost who actually witnessed all this! The human ghost confirms that the steel beams fell on Nanase and she did nothing to dodge, hence definitely a suicide. So why wasted time and bothered asking Saki if she can just ask the ghost? She wanted to see what is generally seen as the truth and the conclusions that stemmed from it. So Kotoko is pretty impressed that the police were able to deduce this accurately. Kotoko will use the info she has to create a better story. But it will still remain if the people will accept it. After all, humans aren’t always logical to begin with. They part ways as Kotoko returns with Kurou who explains more about the kudan abilities. He mentions how the future isn’t fixed and it is split into many infinite paths. Because of that, the future is undetermined. But would that make telling the future impossible and contradicting? The kudan doesn’t actually make its predictions by looking into the future. Rather, it makes those infinite paths into a single future and thus the power to determine which future will happen. In exchange for this power, it uses up all its life force and dies. Even so, it can’t determine any kind of future. Therefore it is theorized that those who are about to die can see the future. As for Kurou, despite he can regenerate, he still cannot see very far into the future. That’s why he couldn’t find a solution to defeat Nanase. Too many paths and he couldn’t sort them in time. When he mentions he couldn’t see a future where Saki isn’t involved in this, Kotoko wonders if he would’ve used this power to prevent a future that prevented their breaking up. Well, he would definitely use this power to lead to a break up with Kotoko!!! Seriously, he doesn’t think he can get back with Saki and is sure she feels the same way. Kotoko now thinks hard for a story and hopes there won’t be a victim as it will surely make things harder. So long as nobody confronts Nanase, it’ll be alright. You don’t say because Terada now comes face to face with the faceless Nanase! She attacks and he thinks his judo can stop her. Only, his fist went through her! Then she slams her steel beam on his face! Next day, all over the news that a police officer is found dead with his face crushed.

Episode 7
Saki is interrogated by the police on her whereabouts during the time of Terada’s death. Can’t say she was at the murder site. Instead, she says she was home alone. Later Saki talks to her boss about Terada being on the case of Nanase. Although the media has not caught wind yet, the public is trying to tie Terada’s death to Nanase. Saki gets a call from Kotoko to meet as she needs info. In the hotel, Kotoko and Kurou discuss how the internet is going wild with rumours that Nanase killed Terada. With this spreading nationwide, this is going to be harder to solve. Kotoko believes Rikka must have a hand in this and Kurou hates to agree to this but admits it might be true. When Saki arrives, Kotoko tells her that Terada was indeed killed by Nanase as witnessed first-hand by a youkai. It would have been ideal if the people thought it would be another normal murder and this will naturally tone down the power and influence of Nanase. Kurou then can use his ability to narrow down and seal Nanase’s future. However with the police trying to pursue for real evidence, this will make things more difficult as everything needs to be consistent. With Nanase getting more violent each time, she fears there could be multiple victims as the fantasies expand. With the media trying to cover the story and fanatics even visiting the site to show something, they could stumble into Nanase and become her latest victims. At that point, people’s imagination will further strengthen Nanase and make permanent her existence. As there is no time and to prevent further victims, Kotoko must create a story and a lie and solve this by tonight. But it is harder than it looks. They just can’t come up with a story that somebody has a grudge with Terada since they have to make other factors consistent to this story. And it’s not. They also need to create a culprit that will have everyone believe without actually hurting a real person.

