Anime

C³ – CubexCursedxCurious Episode 12: Human Like Tools and Tool Like Humans

Quick Summary

In C3 episode 12, "The Transcendentals are Everywhere," FearKonoha Muramasa, and even Kirika Ueno battle Alice Bivorio Basskreigh, who proves too powerful for even all three combined. With Kuroe Ningyouhara immobile and Haruaki Yachi hand-cuffed to a pipe, what options do our heroes have? That was before things get more challenging as Alice reveals she has the power to duplicate herself. That about going from bad to Worse! 

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

If you're Haruaki, this is one of those moments where you just have to say, "Well, crap." Capture from the Funimation stream.

Moment 1

Watching Fear, Konoha, and even Kirika fight Alice, I had a real sense of peril for our heroes. Even though the three of them together fought her to a standstill, it didn't seem like she was injured at all. Haruaki freed himself, and that tilted the odds in their favor. Until Alice played her trump card: the "Beautiful Suicide Mirror" (4:32), which allowed her to create multiple duplicates of herself -- each lasting up to 10 minutes. That was creepy as heck, given how they all referred to each other as "me" and were so unfailingly polite. Seeing the dozens of Alices facing them was a chilling moment (6:24). Even our heroes looked seriously unnerved! 

Fear had expected Alice's double to parry the attack, not take the drill through her chest. Capture from the Funimation stream.

Moment 2

You remember Alice saying in previous episodes that her Family existed to indulge the Worse, right? How the Family would be willing to do whatever Fear wanted -- up to and including allowing her to kill them? It turns out that ardent desire extended to Alice herself, or at least one of her reflections from the Beautiful Suicide Mirror. As Fear charged forward with one of her drill-like weapon forms, intending to smash the mirror, an Alice copy stepped right in front of her and took the drill in the chest (6:40). The dying Alice's rapturous expression added a layer of horror to the shot, as did Alice's jerky movements as the drill tore her up. Alice's intent: Drive Fear insane, force her back into her cursed state, so she'd be easier to bring into the Family. Remember how Konoha can't stand the sight of blood? The sight of all of the free-flowing blood drove her to her knees! Alice and her Family were pretty terrific villains in the context of this story!

Kirika has learned to trust her friends, but I don't think she appreciated Kuroe's video camera. Capture from the Funimation stream.

Moment 3

You suspect my motives for my third favorite moment, but please hear me out! You remember how the very idea of revealing her secret to Haruaki terrified Kirika just a few episodes ago? And remember how lonely she felt because of it? I enjoy character development in a series, and that's just what C³ gave us in Kirika. After the fight was over, she was helping Fear and Konoha prepare for the school festival. The two were practicing their dance as Kirika, wearing a tracksuit, supervised. Suddenly, without warning, she pulled off the tracksuit to reveal her cursed outfit underneath (20:10) -- because she was hot. She'd grown to trust them so much that she was willing to stand before them in her Worse. Putting aside the humorous note that Kuroe was filming the whole thing, I thought her physical statement of trust was endearing! 

Thoughts

Did Haruaki really peel the skin on his hands off to get free (3:38)? That's pretty hardcore! Too bad the animators seemed to forget all about it by the time Hauraki was about to fight Alice himself (8:36), even after showing his bloody hands several times before that.

Well, to be fair, continuity is hard.

If I had to complain about anything major in this series, it's how they threw in so many new characters* not only in the last episode, but in the last few minutes of the last episode! Were they planning a second season? Trying to drum up support for it? I'm bummed it didn't happen.

The series focused on Fear's journey. Even near the very end, she was still uncertain if she could be human -- or even if she understood what "human" meant. Capture from the Funimation stream.

That aside, I hope I conveyed why I liked this series. Fear and Haruaki's conversation near the end (starting around 22:07) clearly laid out the show's central theme. Fear asked what the difference was between humans who acted like tools and tools who acted like humans. She was genuinely trying to understand what it meant to be human -- maybe so she could know if she were making progress. His answer reassured her: "... A simple tool never wonders whether it's a tool or a human."  

That theme resonated with me. It might be one of the reasons I liked Arpeggio of Blue Steel so much, since it dealt with the same idea. The desire to control your own destiny is strong, and it's universal to being human. Seeing Fear's progress was a treat.

Another thing I loved about this series was how Haruaki, Konoha, and Kirika interacted. They were by no means a typical harem. They seemed much more like a family, or maybe a group of close friends -- with Kirika's curse bringing an element of sexuality into the picture. In other words, their relationships were not what I usually see in harem shows like Monster Musume or Sword Art Online. Even though I liked both of those shows, I enjoyed C³'s treatment of their the relationships between the main characters. They felt both more complex and mature by comparison.

It took until practically the last scene of the last episode, but with the help of her friends and especially Haruaki, Fear seemed to become at least a little comfortable with herself. Capture from the Funimation stream.

Finally, I loved the art. The show used a very colorful and almost mathematical style of graphics during most fights that I found refreshingly different. If I had to compare it to something, it'd be No Game No Life, with C³ having the edge in terms of symbolism. The stylized scenes showing Alice's multiplication were an example in this episode. 

I hope you enjoyed my coverage of C³. What did you think of this episode or the series? What were your favorite moments? Let me know in the comments!

* Okay, three. But saying "so many" sounds much more impressive!

Other Posts of Interest

Please let me know what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.