Anime

C³ – CubexCursedxCurious Episode 10: The Ladyboob Alliance and the Brutal Price of Immortality

Quick Summary

In C3 episode 10, "The Sadist is Nowhere to be Found," Fear and Kuroe Ningyouhara, tired of Konoha Muramasa's well-endowed figure, launch the Ladyboob Alliance in an attempt to sway public opinion in their favor. Their fun is interrupted by the news of a murder, and they immediately attribute it to Alice Bivorio Basskreigh. She makes no attempt to deny it, electing instead to show them the contents of her cello case. Kirika Ueno receives orders not to get involved, with her partner going so far as to threaten to reveal her secret to Haruaki Yachi. But as the murder count climbs, so does Kirika's unease. Will she tell Haruaki what she knows -- even if it means him learning her dark secret?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

What's in This Post

Like the original OP as much as I do? You can buy it from CD Japan:

Endless Story / Yukari Tamura
Yukari Tamura

3 Favorite Moments

Apparently tired of being compared to Konoha, Kuroe spoke of modesty, grace, and ladyboobs. Capture from the Funimation stream.

Moment 1

Watching Konoha trying to teach Fear how to dance (and remembering Kana Miyama's similar failure in the previous episode) gave me an appreciation for bespectacled one's patience. Fear just has no rhythm! And did you notice she was trying to dance to the first OP? In any event, Kuroe showed up, to egg Fear on as she ranted against Konoha's physique. Kuroe even went so far as to say that Konoha was "abnormal" and that Fear and Kuroe were "the normal ones" (4:03). Kuroe added, "We just have modesty and grace. That's right... like ladies! In other words, we should refer to ours as 'ladyboobs.'" And thus she and Fear founded the Ladyboob Alliance. I probably should not have found that as hilarious as I did. 

It used to be a torture device, but now Fear used the Howling Steel Ox to save Hauraki's life! Capture from the Funimation stream.

Moment 2

Fear gets points for repurposing a torture device as a defensive weapon. As she and Konoha attack Alice, Haruaki realizes that there's something wrong -- and that something represents a real danger to all of them. Fear and Konoha sensed it seconds later, too. Just as Alice launched her devastating attack, Fear created "Configuration number 24, Tempered Status, Howling Steel Ox" (9:16) and stuffed Haruaki into it. Its original purpose? To lock victims in side, build a fire beneath, and roast them to death. Fear initially appears sobered by having to remember the device's uses, but she's actually upset that Alice escaped. Still, Fear's quick-thinking saved Haruaki's life. I like seeing these three fight together. They're getting more and more effective!

The scene conveyed a strong sense that Kirika yearned to share her secret with Haruaki, but she didn't know know if it was "okay" to do so. Capture from the Funimation stream.

Moment 3

In the beginning of this episode, we saw a quick scene where Kirika's outfit (called Kurokawa Karen) seemed to be getting amorous with her. The scene left open the question of how Kirika felt about it, as her expression was neutral (well, more neutral than one would expect for a woman in that situation). Later, in the classroom, she nearly collapses, and she's breathing heavily -- almost as if she were aroused (11:28). She does crash to the floor shortly thereafter, and after trying to take her to the nurse's office, Haruaki escorts her home. There, he tells her that he thinks of her as a partner and is willing to listen if she wants to talk. Overwhelmed by his offer, she decides to show him her secret. She wears two cursed devices: Ginstrnag's Love, which gives her immortality unless she takes it off, at which point it kills her, and Kurokawa Karen, which induces its wearer to attack and kill people, but gives her significant combat capabilities. That sounds all well and good until you realize that Kurokawa Karen will drive its wearer insane if it can't kill -- so Kirika has to allow it to break her bones and murder her (16:22) -- nightly. I don't think I've seen anything quite like this in anime. It was an amazing moment of intimacy and relief for Kirika: She no longer had to hide this part of herself from Haruaki. 

Thoughts

Sometimes, you come across a scene that epitomizes a series by how it applies the show's basic premise. Kirika breaking down and deciding to share her curses with Haruaki is one of those scenes.

We've seen how reserved she is. The Wikia for this show suggests Ginstrnag's Love actually kills the wearer's heart, but I don't think that's true. She clearly feels affection for Haruaki. But she has to be very, very careful. She's class president, and she wants to maintain a respectable image, so she can't let anyone know she's wearing what most people would interpret as bondage gear beneath her uniform. 

Can you imagine having to be that careful? How lonely that would feel?

When it became obvious that Kurokawa Karen was going to strangle her, she had to reassure Haruaki that she wouldn't die. She was being strangled, and she felt compelled to comfort himCapture from the Funimation stream.

Worse, her other cursed device, Kurokawa Karen, wants to maim and kill. If it doesn't get its way, it appears to punish her with exhausting sexual arousal -- which would be something else that would completely destroy her reputation if it were to get out. To keep it from overthrowing her mind and forcing her to murder others, she lets it torture and murder her -- almost every night.

If she didn't feel lonely before...

I've only seen an anime like this one even set up that scenario, much less try to address it with tenderness. For the whole episode, and even in previous episodes, we saw her fighting against her affection for Haruaki. She didn't want to lose the friendship she'd built with him, but hiding something so fundamental to who she is was wearing on her, and she was afraid seeing it would drive him away. Then, as I mentioned in my third favorite moment, Haruaki called her a partner and said he'd listen.

That seemed to break her last remaining inhibition. She asked him to sit with her and watch as Kurokawa Karen broke her fingers, then her legs, then her back. She had to remind him that she wouldn't die as it began to strangle her. The show's always used a visually distinctive style, and it did so in this episode to show her agony. Instead of showing her fingers snap, it presented a metaphor of drawing tools breaking. Instead of showing the device break her legs or back, we saw a still, stained glass image of the event. We also saw some effective shadows.

The episode could easily have turned this scene into something merely salacious. Instead, it turned it into something much more. Capture from the Funimation stream.

And Haruaki stayed with her even until she awoke the next morning.

It might seem odd that I'd look on this event as an example of celebrating anime, but I do. The scene was all about Kirika finding someone she could trust enough to share her darkest secret, and about that someone (Haruaki) accepting her without batting an eye. He had said he saw her as a partner; he proved it by sitting by sitting by her bedside all night. 

If that's not a moment of beauty, then I don't know what is!

What did you think of Kirika sharing her secret with Haruaki? What were your favorite moments? Let me know in the comments!

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