With Kotoko at the end of her wits, Kurou suggests creating not one but several stories. As Nanase wasn’t born yesterday, there must have been lots of trial and errors to get her to turn her into this monster today. There must have been various methods to make sure her popularity didn’t fade. Otherwise, how would she have gotten this popular in a short span of time? Using the hundreds of cooked up fantasies to get closer to the solution they want, until then he will continue to determine the future that’s going to happen. He might die several times but he has resolved himself to do that. Kotoko then thinks hard and has come up of 4 ways. But right now she is tired and wants to sleep. Kurou and Saki leave her to her slumber while they go get something to eat and prepare food for Kotoko when she wakes up. For now, the plan is to have all the youkai alert them whenever Nanase appears. Kurou will then rush down there to keep Nanase at bay to prevent any victims. If she escapes, they’ll track her down and he’ll repeat the same thing. Saki talks to him about how long he has been dating Kotoko. Well, shortly after they broke up but it’s not like he wanted to. She thinks they make a fine couple because he can’t be chasing Rikka forever. Kurou is shocked to hear that name so why mention it? She thought Rikka was his type. Rikka was Kurou’s older cousin and a long term patient in that hospital he often visited her. She died while they were still dating. Flashback when Kurou told Saki about Rikka, she was interested in meeting her. So Kurou brought her to see Rikka and despite being pale and frail, she was quite a beautiful woman.

Episode 8
Call it a woman’s intuition, Saki when she first looked a Rikka, she could tell Kurou was in love with her. His first love. So as not to bother them, she waits at the café below. She notes that Rikka despite being a quiet woman, she has this ability to corrupt those around her. She then heard rumours from others how she often tried to kill herself. Hence Saki thought if Kurou is dating Kotoko just to break free from Rikka, she wouldn’t mind that. Kurou then admits he does love Rikka and might be tied down to her but sometimes he wished she wasn’t around. Saki is surprised because this indicates that Rikka is still alive. Yes, she hasn’t passed away as she assumed. Remember, Rikka is his cousin. You know what that means. When Kotoko wakes up, Saki asks her if she had met Rikka. Of course. Kotoko then spills the beans that Rikka was living at her mansion up until a month ago! At the start of the year, she was forcefully discharged from hospital. As a long term patient, the hospital didn’t know what to do with her and with the change in director and political landscape, they kicked her out. Surprisingly she agreed. Hence the rumours swirled that she died. At first she wanted to stay at Kurou’s place and help him do all the housework. But his fantasies were probably making it all dangerous so he called Kotoko for help. She agreed to let Rikka stay at her place in exchange he would give a spare key to his place. He won’t do that but seeing that he has nightmarish fantasies of Kotoko doing the housework, I suppose he has to choose the lesser of 2 evils. Saki thought Rikka hated Kotoko but Kotoko clarifies the time Kurou first brought her to see Rikka, Rikka did mention she wasn’t a good match for him. Kurou agreed! Rikka felt bad and tried to give some hope that Kotoko wasn’t the worst. In fact, Rikka and Kotoko were like best friends and celebrated each other’s birthdays. Until a month ago she claimed she had found a job and a place to stay and left. However the contacts she gave were fake. They tried to find her and Kurou who seemingly got some info on it, went missing to look for her and told Kotoko to not come look for her. As he was looking for Rikka but stumbled into Nanase instead.

It is safe to say at this point that Rikka created the Nanase urban legend. While staying at Kotoko’s place, she had access to her PC. Kotoko didn’t particularly check as she wasn’t interested, not until she heard about the Nanase case from the youkai. Looking at the webpage, she knew it was Rikka behind it because the illustration of Nanase was definitely Rikka’s unique style of drawing. Rikka might have longed for creating a monster out of imagination and the perfect timing of Nanase’s death may have been all the convenient ingredients for her to get it going. It could be possible that by doing this, she wants to see how far she can go with her ability to decide the future. Talk put on hold when a youkai reports the appearance of Nanase. Meanwhile Rikka slits her own throat to see the future. In no time, she returns back to life. As Kurou goes face off with Rikka, Kotoko enters the site’s forums to post. Saki wonders if Rikka as the admin will delete her posts. Kotoko believes it is not likely because by doing so, she will send a signal that she is trying to hide something and that the ghost might not be real. So since she wants Nanase to exist, she must leave all posts alone. Kotoko explains one of her solutions akin to discussing a bill in parliament. Rikka may have the majority support of the forum for those who believe Nanase exists. But Kotoko believes that there are many others who are just watching this site. If Kotoko can present a plausible story that fits with the facts and win over those support of anonymous people viewing the site, they stand a chance in defeating Nanase. By hiding the real facts and presenting various contradicting ones, they can turn fiction into fact and get away with it.

