C³ – CubexCursedxCurious Episode 1: A Strange Parcel and the Oppressive Weight of Negative Emotion
In C3 episode 1, "I don't know what moved into my futon," Haruaki Yachi goes though the same ritual as he has too many times before: he receives an unusual and probably dangerous package from his father who collects such cursed things; and having no idea what the huge cube is, he tosses it in the basement. But then he's awakened in the middle of the night. In his kitchen, he finds a beautiful young (and naked) woman eating rice crackers! Why is her name Fear? Why is she standing naked in his kitchen? What will Konoha Muramasa, his friend and schoolmate, say when she finds out? And just what the heck was his dad thinking?
Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.
What's in This Post
3 Favorite Moments
I'm pretty sure that a naked cookie thief was among the last things Haruaki expected to find! Capture from the Funimation stream.
Talk about making a grand entrance! Or at least a memorable one... Vainly hoped that the huge metal cube his father sent him would be harmless, Haruaki stores it in the cellar (along with what looks like a lot of other parcels!) and goes to bed. He wakes up in the middle of the night at the sound of someone eating rice crackers in his kitchen! Rice crackers aren't silent food even in the middle of the day; whoever was eating them had to be pretty clueless. Turns out, that was the point. Haruaki peeks into his kitchen to see Fear (2:15), without apparel, happily munching rice crackers. There's this magical moment where her long hair protects her modesty and Haruaki stands transfixed. Then she finishes crunching on the rice cracker in her mouth. The spell broken, he blurts out, "A naked rice cracker thief?" After a first impression like that, you just know they're either going to get along well or kill each other, don't you?
I'm going out on a limb here, but I don't think Konoha and Fear hit it off. Capture from the Funimation stream.
Speaking of entrances... As Haruaki and Fear are talking about the nature of curses, Konoha arrives with some food she hopes she can share with Haruaki (5:54). She seems all sweetness and light, since she's expecting a few quiet moments alone with her friend. She was not expecting Fear, wearing only blue and white striped panties and a man's shirt, to be there with him -- and speaking rudely to her in addition! To say the two young women didn't hit it off would be a terrible understatement. There's something about weaponizing Japanese social politeness that makes for some hilarious putdowns. Fear tries to zing Konoha by saying. "I guess your talent is making all the nourishment go to your boobs!" Not to be outdone, she snaps back, "I'm just thinking aloud, but I feel sorry for girls who eat and eat, yet never get nutrition circulating to their chests." So, I'm guessing that there's going to be some strife among our heroes?
Did you notice what happens when Konoha gets mad? She breaks steel cooking pots with her bare hands. She's not someone to trifle with!
She may not hit it off with Fear, but she didn't hesitate to advocate for her. Gotta respect that! Capture from the Funimation stream.
Konoha cemented her reputation as my favorite character when she started showing signs of compassion for Fear -- in spite of what Fear had said to her. As she and Haruaki went shopping (in part to replace the damage Fear did when trying to clean up!), they encountered the market district people who had befriended Fear. They learned that she had likely not been trying to destroy the house out of mischief, as Haruaki had suspected. Rather, she was trying to take care of him as the first step into undoing her curse. Konoha brightened and told him that she'd been right (18:31). At his confusion, she explained what Fear was about to do, and how he should respond. Being a typical male, he really didn't get what she was saying, but she had faith in him. Seemed to me that she's his pillar of strength, even if he's completely unaware!
No matter how much Fear had ticked her off, Konoha was still willing to support and encourage her, even it was just through Haruaki.
How cool is it that Haruaki can't be cursed! That's not a bad super power to have at all, especially in this world!
I like the simple concept at the heart of this show: that just as negative emotions can create curses, positive emotions can heal those curses. It puts the focus on human relationships, and while that's a real challenge, it's precisely where the focus should be.
I've always loved anime. There's an old meme showing that Japan turns everything into cute girls: zombies, vampires, even demons. I accepted that as just something anime did. But this series gave me a completely new perspective. Can you guess what it is?
Apparently, Japan can turn anything into a cute anime girl. Until I watched this series, it didn't occur to me that there might actually be a deeper meaning to that! Capture from the Funimation stream.
I can start by telling you what it isn't. Did you read me review of Black Bullet episode 10? In the Thoughts section, I talked about the steps a despot (or someone else trying to establish an illicit form of government) has to take to consolidate power. One of those things is to pick a scapegoat to direct the attention and hatred of your followers. And to do that, you have to dehumanize a segment of the population. Popular targets have been immigrants, the mentally ill -- anyone who lacks powerful enough advocates. Once you dehumanize a group, you can treat them however you like.
Series like this one do the opposite. They humanize something that is otherwise easy to dismiss -- or even enjoyable to dismiss!
We don't know what Fear is yet. We know that she was used as a tool that made her the receptacle for seriously negative emotions. Based on the degree of self-disgust she shows at remembering her past, and based on her reaction to seeing the ocean, I get the distinct impression that whatever she did, whoever she was -- it was pretty dark. I think the show's going to use her cuteness to make her more relatable.
At least, I hope she's not just another tsundere loli! That would be seriously disappointing.
What did you think of C3's first episode? See anything that piqued your interest? Let me know in the comments!
Other Posts of Interest
Other Anime Sites
This Site (Crow's World of Anime!)
- C³ – CubexCursedxCurious Episode 2: Where, What, Something
- C³ – CubexCursedxCurious Episode 3: The Antimony of their Temperatures
- C³ – CubexCursedxCurious Episode 4: At Night, a Mother and a Hugging Pillow
- C³ – CubexCursedxCurious Episode 5: Even if I'm Cursed
- C³ – CubexCursedxCurious Episode 6: Weak, Like a Spherical Glass
- C³ – CubexCursedxCurious Episode 7: Not Reflected in the Eyes of a Seer
- C³ – CubexCursedxCurious Episode 8: Like an Inescapable Curse
- C³ – CubexCursedxCurious Episode 9: The Returnee Seems Somehow Strange