Katt: Hoooly crap, I haven’t blogged in forever. Literally over a month. Ridiculous! My excuses: work overload at the end of July, Otakuthon at the beginning of August, more work after that, and now an addiction to Persona 3. Oh, and not to mention that my consistently-updated series, Hanasakeru Seishounen, hasn’t been subbed at all. And my new series, Bakemonogatari…I lost interest fast. Then Tears to Tiara, which I need to catch up on watching… BUT it’s not all bad since there have been a few recent updates with good ol’ Kemono no Souja Erin.
So what have I missed since I last blogged this series? The political episode that showed a growing dispute between the brothers Shunan and Nugan, the filler that gave Nukku and Mokku an episode of screentime, the trippy episode that I just had no clue what to say about. And now…well…
Episode 28: John? Jooooooooohn!!
Just an episode after Erin has a sort of dream sequence in which she calls John ‘Dad’, she receives the terrible news that he has passed away from heart disease. It pretty much comes out of nowhere, and that is really the point. The news is sudden and Erin’s reaction is nonexistent when she first hears it. I know that I am the same; a sudden death doesn’t hit me nearly as much as a death that I’ve seen coming for a while. It doesn’t sink in right away. This episode wonderfully depicts Erin’s gradual reaction to the news of John’s death and let me tell you why I think that is.
It’s very real, Erin’s whole process of mourning. My mom was in the room as I was watching this episode and everytime Erin laughed or cried, my mom made some sort of remark, which forced me to realize just how much Erin was laughing and crying. Oddly enough, both of those make a lot of sense in a character who is dealing with death. Laughter, in one way, shows how Erin is uncomfortable with John’s passing, how she doesn’t know how to react, or she doesn’t want to react in a certain way, so she laughs–or it can also show that she is thinking on good memories like she does with Esal when they go on a ‘pilgrimage’ of sorts in memory of John. Then there is the crying: it comes very sporadically. Her first cry seems to come out of nowhere right after she laughs at Lilan biting off the beast-lord sculpture’s head, which I found powerful. Erin’s reaction to Soyon’s death is still being drawn out to the present episodes, but now that she is older, her reaction to John’s death is more sudden, stronger. The switches between laughter and tears show that so well.
The most heartwrenching moments of this whole episode, though? First of all, Erin coming across the dead bee and burying it. I won’t go into any analysis of this since it’s straightforward; I just want to say that if you weren’t sad watching this scene, I’m quite positive you have no soul. And then, all of the moments when Erin refers to John as ‘Dad’. It leaves that sort of bittersweet feeling–it is so sweet that Erin has fully accepted that she views John as her dad, but she was never really able to let him know that even though we got the feeling that she intended to the next time she saw him. The confrontation with John’s spirit gives a sort of closure, but was that real? Or an imagined source of comfort for Erin? Ah, just a very emotional and amazingly-executed episode overall!
Katt’s Overall Rating for Kemono no Souja Erin Episode 28: 10/10
Episode 29: If you play with beasts, you’ll get bitten
It’s another example of how things never go all that smoothly in the Kemono no Souja Erin universe. Trial and error, loss of people dear to Erin, and now a bite from the beast she had formed a bond with. This situation can kind of be related to the relationships that people have with pets in our world, yet it is also very different. Yes, the sort of automatic fear that Erin develops toward Lilan can easily be likened to, say, people who have a phobia of dogs because they were bitten when they were younger; at the same time, Erin is already a big animal lover–and I know from my experiences being bitten or scratched–so it seems a little strange that she deterred to such an extreme from Lilan’s bite. But okay, here is where it can be justified: a bite from a tiger is going to be a helluva lot more painful than a bite from a tomcat. That level of pain would put a shock in anyone’s system.
In case you haven’t realized it yet, though, Erin is all kinds of awesome. She has already overcome the odds and befriended Lilan–this is the first major setback that she has encountered during the whole process. If she lets this incident separate her from Lilan forever, then how could she ever hope to keep moving toward her goal of being a beast-lord vet who doesn’t play upon fear? She couldn’t, and she doesn’t. Erin faces Lilan once again and decides her fate for herself: she will continue along the path she has chosen, even if it it ends the way that her mother’s did, killed by the beasts she wanted so badly to protect and save. Ah, so beautiful. <3
In the next episode–Erin is now 18?!?! When the hell did that happen?! Whoa now, time jumps. But okay, I will accept this because it means that Erin will be closer to her goal of being a vet, and will probably at this point be old enough to get involved in the bigger plot going on in this series. I think that with this time jump, Erin will finally get involved in the politics we’ve been learning of every now and then (though I probably said that the last time we flashforwarded four years). On other notes of curiosity, though: how strong has her bond with Lilan remained? Are the other students still going to be around? Have Nukku and Mokku aged at all? Does Erin still not notice that Tomura has the hots for her? Oh, the questions are endless! I’m excited, guys.
Katt’s Overall Rating for Kemono no Souja Erin Episode 29: 8.5/10
Episode 30: Aw man, it’s another clip show…
Took too long to post and episode 30 has been subbed! But yeah, the title says it for me. I should have seen it coming since the other time skip in this series had a clip show before actually getting into the ‘four years later’. As such, I won’t say much about this one aside from Erin is still at Kazalm, still hanging tough on her ideals. Go Erin!
Next episode–a new professor shows up at Kazalm, and he is a strapping young buck! Okay, well, based on the preview, I think I’ll like him. He seems like a fun, lighthearted guy. Glad to see that Tomura is still around, too! Probably still crushing on Erin. But even more importantly than these boys is the fact that Erin’s goal has become to find out why beast-lords in captivity and in the wild have differences between them (namely the ability to fly and probably their colour, too); I’ll be waiting patiently for Erin to figure this one out.
Katt’s Overall Rating for Kemono no Souja Erin Episode 30: clip show/10
Katt’s Anticipation for Kemono no Souja Erin Episode 31: 9/10
Random afterthought: What is up with Lilan purring when she’s happy? Last I checked, wolves and birds don’t purr. Are beast-lords part cat, too? Admittedly I do love that cats purr. Whenever I pet my dog, I expect her to purr and she never does… This just makes beast-lords all the more amazing.