Alright, continuing on from last episode’s post, I am going to be supporting my theory from last time with more evidence from this episode. To those who are just joining us, I had a theory on how Mai (Yukirin) had a more interesting role than merely a group leader. Now of course her role is actually pretty big already, with her name coming in 4th place in order of importance but an idea came to me that hinted at something more than that. Of course the only remaining question is if the studio had the guts to go through with it this time, or turned chicken once again. Episode 3 is why I am bringing the chicken feet into this!
Yeah, episode three was pretty disappointing. Like, is this a horror series or some kind of historical drama series?! Enough talk, more killing! Seriously, what the hell was up with all the talking?! Episode 2 was the perfect balance between talking, action and even that sprinkle of yuri goodness. Episode three was only talking, talking and more talking and nothing else!
Going back on topic, the theory is that just like Kaoru (Mayuyu) seems to have that guy (that eats up way more screen time that he should) in the relationship department so does Maki (Sakura-tan). Every main lead needs one, right? We also know that Kaoru and Maki are considered double leads so where is Maki’s relationship development? The answer to this is Mai (Yukirin) – or so the theory goes!
I spent last episode’s post giving evidence to support this but if you read that post you might remember that some evidence was saved for the second episode and so I am here to touch upon that evidence. This time we shall see more support for the M!M (Maki/Mai) ship and also why the Maki/Aoi or Maki/Kaoru should not even be considered.
Speaking of, let’s begin with Aoi and Kaoru and why they just can’t do (cannonically of course)
Let’s begin with Aoi (Annin). Despite the first lovely kiss and the obsession with Maki after being zofriended, Mai is not only super straight, having had an affair with the PE teacher (we find out later in episode three that they even slept together already) Aoi is simply losing it now. No matter how sane she may have been before the zofriending, actually her psyche is in question even before then, she is losing herself and will soon lose it completely. Killing herself all those times has to have a very negative impact on her very soul.
Really, she was already a bad girl even before Maki showed up so on principle alone, you wouldn’t want to have her in your ship. Then again, Maki is not all roses either so maybe they make a great couple that way? But I still believe that Maki isn’t all evil and that she still has a soul in that rotting flesh of hers! Also seeing as the crazier Aoi gets the more she is attached to Maki, the straight argument is out of the window. Not to mention that she might have killed the teacher so that relationship is moot!
As for Kaoru, come now, the caps speak for themselves. Kaoru so should have been the Beauty to Maki’s Beast! But all we got of her interaction with Maki have been surrounded with feelings of fear, doubt and a whole nothing of emotional connection! Seriously, what do we even know of Kaoru as a character? All we know is that she is into that guy! We have not seen her home, we don’t know anything about her family! Does she even have friends? Yes, we know she hangs out with Mai’s group but even then she stuck out like a sore thumb. Seriously, we know more about Mai than we know of Kaoru! Like, what gives? She might as well be some detective working on the case that has nothing to do with the central character (Maki).
Watching this episode the first time and hearing Kaoru use the “I am your friend” card to get out of being pushed off a building when Maki confronted her about being researched, I was so pissed off because there hasn’t been any thing at all to show that they are friends! Those two have not done anything remotely friendly. All Kaoru did for Maki was showing her to the infirmary, which can be done by any other classmate, or normal person.
Other than that all we have seen is the fear in Kaoru whenever she gets into contact with Maki. And so I was very relieved to see that the ‘I am your friend” thing was actually only an excuse. I came to this conclusion when Kaoru went to the ‘Disaster Shelter’ to meet with Aoi. Aoi had started to talk about Maki but Kaoru shot her down showing how she was not thrilled to be talking about her. As Aoi was growing close to Maki, Kaoru saw that it was not a good idea to show that she was Maki’s enemy to Aoi so she tried to clarify by saying the truth of where she and Maki stand. She says that Maki has only transferred and that she doesn’t know anything about Maki to talk about her.
