Sakamoto Ryouta and Himiko encounter a ‘ghost’.
Continuing from the last episode, Himiko and Ryouta settle down for the night rather than traverse through the jungle to return to Taira. We get some nice and rather sweet interactions between the two. Himiko has lied to Ryouta about her online persona so he thinks that she’s not his Himiko. Nonetheless, he’s happy that she’s safe and even reveals that his online wife’s acceptance of him despite his flaws made him happy and that was why he rushed to her rescue. Cue happy tears from Himiko. She’s understandably reluctant to open to her heart to a man but nonetheless wants to, leaving her fairly confused.
The duo’s well-earned rest is disturbed by a ghostly specter that wakes Himiko. The two split up and search for it, leading to a sequence that had me yelling at the screen in frustration. It was like a horror movie set-up and why would you split up in that situation? Someone always dies when you split up, people.
But thankfully, we need Himiko and Ryouta alive for the plot to progress so nothing jumps out from the darkness to slice them up. Ryouta does almost end up losing his head to a woman who doesn’t have a chip … more like the arm with the chip. He knocks her out and she reacts violently to him upon waking, screaming about men so Himiko, who easily gets that mindset, takes over. The woman turns out to be Murasaki Shiki, a survivor of the previous batch of ‘players’.
We then find out Shiki’s story. She was a nurse who tried to protect a doctor she respected – and probably loved – after an operation gone wrong. But the doctor made her the scapegoat and the public fell upon her like rabid dogs. She used the ominous letter first mentioned in episode 2 to make him disappear but ended up on the island herself. The two teamed up but he betrayed her at the last moment to take her chip. Luckily, she lost her hand but not her life, and has remained on the island for about six months.
Shiki has a deep and violent distrust of men that’s born of this betrayal. But in an instance of dramatic irony, we see a couple of participants in the present where a woman betrays a man for her own sake. So I’d say that the self-centered, often cruel attitude required to survive this game isn’t a matter of being male or female but simple human nature. It is a system designed to bring out the worst in people.
On the bright side, it looks like amassing 8 chips really will get you off the island as seen with Shiki’s doctor. But the very same guy seems to be part of this game as well and has actually patched up Taira so winning once does not guarantee that you’re free of this mess. Ain’t that grand?
One thing’s for sure. The people organizing this are seriously fucked in the head.