This episode sure lived up to its name. Barnaby’s been pretty happy for the past 10 months but now the truths are starting to surface and he probably wishes he didn’t know about them. I’m not quite sure where this all is going from here because we’ve got even more questions but no answers for them.
18. lgnorance is bliss.
To sum things up really quickly, Kriem woke up, Kotetsu is still trying to quit and Barnaby is on a road to nervous breakdown.
Kriem, NEXTs and Ouroboros
The flashback into Kriem’s past explains why she was so devoted to Jake. The current society seems to be mostly accepting of NEXTs, it makes us wonder if the general attitude has changed so much over the past 20 years or if there was something else to why Kriem was treated the way she was by everyone including her own family. (Though Kotetsu was troubled by his powers too when he was younger, so there might be something to the attitudes at that time.) Actually, we don’t know anything about the history of NEXTs apart from when they appeared and that Legend was the first one to become a hero. Why did he become a hero, though? Were NEXTs shunned at first and did the idea of heroes stem from wanting to change the public’s opinion about them? Even the official books didn’t give new information on NEXTs so we don’t have much to go on, but Jake seemed to disapprove Legend’s actions and how the NEXTs sided with normal humans after his death. It seems that Jake did originally have two powers if director Satou’s tweets are to be trusted, since he talks about how tragic the ability to read minds is.
So what is Ouroboros, really? We still don’t know, but Kriem tells Barnaby that she and Jake were just a small faction of it and it will never disappear. We have some crazy speculah about Ouroboros already, including the possibility that it’s actually government controlled and that Barnaby’s parents were members in it. Nothing we learned from this episode confirms or discredits any of the theories we have, so back to square one. Kriem does confirm that Jake wasn’t the one who killed Barnaby’s parents, since the day they died was the day Jake kidnapped Kriem. The evidence in the records supports this, but there is still a chance that she’s lying to get back to Barnaby for Jake’s death.
It’s certain now, and apparent to even Barnaby himself that something is wrong with his memories. Kriem provided an alibi for Jake, and when Kotetsu found proof that Jake had no tattoo on his hand, it caused Barnaby’s memories to jumble even further.
The ring that he’s been wearing since episode 6 (and this was specifically mentioned in some production notes that the ring was not to be used until after episode 5) was in the focus of the camera in one scene. We’re holding on to the theory that the resting chambers that were introduced in episode 7 have something to do with altering Barnaby’s memories and the ring is somehow connected to them. Either it has something that enhances the effect, or it may be bugged so
Maverick someone can monitor Barnaby. In episode 19 preview he’s no longer wearing it, though.
From the scene in the epilogue, you can tell that his mind is grasping at straws, trying to fit someone – anyone – into the memory to give the killer a face. Even people who couldn’t possibly have been there. But the scene also shows that although Barnaby is doubting even himself he still trusts Kotetsu, because Kotetsu is the only one shown running towards him and trying to reach him in the memory.
By the way, the flower on the wall behind Barnaby in the epilogue is a hibiscus. Since the language of flowers has been brought up before in episode 9, it might carry a meaning. In Japanese the meanings for hibiscus are: “I believe in you”, “new love” and “sensitive beauty”.
Kotetsu and Barnaby
It feels like these two are just circling each other on tip-toe at the moment. Kotetsu is trying to tell Barnaby he’s quitting but either the time’s not right or he gets interrupted. (By the way, Kotetsu’s mother’s choice of words here in the Japanese dialogue – “coming out” – was pretty amusing.) Barnaby doesn’t want to make Kotetsu worry, but at the same time he can probably guess that Kotetsu’s “something important” is something he doesn’t really want to hear so he doesn’t let him finish the sentence. That Kotetsu showed up in public without wearing his mask was a pretty heavy clue too since he’s so protective about his identity. Some of the comments in recent interviews with the creators seem to hint that whatever way the situation is developing it’ll be something they can’t conquer alone, they must confide in each other to get through it all. Hopefully Barnaby’s comment about
thinking about quitting as a hero got through to Kotetsu and will make him realize that Barnaby still needs his help.
Kaede expects her daddy to come home, though, so Kotetsu has pressure from two sides now. On the other hand, there’s his daughter who’s struggling with her newly awakened NEXT power, and then there’s his partner who is headed for a break-down. The one with the most acute need for support is Barnaby, so I’m pretty sure Kaede will have to wait a bit longer. It’s not fair to her since Kotetsu promised he’d come home, but at the same time his promise was too hasty because he won’t be able to drop everything just like that. And we think that if Kotetsu walked out on Barnaby now and bad things happened, he would regret it forever.
Speaking of Kaede’s power, it seems pretty weird and at first glance even overpowered. Ivan can shape shift into people he touches, but Kaede’s power is even greater if she really can copy the power of a NEXT she touches. The usefulness of it is pretty limited because a constantly changing power is hard to control.
The epilogue and preview pretty much broke my heart. Although I love all the heroes, I love Barnaby the most and seeing him so anguished was really hard for me. Preview seems to indicate that Kotetsu and Barnaby are finally going to talk some things through or at least Kotetsu will try to cheer up Barnaby, but the previews are totally untrustworthy. Most of the scenes that were in the preview last week were shown in this week’s prologue so it really didn’t tell much about what really would happen.
Oh yeah. There was that bit with Karina’s crush at the beginning. Things are pretty bad when even Keith is looking annoyed… But the way she acts doesn’t register with Kotetsu at all. Nathan’s starting to look a bit fed up, so maybe there’ll be some girl talk coming. They’re underlining pretty heavily just how childish her crush is by showing her like this, but at the same time it’s perfectly understandable. She doesn’t really seem to have much time to hang out with her classmates, much less to find herself a boyfriend so crushing on her coworkers is a natural thing to happen in her age.
And to wrap this up, a picture to accurately depict our feelings after watching this episode, which I spent over 9000 hours in Photoshop to make. Inspired by this picture.