Dimension W Episode 5: What Did I Just See?
Amazon has the pre-release of Dimension W Vol 1 (paperback) novel if you’re interested!
Mira Yurizaki, trapped in the Dimension W-powered reality, meets Shiro Kamiki, the man who in Yurizaki’s present is (was?) the now-dead writer named Shijuro Sakaki. He cryptically asks her if this reality seems alive or dead to her. Before she can answer, he says he is willing to do anything to protect this world — even kill himself or Yurizaki.
Back in the real world, a fog rolls in and with it, bubble-like ghosts. Albert Schumann uses Elizabeth Greenhough Smith’s flying reconnaissance robots to coordinate their response. Kyōma Mabuchi finds that the ghosts are immune to his attacks. Retreating into the house, he sees that they can’t go anywhere without the fog. Meanwhile, Elizabeth looks for Yurizaki and Albert searches Sakaki’s room for clues.
The crazed woman from the last episode uses chains in an attempt to pull Yurizaki in two. Yurizaki reflects on a philosophical view of reality as perception and wonders that even if she returns to her reality and can live normally, would that still constitute her identity? She decides she wants her sense of self to remain intact, and she’s able to leverage that to engage her robot strength and break the chains.
The crazed woman is shocked into incoherence. She’s further aghast to see the woman in a white dress, the same woman that Yurizaki saw in front of the car. “Why are you here now, after all this time?” she asked.
Back in the hotel/mansion, Mabuchi has figured out that clean water dispels the fog. Albert uses that information to set off the sprinkler system, and the ghosts vanish. Albert realizes that the ghosts can only move in fog based on the water from Lake Yasogami, the lake just outside the mansion. The water in Sakaki’s cooler had been replaced with lake water, and that’s how the ghosts were able to enter the house and kill him.
Yurizaki returns to the real world and rushes to inform Mabuchi of what she’s learned. He is so mad at her for vanishing just when he needed her that he tries to punch her in the face; since she’s a robot, he only hurts his hand. His attitude completely changes when she tells him she knows where the numbered coil is.
Remember the unsavory characters who kidnapped Sakaki’s younger sister last episode? They arrive at the numbered coil’s hiding place in the dam; but a younger version of Sakaki was waiting for them and killed them. Behind him is Haruna Enamori, embracing the numbered coil, trapped in a translucent cube of blue.
Elizabeth is about to help Mabuchi retrieve the coil when her “papa,” the Loser from episode 2, tells her to retreat. Loser found out that he was really Albert’s target, so the two of them fall back.
As they’re traveling to the dam, Yurizaki tells Mabuchi everything she learned. The only thing that surprised him was that the numbered coil stored not only the past time, but also past potentialities and divergent realities based on different choices within the original timeline. We learn that Enamori had brought the coil as a demonstration to show the government and contractor that there was no need to build the dam for its hydroelectric power. Of course, money being the corrupting influence that it is, the plan went sour. The reporter who was to cover the event tried to rape Enamori. She killed him in self-defense. To cover it up, Sakaki told Enamori to evacuate her friends so he could flood the valley. He has to kill the worker on duty at the dam admin station. Unfortunately,Enamori fell and injured herself, so when he released the water, he killed them all.
Mabuchi arrives to collect the coil and has to fight the younger version of Sakaki. As Mabuchi keeps him busy, Yurizaki breaks the blue cube uses her tail to interface with the numbered coil. She explains to Sakaki that the coil fueled several different realities: one where he died saving everyone, one where everyone died as he saved Enamori. In fact, Yurizaki explains that the younger sister kidnapped by the unsavory characters is actually Enamori from the original timeline (I think). She’s a product of the timeline of the murdered writer version of Sakaki, because he saved Enamori at the cost of his friends’ lives. Traumatized by the event, the “sister” had lost her memories, but her nightmares kept her attacked to the Dimension W-fueled world. One of her incarnations was the ghostly woman in the white dress. Sakaki’s perception of her death dispelled, the young Sakaki was able to see Enamori again and say goodbye as the sub-realities dispersed. Mabuchi disables and collects the numbered coil.
At the very end, we learn that the maid had filled the water cooler with lake water. Why? Her father had been the worker on duty in the dam’s admin office and the voices from the lake told her to.
What I Liked
Mabuchi tried different techniques to attack the ghosts, and when he realized those weren’t working, he retreated and observed. He was then able to see that the ghosts used the fog to get around. He’s a super powerful fighter, which is usually enough for most shows. This time, though, he showed that he was intelligent and cunning, too. I like a multi-dimensional main character.
Yurizaki’s embarrassed when Mabuchi looks at her tail as it’s plugged into the numbered coil.
This is kinda a short list this week.
What I Liked Less
I think it’s really hard to do pseudo-reality/subjective reality stories, and this episode epitomizes why. Even given what I think I understand about the numbered coils, I found it hard to accept that Yurizaki simply reasoned her way to breaking the chains. I don’t think the narrative did enough to prepare me for that, so the story fell flat in that regard.
Speaking of breaking the chains — I’m not happy that Yurizaki endured torture dressed in a towel. Her attire added nothing that I could see to the plot, and it felt exploitative to me.
Can’t say I’m a fan of Mabuchi punching Yurizaki. She’s clearly sentient, and I think she deserves better treatment.
Sakaki released the water before confirming that everyone was clear. I know he was distraught, but he was supposed to be this calm and collected guy. Who floods a valley before making sure their friends are safe? That’s not responsible or smart!
The young Sakaki seeing Enamori one more time felt contrived to me. I get the subjective reality angle, but I just don’t think this episode or previous episodes prepared me for this kind of possibility. I adore powerful emotional moments (Lelei calling the dragon a “reptilian piece of shit” in the latest Gate, for example). When the moment feels contrived, I almost loathe it.
Reddit has a good thread about this episode. I used it to “fact-check” my post. I don’t think having to do that is a good sign. I shouldn’t have to rely on anything except watching the episode to understand it.
User Butterkupp (in the thread above) kind of hit the nail on the head for me: “I don’t understand why Kamiki didn’t just take the tape to the authorities and be like ‘this guy tried to kill my girl and here’s a recording of the guy CHOKING HER’. Instead of this whole convoluted route that involved many people dying.”
Granted, the authorities often don’t take rape or sexual assault charges as seriously as they should, but I would think that’s a better idea than killing everyone.
Between that consideration and seeing Yurizaki tortured in a towel, this is my least favorite episode in the series. I hope next week take a turn for the better!
Reviews of Other Season 1 Episodes
- Episode 1: Collector
- Episode 2: Loser
- Episode 3: Chase the Numbers
- Episode 4: The Mystery Hidden in Lake Yasogami
- Episode 6: The Wind of Africa
- Episode 7: The Voice Calling from the Past
- Episode 8: The Island That Fell into Nothingness
- Episode 9: The Key to Adrastea
- Episode 10: Resurrected Nightmare
- Episode 11: The Lost Genesis
- Episode 12: The Future Reached