That is what I see their relationship as – a whole lot of nothing! Maki doesn’t know anything about Kaoru and all Kaoru knows of Maki she found out in secret and through an investigation. Kaoru met Maki’s father but it was to question him about Maki! And after the meeting on the rooftop, chances of them becoming even a bit close is less than 0.2 %. Maki was just about to throw Kaoru off the building but she was saved by witnesses in Chisa (Yuihan) and Shinobu (Jurina), who were up there chilling.
But of course all that might as well be irrelevant because the big no-no is that Dude! Thee ratio of the time Kaoru has spent with that Dude compared to Maki, and how close she is to him compared to Maki is like 50:2! Like, their chemistry, is so splashed in front of us one would need to be both blind and deaf to not get it!
And from the happenings of episode 3, Maki and Kaoru’s relationship is going to go into the negative space, if indeed Maki did do the deed! yes, we sae her leaning up but the Dude might have denied her seeing as he was kinda competent. Then again, this is horror and no one is ever wise enough in horror series so…
Any way, both Aoi and Kaoru are incomprehensible as partners to Maki! And so what we have is my theory. let’s get to supporting that theory once more with the happenings of this second episode.
Oh come on, just…come on! Did you see that dear Readers? No? How about you see it in motion…
Did you see something now? Okay, alright, let me walk through it for you. Look at that gif. Look at the way the camera is utilised. It’s all one long cut from Maki leaving the bathroom to meeting Mai on the stairs. First think of what just happened in the bathroom. Maki has just beaten the crap out of Chisa and Shinobu. Then look at the surroundings. Look at the lighting. There is barely light in the bathroom and what little is there it is given a reddish hue. Maki exits, she closes the door and we are surrounded in darkness. She walks and as she turns towards the stairs bright light envelops her and the surroundings. Who does she meet at the stairs in that bright light?
Like, coincidence? Bruh, those are a lot of coincidences! An yes, I am implying that the title of this post means that Mai is the Light to Maki’s Darkness and by extension, she is the Beauty to Maki’s Beast. But there is much more to take from this scene than simply that!
First of all look at the both of them. Think of what they are both feeling. Maki has just lost her mind because Chisa called her a monster. That not only hurt her emotionally but Shinobu also hurt her physically when she cut her cheek with glass. Now sure Maki has a healing factor but as Aoi showed us in her agonising scream after jumping, they still feel pain and Maki being the first, and thus showing more normalcy than the other infected, she still feels. She has also just beat the shit out of Chisa and Shinobu and thus her leaving the bathroom is like her leaving hell itself. Let’s also think that she is still in a sour mood since the scene is continuous and thus she has literally just finished beating up the two and thus still in a pissed off mode before walking into Mai.
Now let’s turn our attention to the other side of things. Despite being the Light, Mai is also feeling pretty shitty. Hell, a girl like her, walking outside looking like that, it tells of her mood more than anything else could. Her mother’s condition is eating her up. Her life is a mess, she has been crying as evident with her makeup running. One walking out the darkness and into the light. The other walking out of the light and into darkness but both of them are at the same level emotionally. They are both hurt.
They are both in a very bad mood. Maki should bee the villain of this story. Being the villain and having sour feelings should be bad news! We should be worried for Mai walking into Maki in that very moment. We should be worried not only of what Maki might do to her but also what Mai might do to make things worse. Were she 100% bitch, feeling the way she is right now, there is a whole many ways Mai could have fucked up. She could have taken her ill feelings and directed them at this weird transfer student and thus forcing Maki to zofriend her too.
But what happened instead?
The two walk into each other. They stare silently. Mai looks like shit with black makeup running down her face, making a nice parallel to how Maki looks, with black blood running down her cheek and blouse. Mai has her own problems and perhaps seeing as Maki’s cheek had already healed and thus seemingly okay, Mai chose to mind her own business and just pass by Maki without incident.
Meanwhile Maki, Maki the monster, Maki the zombie without feelings, Maki the Beast that has just created hell and should have no space for good feelings walks forward and blocks Mai’s ascent. Mai voices her mood of having no time for bullshit but the Monster has all the time in the world (regeneration, remember?). Maki implants herself into Mai’s personal space, a second time!!