Episode 9
While Kurou fights Nanase, Kotoko begins her fight on the internet forum! She posts that Nanase is not a real ghost and that it is all an elaborated setup by the killer to hide behind this urban legend and go on a killing spree. While many do not initially believe her and pose several questions, Kotoko is able to come up with plausible theory to support her lies. So for the most part of this episode, we hear Kotoko describe how the killer setup all this just to kill Terada and of course many are still sceptical because why go through all that trouble just to kill a police officer and instead of just using a simpler method like poisoning. It’s because the killer wants to hide his real identity. Kotoko believes the killer is actually a female so by resorting to this killing method that seemed like it required a lot of work and strength, this would distract the police’s investigation from the real culprit. Because the killer knows Terada well, this narrows down the suspect to be a female police officer who works in the same department with him. With some starting to believe Kotoko’s theory, Saki then realizes Kotoko has painted her as the suspect! Hold on! But soon some start to pour cold water on this theory because they still find it impossible for a female police officer to actually do all this elaborated setup by herself just to kill a male colleague. While the change in flow can be attributed to Kurou dying (yeah, he died a few times already) and seeing the future, the same can be said for Rikka. As she possessed the same power, this is why the flow again changes against them. Despite she isn’t censoring any posts and has to maintain this site, she still clearly has a big advantage because of her head start in having many believe in the existence of Nanase. While many in the forum still believe in Nanase the ghost, what Kotoko needs to do is just for part of them to believe it. She will repeat this process so as to chip away the ‘support’ for Nanase. That’s why if she doesn’t get the majority for one theory, she’ll go on to the next one. So on to solution number 2 then…

Episode 10
Kotoko changes her stance that Nanase is now a real ghost. But what is the real reason she had to reappear as a ghost and attack others? To the point where she had to kill a detective? If it is believed her death was by suicide and she did come back as a ghost seeking revenge on society, wouldn’t she have gotten her revenge since she has become popular? Hence she came back as a ghost not for revenge but to tell the truth. Remember, her father was wary that she was out to get him and evidence suspected Nanase of killing him. The one who killed her father is no other than the father himself. Feeling inferior over his daughter’s success, he hatched a plan that would make it look like she killed him although he killed himself. So after Nanase was killed and her soul went to the afterlife, she met her father who told her the truth. Shocked, she started to have regrets and returned to the world as a spirit to tell everyone the truth. She wanted people to know the tragedy that she didn’t kill her father and that’s why she went on a rampage as a ghost and turned evil because of her father’s betrayal. Therefore Kotoko wants everyone to believe in Nanase’s innocence as this will only bring peace to her soul. This solution is almost quite effective as many start to believe this. Nanase is much weaker (though Kurou died many times over!) however Kotoko knows this is not over yet as there are some who still don’t find the theory plausible since Nanase went too far in killing a detective in addition to causing havoc to others.

Now Kotoko moves on to the third solution in which Nanase is a fake ghost created by a living human being. She talks about some inconsistent points that doesn’t match up to her death. Then she brings in Hatsumi’s name who doubted her death as suicide. It is believed that Hatsumi couldn’t accept her sister’s death and so and despite the evidence of her being presented, it could be that Nanase’s body was switched out with a double. I mean, how reliable are all the evidence? While it is extremely hard to replicate the person with the same blood type, possessions, etc, it is not impossible. It could be that Hatsumi doesn’t have a good relationship with her sister. As Hatsumi refused to accept her sister’s death, this started affecting her life and psychology. Hence there is somebody who was concerned about Hatsumi’s state of mind and decided to prove that her sister is dead. Therefore, dressing up and going around as Nanase the ghost to spread the rumours. It can’t be Hatsumi’s boyfriend or a close family member as she would have noticed unusual night time activities. The culprit could be somebody single with deviant tendencies. Unfortunately he almost got caught by Terada and had to kill him. Cornered after going so far as to commit such a murder, he might have wanted to further their relationship by going as far as to harm her. Kotoko wants everyone’s cooperation to help find this pervert. As this solution is more effective and the majority agreeing to Kotoko’s view, however Nanase still isn’t weakening and has killed Kurou a few more times! Because now an anonymous person (Rikka) points out the flaw in Kotoko’s theory. If Hatsumi was afraid of Nanase seeking revenge on her, what the culprit did was only to worsen her sanity. Because Nanase would have been portrayed with a milder persona instead of a violent steel beam killer. Now that Nanase has killed someone, Hatsumi’s fear would be at max and her psyche shred to pieces. Therefore the culprit’s motives doesn’t match up. The internet now switches sides to Rikka.

