Now the drama has reached its cruising speed. One episode, one case, one SPEC and one Emo Teen at the end. I don’t mind it, because each time we’re given pieces revealing a broader picture, which looks quite intriguing. And when the drama doesn’t fail at delivering its batch of fun and quirkiness, then why not enjoy the ride?
Song of the Post:
The lovely and wonderful all-girl quartet Merpeoples – 「シャーマン」(Shaman)
Episode 3: 漂泊の憑依者 (A Roamer Possessed by Evil)
Last time Sebumi got stopped in the street by Dr. Unno who asked him to “trade” something, and Toma understood that something fishy was going on in the police forces.
Still in the gyoza restaurant, Chii worries about her, and feels sorry that she only has one arm. What the what? Is it because of him? It doesn’t look like it, though. Toma tries to change topic but he calls her out on this and says: “You know what I’m talking about”. But WE don’t know! Tell us more!
Elsewhere, in a western-style restaurant, Sebumi sits with Dr. Unno to discuss this “trade” offer. Dr. Unno speaks about a legendary “Hand of God” man (you mean, Hikaru no Go style?) who can save anyone. Apparently, but this person has a psychic ability allowing him to reproduce cells. And Dr. Unno wants Sebumi to search the data for him, hence the “trade”.
He swears that he just need the info to help more patients, but he totally uses Shimura as a bait to lure Sebumi into this, playing with his guilt. Urgh. Fortunately enough, Sebumi does not fall in this trap. Perhaps still in his denial phase, Sebumi speaks of those psychics as swindlers, and leaves. But he stops in his track when Dr. Unno reveals that he had met such a “Hand of God”.
Walking out, he almost runs into Chief Nonomura (who’s busy secretely dating Miyabi-chan) but passes by without noticing them. As he remembers Dr. Unno’s words, he tries to convince himself that this is ridiculous, but he’s clearly troubled. A woman bumps into his broken arm, saying: “What would you do if it’s true?”, and as he arches his back, bracing for the pain, he realizes that his arm is not broken anymore. Has he just met a “Hand of God” person?
And here a face we thought we would never see again: Reisen! He’s busy playing a wii game with…Creepy Cap Man! The latter complains about how Reisen always know the end of the game. Heh, what’s the fun of being a medium if he couldn’t? Reisen isn’t too freaked out, even though he has already seen the various ways he’ll die…Talk about fun.
It seems that Reisen provides CCM with predictions, and believes he’ll be released in exchange, but I don’t think that’ll be the case any time soon. 2 episodes in, and 2 SPECs died already, remember? Granted, they were baddies, but still. CCM muses that Toma and Sebumi are on a stakeout mission right now.
Speaking of whom, here they are, heading to they stakeout location per their higher ups’ instructions. Only, Toma may be a genius, but she has no knack when it comes to plan a trip: she mixed up Shinagawa Station and Shinagawa City. Ha, you and me both, girl.
Somewhere else in the city, a bleached-hair guy notices a「托鉢僧」- Takuhatsu-Sou (Buddhist mendicant monk). He comes closer, to give alms, and is surprised to realize that it’s a girl. She rings her bell, and says:「おおきに」- Ookini (Thank you), using the Kansai dialect.
Our duo finally arrive at their destination by taxi (with Toma hilariously acting cute to her「先輩」- Sempai (senior) so that he pays the fare). Gas station it is. A motorcycle comes and Bleached-hair Boy, working as a petrol pump attendant, approaches to fill the tank when he suddenly remembers the “Ookini” of Monk Girl and her bell sound. Going crazy, he takes out the gas pump nozzle and shoots at the motorcycle, flooding it with petrol.
When the owner and an other attendant run to stop him, Bleached-hair boy aims at them and laughs. Sebumi and Toma rush as well but while Sebumi skillfully dodges the petrol, Toma can’t, and gets submerged by it. When Crazy Boy opens his lighter, you know she’s in big shit. He drops it, and I’m already covering my eyes, screaming, when Super Sebumi saves the day with his deft kick, sending the lighter flying in the air. Fiou. Toma, you almost became a human barbecue.
Monk Girl is still at it, this time in front of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department. A guy gives her alms before entering the building and she smiles, ringing her bell. Girl, with your perfectly pink painted nails, you’re so not the average Buddhist mendicant.
Stinking of gas, Toma dons a tracksuit and is mighty pissed. She wants to be the one to interrogate Crazy Boy but this chance fell to Inspector Shikaima and his faithful peon Inomata Souji. Said Shikaima is busy grilling the guy, old-school style, but the latter still keeps his beatific smile, replying that he has only “took over this body for now”. Err, what now?
