In a way, Fumetsu did absolutely the most annoying this it could do after annoying me for the umpteenth time last week. That is, deliver a really good episode. I just can’t get a handle on this series – it’s laughably inconsistent to the point where it almost seems like they have to be doing it on purpose. No matter how low it goes (and the Jananda arc was pretty darn low) it always seems to remind you what’s it’s capable of eventually. At least this season we haven’t had to suffer through an extended run of subpar episodes like we did with “Jananda”.
As things pick up from where they left off, Fushi and Bon are still trapped in their respective cages – though Fushi’s is considerably more suffocating. There’s a little more Man in Black narration than I would prefer, but I suppose there’d really have been no other way to tell us what was going on in there. And it was pretty brutal – a few seconds of consciousness between bouts of being annihilated, only to regenerate and repeat the cycle over and over. MiB seems almost (but not quite) concerned, but I have to assume he’d have had no power to intervene even had the impulse struck him.
Bonchien isn’t exactly on a spa weekend of course, though at least he’s not jacketed in molten iron. He cycles through bouts of anger and his usual self-pity, but refuses to denounce Fushi to the inquisitors. They do receive ransom from his father but refuse it as “tainted” – though one suspects only too tainted to release the prisoners, not to bank. And indeed it is prisoners, as not only is Iris in the adjoining cage, a boy named Chabo (Yorita Natsu) is in there too (apparently it took Bon this long to notice him)? He says he’s in there for stealing bread, but Bonchien soon figures out the truth – he’s simply there to balance Todo’s weight in the other cage.
That’s the sort of people we’re dealing with in the Church of Bennett – whatever flaws Bon has, he’s a veritable saint compared to this bunch (who sadly aren’t all that historically unrealistic). Bon can see Chabo’s mother – which of course means she’s dead, which Bon thoughtlessly tells Chabo in blunt fashion. Despite his decent impulses Bon remains incredibly self-absorbed and incapable of much empathy – he’s just completely out of touch with how actual people live. When Chabo offers the whining Bon half his bread ration Bon doesn’t think twice about accepting it until Iris volunteers half her own to put a stop to it (in a nice bit of detail this eventually causes the cages to go out of balance – as a result of Iris losing a lot of weight).
After some weeks pass – long enough for Bonchien to grow a full beard and Chabo to nearly expire from illness and malnutrition – Fushi finally evolves (I don’t know how else to describe it) and eventually escapes. I guess it was a matter of his body adjusting to the heat, the sort of adaptive ability I don’t think we were aware he had. Using various specialized skill avatars to locates Bon and finds his way to his cage, but too Fushi’s surprise Bon declines to go with him. Ostensibly this is so he can confess and put an end to whole holy war, but in truth Bon is planning to take one for the team and call off the dogs from Fushi for good.
Fushi creates dummy corpses of Chabo and Iris (who I assume it going to look very different when we finally see her, since they went out of their way not to show her yet) and scarpers. If you can scarper by boat, anyway. Bon concocts a story about a demon who smells of cat pee and pretends to denounce Fushi, but in the end it’s only the Church of Bennett he denounces, and is put to death (false hope owl). That constitutes Bon’s first real selfless act, so I suppose if he had to go out that was a good way to do it. And so ends (apparently) one of the strangest character arcs I’ve seen in anime for a long time. And so begins, hopefully, a better run of episodes of Fumetsu no Anata e – though where this show is concerned, I’ve learned never to count on anything.