SPEC ~ First Blood – Episode 9

PUTAIN! was the word I used most during this episode. Pardon my french. It’s time for some decisions to be made, and the dark path looks pretty appealing to lost souls. But really, which one is the side of justice? This show is just so freaking good in so many ways I don’t know where to begin. Maybe with a recap first?

Song of the post: 

SEKAI NO OWARI -「天使と悪魔」(Angels and Demons)

Episode 9: 冥王降臨 (The Advent of Hades)

We pick up where we left off, at the baddies meeting, with the boss belittling Ninomae’s intervention. Ninomae snaps (not only his fingers), and warns the boss, remarking that he’s now alone. At that, the boss turns to see Darumas in place of the other members. Worse, when he faces Ninomae again to ask in a shaking voice if he killed them, Ninomae smiles and hands him a mirror.

Horrified, the boss sees red cutting lines marked on his face and Ninomae casually says that he’ll slice his head next time, Kill Bill style. He orders the boss to tell all levels not to go against him before bursting in a hysterical laughter. Houston, I think we lost him.Chief Nonomura freezes his ass in a pitch black office since the big guns have cut off electricity and water, clearly wanting to get rid of the Mishou unit. Fortunately, Toma enters with some professional lighting she took (not very legally) from a street shooting, and a heater. She has found a way to steal Chief Baba’s unit’s electricity power, and they soon both welcome the warm waves coming at them. A bit more and you have the Little Match Girl redux.They push their luck though, and when Toma plugs in the「鍋」- Nabe (Cooking pot) the accumulation of plugs leads to electrical sparks, causing a general blackout. Chief Baba’s team storms in, furious that their laptop crashed right when they were downloading a software to crack precious informations concerning Ninomae. Nothing more frustrating indeed.

Pleased as punch, Chief Baba purposely asks “Ex-“Chief Nonomura why he’s still around, forcing the latter to confess that they’re waiting for Sebumi. Toma mentions the resignation letter but Chief Nonomura plays dumb, throwing a gyoza toy to hide it.Inspector Shikaima threatens to arrest him for destroying the document, since he’s a civilian now, and Chief Baba adds that he needs to give back his police card with his gun. NOW. Err, thing is, he doesn’t have the gun anymore and Toma reveals that Sebumi has it. Team Baba SHOCK.

Baba stammers: “That’s a problem, right?”. Chief Nonomura has a revelation, and wonders slyly if he should let the public know about this, since yunno, he’s just a civilian. Chief Baba gapes as Persimmon Grandpa says he’ll leak it all on Tubuyaiter and dramatically pulls out his phone, totally enjoying the moment. Haha, you crafty old devil.Sebumi is at Mirei’s place to pay his last respects to Shimura. She thanks him, saying that he’d have made her brother happy. Hearing him apologize, she lets him know that she’s actually relieved, after seeing her brother’s smile. For her, it was a rare sight since he early had to take on the burden to raise her alone, and they often got into fights. It’s bitterly ironical, but it was his accident that made her realize how caring and kind he was to her.

Her SPEC is gone, and she guesses this power came because of her strong wish to communicate with him. Now that he’s dead, it has disappeared.

Sensing that the conversation has taken a depressive turn, she offers to drink beers and here I worry for her seeing that her fridge is packed with beer bottles ONLY. Opening one, she tries to remember the song her brother used to sing when drinking, and Sebumi tells it for her:「命、捨てます」- Life, throw it away. Argh, these ominous words again, don’t say them Sebumi!

As if to give her some strength to keep up the act, she drinks a bit and says that for her brother’s and her sake, she’ll live her life to the fullest. She’ll try becoming an artist so that he’d praise her for once. Looking at Sebumi, she urges him not to worry anymore about her brother, and to live his own life. Yes, please!But it doesn’t seem like he’s listening. He only kneels down and bows his head to the floor, remorsefully, making her embarrassed. Standing up, he’s about to leave, without a word, when she stops him. The truth doesn’t matter, and he shouldn’t think about getting revenge. Once again, she pleads him to just live. Later, when the time comes, she wants him to meet her brother again.

Pondering on her words, Sebumi swiftly turns and gulps the beer straight down. He then faces Shimura’s funeral altar, suddenly bursting into the SIT song. Once outside, he lets his tears flow, looking at the sky. Inside, Mirei also drops the facade and cries her eyes out in front of her brother picture.Sebumi may feel emotional, but his instincts are still sharp as he catches a flying object thrown at him. He turns and see Toma, proudly posing with a bag of food. She knew he would visit Mirei and waited for him. Aww.

She prods him to eat and complains that he’s always so grim-faced when everyone is worrying about him. Softly, she tells him to quickly wrap up his personal mission and come back home. But still stuck in his own world, he blankly replies that he’s no longer fit to be a detective. Toma isn’t one to take crap, and calls him a coward. He persists and says that he wants to avenge Shimura but she reminds him that personal feelings are taboo.He temporarily wakes out of his funk when she grabs his food, to retrieve it (heh), and she assures him that they’ll chase after the truth while staying in the law. Because they’re detectives. Being driven by your feelings alone is just violence.