Since no one wants to believe him, Crazy Possessed Boy decides to display his ability. The spirit suddenly goes possess the body of the guard present in the room behind the glass. And guess what, it’s the man who gave alms to Monk Girl! Too bad this body has itchy athlete’s foot, and he can’t help but jump up and down, scratching his new feet.
He offers to give an other proof of his possession ability by showing them how a possession ends. As he bids them goodbye (especially to an excited Toma), the body falls, and the guard wakes up with no memory of what just happened.
Both possessed men get tied up to their chairs in an empty room and left under the watchful eye of the Mishou Team. While they both claim that they’re the victims here, Toma rushes to take notes: it’s not everyday you get to meet a possessed person! But Sebumi doesn’t believe it for a second. To him, they’re just being theatrical. Tsk, I love you Sebu-chan, but working in the Loony Unit, you ought to believe a little in your cases!
At Creepy Cap Man’s lair, Reisen finally understood that he won’t be freeed soon, and bitterly reminds CCM that he has stopped the disaster with his predictions. Huh, a disaster? He also asks if it’s ok to use force, but freaks out when CCM hops to him and ironically offers to call a friend then. Why do I feel that it’s not really Who Wants To Win Millions style?
Chief Nonomura gets the results, and neither Bleached-hair Boy or Hayashi Minoru (the guard) lied. Yet, they have something in common: both met a mendicant woman from Kyoto (remember the Kansai dialect). The Mishou Team decides to search for all the Hayashi Minorus in the country, and I don’t really get it since Bleached-hair Boy’s name is Muto, but whatever.
Monk Girl strikes again: this time, in front of an all-girl high school. When one girl gets stopped at the gate by the principal’s team (to be checked), said principal looks at Monk Girl ringing her bell, and suddenly goes out of control. He swiftly lifts the student’s skirt (she must be glad she picked some really ugly frou-frou pants today) and runs around, lifting each and every skirt he sees, giggling like a 4th grader. Man, your career is so doomed.
The news quickly pick the story, and guess what’s the name of the offender? Hayashi Minoru. Toma squeals in glee but Sebumi doesn’t (*pout*). He better get used to it though, because others Hayashi Minorus throughout the country are being possessed as well. Even journalists start to analyse the “Hayashi Minoru” trend, as they catch on the trick, and investigate on cases that the Mishou Team didn’t even hear about. Shame on them.
Luckily, journalists only take it as a prank, and don’t believe that it’s really about spirit possession (yet). But (snotty) Commissioner Baba enters and hands them the challenge letter supposedly sent by Monk Girl. She says that since the police ignored her ability, she did and will possess only men named Hayashi Minoru. She dares them to arrest people for crimes they don’t even know they’re committing, and doubts that police can ever catch her. She gives them 48 hours to find her (again! A race against the clock), or else the media will know about the existence of SPEC people.
You would think that it’s no big deal, but then everyone would blame any crime (maybe theirs) on possession. So, Commissioner Baba orders the Mishou Team to find the spirit possessor before the human rights groups or politicians get wind of it. And one more thing: his son-in-law is named Hayashi Minoru, so there’s better not be any problems…
But rumors travel fast, and Sebumi and Toma can only observe, while Chief Nonomura muses that it would be easier if only Monk Girl chose a less common name. A lot of people have been arrested already. They all agree that it’s about time they find and stop the person behind these Hayashi Minoru incidents. More, they have to investigate so the judge will stand with the prosecution.
That is when Chief Nonomura receives a call informing him of a Hayashi Minoru murder. Damn, now it has crossed the red line. Rushing to the crime scene, Sebumi and Toma enter the medicine lab of an university. This is where lies the body of Professor Nakayama Kazunori, IPS cell research field. Toma grieves over his death, but a ♥ Sebumi kick ♥ makes her remember that she should not touch a dead body with her bare hands.
Noticing defensive wounds on Nakayama’s face and neck, she guesses that he may have resisted quite a long time. She also notes that these marks are unusual for a strangulation, and are rather due to a kind of torture. The alleged killer, Hayashi Minoru, assistant of (now late) Nakayama, was the one who called the police. But contrary to the questioning routine usually led at the Police Department, Hayashi was simply brought in a laboratory room. Why, you ask? (or Toma does) Hu, hu, hu…Because if the police prosecutes a case of possession, they would become the laughingstock of the whole world! Commissioner Baba’s life would be ruined! JESUS CHRIST! FUCK IT! SHIT!
