SPEC ~ First Blood – Episode 7

New year, new job, new life. A lot of things prevented me to write as much I would have liked. I NEED A TIME MACHINE!

In this episode, you’ll see Cinderella’s life behind the scenes, discover that the more you follow a baddie the more you come to like him, feel happy for someone who’ll finally be able to change clothes after 7 episodes and scream in frustration at an intense cliffhanger. Welcome to Mishou, folks.

Song of the Post:

Che-a –「BEAM」

Episode 7: 覚吾知真

We pick up from last episode, with Mirei getting a vision from her contact with Toma. Indeed, Toma ♥ food a lot, for that’s all Mirei could see. Haha Toma, you walking stomach. But it’s her who gets the interesting vision, when Mirei snatches her phone: a little boy stroking a cat.

She doesn’t have time to think more about Mirei’s psychometry powers as Sebumi calls her out to run with him where Dr. Unno is. Only, by the time they arrive at the restaurant, he’s already gone. The waiter they question isn’t of much help, but shows them the fan he left in the donation box before leaving (note: one intended for children suffering severe disabilities. Talk about irony). When Toma opens it, the words 「せんせい ありがとう」- Sensei, arigatou (Thank you, Doctor) are written on it and make her recall Dr. Unno’s words about saving lives and how he didn’t want such a cruel SPEC. She takes the fan and when they leave the place, Sebumi tells her there’s no need to feel anything for a murderer. But Toma doesn’t think of him as just a murderer and thinks that he killed for a specific purpose, certainly for a big organization.

She tries to describe it all as a war, but Sebumi has no care for these “fantasies” and focus on what’s in front of him. Reminding him of history, Toma tells him that by the time people noticed their things taken from them, it was already too late. Sebumi’s answer? “I’m not a scholar! I’m a detective.” Yeah, you should tell her, so that she remembers next time.Mirei reports to her (braindead) brother that she’s thinking about applying again to Geidai (Tokyo University of Arts), but facing his nonreaction, she warns him he might get killed by the hospital. And speaking of the devil, a doctor pops up to speak with her.

Walking home, Sebumi is surprised to find Mirei on his way but that’s nothing when he hears that Shimura will die next week. We see the conversation she had with the doctor, who advised her to stop his treatment since the police will no longer pay the medical expenses not covered by the accident.Eager to help, Sebumi blurts out he’ll help if it’s only money but that only infuriates Mirei even more. She cites the things to pay, amounting to nearly $12.000 a month. Can he really pay that? Abashed, Sebumi has nothing to say but Mirei takes a last dig at him before leaving: “Police kill and no one comes to help.” Ok, I get she’s suffering and all, but why throw all her frustration and anger at the only one wanting to help her? That’s too easy, Miss.

On one of their secret dates, Persimmon Grandpa and Miyabi-chan go to the latest talk of the town: a young fortune-teller, called “the Shinjuku Cinderella” (idol Mano Erina). When they finally get to her, she calls Chief Nonomura by his name, asking if he can’t break with his wife, which causes Miyabi-chan to slap and ditch him.

Not able to stop her, Chief Nonomura scolds the mischievous Cinderella only to hear that he shouldn’t worry because the shadow of a young man is near his dear Miyabi-chan. And who would that be but junior inspector Inomata Souji? *cue gasp*Cinderella tries to goad him into buying an insanely expensive bracelet to raise his fortune but stops as soon as midnight chimes. Oh, the hard life of a fairy tale heroine!

Sebumi is still reeling from Mirei’s words and wanders the street like a zombie until someone bumps into him, sparking a flashback of his encounter with the Hand of God. Running to the place where it happened, he shouts “Where are you”, to no avail. Desperately determined, he heads to the Mishou office, and uses Toma’s computer to check the SPEC holders list.

Unable to find the info he’s searching for, he lashes out at the bin but his heart misses a beat the next minute when Toma appears from nowhere behind him. Ha, I’m seeing a pattern here.She guesses he came to search more about the Hand of God, and knows that Shimura will soon be cut off of life support. She did a bit of research on her own and discovered that Satonaka left a detailed note about Reisen (like how he’s stingy LOL), showing that he wanted to prove Reisen’s abilities. Toma’s theory is that he was waiting for a chance to receive a prediction, to know where the Hand of God would appear next.

Sebumi begins to understand but reminds her that the one who kidnapped Reisen isn’t far from them. One thing is sure though: they’ll find him!And here he is with Tsuda, angry to realize (once again) that they’ll move to an other secret facility. Reisen has had enough and wants to go back to his former life but Tsuda mentions the prosecution waiting him outside for an old case of fraud.

