New character alert!

Summary:

We start the episode off with a new character. A young girl named Hatori has parents who are always fighting. Believing that it’s her fault for this, Hatori prays to god to have her parents make up. This somehow awakens her Dreams of Alice powers. The next day, Hatori finds that her parents are miraculously getting along again.

Ayumu (right) is a girl. Even the VAs were surprised.

With her best friend Ayumu, Hatori soon finds out the full extent of her powers; which is that she can turn people into emotionless “zombies” to do whatever she wishes. Both Hatori and Ayumu use this power to have fun for a period of time. However, Hatori soon comes to the realization that her parents were also being mind-controlled by her all this time. Despondent, Hatori decides to run away. Ayumu decides to go along with her.

Geeze that’s… heavy.

Whilst they are running away, Hatori freezes an entire city so that they can move around unnoticed. This unfortunately happens to be the place where Sana lives. After discovering that Zouroku and everyone in the flower shop have become emotionless husks, Sana runs through town trying to figure out what happened. She soon comes face to face with Hatori and Ayumu.

Sana is terrifying when she’s angry.

Out of anger, Sana uses her powers. The two girls attempt to fight each other with their respective powers, but they somehow keep canceling each other out. Eventually, Sana resorts to physical attacks, but Hatori is able to hold them off. Hatori and Ayumu quickly make their getaway as Sana faints from exhaustion (from running around the city and using her powers). After Hatori and Ayumu are able to get far away enough from Sana, Hatori is horrified to find that she’s become an “evil witch.”

This is both heartwrenching and adorable.

Summary:

Ooohhh boy. Alice & Zouroku is getting into dark subject matters again. This episode… hit pretty damn close to home. Without getting into too much detail, I also had parents who fought a lot, so I heavily empathize with Hatori.

Hatori’s story is an interesting one; because it’s the first time we see how a Dreams of Alice power can manifest. It’s still not clear exactly how it happens, but it seems to manifest whenever a girl or woman greatly desires something. It also appears tied to the user’s wish/desire. Hatori wanted her parents to get along again, so she gained some sort of mind-manipulation powers. In Minnie’s case, she wanted to see her husband again so she gained the ability to summon her husband’s arms. Not sure how exactly Ichijo or the Hinagiri twins got their powers; but in the twins’ case it probably manifested out of their desire to protect one-another.

Another reason why I find Hatori’s story so interesting is due to Hatori herself. I think Hatori is a very well-written character. She has a pretty good sense of morals, but is still young and naive; so she doesn’t realize the full extent of just how powerful (and terrifying) her powers are. Hatori understands rules and laws–she is often shown using her powers to get people to obey them. Furthermore, she and Ayumu still pay the crepe vendor even though Hatori can manipulate anyone she wishes. But she’s too innocent to understand that manipulating people in this fashion is also a very wrong thing to do–until she bumps into Sana, that is.

Hatori’s and Sana’s meeting created a whole bunch of questions. The Hinagiri twins were affected by Hatori’s powers, yet Sana wasn’t. This can likely be explained by Sana not really being human, but I’m hoping we’ll get some confirmation on this later. What’s more puzzling is that Sana’s and Hatori’s powers seem to cancel each other out. Also… it strikes me as very strange that Hatori’s powers are so strong, yet she doesn’t seem to suffer from exhaustion/hunger like the other Dreams of Alice users we’ve seen so far. Maybe it’s because Hatori’s powers don’t require her to manifest physical objects? Who knows.

Overall, I thought this was a very well-written and well-paced episode. Now that Sana’s story is pretty much wrapped up, we get to see Hatori’s story arc. With only four more episodes left of Alice & Zouroku, I hope her story can reach some kind of satisfying conclusion.

Out of five:

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Please let her have a happy ending.

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