EP3 kind of had an abrupt ending – EP4 wasn’t too bad, so once again here we go. This review is done in a chain of sorts since I have a backlog of entries due to RL issues haha. I wrote this review, but I may skip EP5 or combine it with EP6 to cut backlog. Though, EP5 was really good, so the most I might do is to write a shorter review. Anyway!
The episode begins with Karan – Shion’s mum, if you forgot – being devastated about her son’s sudden disappearance. Her shop’s completely down and Yoming, a somewhat prolific online writer tries to comfort her but to no avail. Karan sends him away, and later receives a message from Rat that Shion is safe, giving her the much-needed comfort. She sends a message to Shion, who has received it towards the end of EP3, which is actually a location. Yoming, on the other hand, notices on his way out that people are watching Karan’s shop, to his disgust.After the lovely OP again we once again refocus on Rat and Shion, who are currently in the marketplace/streets of the West District…and our clueless dear boy has gotten himself lost behind the crowds, taking some time to catch up to Rat who obviously ignores him. While playing catch-up however Shion is side-tracked much – first by a prostitute, then by a dead body, before Rat comes to save him with a heck load of innuendo that Shion knows nil about.
Shion just constantly then bombards Rat with questions that irritate Rat to no end, eventually pissing him off somewhat, until their lovely conversation is interrupted by some hoodlums seeking payment for the prostitute’s ‘services’ to Shion. Once more they flee till they reach the location of the Latch Bill, an old newspaper, where they meet Rikiga after seeing a woman scream at him and storm out of his house.
Rikiga, a former newspaper reporter for the Latch Bill, initially only notices Rat as Eve, who is apparently Rat’s stage name when he’s acting. He’s a great fan of Eve. When, however, Shion tells him that he’s Karan’s son, Rikiga flips and tears up upon seeing him and her handwritten message, as if some long lost reunion just happened in his head. Rat is quick to shoot him and his fantasies down while Shion is just being, y’know, clueless again.
While we do find out more about Rikiga’s and Karan’s past, we also find out that Rikiga’s been involved in some shady dealings of pimping ladies to No. 6. Rat’s quick to exploit this fact and attacks his luxurious way of life, to which Rikiga actually offers him to work for him as well as part of the demand in the pimp industry, seeing Rat’s looks – completely forgetting the purpose why the duo even came to him in the first place.
This dance of verbal knives carries on until Shion refuses to sit still anymore upon hearing the insults being hurled at Rat and leaps, yes, leaps, at Rikiga, attempting to somewhat kill him. He’s clearly gone haywire over what Rikiga has said and demands an apology. Our dear clueless doe-eyed boy turning homicidal maniac on Rikiga. This evidently shocks everyone and Rat, after a moment of shock, acts quickly to restrain him, not after an apology is uttered from the choking lips of Rikiga.
It’s something to note that Shion has entered a trance of sorts during this sudden burst of fury. Having not read the novels I don’t know if this is related to his transformation but we’ll see. Rat eventually snaps him out of trance and Shion’s all teary-eyed and upset at how Rat is so nonchalant about being insulted and hurt verbally. But then Rat says one of the most interesting quotes I have ever heard in a while, although looking albeit surprised at this admission – Shion, you shouldn’t shed tears for someone else. You should only cry and fight for your own good. They then take their leave, while Rikiga tries to stop them. Something else does stop them in their tracks, however – a photo on the floor, containing the founding members of probably the Latch Bill newspaper. It is of somesignificance to Rat for a reason not mentioned here though.
Past the mid-point of the episode we return back to the hideout – Shion’s busy making soup when Rat returns, and his dark mood is clearly reflected in the way he chooses to ignore Shion’s calls and questions, until Shion asks to know him more, wanting to understand him more. This thus results in Rat grabbing Shion’s hand and placing it on his chest, a reminder that his heart is beating, and that it is ample enough knowledge to know that he, Rat, is living and here now. That is all that matters, and Rat’s fierce reluctance to let Shion get any closer to him, to become more than strangers, starts to feel a bit disconcerting. It makes one question: why does Rat want to distance himself from everyone? Another question for another day. Plus, note that a certain soundtrack piece always plays whenever Rat and Shion share a moment.
