I’ve noted this before, but when Youkai Apartment no Yuuga na Nichijou goes dark, it goes really dark. Given where this story left off last week (up to and including Tashiro being tossed ass over teakettle by Miura and mooning the audience as she lands on Yuushi) this particular arc had pretty much already arrived at the heart of darkness. There was a lot of ugliness waiting to be unleashed on top of what already had been, and this episode didn’t disappoint.
As Tashiro takes off to enact her revenge on Miura hacker-style, Yuushi sets about looking for answers. The Norns (again) aren’t much help in shedding light on what’s happened (though their cosplay was at least more contextually fitting this time). so Yuushi turns to Chokrah. He, by the way, is a deity from the Kabbalah, the book of Hebrew mysticism – he represents wisdom, in fact, and appears here as a wise old owl. I love the way using the Petit Hierozoicon as a kind of spiritual Google-sensei is becoming second-nature to Yuushi, and Chokrah proves to be more helpful than the book’s usual efforts. His first thought (portal to the demon world) is off the mark, but the second seems to be right on the money.
It’s here that Youkai Apato scores some serious brownie points with me, because as soon as Fool took Chokrah’s musing about a collection of negative emotions and offered that it might be an “id monster”, my mind went immediately to the only place a hard-core sci-fi fan’s could possibly go – to Forbidden Planet. And that’s where Yuushi’s mind went too, as he’d watched the movie with Hase as a kid. It’s a fantastic film that everyone should see – incredibly influential among modern science fiction cinema – and “Monsters From the Id” are a huge part of the plot. It’s a perfect analogy for what’s happening in this story and a well-played development.
Just having figured out the problem doesn’t mean you’ve found the solution, though – especially when Miura-sensei wigs out on another female student and ends up in the hospital. It’s not as though Yuushi-kun could waltz right in and exercise him even if he wanted, never mind that he’s a novice mage anyway. He bemoans the fact that in this world people are quick to dismiss any notions of Gods and youkai, but his elders quickly point out that the “good old days” things were even worse – rather than medical treatment the ill were assumed to be possessed by fox spirits (or worse), and imprisoned (or worse). These gentle lesson from the grown-ups (some of them dead for a long time) are becoming a regular part of Youkai Apato, and I like the way they’re worked into the story. For Yuushi, it’s all part of the process of learning how the world operates.
Tashiro has been busy too, and has unearthed some interesting nuggets from Miura’s (and Yuushi’s) past. Namely, that he was a teacher at a prestigious girls school where the students are notoriously arrogant and difficult on new teachers. It ended badly, he left, recuperated for two years and resurfaced at JTB – only by a cruel coincidence to present himself as the perfect vessel for the id monster that had been imprinted on the drama club storage room. It doesn’t seem like coincidences really exist in Youkai Apato, where the concept of free will still isn’t very well-defined – and most likely both Miura and Yuushi have been directed to this moment by more than simple chance…