C³ – CubexCursedxCurious Episode 2: An Alluring Peaceful Life and the Past Comes Knocking

October 17, 2018

Quick Summary

In C3 episode 2, "Where, What, Something," Haruaki Yachi is annoyed that his father has once again acted unilaterally -- this time enrolling Fear in the same high school as him and Konoha Muramasa. The students embrace her as a "goddess of victory," so she obviously enjoys her first day. Emboldened by that uplifting experience, she offers to share her past with Haruaki -- only to be interrupted by Peavy Barroy, also known as Balancing Toy. She knows all about Fear's past -- and she's really angry about it. Can Fear's fragile confidence withstand Peavy's verbal assault -- not to mention the physical attack that follows?

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

What's in This Post

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

Endless Story / Yukari Tamura
Yukari Tamura

3 Favorite Moments

Fear is too socially inexperienced to realize that her telling the class she was living with Haruaki was so scandalous! Even Kirika, the class president, had to get involved at that point. Capture from the Funimation stream.

Moment 1

The transfer student's home room introduction is an anime staple, so I was pretty much prepared for Fear introducing herself (6:57). But hers exceeded my expectations. There was a brief moment of silence after she gave her name before the class erupted with praise! Okay, she's eminently cute, so I expected that, too. Then Fear asked Haruaki if she'd done okay (7:13). The praise ceased and you could hear every chair turn to look at the embarrassed Haruaki. You could almost hear him plotting revenge on his father! As his friends demanded answers about his relationship to Fear, she threw gasoline on the fire by telling the class that they lived together (7:25). Unlike other (usually harem) comedies I've seen, Haruaki actually had a good explanation (blaming his dad), but he still managed to attract the attention of Kirika Ueno, the class president. Fortunately, the rush to ask Fear to join various clubs distracted the students. Otherwise, I'm afraid that the class might have rioted -- especially the other boys who were clearly jealous of Haruaki. 

Fear, usually so confident and ready to curse anyone, seemed afraid to tell Haruaki and Konoha about her past. Yet, at the same time, she yearned to tell them. Capture from the Funimation stream.

Moment 2

We still don't know a lot about Fear, but we've seen how she's terrified of her past. Not only of what it meant to her: she's also terrified of letting anyone else learn of it. It's against that backdrop that this episode went out of its way to show just how much fun Fear had at school. She loved meeting the other kids. She loved being part of a class. She thoroughly enjoyed being a taste tester for the lunch battle between Haruaki and Kirika. When the moment came for her to decide to trust Haruaki and tell him about her past (14:05), I could feel her fear and hope waring with each other. Usually so confident and brash, she acted shy and uncertain. This was one of those beautiful moments I go on about -- and I thought i twas beautiful! 

Well, we learned two things about Konoha. First, she's as human as Fear is, and second, she's not to be trifled with. Capture from the Funimation stream.

Moment 3

After that beautiful moment when Fear was going to tell Haruaki about her past, Peavy's arrival and verbal attack on Fear felt particularly cruel. Haruaki and Konoha both stayed on the sidelines because they clearly didn't know how to help -- or what the stakes actually were in this confrontation. But when Peavy launched her physical attack, that was too much for Konoha. Fear screamed in emotional agony and Haruaki cried out to her -- but Konoha launched an attack (17:28). She forced Peavy to jump back, which gave Konoha enough time to say that Peavy had started to annoy her. No wonder Konoha showed sympathy to Fear despite their rivalry -- Konoha, too, was a cursed device; a Worse. I knew I liked Konoha on principle. Now that I see how she reacts under stress, I like her even more! After she transforms into a sword, she gets yet more points for how well she and Haruaki fight together. 

Thoughts

You know, I'd feel better about this show if the pantsu flashes were less loli-centric. I get the Fear's actually hundreds of years old, but still...

May I take a moment to say how much I love the OP? It's so exuberant, yet it hints at some of the darkness to come!

We learned in this episode that Fear was once an instrument of torture, created by the Spanish Inquisition. Her real name is Fear in Cube. No wonder her past terrifies her so much!

It seems inadequate to say that Fear had a dark past... Capture from the Funimation stream.

I mentioned in the Thoughts section of my episode 1 review that I had a sense this show was putting a human face on something terrible. Namely, Fear's face on an instrument of torture used by humans during the Inquisition. That alone is interesting. It's the opposite of using language to dehumanize humans, with all of the terrible things that can happen as a result. 

The show did something else this week. Something else that I'm not sure everyone would notice. Have you ever tried to help someone -- a friend or family member -- though treatment for a disorder like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) or generalized anxiety disorder? It's difficult to find an effective treatment that combines the best counseling, not to mention the right medication with the minimum side effects. Finding it alone can take months or years; it can take that much time again before you see results. Symptoms diminish slowly -- so slowly -- that it's easy to lose hope. 

So far, that doesn't have much to do with this episode. We didn't witness Fear's treatment; for all we know, there was none. But we saw her beginning to feel like she fit in. She began to act as if she could integrate despite her past. Then Peavy showed up and Haruaki received a wrist wound that was so severe that he was losing blood at a terrible rate.

Those were trigger events. Fear barely withstood Peavy; seeing Haruaki fall to his knees (21:40) pushed her over the edge. Her old self -- what I've come to think of as her disorder -- began to assert itself.

This felt too realistic... Capture from the Funimation stream.

If you've ever tried to help a friend or family member come to terms with a mental disorder, only to watch a trigger event destroy their control, you know the feeling. You can see the disorder assert itself. You can just see anxiety overrule willpower. You can see OCD crush higher thinking. You can see your friend or family member in the grips of their old enemy. You can see that they know they're in that grip.

And there's not a damned think you can do about it.

Fear's descent from the pinnacle of almost opening up to Haruaki to the manically grinning Fear in Cube felt like that to me.

I think that's what appeals to me about this show. These characters are fighting a battle worth fighting. The relationship between Haruaki and Konoha are a model for what can happen -- that together, they can win a measure of peace, even if they have to endure a relapse (Konoha didn't handle Haruaki's bleeding any better than Fear did). That's called hope -- and it reminds me of what can happen if we don't give up. Because relapses are going to happen. What matters is how you handle them.

What did you think of this episode? What were your favorite moments? Let me know in the comments!

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