Dogkeeper interrupts this when she/he sends a request to Shion for work- washing her dogs. It’s a really tedious task – how many dogs does she have?! – but they are temporarily off track when Shion’s ideals of how everyone, regardless of status, is human is revealed to Dogkeeper who immediately warns him that he would die quikly if he continued believing those ideals. Topic then changes to Rat and how Dogkeeper knows/hates him because of information brokering and Rat’s singing skills. Speak of the devil, and Rat appears for some random reason to irritate Dogkeeper much to her/his distaste. However, the tables are flipped when Shion reveals that he’s named the mice that follow Rat around – Hamlet, Cravat and Moonlight – much to Rat’s distaste which he reveals for a few seconds before realizing that he’s in the open, and let down his guard in front of Dogkeeper…someone not quite to be trusted. No doubt that the latter takes note of this fact for immediate future reference.
Rat’s deep in thought later at night when suddenly Dogkeeper sneaks up on him, and agitates him about how he’s jealous of how Dogkeeper got Shion’s sympathies after telling him her/his life story. Rat jumps the gun a bit too quick, and his awareness of his surroundings drop to the point where he is easily surrounded by Dogkeeper’s pets – all aimed at him. Rat is taken aback momentarily, while Dogkeeper once again emphasizes how relationships, connections are deadly – the one with something to protect always loses.
The resulting action scene however proves again how talented Rat is in moving deftly and instinctively to threats – soon enough he’s gotten past Dogkeeper’s defenses, but just when he would get rid of her/him, Shion oh-so-perfectly appears right on time. Dogkeeper leaves with a few words of caution – Rat’s losing it and Shion, his burden, will cause him to suffer for it. Nonetheless Rat still tolerates his presence.
As the episode comes to a close, Shion and Rat are trekking back home when they hear the Moondrop ‘cry’, and Shion is reminded of how Karan is still inside and he wants to save her, but he too wants to live out in the West District, by Rat’s side. His reason sounds all so simple yet probably has many possible meanings – he is drawn to Rat, by fate, by instinct, by curiosity.
There are a number of things that the anime is skipping from the novel that makes some stuff a little awkward, but not too much if you don’t bother. Right at the start – Yoming, the writer, has reason to express his disgust/distaste at the authorities spying at Karan’s shop. According to the novel, he has a relative (or someone he knows) that disappeared due to the authorities and never came back, while he was being spied on. It’s an interesting development to see how far the anime will try to use its other side characters eg. Karan, Safu, Yoming, whoever, in the main storyline, other than for the purpose of fleshing out the lives of Rat and Shion only.
Another point lacking in this episode, which if we refer to the specific scene in the novel, is that of Rat seeing the photo he picked up from Rikiga’s floor. Rat mentions that one of the people in the photo gave him his name, and that fact shouldn’t have been completely overlooked by absolutely no mention at all – I mean, hello, his name, his identity? Isn’t it important to know why he’s called Rat? And who would call him that?
This episode was slightly better than 3 because there was just a tad bit more action in it – Shion’s really dynamic leap across the table to strangle Rikiga, Rat’s agility against Dogkeeper’s numbers, the really chilly banter between Rikiga and Rat, the marketplace action…yeah, that was a number of key scenes covered. Since it’s going to only have 11/ 12 episodes, I’m sort of concerned – how are they going to fit a 9-volume novel into such a short anime? There’s quite a bit to cover, so I suspect that Bones are going to accelerate the next few episodes in order to end at a suitable point.
Relationship development with people around Shion is a plus seeing how we learn how different people react to him. Seeing Rat getting a little bit flustered, just a little bit, was more than enough, in my opinion to know that Shion is clearly changing him, and it’s going to be quite rocky. Their relationship (Shion and Rat) is getting sort of weird though when both people are acting weirdly. Shion’s…just his usual cluelessness while Rat, just ups the anti-social level but still allows Shion to stay.
Rat’s words are also having a lot of innuendos as if he’s hinting at how he and Shion are together, but yet not quite. It is lovely to see them interact and banter and they feel like the best partners for each other but not necessarily in the love sense. And speaking of love interests, Safu’s not seen most, or at all, in this episode – but judging from the preview of episode 5 we’ll see her.
In other notes, meeting Rikiga and seeing how he interacts with the main duo – it looks like he is going to be another key character, in the same way that Dogkeeper, Safu, Karan are to Shion and Rat.
And till next time, I leave you with random fanarts I did when I could. I may combine reviews for episode 5 and 6 since I wish to avoid anymore backlog if possible, or perhaps write a shorter summary/recap of the episode.