Home > Episode by Episode > Karneval ep4: a broken past

Karneval ep4: a broken past


Last episode we were left with Gareki being swept away by a gang of nasty demons, or Varuga. Yogi gives chase, but it’s actually another member of Circus who so happened to be passing by that saves him. Her name is Iva and she’s apparently a master of using jewels to purify things. Oh, and like half the cast she doesn’t like Yogi and seems to take pleasure in causing him personal injury. The group then continues on their mission of… I forget. I think it was to work on the secrets of Nai’s past. They come across a cabin that Nai and Karoku apparently shared (causing me to raise an eyebrow). And the professor and Yogi start going through the place for clues.

Meanwhile, we get what appears to be a partial flashback of Karoku talking to Nai, and a scene of an injured Karoku in a bed somewhere. I assume this is a scene from the present. When then see the girl who was around Karoku when he talked to Nai in episode 2. She seems to be a very bratty and jealous 14 year old. She desperately wants the older Karoku to fall in love with her. And I’m guessing that’s just not happening. By the way, she’s talking to the antagonist from the first episode, the red-haire bishounen Uro. I believe his name is Uro anyway.

Yogi, Nai and the professor discover some book in the walls of the cottage, though it looks like it will take time to figure out just what’s going on within its pages. They decide to take a lunch, then venture over to Gareki’s hometown which isn’t very far away. In my entry for episode 3, I did kinda gloss over his rather cryptic talk of this home, but I was paying attention. A dirty despicable place is pretty much what he kept repeating about it. Yet, he still wishes to stop by. Why?

Once there, he, Nai and their somewhat ironic looking protector, Yogi check out the fair. While there we run into one of Gareki’s childhood friends, Tsubame. She tells Gareki that she may have killed someone. It’s not quite the reunion anyone wishes for. They journey to her house where she tells them of recurring nightmares, and how she wakes up with blood on her clothes. A creepy enough story, but it doesn’t end there as she tells them that recently she did just see blood, she saw a dead body. Gareki wonders aloud if she’s told her brother, though that may be unnecessary. The two are twins, and on TV twins are automatically supposed to be able to feel each other’s feelings. I call it bullsh*t and cliche, but many writers call this a standard practice. Yotaka, her twin brother then barges in, threatening to kick some butt. But even when he recognizes Gareki, he doesn’t seem to be much less hostile. Sadly, it seems pretty clear what may be happening to Tsubame, especially given all the information we received in the last episode.

That night (because who wouldn’t be completely OK with staying with a woman that could turn into a monster in her sleep?), Gareki tells Yogi about his past in this town, and with the twins.

It starts off crappily enough, with Gareki being sold by his family to some unscrupulous people hoarding kids. Locked away on a boat, he’s bullied by the older bigger kids, and even has his food stolen. He notices that the kids change the more they eat the food, but doesn’t learn (or suffer) anymore as the ship wrecks and he washes on an unknown shore. It’s then that he meets Tsubaki, the twins’ older sister. Over time she cares for him like he’s one of her own siblings. Though very suspiciously she gets a new boyfriend who insists on feeding her siblings for research.

Rant begin: come on lady! I know there have been plenty of women who have had to make tough decisions while in poverty, but this is too weird. It’s obviously the guy didn’t love her, and she probably did know it. He only did things in exchange for favors. And none of those favors should involve feeding her siblings. There’s a string of stupidity going on in this story.

Rant end.

Tsubaki ends up being killed, despite Gareki’s emotionless pleas to cut off the mystery man’s support. Or his promises to find a different source of income so she wouldn’t have to be beholden to such a shady man. Gareki tells Yogi that if he ever finds her killer, he will murder that person on the spot. It’s too bad that he has no leads on the man himself though.

That night, Yogi wakes up Gareki. He’s noticed movement outside. He’s also clearly suspected that Tsubame may be turning into one of the monsters they’ve fought. Things are looking sadder and sadder as they walk around outside and see a dead body. Gareki says he recognizes the injuries on the victim’s back. Injuries that look identical to the ones Tsubaki fatally suffered. They turn around not to see Tsubame though, but Yotaka. A Yotaka with blood covering his hands.

Not a bad episode. This is the standard material for expanding and building the world of the series, and its characters. But early tragedies in a story can be pretty effective (just look at Fullmetal Alchemist). Nai didn’t seem annoying to me at all, and that scares me. For every show I have to have someone to hate, and he’s not living up to his role at all. Things were so much easier when I thought he was just a whimsical idiot. Yogi brings a nice amount of levity to this story. So much so even, I have trouble figuring out the tone for an episode. Often enough, the tone is dark or serious enough, but the extremely light personalities of Yogi and Nai just seem to sweep that all away. I suppose it’s enough to counter Gareki’s constant brooding though. He does it so much that it’s starting to be funny. All the goofiness around him just makes him seem the silliest of all. It’s funny how that works.

I do wonder how dark this story is going to go. Are the twins doomed, or will Nai be some magical being that can purify their corruption? I’m sure there are other options, but these are the ones I’m going with for now. Oh and by the way, the new character, Iva is pretty hot. Plus, I enjoy how she uses all her leg to kick someone. Sexy! Sorry, old pervy habits die hard!

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