The first was in the bathroom, where too Mai was forced to walk backwards and into a wall just like here on the stairs. The monster surprises us all by showing compassion instead as Maki asks Mai why she was crying. Maki is showing compassion towards someone!! She is a zombie, right? She is a monster! Aoi tried to be her friend but instead got the death sentence as her reward (And a kiss but still)! Maki, who just just been in a situation like that with Chisa and Shinobu still finds the worry within her for Mai.
Like, how not to ship this?! How not be be touched by this?! And by the Gods, all that eye sex between the two before the question and after as Mai studies Maki’s face as if looking for answers as to why this new girl would even care about her personal life. In this scene we have seen another show of interest Maki has in Mai and we have seen the first display of real affection from her towards someone else. Why? Why does she even care? And it wasn’t just asking for the sake of asking. She felt almost protective the way she asked why Mai was crying, hell, it was demanding not asking, what with her forcing her way into Mai’s personal space like that!
I said it before but the only other explanation apart from my theory is that there might be a secret history between these two. A secret that only Maki knows because other than her love towards Mai, a deeper connection in the past is the only explanation for her interest shown for Mai.
But this show wasn’t all Maki’s. Other than her simple presence bringing some relief to Maki’s inner suffering, even if it was getting Maki’s mind off her own problems and instead worry about Mai, we got to see that sheep under the lion’s clothing come out here too. have a look at this gif of her shoving Maki to the side after she tells her that it is none of her business as an answer to why she was crying…
Oh, I’m sorry. Did I say shoving? No no, that is what any other person in her shoes would have done. No, our dearest Mai shows her frustration at the unwelcoming probing into her personal life, not with a hard shove, an elbow in the shoulder or any of that shitty action but rather, she only only touched Maki’s arm. Hell, you can Maki moves on her own, not because Mai shoved her. Like, how good is Mai, really?! Even in that state she still shows compassion!!
How not to ship?!
And by the way, keep that touch in your minds. it is coming up in the next section of the discussion. But back to the scene, look at the feels on Maki’s face as she watched Maki leave. The hurt has shifted from beings hers from the beginning to suffering for Mai. She wants to know why Mai was crying. She wants to know so bad that as we find out she goes and asks someone about this right after this scene.
The question is, who did she ask? Probably Aoi? Anyway it doesn’t matter. What matters is that Maki was so worried that she actually went out to find the reason why Mai was crying. At this rate, without even the episode being over, Maki’s emotional connection to Mai and Kaoru is so far apart it isn’t even funny!
Okay, let’s slow down! I need a question that needs answering! How is a character like Mai, a character modelled after the American High Schoolers not have a gang of boys in her life?! How is she walking home alone!? How does she not have a boyfriend already?! Seriously! Does that neighbourhood have no boys in it?! Why is Mai without a boyfriend?! it makes no sense at all! She is like the freakin Queen B of the school!!!!
Take that into consideration while we continue on in our analysis of her relationship with Maki, okay?
Speaking of Maki, not sure if it is the same day or a different day (Maki wearing a blazer might indicate same day as she is covering up her bloodied blouse but Mai being in a better mood and looking better might imply another day not to mention the time it might have taken Maki to find out about her mother) but after school as Mai goes home, she finds Maki sitting there outside the Utsui residence waiting for her.
Okay, let me try to wrap my mind around the fact that Maki is sitting outside Mai’s home, waiting for her! And I can;t seem to grasp that fact despite knowing it actually happened! Seriously, Mai might be forth in order of importance but the fact that we have been to her house before we have been to Kaoru’s – e main character is just funny at this point! Or even the fact that Maki has visited Mai’s home when she doesn’t even know where Kaoru lives, or anything about her for that matter.
And what of Kaoru, even as she knows more about Maki, all she knows she found out through investigations and not because it was in good intention of knowing more about Maki for the sake of friendship or to help her but because of fear and eventually harmful intentions, if what it will take to save the others is to kill Maki.
