We're nearing the final leg of Blue Seed, as today I'll be going over episode 19 of the series titled '"Heat Haze! Start on A Journey! Love, I Won’t Be Far From You!"... and after three episodes of focusing on side-characters, the main story is back in the spotlight.
Episode 19: Heat Haze! Start on A Journey! Love, I Won’t Be Far From You
Original Air Date: February 8, 1995
English Air Date: January 9, 2000
After a trio of episodes focusing on Sakura, Ryoko & Mr. Kunikida, the main story of Blue Seed continues as Murakumo and Kaede put an energy dome around a town in order to see if a ritual they need to perform for Susano-O, where if I understood things right, they turned the people of the town in ‘mitama’ that are being grown as part of their plan to have the Aragami take over the Earth. This detail I’m a little fuzzy on, because it’s the only explanation on what happened to the people and it seems like their energy is being absorbed to power the ritual and grown ‘mitama’. Maybe I misunderstood, but it wasn’t the main focus of the episode even though it is setting up something big because there it resulted in a huge freaking tree being grown. They also figure they will be done with Kusanagi because of the phantoms he has to face and assume he will not be able to over come them (More on this in a bit)
The main focus on this episode is on Kusanagi and Momiji, both of whom who were able to enter the dome covered town thanks to their mitama, Kusanagi doing so to search for Kaede, Momiji to search for Kusanagi. This ends up resulting in Momiji telling Kusanagi point blank that yes she knows she’s dumb (she really isn’t), that she can’t possibly help him (it’s been proven she can), and that she loves him and worries about him constantly. This seems to have shaken Kusanagi a bit for he embraces her with a hug and he vows that when ‘everything is over’ he’ll come back to her
Of course that could mean multiple things, but in the case of this episode, the Aragami monster, a cat demon, has the ability to create phantom to play with the mind and expose the heart’s desire, so we see what Kusanagi wants, as he is confronted with an illusion of Kaede who wants things to go back to the way things were where he was always there to protect her and never apart… but the truth is what Kusanagi really wants is to protect the Kushinada, since that is his purpose, thus he rejects the illusion because he’s been protecting Momiji (at least that is my view on it, others may differ on this point). This is good storytelling, for as much as Kusanagi would want Kaede to come back, between Momiji telling him how she feels and what is in his own heart, he knows that possibility may not be too good considering her association with Murakumo and Susano-O. There is also a sequence where he must battle a phantom version of himself who wants to kill Kaede in order to be freed which made for interesting exchange of dialog over what is in Kusanagi heart.
The look of the Aragmi Cat Creature looked impressive, as it had feline features, but the real effect moment of it is when we see a bunch of stray cats in several shots, giving the illusion of there being more than one creature, and resulting in some great visuals, particularly when finding Momiji and Kusanagi and there being cats on the floor and hanging from the ceiling. But really other than the phantom ability to mess people’s mind, it shows no other abilities and is basically one-shotted by Kusanagi (granted a well place one-shot)
All together, this episode gets ball rolling I feel on the final home stretch of episodes. On that note, we’ll back on Friday to go over episode 20: ‘I’m Home! Izumo! The prologue of Hope’