Interestingly enough he notes that, at that time, Reisen was only a bogus psychic and that memory renders the latter uneasy.Coming back to the Mishou HQ, Chief Nonomura is still perturbed by what he heard, wondering who’s that Inomata guy, when Shinjuku Cinderella appears to offer her aid. Sporting a neckbrace, she introduces herself to Toma and Sebumi as “Satori” and reveals that she came to help them rescuing Reisen from the Public Welfare. Ya~y!She “Satorizes” their minds and shows her ability by saying aloud both Sebumi and Toma’s inner thoughts. Toma snaps when Satori mentions Ninomae and dashes to her (certainly to smack her face) but meets the big air con instead. Well, she just proved to you that she could read your mind, so what did you expect?

Amused, Satori asks them to guess where Reisen could be and Toma urges Sebumi not to think to anything, but it’s already too late. Poor guy can only blink and still doesn’t get it when Toma questions him about what he just thought. She totally got them and vanished into thin air to report (in Engrish!) to her “Boss” what she just learnt. As Toma sums up, this is getting seriously「やばい」– Yabai (Dangerous).In his van and unaware of it all, Tsuda lightly says that a strange woman came to the Public Welfare, but Reisen can’t calm down. He can feel that the monsters began to move and warns Tsuda not to laugh too much for he’ll be the very first one to fall victim. Per his habits, Tsuda kids him but Satori’s tinkling laugh stops him short.

He no likey being on the receiving end of a joke and pulls out his gun, making her laugh harder since she already took care of the bullets. Playing with his nerves, she reads his mind aloud and smugly concludes: “I’m unbeatable”. The van screeches to a halt and the driver turns to shoot. Aaaah, no! I’ve come to like you Creepy Cap Man!Seconds later, his body is thrown out the van which speeds up with a horrified Reisen inside. Tsuda just has the energy to eke out “Reisen. Don’t die” before passing out. Augh, how come I’m rooting for this weird duo?

Thanks to her wiretap access to the Police’s super secret networks, Toma knows that Reisen has been abducted *cough* again *cough*. I swear he’s the new version of “damsel in distress”.And WHAT? In a basement, two men are playing shogi (while MarioKart dislays on screen lol), commenting the recent events. One shadow eerily looks like Tsuda, and the cigarette brand just confirms this hunch. Happy to know you’re alive but who’s that Nakano you’re talking about?

The investigation team sent to check the place where Tsuda was supposed to be dying finds it strange that there’s blood without any body. What’s worse is when Commissioner Baba calls for them to drop the case: no ‘buts’ allowed, he orders them to ‘see, hear, say nothing’. Now, that’s a pretty distorted version of the three wise monkeys. Both inspectors are abashed but Inomata won’t have it, refusing to play the monkey part for the next 32 years (before retirement. Ha). His commitment to his job spurs old Shikaima to react. He’s a detective too, dammit!Using the informations she heard through her wiretap system, Toma finds a picture taken from the traffic surveillance camera revealing Satori seated in the van’s passenger’s seat. That’s enough for her to swear in English, and Sebumi follows. She notices that a detective (Tsuda) was shot and tracks his phone’s GPS, making Sebumi look at her with respectful eyes. She cracks a smile when he says “You’re amazing”. Took you long enough to spit it out, but: Hee!He’s ready to run to the place she located, but she stops him. They have to find how to seal her SPEC first or else she’ll disappear again. Frustrated, Sebumi wonders for who she may be working, and Toma muses over how that must have to do with the war over resources. The world is ruled by money and resources, and the latter not only includes raw material but human resources as well.

Which means that people with great talents may become targets for those who need them. A SPEC holder belongs to the very  rare category and thus becomes an important pawn in the worldwide struggle for power. While explaining, she finds Satori’s file which was erased from the database, and comments that it’s only records of traffic violation.She’s sure the address is fake but finds out that she was involved in a traffic accident, which may explain the neckbrace. Just when they both seem powerless, Toma decides to try something. Time for the long awaited zen calligraphy!

But this time it feels incomplete and she snatches the accident report from Fickle Sebumi before screaming “Go” while throwing the ripped pieces in the air. She does have her Itadakimashita moment, to Sebumi’s surprise, and proceeds to write a note on how to defeat Satori. Pst, Sebu-chan, never doubt her again!Satori has locked Reisen in a vast room, with a camera filming his every move, and shows up to tell him about the reasons behind his kidnapping. Yeah, please, a bit of light in this dark game won’t hurt. It’s quite simple: she just want him to predict the lifespan of the most important people around the world (pfft, are they channeling Death Note or what?) because it’s necessary to rewrite their lives in order to rewrite the world’s history. Read: kill some in the process.

