Kurokami Episode 7: Sweet little sister, crazy big brother
Katt: I know what you’re thinking; “You’re not Angel!” It’s true, it’s true. It’s just little ol’ Katt here, taking Angel’s place for the Kurokami review this week since Angel is having computer problems. There was no entry written for Kurokami last week, so I’ll just sum up the main point of development very very briefly: Keita is a substitute, not a master root. This means that he is weaker than his doppleliners, and thus Kuro is weaker than she would be had she made a contract with a master root. Also, when a substitute lends their power to a Mototsumitama, they will age faster and thus die faster. Summed up even more briefly? If Keita continues as Kuro’s contractee, he will die sooner than later. But in order to break a contract, one of them would have to die. Dramatic? I think so.
On the road to Okinawa
This episode opens with Keita, Kuro, and Akane getting ready to leave for Okinawa as they’ve been planning to do for a couple of episodes. While they’re chatting, Akane gets a text message from Excel and then we see that one of the Tribal Ends can hear their conversation (I’m assuming via Akane’s phone; nothing to do with Excel’s text, I hope?). Because of this, they learn that the trio is heading to Okinawa, and the eavesdropper informs Hiyou of this. Hiyou is kind of distracted since his entire lair was destroyed by Steiner, though. Let’s all laugh at the evil bastard having his fun ruined!
This goes unbeknownst to our heroes, of course, and so they carry on with their plans to go to Okinawa, unaware that there will be a bunch of enemies waiting for them. As they drive to the airport, discussing the “fat” on Akane’s chest, two people being chased by two Tribal Ends run in front of their car. Obviously ignoring stuff like this isn’t Kuro’s strong point, so she runs after them, leaving Keita and Akane to follow. The two people being chased seemed to be a Mototsumitama boy and a girl who he is contracted with; they seem to have a fun dynamic, with her being totally gung-ho about fighting and him being more concerned about her than the enemies.
Akane asks Kuro if she should help them, but upon seeing them close up Kuro realizes that they will not need her help. Before anyone can question why she thinks that, the Mototsumitama boy shows why he won’t need her help. This guy is badass. He totally manages to beat the crap out of the two Tribal Ends…and then gets his face kicked by his contractee. She seems to be a toughie, too. When he recovers from the kick in the face, he spots Kuro and goes running up to her, crying, “Princess!”
That’s right: Kuro is a princess, and this Mototsumitama, named Yakumo, has been looking for her. Along the way, he made a contract with Riona, who just so happens to be a master root who was a part of the Kainoji Group–an enterprise that runs different shops, restaurants, and hotels–but who ran away from them. This enterprise apparently makes master roots, and all of those master roots become members of their management. They also have cameras set up in stores that record the details of everyone who enters. Stalker companies are not cool, kids.
Because Riona ran away from the company (knowing its secrets), she has been constantly chased by Tribal Ends. That is why she and Yakumo formed a contract when they met by chance. She says that apparently the head of the company and some master roots are heading to Okinawa… Hmm, that’s inconvenient! Now Keita and company realize that they are obviously being spied on and that a trap is waiting for them. Keita guesses that the top person is Reishin, who Kuro confesses is her brother. Everything is tying together now and it isn’t looking pleasant. Kuro promises to tell Keita her past.
At the airport, Keita and Kuro split from the others for a while so that Kuro can explain her past to him. She tells him that she, like all of her tribe, lived in a Holy Land separate from the world that she and Keita are living in now. The tribe basically made sure that the universe’s balance was going smoothly; however, it was someone within her own tribe that disrupted that equilibrium.
Though before learning of that destruction, we see Kuro and her brother enjoying a happy bond with each other. It’s that typical anime premise of a little sister who admires her big brother, the guy who adores his land and would do anything for it…until he goes crazy and the little sister is forced to stop him (*cough*Talesoftheabyss*cough* Although that was a video game before it was an anime…). We also get to see Kuro’s mother, the “Miko” of the village who performs various rites. In the flashback, she partakes in a ritual in which she witnesses a vision of the future. No one but her gets to see that future, and despite how she wakes in a shock, she insists that nothing ominous threatens them.
It isn’t long before everyone learns that she had lied. Yakumo informs Kuro that her brother has started murdering everyone. She hurries to find him and is faced with a pile of corpses, which I can only assume is the first time she really sees such a violent situation in her life. It gets worse, though. When she finally finds her brother, she also finds her mother…who is dead, absolutely drenched in blood. She breaks down and asks Reishin why he did it, but he doesn’t explain. He just says that he will descend to Earth and create a new world, leaving her there alone to rot. It was after this that Kuro decided to follow him to Earth to kill him, depending on the explanation that he gives for his actions back in their Holy Land.
Obviously this story hits Keita hard. Not only is it a depressing past for someone that he is gradually coming to care for, but it holds a notable similarity to his own past: Kuro lost her mother, too.
Enter a bad guy
Specifically, enter Hiyou. Kuro recognizes him although the pair of Kuro and Keita hasn’t encountered him yet. Kuro explains that he was from the Holy Land, but was banished for bringing humans to their land and experimenting on contract-making. Those experiments might have gotten him banished, but they helped in his twisted plans because he can now mass produce Tribal Ends who are humans with powers equal to Mototsumitama. Except for the part where one of his labs was trashed…but he fails to mention that.
He wants Kuro’s powers, though he cannot obtain them while Keita is contracted to her, and so Keita must be killed. Evidently Kuro and Keita aren’t going to sit back and let that happen, so a fight ensues. Keita is reluctant to help out for a good part of the battle because he remembers how he will age if he assists Kuro too much; however, he eventually gets past that and synchronizes with her. With some surprise help from Yakumo, they drive Hiyou away. He leaves with the promise that they’ll meet again soon, and he’ll bring his contractee.
The last scene before the credits is a heartwarming one. Keita and Kuro sit in the airport together, and Keita tells her that she doesn’t have to act fine when she isn’t. She is allowed to cry, just as he did when his mother died. Kuro looks disbelieving, but she breaks down in front of him…and pretty much everyone else in the airport. Keita feels pretty awkward, but he places his hand on hers and says that he’s finally made the choice to fight with her. One more tear falls down Kuro’s cheek here, and I would say that it’s a happy one.
I’m not gonna lie: very cute ending. But Kuro’s past? As tragic as it is, it isn’t something that I haven’t seen before. I think that it is how this past unfolds and is explained that will add to the plotline, and then we’ll see if this measures up to Tear and Van, Sasuke and Itachi, and other oh-my-big-bro-went-crazy storylines. For now, I still prefer Keita’s story to Kuro’s. And I like the new guy; Yakumo’s cool.
Katt’s Overall Rating of Kurokami Episode 7: 8/10
Katt’s Anticipation for Kurokami Episode 8: 8/10
After the credits, Steiner and Excel show up at the airport. Excel gives Keita a ring called Thousand that will supposedly help him to use special powers if he trains on a daily basis. She says that she wants to look after him, and then gives him a kiss on the cheek (to which Akane looks horrified, of which Riona takes pictures, and for which Yakumo shields Kuro’s eyes). Excel reminds Keita that when it comes down to it, it is up to him to help Kuro when she is in a tight place. No pressure.