Episode 11
Kotoko notes that everything she has done as well as Rikka’s actions have all been part of her plan. You see, the reason why Kotoko didn’t just use the 4th solution is because she needs to use the first 3 as the basis and foundation for the fourth which is the actual truth. Though Rikka can destroy any parts aside the conclusion, this would make her stand out more. Hence she is forced to take the simplest solution. So the 4th solution that Kotoko presents to the internet is that Nanase the ghost is created by no other than Nanase herself and this means she is very much alive. Needing to get away from the media spotlight, Nanase somehow met a girl who has the same physique like her. For some reasons, she managed to convince her to be part of her plan. A plan to switch their lives. Of course Nanase set her up to meet at the construction site, caught her off guard by knocking her out and then dropping the steel beams to completely crush her face. Therefore the body found at the site is not the real body of Nanase. After planting evidence, Nanase fled and is now living her new life as that person. At this point, the internet now discusses and reasons by themselves about this conclusion. For instance, why would she go all the way to create a ghost of herself? It is so to convince others that she is dead. That is why the ghost is in her shape and that she is playing the ghost herself. Although Nanase the ghost is weakening against Kurou, Kotoko still needs to deliver the final blow. In order to make this ghost rumour spread fast, this site was created. Hence Kotoko accuses the site admin is actually Nanase herself! Kotoko claims her role wasn’t to prove the existence of the ghost but to expose Nanase herself behind this (which is of course a lie).

Kotoko now explains why Nanase killed Terada. As she was in the city to find out the next place to make a scene, she stumbled into Terada. His detective instincts kicked in as he stopped and questioned her. He thought she looked familiar (are there no other girls in Japan with such humongous boobs?) so when he realized she is Nanase, she panicked and knocked him out. And then she killed him and made it look like the ghost did it. Therefore Nanase’s crime is killing Terada. She is free to refute this but also wants her to prove that she is not Nanase. The internet is now in uproar. Many believe Nanase is still alive and some believe she is the killer and must be arrested. It doesn’t matter if Rikka reveals the real truth because the internet has pretty much believed Nanase the idol still lives. This helps Kurou to pick out the future to defeat the ghost while Rikka herself is stumped as she cannot grasp the future she wants. Kotoko then hopes for everyone to vote in their minds and their conscience of Nanase’s existence. Finally a monster born from lies has been destroyed by lies. Kurou takes the steel beam and smashes it back at Nanase.

Episode 12
Rikka sends an email to Kotoko acknowledging her victory. This time. So I guess she’ll be back, huh? Saki asks why Rikka is doing this. Kotoko skirts around the question as she talks about people having vivid imagination that it is enough to create ghosts. This means there is a possibility of creating a god. Kotoko goes to pick up Kurou. Knowing he is tired from the fight, she lets him eat a banana. Then she makes a cheeky remark that she’ll eat his banana later! I think it’s been a long day… All the youkai pop up to celebrate Kotoko as their saviour and heroine but they have to cut short celebrations and go home because Saki is terrified. Soon, people spoke less about Nanase the ghost as the focus now shifts to finding Nanase the idol. While it could create a whole new legend, we’ll find out when the time comes. As for the Nanase website, Rikka took it down.