This guy takes the meaning of “go bananas” to an other level. Haha.
Sebumi finally puts the kibosh on the show, pointing at the CCTV. Hello, guys~
In the room, Hayashi Minoru is surprised to hear that he’s the one who strangled Professor Nakayama, as shown by the surveillance cameras and by the wounds he bears on his hands. He claims he doesn’t remember a thing, but says that he felt like a long time passed without him living it. Toma rephrases it: “You were possessed?”
Back at the Police Department, Commissioner Baba does this very politician-like move: he passes the buck to the Mishou team and make them the ones in charge of this case. Smooth, dude. But in the corridor, the athlete’s foot guard heckles them: the given time has passed, and the spirit possessor is not willing to wait more. He’s fed up with all these Hayashi Minorus, and will now show the world that SPECs exist.
The spirit leaves this body, and flies to an other one. A guard levels his gun, aiming at the Mishou team, and Toma notices that he’s left-handed while Sebumi raises his gun as well. The spirit suddenly leaves this new body, and everyone freezes, fearing an other possession.
Fortunately, there isn’t, and the Mishou team works later on the case at their headquarters. Minus Toma, who is busy flipping through documents in the dim laboratory room. And you know she has gathered enough informations when she’s back at her Mishou desk, ready for her calligraphy session.
She may have no paper, but no biggie, she’ll use the research paper wrote by Professor Nakayama instead! Ha, I love this woman. Focus and strike! Totally concentrated on her case, she lets her brush fly and catch each details. Swiftly, she tears her work and throws all the pieces in the air: ❄ Paper Snowflakes Time ❄ I feel I’ll never get tired of it. Which leads to the oh-so-cool 「いただきました」- Itadakimashita moment. Now, she knows the real culprit.
In the laboratory room, Hayashi Minoru worries that he’ll be sentenced to death. Yep, you can fear the Noose, boy, we saw it at work last time and it wasn’t lovely. Inspector Shikaima and his lackey try to cheer him up, going as far as to give him tips to obtain an acquittal. Tch, these good-for-nothin’ cops. Even though both officers tell him that he’s a victim as well, Hayashi can’t help but feel dismayed that his hands killed the person he considered as family.
That said, he seems to be a lil’ bit too preoccupied with the death sentence issue, and doesn’t really express actual feelings towards the death of someone seemingly so dear to him. No anger towards the spirit possessor, no pain, no grief. Even his anxiety over the death penalty feels fake.
Toma enters, and doesn’t forget to tsk-tsk her senior. You go girl.
She conveys the message that their department’s boss wants to see them and both immediately fly out the door. Toma snickers: exactly what she wanted. She can now have Hayashi for herself. Her suitcase in tow, she walks to him, musing that he’s quite an idiot, and that for a genius he must surely think that there’s no one as good as him. And his attempt at being humble doesn’t work on her.
She checked the PCs in the laboratory, and noticed that his computer almost has no data. She opens her suitcase, takes out the thesis wrote by Nakayama and asks Hayashi who really wrote it. The quality data of such a thesis could have brought a Nobel Prize to Nakayama. *cute winking*
She first thought that this thesis was written by Nakayama, but actually Hayashi wrote it. He asks for evidence, and she has some. Even if you erase your computer data, one can still find them later. She recovered them and made a copy so it could be restored. Tada~m ♪ (even her usb flash drive is a gyoza one!)
She’s sorry she doesn’t look like it but she’s quite a geek, and is very knowledgeable about computers.
Turns out Nakayama tried to steal the credits of Hayashi’s work. That sure would anger anyone, especially if Nakayama feigned ignorance and ducked behing excuses as Toma guesses. Worse yet, Hayashi may have realized he would most likely always remain an assistant.
Toma concludes: “You were betrayed and killed Professor Nakayama out of hatred”. Hayashi speaks up and says that he didn’t hate Nakayama, and didn’t mind being an assistant. If he really killed, it must be because of the possession. Yeah dude, thanks for trying.
That only amuses Toma. Such a genius would let a simple person like her explain everything. That’s quite embarrassing, no? She faces him: his SPEC ability is to possess others, right? How lucky, she also wants to make people do ridiculous things! Haha, I’ll quote Sebumi and ask “Are you really a detective?”