Maki went asking about Mai because not only did she ask Mai first who refused to tell her, but because she was genuinely wanted to know why Mai was hurting and thus wanting to do something about it. As it turns out she indeed could do something about it because as far as Maki knows, she has the ability to heal any kind of damage, even bringing dead people back to life. She doesn’t know what side effects her curse/gift brings and really, even her father the expert is only finding out the effects. With that we know that Maki’s intentions when she kisses Mai’s mother and the reason visiting Mai are good and she wishes to save Mai’s mother where she lost hers.
So what happens at this home visit? But before that, I wish to remind dear Readers about my speculation posts about the Mai/Maki developments! Am I dreaming? Is this really happening? Even though at the time I had the Maki/Kaoru happening in my mind, I can’t believe that not only are we getting Mai/Maki developments but also no Maki/Kaoru to be found anywhere! Actually that is not true. There is development between Kaoru and Maki but it is a surprising one. I did not think they would be this far apart on the emotional spectrum. I thought maybe Kaoru would be on the same side as Maki but so far they are being portrayed as opposites and as we saw in episode three, they are going to be even farther split.
Instead what we got was a unexpected development for Maki in Mai. Seriously I am shocked with what is happening. Add also the fact that Mai is having a much bigger role than what we were expecting and my mind is in shreds! Seriously, what is this? Even Kaoru and the Dude don’t know anything about each other compared to what Mai and Maki do.
Going back to the Utsui residence, Mai once again choses to ignore Maki but once again Maki embeds herself in Mai’s life and drops the bomb about how she found out that Mai’s mother in not well. Mai still doesn’t see what her personal life has anything to do with Maki and tries to tell her off but Maki shuts her (and us) up by sharing a little of her life with Mai. She tells her that her mother died two years ago due to cancer.
Okay, let’s pause once more right here! Maki just went, again, and shared something about her life with Mai!!! Not just a little thing like, favourite colour or hobby, no, that was last episode, where she shared with Mai (of course) that she loved running! This is a big deal!! The scene right after this, which is the one where Kaoru goes to visit Aoi, Aoi tells us that Maki doesn’t like to talk about herself and her life, in reply to Kaoru saying she knows nothing about Maki! We have seen how angry Maki has gotten when someone tries to dig into her past. Aoi got the drop for her spying and Kaoru almost met the same fate when Maki found out that she was digging into her past but she was saved by the presence of Chisa and Shinobu!
That same Maki has been sharing information about her life, all kinds of information with Mai like it means nothing! Mai knows what Maki’s father’s job is. Mai knows what Maki’s hobby is. Mai knows, the most hurtful thing in Maki’s life – which is losing her mother.
Maki and Mai already had something in common in their love and skill in running. Now they both have a connection in their mothers. What connection do any of the rest of the other characters have?! Aoi thought she was the same as Maki but she is nothing like her, well, now they are both infected.
Back to the girls, Mai finally drops the bitch act when Maki shares that part about her mother. We know it is true and not a ruse to get close to Mai because this is confirmed by Kaoru on the rooftop when Maki finds out that Kaoru has been digging things up about her life. Mai, who was only mildly curious about the transfer student is now connected to her because she know now probably why this girl is so strange. Mai probably thinks of what losing her mother would do to her and thus feels the pain that Maki must be going through. She apologies to Maki for being hard on her despite what had happened to her and that is the turning point for Mai. She is now on Maki’s side. Not through the fake connection of the infection like Aoi is and not through the fake fake lies that Kaoru is spouting to put Maki’s demons at bay but through genuine sharing of pieces of her life with Mai.
Also remember last post I mentioned there was another time Maki extended her hand to someone as a sign of friendship? That first time was to Kaoru, who turned tail and ran away from Maki and probably hurting her in the process. The second time happens here where she extends her hand towards Mai like she had Kaoru before. And while Mai doesn’t take it as well, which is the right thing to do, let’s be honest (what’s with that gesture in that moment!?) Mai does something worlds apart better. She leaves the gate to her home open for Maki. She is inviting Maki into her home and by extension into her life. They are now truly connected.
This connection is confirmed in two following scenes. The first happens right in the house. Sometime seems to have passed since entering because by then Maki is by Mai’s resting mother and Mai’s mood is completely different. She is happy, her voice oozes clarity and calmness but the most important thing is the way she says Maki’s name and what she calls Maki.