Mirroring the conversation Toma recently had with Chief Nonomura, Sebumi dryly wonders how you’re supposed to fight legally againt SPECs. He has little respect for a law unable to catch such baddies. That sure is a big shift from the Sebumi we first met.Toma has no definite answers, but she knows one thing: she’ll use her brain and find them. This is precisely why she stayed at Mishou, waiting for him to bring his ass back.

Her earnestness freezes Sebumi, who stands up and flees, as if afraid to involve her further or to let her come closer. She sighs: “That’s why I hate idiots”. You and me both, sista.Sitting now in a small public park, Sebumi watches in a daze as the peaceful life unfolds, with the kids playing, the mothers chatting, or the old mummy farts practicing Tai chi. He quickly jolts out of it when…Tsuda sits next to him. Eeeeeh?

He says “Tsuda” has been killed, but when Sebumi asks who is he then, the man simply states: “I’m Tsuda as well”. You mean, clones? Are you channeling Ayanami Rei or what?Tsuda Sukehiro may be the commander of Unit Zero, but he’s considered as public domain. Many want him dead, so when that happens there’s an other one to replace him. This system explains their power. Oh, okay then.

Sebumi calls them a group of discarded「死神」 – Shinigami (Death God)s, but Tsuda#2 objects. They’re not shinigamis. They decided to throw their lives to protect the country and the people they love. You’re taking public servants to new heights, I’d say. Ignoring his speech, Sebumi asks what a shinigami wants to do with him, making Tsuda#2 smile. Putting his hand on Sebumi’s shoulder, he declares: “I came to recruit you”. WHAAAAAT?Though a bit shocked, Sebumi replies that he’s wanted by the police and isn’t qualified to be a public servant. That’s not a problem for the shinigami, who assures he can erase all suspicion. But menacingly, he warns that if Sebumi were to turn him down, he’ll have him killed. Yep, no pressure.

Sharing his unit’s story, he reveals that they’ve taken special measures over the years to fight SPECs, and admits they’re a governmental organization doing illegal things. Cutting to the chase, he wants Sebumi to lend his strength and dangles the Golden Bait aka Shimura. Doesn’t he want to avenge his death and get rid of the regrets? Man, what bad karma you have Shimura, even in the Afterlife!But it maybe does the trick, and Sebumi stands up. He pulls out a teeth (EWW), which bears the number 7. Holding in the pain, he asks to enter Unit Zero. I believe this move symbolizes him crossing the line to the dark side, leaving his old beliefs behind, but did you need to be so gross? Even Tsuda#2 kids him on it.

But the whole thing is an interview, so you know what comes next? Money talk. Sebumi wants nothing though, since he’ll quit Unit Zero as soon as the mission is over. But he has one condition: his Mishou comrades must be protected. Tsuda#2 accepts, and raises his hand. Right away, everyone in the park salute to him. Yep, everyone.Dumbfounded, Sebumi wonders if they’re all members of Unit Zero, but  Tsuda#2 laconically replies: “Doubt the truth of everything”. There, this has become my motto since I started watching this show! They leave together, Sebumi putting back his teeth in place. Okay, now THAT’s an epic EWW.

Pitifully killing time in Mishou’s sad dark office, Chief Nonomura and Toma receive the surprise visit of an old face, Section Chief Akimoto. Better known as MCP. Along with him, the lights are turned back on, but he specifically came to officially reinstate the Mishou Unit.That totally arouses suspicions and Toma is quick to ask what happened. Akimoto unconvincingly states that it’s just a policy change and returns Chief Nonomura’s guns, saying that Sebumi has resigned.

Akimoto takes his leave but Toma stops him. Did Sebumi really resign? Or was he perhaps recruited by “Agressor”? Akimoto plays dumb but orders her not to speak about that. Hmm, touché.Him gone, she goes straight to the weapons locker and grabs some guns and ammo. She tells Chief Nonomura that she just tried her luck with Akimoto, never thinking that her intuition would hit the bullseye. She has set her mind to go where Sebumi is, and though she has no idea of the location, she bets that if provoked, the baddie will most likely go after her. True, but can’t you smell the pool of blood?Chief Nonomura thinks the same and tells her she’ll get killed. No need to worry, she says. “Because the Chief and I both have a SPEC.” He asks which one, and she muses that since her brain has always been sleeping, she should be able to wake up the remaining 90% if she wants to (I think she refers to her talk on how we only use 10% of our brain). Like that, they’ll open their future.

Chief Nonomura: I see. This is a battle between those who believe in the possibilities of humans against those who want to lock up those abilities, isn’t it?

Toma: That’s beautifully said. Nice testament.

She leaves and Chief Nonomura mulls over the her words. Will he die? Oh please don’t go there, Show.Meanwhile, Chief Baba breaks the news to his team: the suspect behind Watanabe’s death has turned himself in. At first, the stupid duo is relieved to learn that Sebumi is no longer a suspect, but Baba sternly reminds them that he’s still missing. They all feel that something is amiss, though they hesitate to take a decision.