Later Saki meets up with Kurou to find out the real truth of why Rikka is doing this. Kurou first explains himself that he has resigned to the fact of having such powers. But noticing that he could age and grow like normally, there is a possibility he can die of old age. Generally he can live a normal life. However this is not the case for Rikka. She is adamant of wanting to become a normal human again and will do what it takes to achieve that. Saki remembers Rikka was once experimented on by a medical team. But because no modern technology could cure her predicament, she decided to grasp the future she wanted herself. Kurou doesn’t know what she is thinking but she is definitely doing abnormal things just to become normal again. While it sounds dreadful that Rikka might create monsters in the future, Kurou assures Kotoko won’t allow it because it goes against the natural order that she is tasked to protect. That is why she gave up her right eye and left leg. Both agree that they cannot get back together again after what happened. That’s why Kurou promises to look after Kotoko as she is more fearless than he is and takes more risks. Initially Kurou didn’t want Kotoko to get involved with this Nanase case and tried to deal with it swiftly. But after Kotoko got involved, Rikka might see Kotoko as her biggest threat and target her. That’s probably why he didn’t tell Kotoko because if he did, she would want to get involved. He promises not to let her die because she deserves happiness.

Kotoko wakes up after sleeping for more than a day. Instantly she regrets this slip up because this means giving Kurou and Saki more time together! Yeah, she’s blaming him for it. Nothing he says can soothe this sulking girl. Even if his points are valid. Yeah, she’s pretty sore about it. After she is discharged, she continues to warn him not to do anything without her knowledge. Then she asks about some Kuebiko legend that contains a princess with a similar name like her. She knows about it but doesn’t take too lightly his smirk comments about it. Because the story was about a princess who was being sent away to be married but only to be returned because she is ugly. And then Kurou reminds her that Kotoko herself is beautiful, that’s why he hasn’t sent her back anywhere. Can you hear Kotoko’s heart melting? She still tries to play the tough girl, though. Then they walk back together hand in hand as Kotoko thinks of introducing him to her parents.

Fiction Is Truth Inside The Lie
Well, that’s all folks. Another mystery solved without much ado. Thanks to the power of the internet, people’s minds and opinions can change like shifting sand. Aren’t we so glad with the advent of high speed internet these days? So until the next big case and mystery, we know what to rely on when that happens. Yeah, technology so modern but human mind set still primitive. That’s why some lore never die out.

If you know me, you could probably tell that I am not really amused by the story and plot. Even more so the supernatural world in which I am totally lost. Not that I have never watched such genres in my life and did so from time to time, but I never really found a liking for it generally (even Jigoku Shoujo was just because of a certain seiyuu). Even if the plot and story of this series is pretty much straightforward, I didn’t really find it engaging. As this is of a detective mystery genre too, there are lots of conversations and works of deduction at play here. I’m not the brightest tool in the shed so trying to understand the deductions at hand is one thing and my limited Japanese vocab as well as their own supernatural folklore is another thing. Both of which, diminishes my overall enjoyment. Just because I had to think to make sense of what they say!!! Yeah, it’s tough being stupid.

So if you ask me, the first few episodes establish what this series is going to be and for the remainder 3/4 of the show, the Nanase mystery is pretty much the main course and feature for this season (you can tell from the opening credits animation anyway). So on one hand it is good that this does not have an episodic feel whereby every episode is a different case to work on, but with the Nanase case occupying a big chunk, it really drags out the story. It’s a unique way to fight a fictional monster and in that sense it is interesting but unfortunately casual viewers like me won’t be totally impressed either. So is this why the official English title for this series is called In/Spectre? As in, inspector, the detective? Okay. Pun well played.

I’m not really a mystery fan so the deductions and theories that Kotoko or other characters come up don’t really feel exciting. I know it doesn’t take a lot of brain power to digest and put together the pieces of the puzzle and I’m just ‘engaged’ and continuing to watch the episode so as just to find out the answer. I mean, I’ve already ‘invested’ my time and ‘interest’ in this series, they better give me an answer that I can understand even if it is not satisfactory! So ultimately Kotoko’s tactic of using fiction to fight fiction isn’t fighting fire against fire. Rather, a lie told often enough becomes the truth. That is what it feels like here. Whoever told the most convincing lie wins. And it was obvious who the better ‘liar’ was here. I hope Kotoko doesn’t use this sly move on Kurou’s heart. There is that possibility she might if she gets desperate enough.

