C³ – CubexCursedxCurious Episode 7: A Healing Touch and as a Private Citizen

November 21, 2018

Quick Summary

In C3 episode 7, "Not Reflected in the Eyes of a Seer," Konoha Muramasa begins to regain consciousness, and she asks Haruaki Yachi to hold her hand to help her heal faster. Uncharacteristically, she changes her mind moments later... Fear feels terrible that she hasn't been able to locate Sovereignty Perfection Doll. Haruaki gives her some perspective, and she finds comfort in surprisingly mundane actions. Kirika Ueno joins her friends as they dig into the clues surrounding the cursed doll. But none of were prepared for what they learned in the nurse's office -- or what they found at Shiraho's home.

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

Seeing Konoha acting shy was ridiculously adorable! Capture from the Funimation stream.

Moment 1

It might be a minor thing, but you know the trope where the male anime character accidentally finds his hand on a woman's breast? And instead of simply withdrawing his hand and apologizing, he squeezes? I hate that trope. It's rude, and it's blatantly unrealistic. Worst of all? It's universally against the woman's will! That's why I've selected its opposite as my first favorite scene. If you remember the ending from the previous episode, Konoha fell prey to whatever force has been knocking students unconscious. Fear and Haruaki brought her home, where Fear dressed her in pajamas and Haruaki began taking care of her. I think Konoha's partially under the influence of the cursed doll, but for whatever reason, she tells Haruaki to hold her hand because it'll help her heal more quickly (5:03). She was so embarrassed to ask that she pulled the blanket up over her face! But how is this the opposite of the trope that I hate? Because moments later, Konoha pulled his hand to so it cupped her right breast. Not an illicit grope; no spastic squeeze. Not against her will! Just a tender moment that he frankly didn't know how to deal with! Putting aside for a moment the fact that her buttons burst moments later (and she turned into her sword form!), I liked this moment's innocent tenderness.

Achievement unlocked: Cabbage roll stuffed! Capture from the Funimation stream.

Moment 2

Haruaki showed a light touch with Fear in this episode. I got a real sense that she's not the first cursed entity he's nursed to health. She started the episode despondent because she couldn't help find the cursed doll. So what's he do? He takes her grocery shopping! He teaches her about mundane stuff like buying cabbage. That was only the setup, though. When they get home, they start making dinner, which was stuffed cabbage rolls. Fear tries to create one, and after a tremendous effort, she completes her first (10:47). She's so proud of the slightly misshapen result! Then she pauses and says, "It's strange. This hand of mine was originally made for torture and executions... And yet, now it's making cabbage roles and the like. For my own sake, and for your, and Cow Udder's..." She taking another step on the road to healing! It was a quiet moment, not full of action or theme, but I thought it was beautiful.

Kirika found that her conversational skills just weren't up to the task. She she had to resort to more direct means of communication. Capture from the Funimation stream.

Moment 3

By this point in the series, I have the idea that Kirika is not adept at social interactions. It's not surprising, given the cursed gear she wears, but now that she's getting closer to Haruaki and his friends (who are well versed in the ways of cursed items), she is making the attempt. She stops by Haruaki's house, ostensibly to ask how Konoha is doing and to see if they want help. She actually wants to offer her help, but Haruaki continues naively refuse her offers (12:18). She gets more and more embarrassed and frustrated that she finally wraps him in an extension of her cursed gear and explains that she knows he, Fear, and Konoha are trying to do something (they haven't told her what) and she wants to help. Not as a member of a secret organization, but as their friend. You know, people who have to deal with curses have got to feel terribly lonely; having someone to share their lives and secrets with would mean a lot. I'm glad that Kirika has reached out to them!

Thoughts

Did you see the plot twist coming? I didn't! Our heroes were in the nurse's office to find out where Shiraho lived -- and learned that the clumsy red-headed girl wasn't Shiraho at all, but was the Sovereignty Perfection Doll! The hints were there, so the reveal made perfect sense! But for me, only in retrospect!

In my review of episode 1, I talked about how this series made a terrible torture device (Fear in Cube) more relatable and emotionally accessible by making it appear as Fear, a cute high school girl. Yeah, Japanese anime does that a lot, but in this context, it makes a lot of sense. If Fear in Cube had appeared before Haruaki as a torture device, he might still have helped her. He's had the training and life experience to prepare him to look beyond superficial appearance. But would we in the audience still feel as attached to the effort? Or would we even reject it?

If Fear weren't a cute anime girl, would we still root for her? Capture from the Funimation stream.

Haruaki sees that Fear is struggling with her failures to find Sovereignty. Rather than lecture her, he decides to take her grocery shopping! Through his actions, he teaches her that she can help people, even in small ways, during every day tasks -- as she did by sharing her "extensive" knowledge of cabbages with the old woman. I'm sure the old lady knew her way around a cabbage, but her polite gratitude to Fear was exactly the kind of response Haruaki had hoped Fear would see. It gave her a specific human interaction to experience that she could fee happy about.

The lesson culminated in my second favorite moment, above, when Fear reflected that the same hands that had committed terrible acts of torture now made tasty cabbage roles. It was a revelatory and affirming moment for Fear. For Haruaki, it showed his efforts to rehabilitate her were paying off, just as her efforts to redeem herself were bearing fruit. 

I wonder. If Fear were a torture device, or if her form had been something other than a cute anime girl, would we have responded as positively to this moment? Or, to use a more topical example, if she were to take the form of one of the stereotypical representations of any of the groups the current United States presidential administration is painting as an enemy, would Fear be as easy to emphasize with? 

Are were sure?

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

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