I didn’t find this episode of KamiMemo quite as engaging as the last one, but it was nevertheless a satisfying continuation of the story of Sou and Renji, and the mysterious events that made them enemies. No one has the ability to hurt you like those who you love, and it’s become increasingly clear how close these two blood brothers were. The tragic result is an enmity that runs far deeper than it could any other way.
The key moment in many ways was Sou finally asking for Alice’s help, though Narumi was doing a surprisingly good job of piecing things together on his own. It’s clear the blood feud came about due to the tragic events surrounding a Korean immigrant, Hison, who worked at a hostess club. Both Sou and Renji loved her and swore to protect her, but she died after being stabbed – and Sou admitted responsibility, saying that he used Hison as a shield. Renji never forgave, fled to Kansai and the rest is history.
Of course, this is a mystery series so it’s not that simple. Most fascinatingly, it seems to me that the guy who works at the store where Narumi had the concert shirts made, Yoshiki (Ishida Akira) is probably Hison. He seems somewhat effeminate, and it was rather conspicuously pointed out that he suffers from pain from an old wound. Throw in the massive money that flowed to a surgeon and the fact that Hison’s identity was erased after the attack, and you have a pretty compelling case.
The salient question is why, of course. Apparently Hison was pregnant and having an affair with the Gotouda group’s leader, and it was his wife (now ex) that “killed” her. But why go to such lengths to erase her identity, and why does Sou take the fall for all this and let his friendship with Renji be destroyed in the process? Narumi is certainly meddling in dangerous territory here, though his intentions are noble enough. Renji really appears to be out for blood here, and willing to sacrifice anything and anyone to get his revenge.
Besides an interesting mystery, some improvement in Narumi’s character and his relationship with Alice is helping the series along. There’s less obsession with what a punching bag and pushover he is, for starters, and he’s starting to show some real grit and wit. The confidence he’s gained from being good at the job of concert promoter certainly helps. He and Alice are getting closer much more quickly than I’d thought, though I’m not sure yet just how I feel about that. She’s an acquired taste I haven’t fully acquired yet – she gets off the occasional great line – “Attempting to give form to the thoughts of another sometimes leads to wretched outcomes” – but she still seems more a construct than a character at this point.
In any case, this remains a solid improvement over the previous month for this series, so I’m encouraged. And any anime that can work “The Settlers of Catan” into the story is worthy of a few kudos.