For a detective mystery genre, there is quite a few bloody and violent moments. I am very sure they are not spooky or horror. Just blood and gore. Especially Nanase the ghost starts swinging her steel beam. Like as though this is your mini action moment amidst the deductions. Poor Kurou. How many times he got killed just to find the future he wants. It’s not very often that you get to see a main character get killed and revived so many times. You must be an amateur if you can’t stand seeing Kurou getting split in half or his limbs torn to bits or just bearing the full brunt of the steel beams. Gory indeed. And yes, nothing screams attention and fanservice when you have a very busty ghost as your antagonist. I guess that’s why we got unconsciously attracted to know more about mystery. How the heck did Nanase got bigger boobs than her older sister?! Mystery indeed.

The characters themselves despite being a small set of cast, they aren’t interesting. They quickly establish in the first couple of episodes of the supernatural powers that Kotoko and Kurou have. It feels like it needs more expansion and fleshing out but with the Nanase arc getting in the way, we just have bits and pieces. If the detective mystery becomes too draggy or a bore, sometimes they light the mood up with some short cheesy romcom lines. This is where most of the ‘comedy’ comes from. Funny. At least something I can grasp at first go and bring a smile to my face. Seeing Kotoko trying to get closer to Kurou but that guy always feels so reluctant but she doesn’t give up. One day, just one day… And then with Saki getting dragged in the picture, weird rivalry that isn’t actually a rivalry on the cards. What are the chances Kurou still has feelings for his ex? Ah, that unsettling anxiety that every current girlfriend will always have. But seeing how things ‘ended’ it is safe to say that they won’t be seeing each other anymore. Unless fate…

Sometimes they want to show us that Kotoko-Kurou relationship is more than just this supernatural detective partners thingy because I clearly remember at one point during the midst of the deduction, Kotoko just suddenly telling Kurou that she will be attending the same university as him. Like, how is that relevant in any way? It felt so out of place that it made me go, “Huh? What? What was that all about?”. Like as though she is announcing in advance his path to hell… Hahaha! I’m sure Kurou is tempted to kill himself a few more times to see which future doesn’t have Kotoko in his life! Like they say, opposite attracts as we can see Kotoko and Kurou at polar ends of their character. One is quite outgoing and lively while the other just reserved and emotionless. Maybe that’s why they make a good pair. Or not. So with him sticking around Kotoko, it feels more like an obligation to protect her rather than a romantic one. But who knows? There could be a future that it will truly become one. But for now, their relationship is amusing because of the hot-cold-hot-cold jabbing they give each other. It makes you wonder if all those wisecracks at each other mean they are truly deeply in love or just hate each other’s guts. Give them a few more years, they’ll be acting like a true married couple!

Poor Saki. You would think that after being able to see ghosts and spirits, she’ll get used to it. Unfortunately she still gets spooked by the friendliest of ghost. Don’t laugh. That’s what you call a phobia and I’m sure all of us have our own inner fears that we won’t overcome. Ever since Saki got dragged into this mess, she started seeing more youkai and at this rate, I fear she might go crazy and lose her bat sh*t insanity. Though, I hope not to see this happen to sweet policewoman. Thankfully, Kurou did promise her that he will tell spirits, ghosts and youkai not to appear in front of her anymore. Yeah, that doesn’t mean they’ll not be around her. At least she’ll have goodnight’s sleep. Now she just have to fight the ghosts and demons in her mind about this.

Rikka being the main antagonist and mastermind for this season, I don’t think she is really a bad person. She is one who became so with such a pre-existing condition because of somebody else’s actions. So while wanting to return being normal is pretty normal, perhaps it is the methods that most of us would not agree on and that’s why she looks like the villain. More than often, we do understand and sympathize with the reasons why villains act so but not so much of the methods they employ. Sure, it must suck to be an immortal. I’m not sure what her problem of just living life normally is. It’s not like government agents are out to kidnap her and use her for experiment or weapons, right? And so in her bid to become normal, she caused a lot of problems to the innocent. So that’s where we draw the line. Rikka, bad girl.

