Hey, here’s our beach episode.
The opening shot is kinda ominous with what seems to be blood spraying into the air but it turns out to be just watermelon (called it!). We see Kouichi, Reiko, Izumi, Yuuya, and Mei on the beach. After that we go back a few hours to find out how they got there.
Kouichi talks to Reiko about Matsunaga but she still can’t recall details and her attempt to contact him also fails since he stays at the resort where he works, which is outside Yomiyama. She offers to accompany Kouichi and the Countermeasures Committee there. Thus the two of them, along with Yuuya, Naoya, Izumi and two others whose names I don’t know, set out for the resort. Things are tense until they pass Yomiyama after which they all relax. Reiko shows her true colors as an…interesting…driver while Izumi and Kouichi indulge in some teasing banter.
At the resort, they’re told that Matsunaga is away for a while so they decide to make the best of the fact that it’s a seaside resort. Hence the beach episode.
Once there, Kouichi spots Mei sitting by her lonesome and brings her into the group. He finds that her summer house is close by and that she doesn’t even really know what her father’s job is. He only rarely comes home and when he does, the three of them put of a family façade. Mei seems thoroughly disenchanted with her family actually.
The kids all act their age for once, messing around on the beach and having fun – yes, even Mei. Naoya even organizes a beach cooking session with gathered ingredients. Mei admits to Kouichi that it’s not bad to be connected to another now and then.
After a while, Matsunaga joins Reiko and the two of them discuss the shrine trip and what stopped the calamity. Just like Reiko, Matsunaga is also experiencing some seriously scrambled memories. He can’t recall any details of how he stopped the deaths. When prodded about what he ‘left’ as clue for the coming generations of 9-3, all he can say is that it’s not paper.
Just when he seems to be remembering something else, vicious winds blow on the beach. The ball they’d been playing with flies out on to the sea and a guy – whom I only know as Carsick Boy – goes out after it.
Yes, this is the moment you know something’s going to go wrong.
And sure enough, Carsick Boy seems to go under a few times and then a motor boat comes around and severs his hand. He’s also clearly dead, which shocks everyone since they should have been safe outside of Yomiyama. The trauma of witnessing this death prompts Matsunaga to remember that the clue he left is in 9-3’s classroom.
Y’know, I think this is the beach episode I’ve appreciated the most in any anime. It was just nice to see all of them relax and have fun rather than worry about who’s going to end six feet under the next day. It was pretty cute, especially Mei. Every time we see her softer side, she becomes all the more endearing. As for her family situation, wow, I identify so much. Though in my case, it’s not just awkward family trips but awkward…everything.
The general laidback feel of this episode aside, I had a feeling from the start that something would go wrong at the end. It’s a horror anime – something has to go wrong in the fluffy episode. That said, I was lured into complacency just like the characters with the combo of the beach setting and their being outside Yomiyama. That still puzzles me though. How did that guy die even though the calamity’s influence doesn’t extend to outside Yomiyama? More importantly, how do you die instantly from a severed limb? It wasn’t like he had time to bleed out. Was it shock or something?
On a far less serious subject, does Izumi have a thing for Kouichi? It sure seems that way some(most)times.
I’m curious to know what it is that Matsunaga left in the classroom, where it is, and if the shrine really had anything to do with the calamity stopping. I’m sure we’ll find out eventually.