In C3 episode 4, "At Night, a Mother and a Hugging Pillow," Fear continues to struggle with her past and her desire to belong. Haruaki Yachi tries the "good cop" approach with Fear, while Konoha Muramasa plays the role of "bad cop." Unfortunately, they both have the same results. Can Fear find it within herself to take the next steps on her journey to free herself? More urgently, will Peavy Barroy give her enough time?
Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.
What's in This Post
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3 Favorite Moments
No one before Peavy had touched Amanda before. Amanda realized she like the warm of human contact. It's a shame what was to happen later in the episode... Capture from the Funimation stream.
Sometimes, a moment of foreshadowing can cast a feeling of dread across and entire episode. That happened early in this episode. Sickened at the very sight of the Chupacabra Bandage Worse covering the auxiliary's body, Peavy orders Amanda Carlot (Mummy Maker) to remove them (0:52). The girl hesitates, not out of modesty but out of a feeling of shame because she thinks her burned body is ugly. Only after Peavy threatens to refuse her aid does the auxiliary relent. Peavy then shows an unexpected soft side. She assures Amanda that she's not ugly; only the Worse are ugly. She even lightly touches the girl on the shoulder. Amanda's so emotionally moved -- no one has touched her in years -- that she determines to do something to help Peavy, who has fallen asleep to recover her strength. Amanda is such a relatable character that the idea of her getting too close to Peavy was absolutely terrifying. Later events proved that this feeling was more than justified.
Konoha is willing to go to extreme lengths to protect her family. Good thing she's up to it! Capture from the Funimation stream.
Konoha is very protective of Haruaki. She knows he's soft hearted when it comes to Worse like Fear (and Konoha herself!), so she understands it will be hard for him to confront the 800 pound gorilla in the room: the instability that results when Fear uses her powers. Konoha decides to confront Fear about it (10:15), and she does so in what we've come to know if Konoha's simple and direct manner: she attacks Fear and forces her to defend herself with her powers. And defend herself Fear does, by summoning Human Body Perforation Machine! Konoha allows herself to be backed into a corner and observes that Fear sure seems to acting like a willing torture device. Then Konoha pretends to see Haruaki. Fear's demeanor instantly changes, and Konoha took advantage of the distraction to disarm her. Then she drives home her message: "At the end of the day, your previous self is dragging you along, so will you keep doing the same? Keep assaulting, torturing, and murdering? You might even attack Haruaki-kun!" (12:45). Fear got the message -- fighting in her current state is just too dangerous. She'll have to leave the fighting to Haruaki and Konoha. Though I'm not sure how long that resolve will last...
Haruaki knows exactly why he's fighting: because humans created the Worse, so they should be responsible for their redemption. Capture from the Funimation stream.
Motivation's important. The same action, depending on the motivation, could be demonic or heroic. Killing another takes on a different meaning if one does so to kill for the fun of killing or to protect a loved one. That's why I really liked Haruaki's answer to Peavy's angry confusion over why he would protect Fear (20:28). He wants to protect Fear -- and other other Worse like Konoha -- because he knows humans were responsible for creating them and imbuing them with Curses. Remember when I talked about the idea of guilt in my review of episode 3? Since she came to him asking for help, he's willing to whatever it takes to save her. To me, that's epic. That's what it means to be a human -- accepting responsibility and making it right. He capped it off with the perfect combination of responsibility and needling Peavy. He said, "In the end, I'm doing it 'cause I wanna do it! Got a problem with that?" (20:51). This is a main character I can support!
I usually have at least an idea of what the title of these episodes means, but in this case, I'm at a complete loss! Unless it has something to do with the sleeping Peavy, having spoken kindly to Amanda, seeming like a mother to her?
That's messed up. Kinda like parts of this show! Which calls my judgement into question, since I really like it...
Amanda's vignette hit me hard this episode. She was diligent. She was dedicated. And she was alone. Whatever path she'd walked, she had no family or friends. About all we know about her is that she worked for the Battlefront Collection Knights as an auxiliary supporting the Knights like Peavy. When Peavy ordered her to remove the Chupacabra Bandages, Amanda probably thought this was just another moment of humiliation for her.