It might be just me but I somewhat notice something about Kotoko’s right eye. They don’t seem all that fake to me because at times I noticed that when she moves her eyeballs, both eyes moved! Correct me if I’m wrong but if her right eye is fake, shouldn’t it be stationary and not move? But I see them move in the same direction. Is there some supernatural play at hand? It might be creepy and viewers would start to notice that one eye stayed still so I guess to not bring this up, they just animate her eyes the same way a normal humans would have both eyes intact. Her left leg might not be obvious since she is using a stick to assist in her walking. But the way she walks, still it gives an impression that she has her whole left leg there. She might have gotten used to make it look like she is walking normal since she has been this way for many years so this one isn’t as obvious as the missing eye.

Artwork and animation are pretty okay. A series that is mostly talking and deducing don’t need a lot of animation. So sometimes Kurou’s fight with Nanase feels a bit jerky. But cover it up with blood and gore, nobody is going to notice, right?! And of course it goes without saying, Kotoko being the cutie pie that attracted my attention to watch this series. Rikka too but she has this creepy look the more you stare at her. I feel like she might steal my soul! As for some of the youkai, they look cartoonish like as though they popped out from some children’s cartoon TV. I guess the friendlier ones tend to look like this compared to the ones with malice will lean towards more horror-like. This anime is done by Brain’s Base who did a few supernatural themed animes like Natsume Yuujinchou, Durarara, Amnesia, Servamp and Kamigami No Asobi.

Mamoru Miyano as Kurou feels completely docile here. Perhaps I was expecting something like his Koutarou from Zombie Land Saga, that flamboyant trademark voice that I would love to hear again or even at least those kind of characters. But then as Kurou, this isn’t the first time voiced such characters with no emotion. Remember Fushimi from K? Yup. It won’t be accurate for me to say that his talents are wasted on this monotonous main character but I thought this role could be helmed by just about any other seiyuu in the market. It’s just too easy for him. The other casts are Akari Kitou as Kotoko (Kaho in Blend S), Misato Fukuen as Saki (Yami in To Love-Ru), Mayumi Sako as Rikka (Kai in Dragon Crisis), Kenji Hamada as Terada (Jouji in Paradise Kiss) and Sumire Uesaka as Nanase (Sanae in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai).

Mononoke In The Fiction by Uso To Chameleon as the opening theme feels weird. Considering the pacing of the series, the hard rock outfit just doesn’t seem suitable at all. It sounds very chaotic and I don’t think I ever got used to hearing it ever. Although the ending theme still feels as out of place as the opener, at least this one sounds more palatable to hear. Last Dance by Mamoru Miyano is quite the catchy jazzy ballroom music it is. After the brain wrecking episode, hearing this song helps me wind down. Ironic to say that Mamoru Miyano does a better job singing than voice acting as his character. Yeah, he put more soul and feeling in this piece. And yeah, Kurou and Kotoko all sharply dressed up and doing their ballroom dance with each other till they tire out. Did they get possessed by some dancing youkai or ayakashi or something? Amusing.

Overall, if you aren’t into supernatural or detective mystery genres, this series may be a big bore and confusing. Remember, this isn’t exactly a horror series so the youkai and even the faceless Nanase isn’t meant to scare you in the first place. Aside all the talking and deduction, it does have its cute moments to break the monotony. Kotoko x Kurou interaction is amusing but they don’t want this to take away the limelight from the detective mystery element in focus. But that’s about it for me. Sadly, there weren’t enough posts in the forums to convince me and change my mind to like this kind of genre so I’ll still be having second thoughts of animes falling under this category in the future. This isn’t a bad anime at all but it failed to captivate me or give me a reason to like it further. Maybe they should write better fiction to change my mind. Hard, right? Yeah, that’s because unlike reality or the stranger truth, fiction has to actually make sense!

%d bloggers like this: