Episode 18 or you ain’t gonna get off the hook that easily

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.
-知らぬが仏-

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.

Barnaby’s memories

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.

Updated speculah will follow if we suddenly get hit by bolt of inspiration. Or just madness. Or both.

13 comments on “Episode 18 or you ain’t gonna get off the hook that easily

  1. Excellent points as always, I love reading your comments. “New love” made me lol.

    Can you share your thoughts on Kriem’s abduction and ransom demand, though? From just that one scene in the park, the whole kidnapping business looked… well… sloppy at its best. I’m curios if Ouroborus was behind it, or it was just an unlucky coincidence. I can elaborate, but I wish to hear other opinions first.

    • We actually haven’t gotten to the point of picking that kidnapping thing apart. The whole thing is a bit weird and it is entirely possible that it was something Jake soloed, not something that involved Ouroboros. He didn’t exactly seem like a team player from what we’ve seen of his actions.

      We’ll probably get back to it a bit later with another speculah post.

      • I wonder how accurate Kriem’s memories are. There are things about them that just don’t add up. First, like you said, this is the first time we’ve really seen any anti-NEXT sentiment. And second, Jake softening up and letting Kriem go after finding out how much angst her NEXT powers caused her? Bull. He’s a telepath, he would have known all that from the start. That whole scene just doesn’t make sense.

        As a telepath, Jake also would have known how suggestible memories are. Kidnap a girl, hold her hostage while telling her that your saving her from a world that hates people like her, let her mind fill in the blanks, and viola- you got yourself a new fanatical minion.

  2. This is interesting and frightening at the same time, because we don’t really know where the plot is going anymore.
    In the preview is shown that Kotetsu took Barnaby to the place where they have their first case as T&B and the emblem from the first ED also makes its appearance in this episode…
    Now, even if Kotetsu is willing to stay by Bunny’s side a little more, it’s not very likely Maverick the person behind all of this will allow him to meddle into this, with possible bad consequences for both of them.
    …it is Saturday yet? ;____;

  3. “Coming out” -> I lol’d. The ring speculah is interesting, I tend to forget details like that.

    On another note, I can’t decide which one I love more: your troll-face directors art or that troll incubator chat. Life is so full of hard choices.

    • The ring’s been bothering us ever since we saw the production notes about it. It could be just one of the traps they’ve laced the series with to mislead us… or not. The trolling is strong with this lot.

      /人◕ ‿‿ ◕人\

  4. What i’m going to say is really silly.
    KOTETSU WE KNOW YOU LOVE BARNABY SO MUCH, YOU ENDED UP WORRYING ABOUT HIM AND WENT TO HIS HOUSE AND MADE HIM SOME FRIED RICE WITH SHRIMPS. AND MADE HIM EAT IT ALL EVEN IF HE WASN’T IN THE MOOD FOR FOOD.

  5. Also. Barnaby might feel kinda confused next episode. Maybe, and i say, MAYBE, Since kotetsu needs to go back home, he might offer barnaby to take some free time at his home town (away from everything and everyone) so he can clear his mind?. This of course would lead to “Ah Kaede, I’m actually a Hero and Here Barnaby, your favourite one is my partner, i invited him to spend some time home. And also you’ll have two teachers to learn control your powers” scenareo? .Am i crazy if i think this? Now after knowing the meaning behind that flower image, and seing how Barnaby is so open to Kotetsu…Is this going to the “two daddy endings”?

    • Hearing your reply to this is something I had been thinking mere minutes are watching the episode (and have been avoiding since to not write a fanfic on the idea before the next one comes out). Seeing both of them want to quit, it would make sense for Kotetsu to suggest Barnaby coming along with him to his hometown. And given Barnaby’s state as seen from the end of the episode/the preview, he probably wouldn’t object that much… It just depends on what Barnaby would let Kotetsu get out before the trip.

  6. I’m obsessed with the ring now. (I’m dubbing it “Batman Ring” and you can’t stop me.) They definitely gave it a clear shot in episode seven when he got in the sleep chamber for the first time (and proceeded to relive the murder. Hmm.) And now another clear shot?

    What I want to know is whether he has it on all the time? Does it put it on and take it off? I need to comb through screenshots now and find out. IF ONLY I COULD ASK YOU ABOUT YOUR RING BARNABY.

    I still cite the awkward way Maverick brought Barnaby into the sleep chamber room in ep 7 as evidence that Maverick is still the master creep altering his memories. OOOOOH I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE CONCLUSION OF THIS MYSTERY.

    • He seems to have been wearing it pretty consistently since episode 6, but I too would have to check if/when he’s taken it off. (Or if he’ll put it back on after the scene we see in the episode 19 preview.)

      The Official Hero Book calls it a “ring with a simple design” but to me it seems a bit bulky so I’d find wearing it 24/7 kinda uncomfortable.

      Official Hero Book ring design

  7. First of all, I want to say that I really like reading your blog! Your posts always are interesting, I especially enjoy your episode summaries.

    I’ve never noticed Bunny’s ring before it was pointed out, even though I usually pay attention to such details. I’m not sure if it has something to do with his memories, but he didn’t wear it in episode 3. when his hands are clearly shown.

    The sleep chambers are definitely suspicious, though. I remember when I first watched episode 7, I found them suspicious right away. Why would they need them in the first place? Also, what’s even weirder is that we saw them only in episode 7 and episode 9… Gah, it’s almost killing me! What’s even more suspicious is the ”Oyasumi, Barnaby” that Maverick tells Bunny before he falls asleep. At first I thought I was just playing too many visual novels to see something wrong in it, but now… I’m pretty sure there is something wrong with it. There is that horror visual novel in which an amorphous, tentacled, fleshy abomination tells the main character ”Oyasumi” before putting him to sleep in order to alter his memories… and I immediately thought about it when I saw that scene in episode 7.

    I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next… In some kind of ways, I don’t want Maverick to be the culprit, because it would probably destroy Bunny for good, and I don’t want him to suffer more than he already does. At the same time, I really don’t want him to be some kind of robot/cyborg/whatever. His emotions are too real!

    TL;DR: I’m sorry, I suck at speaking English. OTL

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