Friday, March 24, 2006

Kagihime 8

Kokoro no monogatari wo kake, tatakau shoujo tachi. Sore wo yomeba donna negai mo kanau to iu owaranai monogatari. Souzouryoku ga souzouryoku ni kawaru toki, owaranai monogatari wo owaraseru no monogatari ga hajimaru... (Girls write their hearts' stories and fight. It's a story about being granted any wish once you read all the stories. When imagination is changed by imagination, the story to end the endless story begins...)

Kagihime is about a boy named Aruto Kirihara who is obsessed by the Alice in Wonderland stories. He is writing his own story about Alice's adventures, and late at night he sees a girl fly in front of the moon; it is exactly like the Alice of his imaginations. He follows her to a library where she battles another girl and defeats her. Inserting her key-like weapon into her chest, she twists it, and pages fly around her. She takes a page, reads it, and the defeated girl loses her memory. Taking the page and reading it, though, seems like mental rape. Aruto finds out they are what are called "Alice-users." After battling each other, they take each other's stories and adds to their own. When all the pages are collected, the last volume of Dodgson/Lewis Carroll's legendary 3rd volume will be completed, and the Alice user will be granted any wish. The girl is named Arisu Arisugawa, and attends his school. Later, Aruto discovers that his own sister (Kiraha Kirihara) is also an Alice-user. He also finds that he can copy the pages of the defeated Alice-user instead of taking their page, thus reducing their horror and allowing them to remember their memories. Arisu and Kiraha join forces and cooperate to collect the pages, and later are joined by Kisa Misaki (a girl infatuated with Kiraha) and Kirika Kagarigi (their school sempai who basically sees Aruto as a curious lab study). Aruto's sister, btw, has a huge crush on her own brother. In the shadows is Alternate L. Takion, the author of the Alice books (the anime's version of Dodgson/Carroll), his sexy assistant Riddle (anime version of Alice Liddle, whom Dodgson based his main character on), and the diminiutive Alice-twins. They manipulate Aruto's group into entering their world and trick them into believing that he wants them to collect the pages so that he can publish his final book; however, Takion just wants to be able to be granted power of the Wish. In episode 6, Auruto and Arisu have to kiss, and they discover they really have feelings toward each other, much to the chagrin of Kiriha.

That brings us to Episode 8. I wasn't really interested in this series at first (I didn't like the huge fan-service boobs on many of the characters and their costumes looked silly), but I had set my computer to record it... after watching a bunch of episodes, I found the stories to be interesting and disturbing, much like the real life of Dodgson. Oh yes.... I was talking about episode 8...

Kiraha has an incestuous dream about kissing her brother and he entering her bed. She wakes, and is ashamed. Outside, seeming to see this, is an Alice-user who comments what an "ugly dream" it was. At school, Kiraha asks Kisa if she can stay over at her house, much to her delight. At lunch, everyone's at a table together, and the mysterious Alice-user appears and she knows they are all Alice-users and that Aruto has the power to copy pages; she's heard this from all the defeated Alice-users who are grateful to Aruto. Her name is Asuka and she asks if she can join their group; everyone gives approval except Kirika, who mistrusts her. After school, Asuka tells Kiraha privately that in some people's stories, there is ugliness, and some would rather wish to forget those ugliness; she knows that Kiraha has a brother complex.

That night, Kiraha and Kisa get a Alice-invitation and find their entire group is there. There is another Alice-user there who was also invited. She's ready to take everyone's stories; however, when she sees Aruto, she goes nuts and tries to harm him. The other girls try to protect him, but the she's too strong for them. But suddenly, she gets struck by a feather in her chest and she falls. Asuka arrives and says a chant to release the girl's secret memories... it seems that she was molested by a young man when she was a little girl. Arisu uses her key to release her pages and Aruto takes it to copy it, but the girl says she suddenly feels lighthearted, seems happy, and starts to walk away. Aruto tells her to wait, as he's copying her page and would return it to her, but she says she doesn't want it, and she disappears. Asuka laughs. After, Arisu says that maybe she can't be teammates with Kiraha because her selfishness and incompetence may put Aruto in danger (as happened during this fight).

Later that night, Kiraha meets up with Asuka. She wants her painful feelings removed. Asuka gets ready to take her page, but Arisu, Kisa, and Aruto arrive and try to stop her. Aruto and Kiraha argue and she says he doesn't understand her feelings. Asuka decides to show everyone her feelings; she hits her with her feather and exposes all her feelings, fears, and jealousy. Kiraha cries in shock and pain. Kiraha says deep in her heart she had this ugliness. Everyone else is in shock and Asuka says if everyone understands Kiraha's feelings, they won't lay a finger; she gets ready to strike her, but Aruto jumps in and prevents it from happening. He's hit by the weapon, and he starts to lose consciousness, but says he'll always protect her. Later, he's in bed with Kiraha at his side; he says he can't return her feelings the way she wants, but he thinks of her more dearly than anyone else. She cries and says she understands.

Pics (click to enlarge):
Asuka witnesses an "ugly" dreamKisa gets a chance to get Kiraha's "indrect kiss" by getting an offer to taste Kiraha's sundae... however, Kirika tastes it first, enfuriating her Asuka introduces herself, slides some poisonous thoughts into Kiraha; Kisa imagines her evening; they get an Alice invitationAn Alice-user with a hatred of boys arrives; Aruto almost loses his manhoodAsuka reveals the Alice-user's darkest memories
The Alice-user is released from her pain; Kiraha, meanwhile, struggles with her own pain
Kiraha's friends try to help her
Kiraha's deepest fears, Aruto protects his sister, brother-sisterly feelings... or is it more?


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