Hayashi wonders: Why would a woman think of that? Excuse me? Why would woman NOT think about that? Tch, I hate this conceited smile of his. But that’s how he’s beginning to give himself away, and Toma notes that women wouldn’t come up with the same kind of pranks he pulled. Hayashi’s eyes dart away, uneasily.
Toma sits in front of him, and wants his confession. Since he doesn’t want, she’ll do the talking. She has attentively observed these cases, and felt that it sure is a frustrating ability, to only be able to possess those bearing your name. But this way, creating such a commotion with the Hayashi Minorus incidents, it looked more realistic when he killed Nakayama with his very own body.
She remembers these wounds on Nakayama’s body. It didn’t happen during the strangulation: it has a lot more to do with a wicked intention, already present in the way Hayashi set up his cover, to get away with the murder.
Finally, he speaks. He’s a scientist, and all this reasoning is not enough to convince him. What he wants is more evidence. Sure, buddy, she’s not over yet. Toma tells him that she noticed that Muto, the Bleached-hair Boy from the gas station, is left-handed. But when he attacked her, he used his right hand.
For Hayashi, it isn’t solid enough, and he reminds her of the guard in the corridor, who aimed at her using his left hand. Wait, how does he know that, he wasn’t there! But Toma is okay with it. She pulls Hayashi’s left hand, and smiles: his forefinger is swollen to the max, red and all. Ew. Toma explains that he sustained this injury after his fight with Nakayama, and that because of it, he wasn’t able to pull the trigger with his right hand.
Q.E.D. That’s the end of her demonstration. Now that she should be basking in her genius glory, Hayashi decides to shed his mask. Yes, he says, he is the one who killed Professor Nakayama. In a flashback, we see him giving his data to Nakayama, and asking when all this comedy will stop. Indeed, Nakayama plays dumb, and Hayashi literally jumps down his throat, finally letting all of his resentment out. While he forcefully squeezes Nakayama’s throat, the latter manages to grab one finger and breaks it.
Hayashi confesses it all. Looking at his hands, he almost speaks with pride as he recalls how Nakayama painfully struggled to breath. And yes, he used his possession ability to forge his alibi. As Toma notes, it’s a shame he used his brilliant mind and SPEC for such a petty crime. I personally think his revenge would have been much more resounding if he got back at Nakayama using this coveted brain. Now, he’ll just finish his life in jail.
He counters: he’ll escape. Heh, can’t say I didn’t see it coming. At this very moment, Inspector Shikaima and Inomada barge in the room. As you could have suspected, Hayashi transfers his mind into one of them, Shikaima, and takes control of his body. He levels his gun at Toma, having now the upper hand. He’s using his left hand, but at such a close distance, he can’t possible miss her. As he says “Die”, he fires.
She falls, but out of fear. Hayashi seems to really suck with guns, and Inomada finally comes in handy, as he points his gun to protect Toma. Too bad he’s weak against Hayashi’s use of the sempai-kohai card「先輩-後輩」basically mentor-protégé in our case. Inomada shrinks from shooting, but Toma jumps at the opportunity and hits HayaShikaima’s back with her suitcase. Only she forgot that his mind can just transfer elsewhere, and now HayashInomada kicks her away. He’s so close that it would be a wonder if he misses her.
He’s about to shoot when Sebumi appears from behind, gun in hand. Quickly, HayashInomada grabs Toma, and helds her at gunpoint, using her as a shield. Sebumi gives him a last chance to surrender, but that only makes him laugh: police sure are stupid. Glancing at Toma, jaws clenched, Sebumi doesn’t move, but as soon as HayashInomada is about to fire, Sebumi shoots at Hayashi’s lifeless body, the bullet hitting his left arm.
Right away, HayashInomada howls, clutching his left arm in pain. Sebumi got it right: if the real body is wounded, then even the possessed body will suffer from it. Walking to the real Hayashi’s body, he says that Hayashi shouldn’t have left his body, while pressing his gun in the wound (ouch), which makes HayashInomada shriek even louder.
Toma seizes the opportunity and grabs the gun he dropped, when Sebumi threatens Hayashi to break his bones if he tries to escape. That seals it, and Hayashi is back to his own body. But Toma hasn’t got her part, and she angrily comes closer, warning him that he’ll now be prosecuted like the murderer that he is. He better be prepared! Haha, she must feel so much better now.
Meanwhile, Chief Nonomura has spotted Monk Girl and goes to present himself. As soon as she hears “police”, she immediately apologizes and reveals that she’s a fake. She just learned to read a text so that she could swindle people. Girl has to thank her luck, though, as Chief Nonomura answers a call, giving her a chance to escape. Yes, the case has been solved, and not thanks to you, Persimmon Grandpa!
