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Opening Pandora’s Box // Occult Koumuin Ep. 5 Review

The Parallel World Elevator of the City Hall Observation Deck: Mayonaka no Occult Koumuin Episode 6

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There is a mystery about in Mayonaka no Occult Koumuin episode 5. Some people have been disappearing, and some reappearing at City Hall. Most of it seems connected to the elevators leading up to the top observatory, the perfect place for an Another to appear. Senda and Yokoyama start the episode discussing the jurisdiction of the case. The Night Community Relations Department has been trying to get access to investigate.

Secrets of the City Hall Observatory

There is definitely something going on with elevators at City Hall. Seo reveals that the Night’s Watch, or whatever they are called, has setup a message board online to monitor human interactions with the Another. It feels very 2005 to have an occult focused message board. There are posters on their who claim that the elevators are taking people to another dimension, and the crew can only surmise that something is afoot.

It is Sakaki and Arata who go together to investigate the north elevator, while Seo heads south. When they reach the 45th floor they find themselves in the other world as promised. Someone is there looking for them, but doesn’t find what they want.

As Sakaki is sent back down with his memories intact, Arata is pulled in to spend some time with the mysterious Another. She is searching for something lost, specifically the feeling of lost love. When Sakaki was coming up the elevator, she felt a strong sense of loss from his, so she pulled him and Arata into her world.

Sakaki’s Loss

This isn’t the first time we have seen Sakaki’s loss mentioned before. We know he has lost his sister, and now it turns out that feeling of loss still burns inside of him. He doesn’t show it outwardly, but Seo seems to know about it. He holds it together for a man who deals with the occult on a regular basis. More and more I see where this series is taking us towards Sakaki’s lost sister.

As it turns out the one to notice Sakaki’s pain happens to be Pandora, of the Greek myth. She is working on collecting everything that she lost, although there is no mention of trying to collect hope back, the last thing to leave her box. I am a little surprised that Arata wasn’t able to come to the conclusion that it was Pandora until she announced her name as he left. I felt it was a bit obvious, but it feels like the people of this universe aren’t as in tune with the mythology of the past. It doesn’t matter because she has collected all of the feeling of lost love she needs.

Closing Pandora’s Box

Its something that I have noticed in the first five episodes of Mayonaka no Occult Koumuin, that the issues they have faced mostly sort themselves out. The problem in the last episode was solved when a different set of Another came upon the situation. The issues between the tengu and the angels was barely mitigated by Arata’s ability to speak to them, and really isn’t solved overall.

When Arata passes Senda in the hall he makes a comment that he really didn’t do anything to get Pandora to move on. She just simply decided she had found enough lost love and was on to Europe next. Senda’s comments seem to ring true so far, “Our job isn’t to find the big solutions.” He lays it out that the Night Community Watch is here to handle the micro problems, and not to look at the macro scale issues.

It really feels like Arata wants to tackle the issues at a much larger level and be more involved. It makes sense that since he can talk to them, he feels he can communicate. That doesn’t really look to be true. Pandora was uninterested in anything that he said. She was simply going to go about her business regardless of Arata’s pleas to stop. Even though she is leaving City Hall, her work hasn’t been undone. Simply, the people who had their feelings erased are just going to move on.

Arata’s Sense of Futility

Mayonaka no Occult Koumuin episode 5 sets up a lot of futility for Arata and company, that I feel will be tested in the future. Most of the higher ups might see the conflicts between humans and Another as something to mitigate the damage, but Arata sees it differently. He is being built up to want to make a difference, and I think we will see him try before long.

[Sources and Further Reading]
[Episode 4 Review]
[Images via Crunchyroll]