After having a slump, Hank finally gets back on the horse at this week “To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts” (かつて神だった獣たちへ). The process is certainly not easy and he even seeks death for relief, But thanks to Schaal, Hank is not alone anymore.
The episode catches up last week’s climax, as Hank fell off from the cliff and the arrival of Coup de Grace forced Roy/ the Garmr Incarnate on the run. It is good to know that Hank’s body is all intact after such a fall, but the sudden change of location and Schaal’s instant arrival is quite a jump. Maybe it is a minor detail, but as an audience, it really makes me wonder how does Schaal move him in a secluded cave or the place Hank fell happens to be a cave…?
Anyway, when the two finally meet, an emotional scene is just as expected. Hank loses confidence in his doing and is convinced that he has no right to decide the death of his comrades, just as Roy accused. Is he being self-absorbed by insisting to annihilate the Incarnates whose hearts are corrupted, or it is really a salvation for the Incarnates to end life before turning to a beast entirely?
Hank’s heart is falling apart and his fear of turning to the beast form makes him to seek relief from Schaal. It is just heart-breaking when he asked Schaal to end his life, right after Schaal forgives him for killing his father. It really put Schaal in a dilemma as she finally understands the burden Hank is carrying. Just as we think that Hank is too damaged to recover, and he leaves to confront Roy with a suicidal wish, Schaal comes like a hero in the middle of their fights,
The arrival of Schaal is almost poetic with her blue butterfly hair clip levitates in mid air. The butterfly shares the remembrance of the one appear every time Elaine showcased in Hank’s memory. Whether the blue butterfly has a special role in the series or it is a symbol of hope in the eyes of Hank is still unknown, but it undoubtedly draw eyes and demonstrate how important Schaal is to Hank.
Applause is given to Schaal for taking courage to stand between Hank and Roy. Her oath to kill Hank when he turns into an uncontrollable beast, is a recognition on Hank’s doing. From that point, whether it is right or wrong no longer troubles Hank as long as he is not alone. The burden he carried all this time, can finally shared with another.
The following bloodshed scene portraying the fight between Hank and Roy may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but it is an important one demonstrating the return of Hank with his Incarnate form. The entanglement of the two has been highlighted in this episode and the previous one, while we finally learn the past of this Garmr Incarnate.
From the previous episode, little do we know that the bloodlust Garmr Incarnate indeed have a fear of death back to the days when he was still human. As a field soldier for Northern Union of Patria on the front lines of the civil war, he was abruptly put on the field soon after his training. His entire platoon was wiped out except him.
As he understood the cruelty of war, he was extremely proud to be an Incarnate. The respect he had on Hank is hidden in his hunger for battles, while all he wants is to revive the glory that the Incarnate once had and fight side by side with his commander.
A surprise also comes at the end of the episode, revealing that he was the one who shows interest on Schaal from Will’s family picture at the first episode. It is such a pity that his fun loving personality is disappear after his humanity is gone. I honestly believe that Schaal would have become friends with him if they met in a totally different situation.
As there are only two more episodes left before the series ends, it is hard to imagine how the story is going to end. Hank’s battle with Cain is inevitable, but it will be unreasonable to expect there is a closure to everything. Anyway, the preview for next week certainly looks promising and I hope the Coup de Grace won’t stop Hank from doing the right thing.