At his hospital, Dr. Unno shows a picture of Hayashi to Mirei, she clearly identifies him as the one she saw in the vision she had when she touched her brother. She also did some research and presents pictures of other people she saw: Reisen and Katsura. Uh oh, how is it that her brother knows them? Dr. Unno conjectures that her brother hides secrets and maybe he was supposed to be killed because of that.
At Mishou Headquarters, Chief Nonomura is eager to treat the team to a meal. But Sebumi isn’t interested and leaves, under the curious look of Toma, who seems to reconsider her impressions of him. That’s the rule: the more you work with someone, the more you get to see his/her true colors.
Too bad for Persimmon Grandpa, even Toma can’t celebrate the success of their mission with him because she has something to do. She has set a bait, and is waiting for her prey to catch it. Saying that, she switches on the TV, which broadcasts a special program. Locked in a well-guarded cell, Hayashi is now sporting a straitjacket and is strapped to what looks like a torture table. Toma has connected the camera filming his cell with her TV, and now watches him. She’s so focused, even though nothing happens, that she’s quite scary, looking like a deranged stalker.
But some comic relief comes under the guise of a fly bugging her (lame pun intended), so she snaps out of it and turn her focus to “Mission: Killing the Fly”. She grabs a newspaper, and readies to strike but everything goes slow-mo, and you already know what’ll happen. Yep, time stops, and the halo effect is back at it again. Emo Boy, we know it’s you!
Here he is, walking to Hayashi’s cell. Ok, he’s like the “cleaner” of some mysterious organization, and kills every SPEC around? His angelic face is kinda scary. He wakes up Hayashi, who totally flips out when he recognizes Emo Boy, or should I say “Ninomae”, per his real name.
Ninomae came because Hayashi wanted to spread the word on the existence of SPEC. Trembling, but pretending not to, Hayashi replies:
Hayashi: By chance, the partners were studying SPECs
Hayashi: The organization that studied you guys.
Ninomae: Organization? Aaah, somehow I feel relieved. It looks like you don’t understand the sub code. This will be troubling, when made public.
Having said that, he takes the cell’s key from a guard, and simply states: “Die”.
Hayashi freaks out and screams for help, yelling like Katsura did last episode. And it didn’t change anything. Indeed, Ninomae goes on but as soon as he slips the key into the lock, he’s being electrocuted and we see Toma, frozen in the middle of her move. As electricity runs up and down his body, Ninomae grits his teeth and turns his head to the camera.
And times restarts. Chief Nonomura receives a call, informing them that Hayashi was killed. Busy hunting the fly, Toma has left her seat, and upon hearing Chief Nonomura, she runs to watch her TV. Too late, guards are already inside the cell. She takes the remote control, and rewinds. When she plays the scene image by image, she spots Emo Boy, hunched because of the pain and glaring at her through the screen.
Looking hurt and incredulous, she murmurs:
Omo, so she knows him? What happened between them for her to make such a face? Argh, I want to know!
I enjoy the detective novel feel I have from watching SPEC episodes, and so far I’m interested in all the cases, and want to see how the Mishou team will solve it. Still, when we reach the moment when Toma reveals the SPEC ability, I have to say that the tension goes up a notch, and I’m totally sucked into the story.
I’m always trembling for Toma. Doesn’t she remember the lesson learned from episode 1? Don’t mess with a SPEC when you’re alone and unarmed! Episode 1 totally took me by surprise, so I can’t really compare, but I really fear for her this time. Yeah, I know, there’s still 7 episodes to go, but if not for the deux ex machina called Sebumi, the show would have stopped prematurely.
As much as I loved the Monk Girl plot, and actually found it to be quite clever, I was bummed by how they sorted it out. I mean, since the show is all about paranormal and all, a Buddhist monk could totally be a SPEC, don’t you think? So why finally make her a simple fraud, running away from Perverted Grandpa?
Anyway, once again an other SPEC dies, by our Black Death Angel on duty. And I find it funny how they’re all guilty of murder, but are killed for a totally unrelated reason. Because karma is a bitch that way?
So, we do have our secret organization, but is Ninomae related to Creepy Cap Man? Most likely not, but then are they ennemies? Does it mean we have 2 secret organizations? Arghhhh, 知りたい, 知りたい!
NAMInoYUKUSAKI for SPEC【丙】