C³ – CubexCursedxCurious Episode 5: I Didn’t Promise, You Just Demanded!

November 7, 2018

Quick Summary

In C3 episode 5, "Even if I'm Cursed,"  Fear attacks Peavy Barroy in a furious exchange that ends with Peavy being hurled into Haruaki Yachi's home. That buys our heroes time to regroup. Haruaki is exhausted, and both he and Konoha Muramasa are worried that Fear might lose control to her past self. They try to come up with a plan when an unsuspecting Kirika Ueno, their class president, innocently comes to visit -- and falls into Peavy's hands. The hateful Peavy threatens to torture Kirika to death if Fear doesn't come out to face her. Can Fear maintain her control? What can Haruaki do in his weakened state -- with a sword like Konoha who can't stand the sight of blood? And can Peavy be trusted not to hurt Kirika -- even if Fear gives into her demands?

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

"I didn't promise anything," Fear said to Konoha. "You just demanded." Ouch! Capture from the Funimation stream.

Moment 1

Don't get me wrong. I love Konoha; she's probably my favorite character in the series. But she can be a bit, well, bossy. That's why I had to laugh at her reaction to Fear joining the battle. Haruaki was clearly on his heels, and Fear couldn't stand witnessing that. So she conjured her Hatchet of Slow Slicing (gotta love those titles!) and furiously attacked Haruaki's foe. It was enough to throw Peavy back and buy Haruaki time to catch his breath. In that moment, Konoha said, demandingly, "You promised, remember?" (1:04), meaning that Konoha thought Fear had promised not to use her powers during their confrontation last episode (my second favorite moment). Fear's response was what made me laugh: "I didn't promise anything. You just demanded." Our three main characters are getting more and more comfortable with each other, as shown by exchanges like this, and I love it! 

Sorry, Fear. Haruaki and Konoha aren't having any of your BS! Capture from the Funimation stream.

Moment 2

You know those series where one of the main characters makes this big brave speech about how they want to sacrifice themselves? You get piano and violins playing, and the other character get all teary-eyed and emotionally moved? Yeah, this series isn't one of those. And just in case you forgot, hot on the heels of my first favorite moment, we get my second favorite moment. To justify using her powers, Fear goes on and on about how she wants Konoha and Haruaki to destroy her if she shows signs of going out of control. She goes so far to say she trusts Konoha because she has "...cold level-headedness that's hidden within [her] ill-natured personality" (3:30). We not only get this great speech, we also get little sparkling glitter drifting around Fear as she speaks. I was just starting to think the show was gearing up to jump the shark when Haruaki and Konoha answer simultaneously "No, I won't" and "As if!" (3:54). Haruaki also uses the sheathed Konoha to bonk Fear on the head. See, that's the real way to close a scene like that! No false heroics accepted here!

Holy hell, C³! Give me a heart attack, why don't you?  Capture from the Funimation stream.

Moment 3

I've GOLed (gasped out loud) now and again at twists and turns of a show's plot. I've even pushed away from my desk in shock (kinda freaked the cat out, by the way). But in terms of sheer "I did not expect that" moments, the instant that Peavy sliced open Kirika's torso stands near the pinnacle (8:57). I was absolutely aghast! I knew Peavy's hatred of the Worse had driven her insane. I knew she'd stop at nothing to destroy Fear. But murdering a human -- an unconscious and completely defenseless human -- in cold blood? That still shocked me. Even better? A few minutes later, we find out that Kirika's not dead, not because of a Deus ex machina moment, but because the strange leather bondage gear we briefly saw her wearing in previous episodes is actually a Worse that protected her (11:09). The first time I watched this, I felt palpable relief! 

Thoughts

Watching this episode, I just realized that this show's lavish use of color and outlandish backgrounds reminds me a lot of No Game No Life. It's a ton more violent than the more recent show, but some of the ascetics feel similar to me.

This episode touched on something near and dear to me: the idea of justice as motivation. Peavy made it clear that she detested the Worse because of what one had done to her childhood family, based on the highly stylized flashback scenes (7:29 and especially at 11:12). That experience apparently drove her to join the Battlefront Collection Knights and become one of their most ardent foes of the Worse. 

Peavy's childhood trauma associated with a Worse broke her. But is that justification for what she did to Kirika? Or is that even the right question? Capture from the Funimation stream.

I've spoken before about how problematic it can become when we try to implement justice -- for example, in the Thoughts section of the review of Re:CREATORS 21. Peavy from C3 gives us another example: By invoking her early childhood trauma (apparently a very real thing for her!), Peavy cast herself as the hero of her own story by claiming she was pursuing justice -- while at the same time justifying slicing Kirika open as if she'd just "dissected that girl like a frog" (10:47). 

So, Peavy looks like the classic murderer claiming her childhood made her do it. There's a prevailing sentiment in some populations (at least in the United States) that prior events, even childhood trauma, are "no excuse" for criminal acts. I can't tell you how many times I've seen memes in my Facebook timeline that something to the effect, "You can't blame blame your childhood for mistakes in judgement now!" Some even go farther to start the statement with "I don't care how bad your childhood was, you can't use it to excuse bad choices as an adult!"

You can see this idea (like many others!) play out in what passes for political discourse in the United States nowadays. The "left" says that we should try to understand criminals and the "right" preaches what they call responsibility. 

Here's the problem: Both miss the point.

If Kirika had not been wearing her Worse, Peavy's attack would have killed her. But the question still remains: How should we avoid such situations in the first place? Capture from the Funimation stream.

Peavy as a child was not (at least as far as we know) a murderer. It's clear that her experience changed her, and for the worse -- or against the Worse, as the case may be! Instead of asking if she was responsible as an adult for trying to murder Kirika (or for actually murdering Amanda Carlot/Mummy Maker), what if society had spent a little of the energy spent on criminal justice and spent it instead on identifying children at risk? We know that trauma blunts an individual's ability to make good decisions. So why not intervene and provide treatment as close to the trauma as possible? 

Why not spent time preventing crime proactively instead of prosecuting crime reactively?

The whole "left"/"right" axis drives the conversation in the wrong direction. The question isn't whether we should hold Peavy accountable. The question isn't whether Peavy's experiences justify her actions. The question is how do we keep Amanda alive. The answer would have been to treat Peavy early enough to prevent her descent into madness.

Agendas, unlike facts, almost never drive good decisions.

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

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