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Episode 15: Shrine Maidens of the Seals

 

Review by Brian Shea

May 7, 2017

 

Summary

 

Mizuno and Takuto look at her crow friend Kaasuke's empty nest from the window in the boy's bathroom. Takuto comments on them growing up and flying away. Mizuno remembers when Takuto saved one of the birds and says it's all thanks to him. He says it is due to her. She is happy her debut performance will be with him and asks if he wants to rehearse, making him nervous. As she leans in for a kiss, several boys, who really need to use the bathroom interrupt. Ruri spreads rumors over what Mizuno was doing to Wako and comments on how it must be nice to be her, doing whatever she wants. A boat arrives on shore and a woman, Fujino, looks around, finding no one there. The woman who talked to Takuto in the previous episode asks Takuto who he will be kissing in the play and Wako reveals it will not be her. Takuto down plays Mizuno's attraction to him, saying she simply finds him amusing, like the crow or Vice President. Wako, mad at him, eats the rest of his ice cream and leaves. The woman tells Takuto he has no clues about a young woman's feelings. She asks about Sugata, who at that moment is talking to Reiji by the shore. Reiji tells Sugata he was fated to have his portrait painted for him, and he is also been fated to be the leader of Glittering Crux. The role of Emperor, leader of the first Brigade has been left open for him. Sugata rises his hands as if to use the Kings Pillar and Reiji comments on his emblem, also saying no warrior drivers can defeat him. He says it's the king's emblem, not a warrior's emblem on Sugata's chest. He says the Galactic Pretty Boy will be defeated soon and he has no intention of taking his life, but considers him an ally as well. Reiji leaves, leaving the painting, with the R on the bottom there. Fujino is greeted by a friend of hers, and asks her for some money. Marino looks rather down in the tub and Mizuno asks her what is wrong. She says she heard something from their aunt. Mizuno says she has nothing to do with them and they should talk about something fun instead. Mizuno comments on someone she likes even more than Kaasuke and the Vice President, Takuto. Marino says she'll always be by Mizuno's side and gives her a hug, saying she's totally helpless without her. Meanwhile in the Vanishing Age lounge, Reiji makes the Glittering Crux symbol to his various star driver colleagues. Tsukihiko comments on how Marino never even came to this room. Reiji says they should be thanking her as she helped them find out about the Western Shrine Maiden. The others realize this means she was lying. Mizuno, riding on the roof of a bus notices that it is starting to rain out. She realizes that Takuto, Wako and Sugata are by the bus and gets excited. Takuto comments on how tired he is after having both martial arts and Drama Club practice. Mizuno notices how much rapport there is between the three and gets quite worried when they joke about Sugata calling off his engagement with Wako if Takuto beats him in a match. She sees her drawing of her and Takuto tear in half. Mizuno realizes that Takuto likes Wako. That day in class Marino notices Mizuno missing and wonders what is wrong. Mizuno cries on top of the bus as the rain hits her face.

 

That night, Mizuno lies in bed with Marino sitting over her. Marino says that although she missed school due to being sick, she should have told her, as she feared someone found out she was a Shrine Maiden. Mizuno wonders how much longer they can keep it a secret. Marino thinks they should keep lying about it. She says Mizuno's secret words that makes good things happen and that it will be okay. Illusions that don't fade away are reality. The doorbell rings and knocks, it being Fujino asking for her daughter Mizuno. Marino fearfully heads to the door and is quickly joined by Mizuno. Marino continues to say the words and says they should open the door and see her. If they intend to never see her again for abandoning them they should face it now so they can move forward. Mizuno starts crying and asks if she really knows what she's feeling. She says to stop playing the big sister and returns to bed, asking why their mother had to come back to the island now. Marino walks out to a bridge outside. The next morning Mizuno gets up and finds Marino's bed empty. She says she can't take it anymore, due to that woman's return. Mizuno heads to the dock where a boat is and sees Mami, who is selling some shells. Mizuno admits she is heading to the mainland. She sends a message to Marino via her phone apologizing. With that woman here on the island she has decided to leave until she does. She realizes this is the first time she's heading to the mainland and is a little excited about it. Mizuno hears an alarm going off. She suddenly wakes up in bed and wonders if that was all a dream. She again notices Marino's bed empty. Mizuno again heads to the boat and sees Mami there selling shells. She gets a bit nervous upon seeing things repeating as they occurred in her dream. She sends her text message to Marino and hears the alarm again. Mizuno wakes up yet again in her bed and returns to the boat, rushing past Mami. She frighteningly turns around as she hears the alarm go off. Back in bed, she slams is about to smash the alarm, but hesitates. She hides from Mami when she heads to the boat and instead of going on the large boat goes on a small motorboat with the cafe owner. The alarm again goes off and she wakes up in bed, smashing it. Mizuno hides from Mami in the parking lot and is found by Wako, who asks what is wrong. Wako notices how cold her hand is and Mizuno falls into her lap. Wako brings her inside and gets her a can to drink from. Mizuno asks her if she can hold her hand again. She asks Wako if she is really here and if this is happening. She says she can't tell what is happening anymore. Wako says the air on the island has been turbulent and that's why she came here. She believes Mizuno was going to leave the island. Wako leaves Mizuno at her home and her grandmother tells Mizuno that Wako is participating in a purification ceremony. She tells Mizuno she has been doing it due to the turbulence in the area lately. Later, the three of them eat lunch. Mizuno is quiet and doesn't eat anything. Wako's grandmother asks her if she is the Western Shrine Maiden and she nods her head. She admits to not having ever thought about leaving the island until today. Mizuno asks Wako if she is a Shrine Maiden and knew that she could never leave. Wako says she's known since she was little. Mizuno wonders if she has a duty as a Shrine Maiden. Wako tells her the Shrine Maidens have great power. Wako's grandmother asks Mizuno who knows she is a shrine maiden and she says only her sister and aunt. She says not to let anyone else know and come straight to them if she has any issues with it in the future. Mizuno sings at the beach where Keito finds her. Keito, knowing she's the Western Shrine Maiden asks her if she wants to know how to leave the island.

 

Commentary

 

This episode is quite the outlier, not only does it not feature a Cybody fight, but we hardly see Takuto at all. Rather the episode focuses considerably on Mizuno, who discovers like Wako her fate keeps her tied to the island. Rather than being dreams, it seems like time kept resetting every time she tried to leave. Mizuno is hit pretty hard by realizing just how close Takuto and Wako really are, as well as her mother's return to the island. Anyone whose seen the entire show will notice there are also hints to something else as well that I'll discuss in a future episode. Although she's only been around half the show, I think the show has done a fairly good job at making Mizuno a sympathetic character and likable character (more so than Wako in fact, at least to me) and one does feel bad for her here. We do get a few brief moments with some of the other characters early in the episode; the most notable of which is probably Reiji openly trying to get Sugata to join the Glittering Crux Brigade. Although it was rather obvious by this point anyway, the scene also confirms that Reiji is the painter of all those painting with an R on them, not Ryousuke as I speculated earlier. In any case, I was happy to see the writers having the guts to do an episode like this and enjoyed it quite a bit.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

4.5 out of 5 stars
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