Analysis Also Confirms Those Guys Are Toast
Summary: The episode begins with the covering of two corpses and a discussion on how a new star indicates a contractor has become a “Moratorium”. Mao asks Hei if he’s not sharing some important information, and the two contractors from the previous episode note that Mai is a contractor and that Tahara’s (The man who brought back the plant) research has finally born fruit. It’s time to take them in and it’s Luke’s turn to act.
Did I Do Thaaaaaat!
Mai is seen walking down the street when she suddenly snaps out of her doll like state and starts to have a nervous breakdown. Things get worse when she notices the charm in her wrist is gone and she almost gets hit by a truck before unintenionally setting it on fire. She can’t believe what she has done and denies her part in these events while running away.
As the scene flashes over to the agents, we learn that there’s a company called Meyer & Hilton, that has used and tried to mass-produce contractors for the U.K army during a war in Argentina. Furthermore they inbred known contractors in an attempt to mass-produce them. The experiments were horrific and apparentely now they are looking for information on Japanese Meyer & Hilton staff member (probably Mai’s father). Kirihara says she will search for the moratorium (Mai) in the hopes of gathering information and hopefully stopping her rampage. We also learn that unlike Contractors and Dolls, Moratoriums cannot control there powers, and thus are very dangerous.
WHAT THE HELL IS THAT THING!
At the astromony division two scientists report that Mai has been located in Nerima via special mediums, but that her mental instability is making it difficult for these mediums to pinpoint her exact location. Also we learn that Moratoria aren’t forced to pay an obeisance, but that they also cannot control their powers and will ultimately degrade into dolls. The scientists are unsur of how Mai will act next and Kirahara is fretting. The scientist, Kanami, tries to calm her down and points out that she’s stressing to much and should take a load off. Kanami says at this rate, even though they are the same age, Kirahara is going to age faster as a result of the stress and lose her good looks.
What Have I Done?!
Meanwhile, the evacuation continues in the main part of the city. One of Mai’s friends, Yuka, spots her huddling in an alley and calls out to her. She encourages Mai to follow the crowd as their has been a “Gas Main Explosion”, but Mai refuses to budge. When her father comes to try and encourage her and grab her hands, it sets off her fire powers and incinerates them. Horrified and in tears, Mai runs away saying she told them to stay away. As a result of this the astronomers are able to find Mai.
This Can’t Be Happening!
Not to much later two police officers have cornered there target, Mai, in a playground. One notices her sitting on a swing and is surprised to learn they are after a kid. Suddenly his arms explode and so do the other officers limbs. As he watches his partners death suddenly a wave of air cuts his head in half horizontally. It is of course Luke with an invisible whip, come to handle Mai.
Back at Dr. Tahara’s house he receives a phone calling. Apparentely the doctor has been working on a method of preventing contractors from awakening and Mai was the guinea pig. The two contractors have Mai captive in her trance state and want to arrange a meeting with Tahara. Hei asks Tahara if he indeed experiment on his own daughter. Tahara relates to him a story of how when he was beyond the gate he found a material that when implanted in a contractors body can suppress their powers and keep them from awakening. He admits to working for Meyer & Hilton as well.
She Was Cold As Ice!
We see a flashback to a younger Mai setting a beetle on fire. When Tahara witnesses this and tells her to stop, she shows trademark doll like emotions by replying “why?” in a cold and emotionless voice. He further tells the story of how in order to protect her from herself and others he used the material to keep her from completely awakening. The catch was that the material, which was a seed would ultimately disappear one day (i.e Now) causing her powers to resurface. Further research revealed that she would ultimately become a moratorium and Tahara knows now that he has ultimately made matters worse for Mai as now she has lost the chance to control her powers by never being able to pay Obeisance. These series of events ultimately led to Tahara quiting Meyer & Hilton, erasing Mai’s memories and running away from the problem as much as possible. We also learn that the plant he had was nurturing another replacement seed and that he hoped that he could keep Mai from becoming a moratorium for the rest of her life with this new seed. Of course the plant died at the same moment the plant disappeared (I imagine fate laughing in his face at this point). He laments his foolishness and wishes he had just let Mai become a contractor in the first place, rather than a monster like she is now. Hei is tired of Tahara and tells him to stay in the room and deal with these problems himself.
This Girl Just Can’t Catch A Break
Back at the factory, Mai etching a picture of her father in the ground, in her doll state. The two contractors hear a noise and think it’s Doctor Tahara, but suddenly they hear gunfire and the lights go out. Hei is in Da House! Hei and Luke square off with Luke ultimately managing to rip off Hei’s mask. Hei beats a retreat only to run into the other contractor with his arm around Mai’s neck and a chest. Apparentely Tahara is in fact here and the deal is that he will get his daughter back if he offers to lend the two contractors his talents (I wonder if they are from M&H). He refuses to work for them, but offers to give them his research in return for Mai’s safety. This appears to satisfy the two and they release her, but Mai claims not to know Tahara. He fearlessly approaches her and grabs her hand setting off her power, but he doesn’t flinch.
NO! WHAT THE HELL?!
He gives the two the dead flower saying that’s the rest of his research. The flower goes up in flames and as Mai says that Tahara isn’t her father and that her father is much nicer, he says he isn’t and that he’s a terrible man. She says she loves her father and he says he loves her too. When she calms down he goes to pull a knife behind her back. Hei notices and manages to knock the knife out of his hand with a throwing knife.
In a quick exchange, Hei throws another knife at Luke, Luke throws catches it and throws it into Tahara’s back and smirks, but is then shot in the back of the head by Hei.
As the flames from Mai’s earlier outburst billow around them, Mai holds a dying Tahara who says his job is done (Wha?). He says he’s home and Mai welcomes him home as well (Oh BONES with the crazy dialogue).
Justice Is Served
When Mai goes to off the remaining contractor, Hei tells her stop and much like the earilier flashback she says in that voice “Why?”. As he begs for mercy she incerates him in a blaze of flames.
At the end Mai is singing a song as Obeisance and it seems she has become a regular contractor, which Mao says shouldn’t be possible. Hoan shows up saying Shit happens and that they now have bigger fish to worry about. An awakened Mai says she feels she has killed so many and asks where she should go now. Hoan replies “Heaven” and the episode closes with Kirahara reporting the details of the case and an image of the smiling corpse of Tahara with the final words “The star that was born today has not yet fallen”.
Thoughts: Um, Wow. First of all the art and music are stunning in this episode, but that wouldn’t mean anything with a good story and characters right. Well the story here happens to be really depressing, but there is some hope at the end. Mai couldn’t seem to catch a break until right at the very end. First she kills a stranger, then her best friend, then her father tries to kill her and we also see in a flashback the effects of becoming a contractor. She never asked for this yet he fate was dealt to her seemingly at random. We learn a bit about how Contractors work, what a moratorium is and that potentially one can recover from being a moratorium, but they have to find their obeisance to do so. Mai suffered greatly, but now there may be a slight chance of her finding piece, now that she is no longer a doll. I really enjoyed her story arc and the information revealed her was very welcome as it cleared up a number of confusing questions about the story. This was easily the best episode yet and the presentation of it bar a few cheesy bits of dialogue was a site to behold. The Show is likely to continue to get even better after this as well.
Rating: Nine And A Half Out of Ten.