Saturday, February 04, 2006

Blood+ Episode 17

Episode title: 約束おぼえてる? (Yakusoku Oboeteru? Do You Remember the Promise?)
The show opens up with Saya collapsed in the snow. Then the opening animation song/animation plays and we see Saya awakening to a crackling fire. She and Haji are in a cave (she has different clothes on). When Haji realizes she's awake, he says he found her collapsed in the snow. He asks her to remember her important duty, and she says she knows. And she knows that the enemy may be escaping at this very moment. He's not really pressing her though, and mentions it's really difficult for anyone to move in this snowstorm, and he changes the subject, asking why she suddenly collapsed in the snow. She said that she suddenly felt sleepy. Haji caresses her face and touches his forehead to hers (often done by Japanese to measure body temperature) and he says that her temperature has dropped. He mentions that she's been "awake" for three years now. Saya says that the next time she wakes up, there will be no one who knows her. Haji says he'll be waiting for her always. They say that they should reach their target village the next day. He says that while she was sleeping, he had been practicing the tune that she taught her, and he begins playing the cello. She says that he still has a ways to go. He says she's pretty strict.

The next day, they are before a signpost. "How do you read this," asks Saya. "Prokovske, the village Gregory was born in," answers Haji. Saya asks if that's where they're headed, but Haji says their target is a place near it, where Gregory should be hiding out. Saya says she heard he was already dead (the real Gregory was assassinated in 1916). Haji mentions that because this country is under the turmoils of a revolution, it's easy for yokushuu (chiropterans) to hide. They will gather info. Saya asks about Anastasia (the famous Russian Romanov princess, whose body was not found among the murdered royal family), and Haji says she must be hiding somewhere in this country. Anyway, they believe that finding Gregory is their key to finding Anastasia.

They come across an old woman at a well and asks about Gregory, and she says Gregory left about 20 years ago, as do most young people. The only young person left is a girl named Sonya, the daughter of a scientist who had a reputation for doing questionable experiments; they used to live in Ekatinburg, but had returned to the village because of the revolution. However, none of the villagers like to go near their house. By coincidence, a pretty, blond teenaged girl appears, and the old lady says it's Sonya. She greets the old lady, but she doesn't respond and leaves.

Saya and Haji ask Sonya about Gregory. She says she's only been here 2 years, so she doesn't know anything about old people. She asks if they have a place to stay and invites them to stay at her house. She says she has an extra bed and Haji can sleep in her father's bed. Haji asks what her father would say, and she said he was dead; he was found dead in the snow, white, as if all the blood had been sucked out of him.

Sonya asks if Saya and Haji are a couple, and Saya is taken aback but says he's more like a family member. They are crossing a rickety wooden bridge, and although Saya eyed the bridge suspiciously, Sonya says she's always been nervous, but today she thinks it'll be okay; however, she sticks closely to Saya, saying she's scared (this girl is starved for companionship) and they fall through one of the planks to the icy waters below. Later, they are huddled in Sonya's house in blankets. Haji shows up bare-chested, bringing honey tea he made. Saya's embarassed and tells him to be dressed in the presence of women.

Saya sees beakers, tubes and other tools for scientific experimentation, and eyes a book, "Philosophie Zoologigue," and Sonya says it was written by her father (the real book was written by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, a French naturalist in the 1800s); she said her father was always doing experiments. "What kind of experiments," Saya asks, and she replies, "Creating new humans." Outside the house, we see the old woman standing outside, face expressionless.

In the evening or early morning, Haji looks through the book and sees an envelope with Gregory's name on it. He sees a figure walking outside and he follows it into the woods. He thinks it could be Gregory. But it's a trap as a huge wooden stake comes flying from above and impales Haji.

Saya wakes up to find Sonya sleeping on her bed, nestled to her body. Sonya wakes up too and hugs Saya and says "good morning." Sonya asks if Saya could live with her because she's lonely.. and Saya seems to somehow sparkle. Saya says if she's lonely, she should make friends with the villagers. But Sonya says she's hated by them because of her father's experiments. "What's wrong with creating people? People make vegetables, breed dogs and horses to make them better. People can also become better, surpassing even God!" Sonya says fervently. "For what reason," asks Saya, "the ones created did not desire to be so produced. The ones desiring this are..." Then Saya apologizes and says it's nothing. Sonya asks if she's hungry, and Saya says "no," but her stomach betrays her, growling. Sonya runs out to prepare breakfast.

