Kurokami is having recurring dreams about a picture book story in which a boy called Jimmy makes friends with a deaf girl named Chavvot, but she can’t recall the significance. However, one day when she awakes Decim is hanging up an illustration from the book in the bar under a request. There’s not much time to ponder why, because two new ‘guests’ have now come in the Quindecim – a middle-aged man and a young boy. However, there’s something incredibly off about them – the man seems to have memories of being in Quindecim before, and starts to freak out.
It all turns out to be a fabricated distraction, however – the boy is the real issue – and actually an arbiter in disguise named Ginti who came to test Decim’s ability to detect an abnormality. Given that Decim didn’t seem to do too well with that, Nona seems rather perturbed.
Ginti, on the other hand, is confused and annoyed about why a human girl like Kurokami is working at Quindecim, and Decim even tells us why – it’s because it wasn’t possible to judge her.
There were quite a few twists in the way this plot unfolded, so as usual it seems a shame to have to spoil it all in the synopsis. Even though he turned out to not be a real person but a dummy filled with random memories, the ‘fake’ guest actually did raise some interesting questions. What would happen if a guest did remember Quindecim? After all, Nona reveals in this episode that she’s been the boss for more than 80 years, meaning it must have existed longer than that (if not since forever) – it should be entirely possible for a guest who was previously sent to be reincarnated to die at the same time as someone else and come back. Perhaps this is what happened to Kurokami – Decim says that he wasn’t able to judge her since she could remember dying and thus wouldn’t play the game. He and Nona’s response to this was to wipe her memories and employ her as a helper and base their judgement of her on this. I’m surprised that this is being answered so early in the show, although it does cause some new questions: most obviously is why she could remember, but also why they didn’t just try again after wiping her memory if that was possible – the current Kurokami didn’t seem to realize she was dead at first, after all. There’s a definite sense that this move of Nona and Decim’s was not only unheard of but unwanted and dangerous – with Ginti becoming incredibly angry about them letting a human work there. Ginti himself is somewhat of a strange character – I’d wondered about him after seeing him in the opening all this time – but it looks like the next episode will focus more on him. He did cause one hell of a cool action scene, though.
Speaking of things in the opening – we’re finally finding out about those dolls Kurokami is holding, but I still have no clue what this Chavott story is all about. But it has a link with Kurokami, and at least some of the staff at Quindecim seem to know about it. Nona was also seen reading the book at one point.
We also learned more about Decim, and I’m actually surprised how different he is to the initial impression I had of him in episode 1. He seemed like the typical mysterious gatekeeper of something who knows all the answers but only speaks cryptically…however with every episode it becomes more and more obvious that he barely knows anything. He’s made mistakes and it seems that he is constantly being surprised by things. This episode showed his gravest error – he was so distracted by the fake guest’s odd behaviour due to the random memories implanted in it that he didn’t pay attention to the kid – Ginti – in a form with no memories at all. Apparently it’s protocol to call everything off if a guest with no memories appears, and that’s what he was being tested on. It’s a failure that’s sure to have consequences.
What this episode mostly proved to me is how interesting everyone in the show is. While the ‘guest’ episodes do a really good job of showing different people with entire lives and personalities and memories, the workers at Quindecim are just as well-written, and I’m really interested to find out more about the rest.