Reisen refuse to be part of it but Satori tells hims he has no choice because he has been bought by her boss. Of course when there’s a deal, there ought to be a seller right? Thing is, Satori won’t tell and  simply unveils a monstrously big pile of lemons. Handing one to him, she smiles: “If you don’t work, you die”. Gloups.Reisen finaly relents, but he suddenly has an epiphany and turns the tables. Confidently turning to Satori, he reveals that he has seen through all of her tricks and immediately begins to chant buddhist sutras to clear his mind. Oh, wait. That’s not really proper sutras he’s chanting here. Satori stops and frowns: “AKB? Do Hello! Pro instead!” LOLOLOLOL (we have some fun meta here: Mano Erina is a former Hello! Project member)

At the Mishou HQ, Sebumi is on the brink of going nuts watching Toma calculating money rather than rushing with him to catch Miss Crazyrella. He shouts at her to explain what she’s doing, not understanding her point until she clearly spells out that if he were to know her plan, it would only take one second for Satori to read his mind.Left with nothing to say, he leaves and visits Satonaka at the hospital. He didn’t come empty-handed and puts a bag from Gindako (Satonaka’s favorite restaurant) on a table. Once again, he vows to save him and enjoins him not to give up as well, not aware of Mirei’s presence behind him.

Still fighting in his own way, Reisen begins to tire as Satori urges him to give up, telling him he won’t be able to focus forever. Rejecting her, he persists in chanting, so she goes to sleep a bit (in a cute bubble chair).Meanwhile, Toma has finally set up her plan: she made an anonymous report to the SIT unit, telling them a pervert is currently stalking a cute girl’s house. Sebumi angrily asks why she didn’t tell him to go instead, but she explains that since the head honchos are involved, it’s better if her plans remains a secret. If the SIT believe it’s only a simple case of rescuing a cute girl, it’ll be useless for Satori to try reading their minds.

As Reisen’s voice grows weaker, he notices Satori fell asleep and comes closer to make sure, when she suddenly turns to him and Satorizes his mind. Nooooooo! All your efforts were for naught! Now she knows that Toma is planning something and departs with Reisen in tow, her car and the SIT truck passing each other on the road. Smiling widely, she exults: “I’m the best!”Toma calmy listens to the SIT report on her radio, taking the setback in stride while Chief Nonomura and Sebumi freak out. She cuts off the radio, and announces that everything is going according her plan. Uh? Standing up, she’s ready to go to the only place Satori could have taken refuge. Impersonating Reisen, she declares: “I can see the future. The future is absolute!” Ha.

Driving, Satori searches for a parking lot but only finds full places. She finally has some luck and enters an open one but as she gets off her car to call her boss, Sebumi’s gun pops up to say hi. Satori is completely taken by surprise, much to Reisen’s delight, and can’t fathom how they could find her. That would be too troublesome for Toma to answer, so she says she just “Satotte” her. Satori corrects her move, but stumbles as she does so.Just like Toma predicted. After studying all those accident reports, she came to this final conclusion: when tired, Satori can’t use her SPEC which explains how she didn’t read the minds of the people around her to avoid the accidents. Cinderella doesn’t disappear at midnight because of the magic, but because she’s damn sleepy!

Toma knows this firsthand as she reveals that just like her needing to eat 10 times more than a common folk, Satori uses her brain abnormally and needs to sleep to compensate. Toma’s real plan was to patiently wait till the clock struck midnight to nab the sleepy Cinderella. Actually, she did foresee that Satori would read Reisen’s mind and escape from her SIT trap, as she also predicted that she would search for a free parking lot to rest at peace. Since all the other lots were full, it was only logical she’d be at this precise place. Q.E.D my friends! Now, if only Satori didn’t fell asleep in the middle of her long and complex explanation, Toma’s glory would be complete.Sebumi frees Reisen, while Satori gets tied up and blindfolded (NOT in that way). Our resident Rasta Medium is ready to take his leave but Sebumi is quick to stop him, mentioning a police facility. Yeah, exactly the thing Reisen was missing I suppose. Indeed, he won’t give up when freedom is so close he can feel its breeze!

Looking all serious, he reminds Sebumi he’s the man who can see and govern the future, and if he’s allowed to escape, he’ll give informations concerning the Hand of God? Sebumi is stunned but he’s not the only one as Reisen baits Toma, saying he knows where Ninomae lives. Glancing at her, Sebumi seems to realize once again that she’s not only Wacky Toma and that she also has her share of serious issues. She praises Reisen’s SPEC but he bitterly points out that possessing such a talent means one can’t live freely. Being kidnapped and dragged  here and there made him realize just how precious his previous life as a fraud was, when he foolishly longed for this ability. What’s the point living a life whose end you already know? Love is impossible, gambling becomes dull…Knowing the future turned out to be frightening.