After Saya get's dressed, she hears a crash and sees a broken window; through it, she sees Sonya's bloody body, lying in the snow. The old woman they had met earlier is outside with a bloody ax in her hand. Saya runs out and yells out asking why she did that. "That girl is the devil, a monster. I've seen her suck out the blood of other villagers!" But suddenly an elongated monster hand strikes out, grabs the woman's head and blood splatters everywhere. Sonya is standing up, and we see that the monster hand belongs to her. Sonya licks her bloody hand and says it tastes like soil. She says townspeople smell like money, while aristocrats taste like wine. "Yokushuu..." says Saya. "That's what you guys call us; I didn't know until I met you people." Saya jumps for the fallen ax, but Sonya grabs it first. She says people need tools like that to kill; without it, they can't even handle a rabbit. She goes on to say that humans have diverged from nature. Suddenly a wooden stake flies from above, and Sonya leaps backwards. It's Haji, and he tosses Saya the sword. However, Sonya grows wings, and blasts the snow. Saya shuts her eyes momentarily, and when she opens them, Sonya's gone.

Haji and Saya walk through the woods, looking for Sonya. They conclude that Sonya's father and Gregory worked together on the experiments. After Gregory had been assassinated, Sonya's and her father had returned to this village, but already, Sonya was actually... Gregory. Saya says if they can find Sonya, it'll lead them to Anastasia. Suddenly, Saya's extra senses show that a yokushuu is nearby. They locate Sonya, who flies ahead and the pair chase her. They follow her to a horse drawn carriage. The driver of the carriage says, "Gregory, retreat, Diva wishes to sleep." But Sonya/Gregory says, "I can't believe you said that, Ansel. Saya, the one who's after Diva, is before our eyes. It's our duty as Chevaliers to protect her (Diva)." "I understand," says Ansel, and he drives off.

Saya confronts Sonya, and calls him by his real name: Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin (the self-proclaimed "holy man" that took care of the Romanov heir Alexi and had such an influence over the Russian royal family), and they fight. Sonya fights with all parts of her body; she flies, she attacks with both arms and legs, and nearly impales Saya, but Haji takes the blow for her and while the two struggle, Saya uses her blood and kills the yokushuu. After that, Saya collapses. Haji goes to her side, and she says she's really sleepy. She asks him to forgive her. She says she can't keep her eyes open and thinks she'll go into a deep sleep. She asks if he remembers the promise, and he says yes. "If I can defeat Diva..." and she mouths something we can't hear (I tried to read her lips, but my Japanese is just not good enough to see what she was saying). Haji says he'll always watch over her, even if she changes to something else, or even if they are separated, he'll always find her, so for now, he wishes her goodnight, and he gently brushes away a flake of snow on her face.

Then Saya awakes, in Haji's arms. Their clothes are different. He asks if she can move. She said she saw a dream... and that he could laugh, and that they had made a promise with each other. Haji says it's not a dream. She asks what the promise was, and he says she'll know when the time comes. Then we hear Riku's voice calling her name. Elizabeth is trailing along behind him (but of course, Saya, Haji and Riku don't know she's actually a yokushuu).

A nice episode; I guess we now know that Diva is actually Anastasia, the rumored missing Romanov princess of Russia. It looks like also that Saya and Diva both have to hibernate for long periods of time. I wonder if they have a cycle of hunting for each other while one of them is sleeping.

The preview for next week looks like they'll focus on David and Kai.


At 8:05 PM, Blogger Christina said...

This is all very interesting.
It sounds like Saya regrets being born as she is. And how is it Rasputin is in the body of Sonya?
It was nice to see Haji be more expressive. I wonder what sort of trauma he endured to make him so melancholy.
It looks more and more like Saya nd Haji are promised to one another.

At 8:42 PM, Blogger WRex said...

Hmm... I think she doesn't like the "duty" she has to perform. (Saya and the Jigoku Shoujo should form a club.)

As for how Grigori Rasputin was in Sonya's body... my guesses are that: 1) he either transformed his body into the likeness of Sonya, 2) it was a successful result of the experiments Sonya's father and he were doing, or 3) maybe the yokushuu (or some yokushuu) have the ability to take on the likeness of the bodies they suck blood from (like how the old lady from the last episode has the same likeness of Liza).

I hope the nature of the promise between Haji and Saya is more of the romantic type, rather than the "kill me after I've done my duty" type.

At 1:04 PM, Anonymous JaMalle said...

Aww and Sonya/Grigori was my new favorite Chevalier! That chiropteran surely was a cool fighter.

We need to see more Chevaliers like Girgiori and Karl, because they're better to watch than the normal run-of-the-mill chiropteran. haha

Great episode it was.


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