In a show that doesn't shy away from brutal violence, Peavy's murder of Amanda sticks out. Capture from the Funimation stream.
That left her completely open to Peavy's unexpected gentleness. A simple touch, something Amanda could not remember feeling, left her with an almost overwhelming sense of love. So much so that as Peavy slept, she tried to put a plan into action that would result in Peavy getting what she wanted -- Fear -- with a greatly reduced level of risk.
We may find out how a Worse ended up waiting for Peavy to wake up -- along with Amanda's calling card. The last we saw the card, it had been with our heroes, so I'm guessing we'll find out more about that in the next episode. But Peavy looked at the card and the weapon and came to a conclusion: that Amanda/Mummy Maker had betrayed her.
When they next met, after speaking a few kind words to Amanda, Peavy callously murdered her.
The first person to show her kindness turned around and killed her based on hearsay and rumor -- and a little evidence whose context was, at the very least, unclear.
In this whole series, I think Amanda's fate is what hurts the most.
But if it were only a work of fiction, I could leave it in that context and feel a little reassured. I mean, who in real life would up and murder someone based on such flimsy evidence?
That just happens in fiction, right?
Anymore, it seems that the only difference between fiction and fact is that in fiction, it's easy to see someone like Peavy is the enemy. In real life? The disguises are too subtle. Capture from the Funimation stream.
The news has surpassed fiction again in this regard. This week, we heard of yet another mass shooting, this one targeting Jewish congregants in synagogue. The story's still developing, but it looks like the motivation was the murderer's belief in a conspiracy theory that said Jewish individuals -- and not even the ones in the synagogue! -- were funding immigration efforts. Perhaps efforts like the immigrant caravan that's been in the news recently.
What evidence is there? None, to my knowledge. No more than the "evidence" supporting the contention that the democratic party in the United States was running a human trafficking ring out of a pizza store. Gunfire was involved with those lies, too.
Peavy saw herself as the "good guy" fighting the Worse threat. As long as it was in service of that mission, anything was permissible. That included murdering a helper based on flimsy evidence.
Sound familiar? To stop the immigrant "threat," anything is permissible. That includes murdering innocents based on rumor and conspiracy theories.
There is one other difference between fiction and reality. In this fiction, the intended victim, Fear, is more than capable of defending herself, at any time, and in any place. Capture from the Funimation stream.
This show has gone out of its way to humanize Fear -- Amanda, too. It's trying by example to show us that there is another way forward. That other way emphasizes understanding instead embracing conspiracy theories. It urges us to support one another, not slaughter those who go "against" us -- even when "they" didn't, in fact, go against us at all.
That's a message that's sorely needed today. Back in November 2015, when I published my review of Concrete Revolutio episode 9, I lamented that a United States presidential candidate used the same tactics that a historically infamous group did in their run up to Kristallnacht. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I thought it just had to be a passing thing; that no civilization nation could possibly still embrace such ideas. That dehumanizing people and using lies to slander them could not possibly be seen as not only acceptable, but embraced by a major political party.
And yet, here we are. And it doesn't seem to get getting better.
What do you think? Do you see any path forward? What were your favorite moments? Let me know in the comments!
Other Posts of Interest
Other Anime Sites
- Reddit Discussion of C3 Cube x Cursed x Curious Episode 4
- AngryAnimeBitches: C³ Episodes 4 + 5: Kirika the Immortal
This Site (Crow's World of Anime!)
- C³ – CubexCursedxCurious Episode 1: I don't know what moved into my futon
- C³ – CubexCursedxCurious Episode 2: Where, What Something
- C³ – CubexCursedxCurious Episode 3: The Antimony of their Temperatures
- 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
- C³ – CubexCursedxCurious Episode 10: The Sadist is Nowhere to be Found
- C³ – CubexCursedxCurious Episode 11: The Fanatic is Somewhere
- C³ – CubexCursedxCurious Episode 12: The Transcendentals are Everywhere