C³ – CubexCursedxCurious Episode 3: A Close Shave and Fear on the Edge

October 24, 2018

Quick Summary

In C3 episode 3, "The Antimony of their Temperatures," Fear is pushed to embrace her past's darkness to combat Peavy Barroy. The battle rages with neither side showing the slightest sign of mercy, while Haruaki Yachi becomes weaker and weaker from blood loss. Fear's past inches closer and closer to consuming her. Even if she does defeat Peavy, what will keep her from turning on Haruaki and Konoha Muramasa? And what the heck is a Chupacabra Bandage?

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

Damn, Fear! You weren't kidding about having a dark past, were you? Capture from the Funimation stream.

Moment 1

In the previous episode, we saw how powerful Peavy was. Haruaki and Konoha together were formidable, but she smacked them down handily. So I wondered just how powerful Fear had been, and what she'd be capable doing after all these years being idle. We got a partial answer when she conjured the torture device Piercing Chain Iron Maiden (1:53). I was impressed that it made Peavy exert effort. But seeing it fail, Fear called up the Crushing Frankish Kingdom Punishment Wheel (2:22), and it was even more powerful. Peavy had to trade blows with that device. But then she made a serious mistake: she taunted Fear, saying she wanted to hear Fear let out "an amusing scream." How badass is Fear? Very badass. The first two devices were just warm ups. The next device she used was Severing Fall, the Guillotine (2:57). And Peavy promptly lost an arm. Completely. From mid humerus. Damn, Fear! Almost as bad was her retort, which was, "Regarding the means of enjoying screams, I have hundreds more years' experience." Guess Fear wasn't kidding that she had a dark past!

Haruaki knew exactly what buttons to push to get Korona to agree with him! But I doubt she would have said no in any event... Capture from the Funimation stream.

Moment 2

I love the dynamic between Haruaki and Konoha. When Fear runs away and Haruaki's blood loss knocks him unconscious, Konoha takes him home and treats him. He awakens ready to search for Fear, but Konoha says, "... I'm going to make a strong suggestion. Let's go to the hospital" (8:07). She's correct, of course -- he was in bad shape! You can probably guess what happens, right? Right! He doesn't go to the hospital. She even tries to convince him not to start a search because Fear chose to run away. Now only that, but Peavy was clearly not done -- she'll keep coming after Fear until one of them is dead. And you can probably also guess that Haruaki gave a great counter argument about why he had to go after her! What I really loved about this scene, though, was how he finished his argument: "Please, this is a once-in-a-lifetime favor, Kono-nee... " (8:59). That's his childhood nickname for her, and she was terribly embarrassed when he used it! It had the intended effect of destroying her defenses. She even used the same "I'm just thinking out loud" tactic that she used in the first episode to give him an idea of where she thought he could find Fear. It's just awesome to see two people so supportive of each other!

It was at this moment that Haruaki knew Fear was going to be okay. Why? Because she's a heavy idiot. People have been saved with less! Capture from the Funimation stream.

Moment 3

Fear's standing on the pier, about to end it all by drowning herself in the sea (17:04). She thinks she hears Haruaki's voice (she actually does, she just can't see him because even though he's near, he hasn't quite reached the pier), so she feels like her hopes are dashed yet again. It's a powerful scene, and it could easily have become oppressive. Haruaki arrives just after she throws herself into the water. It's at this point that the show gives us a perfect example of this its quirky humor. Haruaki finds the Rubik's cube she dropped (18:03) and says. "I forgot something important. She heavy. And she's an idiot. So she wouldn't think too much about where to jump in." He's able to dive in and quickly rescue her. Aa touching discussion follows, and Fear undergoes some important character development! But this is the scene I picked for my third favorite because just seconds ago, he was frantic with worry. But now, seeing the Rubik's cube and putting the pieces together (and partly because he's used to dealing with cursed entities), he was able to relax and joke around. That was the moment I knew he had a plan for Fear, and that she at least was going to have a chance. 

Thoughts

So Fear's curse effect on her owner is that she drives her owner insane to the point where the have to use her to inflict pain on others (5:56). Wouldn't that be a terrible burden? I'm surprised Fear's as sane as she is...

In yet another sign that this is not a world for the timid, we meet the Chupacabra Bandage (12:40). May I just say "yikes?" "To protect against a mortal wound, it inflicts deadly pain." This world is pretty rough!

Talk about the cure being worse than the disease! The Chupacabra Bandage is no laughing matter! Also, I love this series' use stark color and image to convey mood. Capture from the Funimation stream.

What's up with Kirika Ueno, the class president? Her hand completely healed after Fear wounded her (14:42)! Remembering the shot of her in what looked like leather bondage gear in episode 2, it seems there's more to her than we've found out so far!

We seem to get insight into Fear's horror of her past when she says, "I'm guilty... I'm guilty of killing too many people. So I carry the curse of guilt. But what about my punishment? What's my punishment? Tell me... Can I be absolved?" (6:32). Haruaki reaches out his hand in a gesture of support, but it's covered in blood -- a wound from his fight to protect her. So Fear panics and runs away. 

That would seem to be a straight-forward, nearly universal portrait of someone trying to make up for a dark past -- or a past filled with mental illness or a specific form of mental illness, addiction (see my Thoughts in the previous episode). Later, though, Fear gives us a hint that there's more to it. She speaks of someone she fell in love with, someone who cleaned the blood away after torture sessions (15:35). Someone she fell in love with. She speaks of the guilt of being used to torture that person later, and her present terror that she'd be used to torture someone she loved again. 

Does Fear really want absolution? Or is she just scared of hurting someone she loves? Again, notice the use of color -- or in this case, its absence -- to denote a chilling despair. Capture from the Funimation stream.

I wonder, then, if she's named Fear because it's not really absolution she's searching for -- it's freedom from Fear or hurting someone she loves -- which means freedom from the curse. I think she's just planed scared. I'm not sure how this'll develop going forward, but I think it's a welcomed nuance. 

Fear was an instrument created to torture people. She had no will in the matter, and culpability follows the degree to which a will is unimpeded. Forced to do something? No guilt. Did something heinous completely of your own will? Completely guilty! So it made no sense to me that Fear would want absolution if she was just a tool.

Okay, maybe it's fine for her to feel guilty about enjoying the screams, but if even that was the result of Stockholm syndrome, then she might not even be guilty of that.

What do you think of Fear's motivation? What were your favorite moments? Let me know in the comments!

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