An interesting start to an episode.

An interesting start to an episode.

Episode 5 brings the little Mayoi arc to an end…and what an end it was. After the rather dull previous episode, the revelations in this episode came pretty sharply from the left-field. Things begin exactly where they left off…Koyomi and Mayoi are in the park, waiting for Hitagi to return. Of course, they have a Conversation; and by now I can see that this show is certainly full of Conversations. Their talking was a bit better than the last episode though, and a lot more amusing, although no less bizarre. Although part of this conversation takes the form of the rapid-fire, impossible-to-read-without-pausing text again, which I REALLY wish SHAFT would stop doing. Don’t you want people to see your important plot-points…? We learn through the Conversation a little more about Koyomi’s relationship with his parents and siblings…that it’s apparently Not Good, and that curiously, he feels like he is an eternal child that will never grow up. Elsewhere of interest is that apparently in the fight they had before, Koyomi inadvertently groped Mayoi’s underaged chest, and so this leads to another biting-attack from her once she finds out. I know Koyomi was only kidding around when he tried to grope her again, but it still came across as pretty damn creepy.

Rabid Mayoi is quite scary.

Rabid Mayoi is quite scary. Is it just me or is she missing an arm?

And this is why you do not mess with her.

And this is why you do not mess with her.

They both remark that they are pretty good at fighting; apparently, Mayoi fought a lot at school, and Koyomi fights a lot with his sisters…apparently he has actually spent most of Sunday before Hitagi appeared contemplating how to apologize to them. This leads Mayoi to divulge some more information about her own family situations; the fact that her parents were constantly arguing before the divorce. Mayoi’s talking about the divorce is done in a highly effective, nigh-creepy and unsettling way.

Loli pin-up?

Loli pin-up?

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I love how Koyomi's ahoge is a defining characteristic.

I really like the washed-out colours...

I really like the washed-out colours...

Around this point, Hitagi reappears…and she can smell Tsubasa. (or her shampoo, to be precise) She gets quite cutely jealous over Tsubasa’s previous presence…but more on that later. Right now, she says she’s seen Oshino and learnt a thing or too, and has something to apologize to Koyomi for…

SHAFT are back in form again with this episode; and the closeups are very nice.

SHAFT are back in form again with this episode; and the closeups are very nice.

The method to be released from the spell of a ‘lost snail’ (or ‘cow’ ) is relatively simple…one need only separate themself from the entity in question. However…it is Koyomi she tells this too, which naturally has him confused. Isn’t Mayoi the one who is lost here…? Here comes a pretty big and unexpected revelation; it is the presence of the ‘lost snail’…Mayoi…that has caused the feelings in Koyomi of not wanting to return to his home. She then drops the biggest bombshell of all…she cannot see Mayoi, and in fact, she never could. Wait just a second…

She looks so very lady-like to me here.

She looks so very lady-like to me here.

Koyomi is suitably confused...

Koyomi is suitably confused...

So what is Mayoi exactly…? To explain, we are treated to a very stylized flashback, one of the highlights of the episode. (despite the fact that I personally found it incredibly creepy as well) After Mayoi’s parents divorced and her father took her away from her mother, one day on Mother’s day, Mayoi set out to return to her mother. (or at least, presumably, to visit). She never made it…being hit by a car en route, and her spirit has been wondering around in search of her mother’s house ever since. Hitagi explains the effect this has on Koyomi; “Those who do not reach their destination will interfere with the return of others.” And really, I did not expect this at all. I suspected that Mayoi wasn’t normal…well obviously, nobody in this show is ‘normal’…but not dead. I honestly never saw that coming, and I’m always glad when an anime can quite skillfully take me completely by surprise like that.

(Please ignore the scrolling announcement text). That Mayoi puppet thing really freaks me out.

(Please ignore the scrolling announcement text). That Mayoi puppet thing really freaks me out.

Quite psychadelic...

Quite psychadelic...

This whole time, Hitagi was never able to see Mayoi or hear her, and only pretended that she could because she was worried about Koyomi thinking her to be strange for not being able to see something. Mayoi is not being pursued by an oddity; she is the oddity herself, and is ‘affecting’ Koyomi; because the criteria for meeting the ‘lost snail’ is ‘the desire to not return home’. This also explains why Mayoi was so rude to the people that could see her; it was her own desperation to keep them from following her. It’s therefore quite interesting that Tsuabasa was able to see her…I really hope to learn more about Tsubasa very soon. Despite all this, Koyomi still wants to help her find her mother’s house.

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Her sad face is also pretty.

Poor Mayoi... -tears up inside-

Poor Mayoi... -tears up inside-

Hitagi agrees, but she also drops one more bombshell… a confession of love to Koyomi (in engrish, no less!)which was possibly even more unexpected than Mayoi being a ghost! She explains her reasoning; that she was attracted to his way of always wanting to help everyone, such as herself and then Mayoi. Koyomi evidently has no idea how to feel about this so decides to worry about it after completing the task at hand; finding Mayoi’s mother’s house.

Radiant!

Radiant!

Here

Such a non-chalant and yet so powerful a confession

The reason that Mayoi could never find her house was because that as a ghost, she wasn’t able to take in ‘new information’ regarding her surroundings…such as urban renewal.  Eventually they find the address, except by now, it’s only an empty lot. However, the ghost Mayoi who must only be able to see the past seems to be able to see what ‘should’ be there, and so home at last, disappears. All very lovely and heart-wrenching.

And a little hard to cap.

And a little hard to cap.

As for Koyomi and Hitagi…well, it seems they’re going to take things slowly. I’m not sure why Koyomi didn’t seem that overjoyed at that prospect of going out with one of the sexiest anime females in recent memory, but perhaps he believes it too good to be true. Whether it is or not we’ll have to wait and see…but it seems like they may be taking things slow at first. I find this all very interesting for a relationship to start 5 episodes in – and certainly unpredictable. Later on it looks like Koyomi has made amends with his sisters…and that Mayoi hasn’t left this world yet – her spirit would like to wander around just a while longer.
Like the relationship beginning (?) this whole episode was pretty unpredictable, and was leagues ahead of episode 4. And as always, I have no idea what will happen next, and now I look forward to it more than ever. Out of 5,
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