The Sakuragawa Clan Secret // In/Spectre Ep. 5 Review
Episode 5: A Monster of the Imagination
In in/Spectre episode 5 we have two interesting storylines we finally see pursued in the show. First is the explanation of Kuro’s bizarre backstory. Second is the origin of Steel Lady Nanase.
As Kotoko stumbles upon Kuro Vs. Nanase, Saki also shows up, hindering young Iwagana’s mood. The action in this scene is pretty poor, but I guess that is the point. Its a ghost idol versus a college kid. Both are invincible, and neither is much of a fighter.
I think it is wise that the show spent more time focusing on Saki and Kotoko’s conversation rather than try to string together a respectable action scene. Instead we are treated to the history of the Sakuragawa clan.
The Sakuragawa Clan
The first half focus on Kuro’s background is exactly what I have wanted. This character has been mysterious and almost brooding the first 4 episodes. Finally we get some answers as to how he came across the two mythical beasts he consumed.
In a previous episode it was revealed that Kuro had consumed the flesh of a mermaid. This grants him the power of immortality. A power that many might desire. The second yokai he consumed is revealed to be the flesh of a kudan.
A Kudan is a yokai that looks like a bull with the head of a human. It is said that it can predict the future, and with that prophecy, it dies. The show follows the this to its logical conclusion. Eating kudan will give you foresight, and eating mermaid will give you immortality to protect against seeing death. This belief is passed down generations by the Sakuragawa clan, culminating in Kuro’s ascension.
The cruel experiment conducted by Kuro’s grandmother explains why Kuro’s cousin was hospitalized. Another victim of the Sakuragawa quest for foresight. Too bad it didn’t turn out as potent as his forefather thought.
The Modern Ghost
The creation of the Steel Lady Nanase ghost is an interesting interpretation of an old phenomenon. Obviously the idea of myths in the real world comes from this same idea. People had an idea that spread from household to household that finally gained ground after reaching a saturation point. In the world of In/Spectre these fantasies about ghosts and spirits come to life instead, and takes it one step further.
In/Spectre episode 5 makes the phenomenon modern. Now instead of spreading ghost stories by campfire, they are created in a targeted fashion. The internet allows the stories to spread like wildfire with a targeted goal. The creation of Steel Lady Nanase is a matter of someone specifically looking to bring the character to life.
It does feel like In/Spectre is almost unfairly targeting the internet. Kotoko shares her belief that the site about Steel Lady Nanase wished her into existence. It feels as though there is some disgust in how successful it is. The thought that the internet can share and spread awful things at such a rate is true. It can also be a force for good, which I hope to see in a later episode.
I feel bad for how life has treated Saki. For better or for worse, Kotoko still looks like a twelve year old lolita. Kuro still has his college youthfulness, but poor old Saki’s life is looking like it is catching up with her. It feels as though there is an effect on humans in In/Spectre that spending so much time with yokai keeps you younger. Now she is older and is forced to work alongside her old flame and his current girlfriend. The show is not doing Yumihara Saki any favors.