Toma tries to tell him the future can be changed, but he turns to ask what she’d do if he reveals that Japan will disappear in six months. He has seen both a future where salvation is found and one without hope. Even if he escapes, he doubts he’ll survive but above all he doesn’t want to affect ohers’ lives any more than he already has. Desperate, he falls to his knees and bows on the ground, imploring them to let him go.There’s something incredibly sad watching him clutching at straws for a little taste of freedom, even though he knows he may not live long to enjoy it. Indeed, he’s a pitiable man and even Sebumi can’t shake off such a strong wish. Right at this moment, his phone rings and he opens it, announcing that it’s Chief Nonomura. Right off the bat, he’s asked if they’ve found Satori and Reisen. Long seconds slip by, Reisen’s eyes feverishly begging, before Sebumi reports that even though they catched Satori… Reisen managed to run away. Aw, you big ol’ softie.

Even though Chief Nonomura seems to casually accept this turn of events, his expression after hanging up lets me think that he’s not being fooled.As promised, Reisen performs his ceremony and gives predictions to both of them. It’s telling that Toma gravely takes the paper enclosing Ninomae’s address, while Sebumi impatiently snatches the information he coveted so much.

With nothing to hold him back, Reisen is free to go and he says his goodbyes, foretelling a bright future to both Toma (who respectfully bows) and Sebumi (who incredulously stares). This trio sure has come a long way since the first time they meet, but their attitude is pretty much the same. Watching Reisen’s back as he walks away, Toma recalls his words about being the world’s most pitiable man and likens it to Dr. Unno’s bitter regret. Both men desired a superhuman power, but belatedly realized that some wishes should not be granted.The sun already up when they go out, both Sebumi and Toma look a bit nervous as they part, each about to walk down a personal road. But once they take their first steps, they show nothing but a determined look.

Chii comes visit Satonaka, surprising Mirei as she was drawing, and praises her skills. She’s being modest, and speaking about the only work not representing her brother, she says she only had the picture in her head. The camera pans over Chii’s shoulder to reveal the picture: the little boy Toma saw in her vision. Though he doesn’t say a thing, Chii is far from being indifferent, and touches Mirei’s head as he takes his leave. The fact that he “smoothly” carries off the drawing with him isn’t gentleman-like. Don’t go to the dark side, Chii! 

After a long walk, Toma is finally in front of Ninomae’s door, while Sebumi faces a healing room entrance. He’s quick to press the doorbell button, but Toma painfully remembers the day she lost her hand before doing so. Hiding a gun behind her back, she’s tensed up as the door slowly opens to reveal….Ninomae’s mom.

Obviously confused, Toma doesn’t stray from her plan and introduces herself as a teacher. Mom calls out to Ninomae who hurriedly comes down, swearing he didn’t do anything. True, what are some few murders nowadays?Knowing that he’s coming, Toma looks more and more disturbed, her eyes glued to the door. When he finally shows his head, all she can let out is a muffled: “Ninomae!”Impressions: 

THAT is a freaking good cliffhanger. I love how Ninomae’s mother presence  completely throws off Toma and stops her momentum. How will she react?

I thought I should say that I still didn’t see the last episode. Yes, it’s true. For someone who usually can’t stand being in withdrawal, I’m pretty proud of myself and hope I can refrain from spoilers till the end.

But damn….where are you heading, Show? Is everyone a SPEC or what? We know “officially” now that Toma is one of them, but Creepy Cap Man too? What’s worse, possibly Chii as well? I mean, why did he touch Mirei’s head and stole her drawing? And should we see a link between the little boy stroking the cat and Ninomae feeding stray cats? If so, why Chii enters the picture now?Nooooo, I want Chii to remain neutral! He’s Toma’s normality reference, a nostalgic and stable keystone. I don’t want him to be involved in the SPEC issue. Who’s next? Gyoza Chef?

All in all, a pretty good episode, with an interesting SPEC: Satori was fun to hate while being strong enough to make you wonder for a second how the Mishou team would defeat her. The organization she works for seems to be international, so our little team is against quite the big thing. And we have a bit of confirmation: you aren’t endowed with a SPEC from birth but are given one, by whatever group or entity.

I remember villain Waki saying in episode 1 that “Those of us who have evolved has to fix the world.” I thought back then that SPEC holders were some kind of a sect, believing themselves to be superiors. But really, judging from Dr. Unno and Reisen’s pitiful lives, it really isn’t a gift and makes me think more of a curse.

Once again, I’m left with more questions than answers, but I enjoy it so far. I trust the show to give me plausible explanations later, as it has given me some bits here and there. But still. I want moaaaaaaaar!

波のゆくさき for SPEC【庚】

The countdown has begun!

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3 thoughts on “SPEC ~ First Blood – Episode 7

  1. I am glad you are back! I’m rushing off to work myself just now (on a miserable morning… it’s pouring outside, and unfortunately my job is outside all day!) – but just wanted to say so glad to see a sign of life from you again 🙂

    What’s the new job?

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