The horrors that lurk in the dungeons of Arima scientists.
One of the things i never really expected the show to expand on much was the assassination subplot of Teppei’s parents, beyond using it as a setup for the current plot. Political backstabbing on a national scale certainly didn’t seem to be up on the menu either. So you can color me surprised when this episode put both of those in a fairly prominent role. Even if the political dealings didn’t make as much sense as it should have if they are going to present it as a major plot point, it was still interesting to see the show undergo quite the mood change in one episode, trying to be much more serious than it usually is. Unexpected developments, but i am very much looking towards to see where it allows them to take the story in the long run, plot wise.
… But that is later, and this is now – and we have Teppei rejecting another attempt from the scientists to present him with an absolutely safe bike, this time with legs (yes, they move, in fact), as a supposed measure of making it look “less disgusting”. Well that failed spectacularly.
The prey has been spotted!
In an uncharacteristic act from a male lead who are typically reduced to distraught mush at the mere physical presence of a female, Teppei actually does something that can be described as being playful/flirting, pulling the “guess who” on Charlotte as she is passing down the hallway, though she immediately recognizes the assailant as him. As the two happily chat away, we see Sylvia observing the scene with some visible jealousy, but walks away contempt as she remembers their talk during the onsen. (I must admit, whatever else flaws this show might have, continuous development of Charlotte x Teppei is something it is good at. Through the show we have been treated to numerous scenes of the two doing something together, and it really adds up over the course – when we will inevitably get to the point where Teppei is forced to confront his feelings for Charlotte, should he come to the conclusion that he loves her (I am being diplomatic here, but really – anything else is but an impossibility at this point) it will come as no surprise, as they have devoted plenty of time towards the exposition of these two. It is moments such as the one above that make me appreciate the effort of a relationship being set up over the course of a show, something which is often lacking in stories).
Said display of closeness has stirred the Butler from Hell, who comes crashing in to protect his milady from Teppei’s bad influence! Which ends up with the two simply running away, as the poor old man can’t keep up for long, shouting stuff about having watched Charlotte grow up and protecting her from being defiled … or something. (I must admit to some confusion about the buttler – sometimes he seems to be on Charlotte’s case because she is already engaged. Sometimes, it seems he is just playing the role of an overprotective parent. (You no touch my cute, precious girl! rawr!) A bit of both, i suppose).
And you want me to believe your hand placement was accidental, Teppei ?
After running away it seems Charlotte has strained her ankle, and Teppei apologizes for this, seeing he ended up pulling her along during the escape. Seeing he is quite intent on blaming himself, Charlotte asks of him to take her out on a dinner in Arima Hills, to which Teppei happily agrees, and he carries Charlotte to nurse’s office to have her ankle checked.
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! …No, it is one of those filthy rich bastards who can ignore the laws of common people. As they are done with Charlotte’s ankle, a cloud of petals catches their (everyone’s) attention – a stylishly looking man in a white suit is making a parachute jump and lands in front of them, introducing himself as Hartman, someone who Sylvia recognizes as a tycoon from Hazelrink country, and the man, after his flashy entrance, introduces himself as Charlotte’s fiance (while she herself looks predictably miserable about this), and a business partner to Arima group, which is the reason for his visit.
As the guy leaves later, Sylvia comments Charlotte had never revealed to her she had a fiancé, but the later responds she doesn’t want to talk about it right now, and Sylvia leaves, apparently somewhat angry. (While it is understandable that Sylvia would be upset about this bit of witheld information, them being friends and all, what was she expecting – for Charlotte to start a prolonged and personal explanation in front of all these people ? Well, Sylvia has never really been known for tact though, so heh). Seeing how down Charlotte looks, Teppei is trying to cheer her up, and reminds her about the dinner they would be having, which visibly perks her up.
Later that night, when emerging from a bath, Sylvia overhears her father having a rather heated conversation over the telephone, as apparently something has come down that might destabilize the relationship between her’s and Charlotte’s countries, and from her reaction it seems this is something quite serious.
