For an episode that had a lot of major moments, it ultimately feels like a bit of a pit-stop episode on our way to the next major happenings. That’s not to say the episode wasn’t packed full of substantial moments to discuss, it’s more that it is an episode about shifting the narrative direction and lining up all the pieces in their places.
Picking up where last week’s episode left off, Hayase has been declared the winner of the tournament and, instead of declaring herself ruler of the island, she makes a bold plea to the island’s folk: she asks them all to join her in the protection and worship of Fushi. She tells a false story about raising Fushi and convinces many to believe him to be a god—or at least sent by him—which may not be too far from the truth, actually.
To make matters more complicated, she declares that she is abdicating her role of island leader to the girl Tonari. This immediately puts a target on Tonari’s back and she must go into hiding. From here things take a turn for the more grim. Back at her keep, Hayase—who is being protected by her own personal guards—decides to strip herself naked and it is implied that she potentially rapes Fushi in his unconscious state. While the details of this encounter aren’t shown, it is hard to see Fushi in his dream state trying to fight off Hayase but unable to move in the waking world. The brutality and abuse he continues to suffer is hard to watch.
Fortunately, things are interrupted by Tonari and the kids trying to break Fushi free from Hayase’s captivity. However, after being outnumbered, Fushi—now awake—begs Hayase to let them live and leave the island, and in return he will submit himself to her. At this point, the episode kind of plods along as Tonari and the kids all stage their escape from the island; however, Tonari decides to go it solo, sneaking back on a life boat to the island in a final attempt to save Fushi.
This was a difficult episode overall to watch, with the implicated rape scene in particular being one of the toughest scenes of the series to watch to date. With only three episodes left to go for the series, I feel we are heading to a dangerous climax.