Actually this is another emotional development that we have only seen between Mai and Maki. In the first episode Mai was referring to Maki with her family name ‘Togawa-san’. Instead here as she calls for Maki, in her happy voice, she calls out for ‘Maki~’. And the way she says that name is just…hanyan~
Mai is on first name basis with Maki!!! it matters not with the others like Aoi and Kaoru because they have been calling Maki ‘Maki’ all the time. They did not earn the meaning that comes with first-name basis. And it is not just Mai, Maki also calls Mai with her name for the first time here, when Mai is shocked after finding her kissing her sleeping mother and demanding what Maki was doing.
Maki slowly makes her way to Mai. She is wearing her emotions on her sleeve as she tells Mai that she couldn’t stop thinking of her mother. Like I said before Maki doesn’t know the side-effects to her ‘healing’ ability so to her, she is only helping. We have already seen that Mai is actually a good person and so not reacting much more negatively towards Maki after seeing her kiss her sleeping mother and only being shocked enough to drop the drinks she had picked up for themselves, it is in character, the way she reacted.
Also what Maki says helps put a stop to any more negative feelings that might have been brewing within Mai. And so if we take it that Maki only sought to help heal Mai’s mother, not only did she do two good deeds for Mai this episode alone but she once again does that simple deed she did in the first episode where she helped pick up Mai;s dropped chop-sticks – She helped here pick up the drinks (in cans) that Mai had dropped in her surprise.
Will Maki be picking up after Mai for the rest of their lives? hopefully!
But before the picking up there is to things that happened that I wish to mention. the first is of course yet another round of eye sex, the way Maki stares with feelings a zombie like her shouldn’t even have, but even before that, there is this moment when…
Remember I asked you to keep that moment at the stairs in mind? Well, here is where it becomes relevant. Did Maki feel something in that moment when Mai touched her arm (when she was supposed to be shoving her to the side by the way) that she decided to replicate that feeling in Mai by touching her arm here as well?! Look at the way she slowly slides her hand up Mai’s arm! It’s almost as if Maki is learning affection from Mai. I mean Maki has been showing some unusual display of affection, exact signs of a monster that needs that human partner to show it how to be more human.
Could Mai be Maki’s salvation? is she going to be the one to save her? I mean so far we have seen that Kaoru is more concerned about saving everyone from Maki than saving Maki and Mai has been the only one to show care for Maki.
Which reminds me…
LOL at Kaoru’s reaction when in class Mai defends Maki, vocally so, from Hikari and Nami when they start bad-mouthing her. Note, Maki is not even around and thus Mai has nothing to prove in defending her and yet she shot her long time friends down when they were talking shit about Maki! The two’s reaction was my reaction but with about 9000 more feeling. Remember, Mai is not infected and thus she is defending Maki with real feelings and intentions. Kaoru probably is flashing back to Aoi defending Maki and probably thinks Mai is infected but we know she is not.
Either way, this is the other hard evidence that Mai and Maki are now ‘together’. Mai just went against her long time friends to defend Maki for crying out loud!
All this development….Jesus! But then episode 3 went and just had to pour cold water on this machine! That’s right, episode 3 had zero interactions between Mai and Maki! Of course it is as someone said, that is that episode three is a set-up episode but still, leaving a trail like Mai and Maki’s development cold like that pissed me off!
I guess we have to wait until episode 4 to continue our journey then. All that happened in episode 3 that was relevant was that the rift between Maki and Kaoru was widened by a great margin and thus rendering that ship sailing nigh impossible!
But what of Chisa and Shinobu?
These two like like what a relationship between Gekikara and Miso would be in Majisuka Gakuen! They are totally nuts and even more so when they get infected as we find out in episode three. They are also drug addicts apparently which while it makes their relationship a volatile one, usually those have more passion than the normal ones. Too bad we won’t see any of that passion on TV!! Only let down on this show!!!
And that is that for this episode.
Night or morning (as it is almost 4 am here LOL).