As it turns out, there is a nuclear weapon storage being build on the border of the two countries, and Sylvia confronts Charlotte first thing next day if she knows of it. (Yes, clearly! Charlotte must be the one behind the construction of the nuclear weapons for her secret plan to take over the world, and as such is expected to be very clued-in about the shady military dealings of her country! … Brain —> that way). Charlotte obviously doesn’t know about this, and says even her father probably doesn’t know either. At this point Seika turns up and she had heard the conversation, and to “compensate” for having overheard what is apparently a secret she reveals something one of her “informants” (wait, what?) have found out – apparently something strange is about to happen at Arima Hills that night.
Charlotte leaves the school mussing about all these recent bad developments and about the situation, then recalls her dinner with Teppei tonight and hopes he might have some good ideas on the whole situation. As she rushes towards her carriage, we see someone observing her from the shadows, apparently a female.
Down at Arima Hills, Teppei is making arrangements for his dinner with Charlotte, when Hartman arrives with his assistant as he has business with Teppei’s grandfather, and greets Teppei along the way, wishing luck on his date. While Teppei is busy being flustered about the comment, the assistant flashes what can be described best as “evil smirk”. (So …what are the chances she isn’t a major villain in all of this?).
Meanwhile, the discussion between Hartman, Teppei grandfather and Sylvia’s father about the whole nuclear facility starts. It seems they had all planned to build a huge resort on the border between the two countries, but someone has caught the wind of this and somehow obtained the rights to build said nuclear storage beneath it, which is about to become a very troublesome tension generator between the two countries. Ishin notes this is largely Hartman’s fault for allowing this to slip through as their on-location person, and the later agrees and apologizes – the reason for his visit, as he wanted to do that in person, and Ishin notes he should be more careful, as there will be always those warping intrigues around those with money and power.
Meanwhile, Charlotte escapes her Butler from Hell and heads toward her date with Teppei, but when she arrives at the designated room it seems empty, so she settles for waiting, while Teppei is busy practicing his swordsmanship outside. (The interesting thing to note is that Charlotte received a mail message, supposedly from Teppei, indicating the place they should meet, but i suspect it might be fake – for once, we never saw Teppei sending it, and it didn’t look like he was late for their meeting, and Yuu would have probably bugged him if he was.
Noticing he has a missed call from Charlotte he tries to call her back, but before she can pick it up “something” (and i am still trying to figure what, i don’t believe she was shot) causes Charlotte to drop the phone and seemingly fall backwards in slow motion.
Immediately afterwards electricity in Arima Hills gets cut, and Teppei receives new mail – one which notes him for being the Arima that he is, and that his lover is about to follow his dead parents. As the closing shot, we see an apparently professional group of armed soldiers emerging.
Well now, an unexpected episode in several ways. Issues that i wasn’t expecting to be dealt with got brought forth full stop, and the overall atmosphere of the episode was somewhat heavy as well, atypically of the show. Hartman turned out to be a reasonably decent, if goal oriented, fellow – not the absolute sleezeball i was expecting, which is a nice touch. Not like it presents any actual challenge for Teppei in terms of romance either way, but it does make for more interesting writing and what they can do with him. His assistant, on the other hand, is likely behind a lot of the things going on, and i am interested to see what reasons they come up with for her actions. I am also not sure what the whole mob of soldiers is for, but i guess we will find out the next time – it is possible they are aiming for Ishin as well, and Teppei is a side dish in all of this … though if their goal is to destabilize the relationship between the two countries, doing after Charlotte might serve that purpose nicely.
At any rate, with Charlotte threatened the next episode is likely to be about Teppei’s attempts to bust her out, so chances are we are going to see how that katana of his holds up against firearms and the soldiers (lol), quite likely along with further insights in to the conspiracy theories going on. Should be an interesting episode, and makes me wonder how long they are going to stretch this whole deal out – i don’t see it being wrapped up in one episode only without it being rushed, so here is hoping they stretch the political skulduggery out for a while. We’ll see.