Chief Baba’s phone rings, and he has a revelation when he reads the name. Yes, they’ll investigate! The top priority is to catch Sebumi before anyone else. “If we don’t, Sebumi may lost himself in the darkness”. Even Shikaima and Inomata are impressed, and they bolt  out to carry their mission. Now alone, Chief Baba answers his phone: “Baba here.” —“Nonomura here”.

Aaaaaaah! A collaboration! Uwah, I’d never have expected that Wimp in Chief would actually side with the Mishou team, so this come as a pleasant surprise. Baba cuts Chief Nonomura short to let him know that his team is already on the move to find Sebumi: “Until our hearts are stifled, run towards the truth. That’s what a detective is.” These words said by Chief Nonomura back when he used to train a rookie Baba, the now Chief Baba hasn’t forgotten them. Chief Nonomura can’t help but proudly smile. Aw.Baba may use the excuse of “returning the kindness”, but it looks more like he won’t be at ease until the truth is revealed. Where did you hide such a cool side until now, you chicken detective?While his stupid duo runs aimlessly, Toma receives a call from Sebumi. As soon as she picks up, he warns her: “This is my last phone call, so listen well.” He has no time for her jokes, and informs her that he’ll disappear now to settle the score with those who killed Shimura and took her hand. She advises him not to act cool, but he says that he doesn’t want her to die. He sees himself as an unforgivable human being and has no intention of living where the sun shines. Toma=rolls eyes.How dare a member of the armed force lie? She reminds him of his promise: if she were to call him, he’d rush to her immediately. Hurt, she tells him she believed in him. Though he seems touched by her words, Sebumi doesn’t change his mind and states that the man she knew as Sebumi no longer exists. Still, it’s with a tinge of sadness that he says: “You’re the only light.”

Enjoining her to live, no matter what happens, he hangs up and throws the now useless SIM card to feed the carps.But the new card he puts in his phone brings in an automatic call. it’s Tsuda#2, who’s standing few steps away and points out that it’s forbidden to make private calls. He smiles though, as he only came to pick Sebumi up to join the raid on Ninomae’s hideout.

In a van driving the whole unit there, Tsuda#2 reveals that the information leaked from the other side. That may signify a power struggle, or that Ninomae is now considered as an interference but either way they have to attack when he’s asleep, and get him dead or alive. The former being more likely to happen since they’ll never catch him if he lives. But Sebumi balks at Tsuda#2’s order to even fire on Ninomae’s innocent mother if necessary.Still, he follows the Grim Reaper crew as they stealthily enter the apartment. Grenades are thrown at a sleeping Ninomae, and when he suddenly wakes up, he’s paralyzed by the SPEC of one of the team’s men. His mother barges in, prompting Sebumi to push her away. One second before the explosion, Sebumi is grabbed and thrown out the door by his teammate while Tsuda#2 watches the blast from below.On their way back, he congratulates the two survivors: Sebumi and the teammate. The sacrifice of the others was necessary, he says, and this joint operation with a SPEC holder was quite a success. Oh really? So Ninomae’s presence behind him may just be an illusion, I suppose.

The van screeches to a halt, and Sebumi discovers Daruma dolls where Tsuda#2 and the other man were sitting seconds before. A very much alive Ninomae smiles at him and admits he killed them, because they made him angry. Easy to handle, this boy.Actually, he killed the whole Aggressor unit but spared Sebumi since he saved his mom. Coming closer, he lets him know that he won’t be as merciful next time and hands a mirror so that Sebumi can see the red cutting marks on his face. If he doesn’t want to end like a watermelon in summer, he knows what to do.

Having already experienced that, the useless boss rats on Ninomae to his mates of the Council of Evil but one suddenly blurts out that the red marks are on his face. Calmly, Ninomae says that he did warn him, and the boss freaks out when he sees his colleagues lying in a pool of their own blood. Dipping his fingers in it, Ninomae writes his “name” in blood letters:「王」- “King”. He controls this world and proves it as soon as he snaps his fingers. His red marks make the leaders in the country quake in their boots. Ninomae may only wish for him and his mother to be left alone, but sadistically enjoys the power he has over the big guns. Even Opama and Kim Jong-mal (PFFT!) appear in the headlines as targets.Sighing as he reads the news, Chief Nonomura answers a strange call. Being asked by Toma, he transmits an order coming from the higher-ups higher than the highest higher-ups: “Arrest Ninomae, dead or alive.”

Extralegal measures are allowed, which Toma translates as being free to do whatever needed to kill Ninomae. One thing bothers her though. He’s still a minor so how the police can go to such lengths and still be righteous? Well, you have a point, but said minor certainly didn’t ponder much about it either.Chief Nonomura isn’t finished: sure, he received this order but he won’t pass them on her. Oooh, nice move! Right now, Ninomae is on a killing spree and will eliminate whoever comes against him. However, he’s not someone that kills for pleasure (huh, you sure?).

Even though Chief Nonomura believes he may have his own reasons, he gravely allows Toma to take the appropriates measures as a detective if she determines that he has definitely turned out to be a dangerous criminal. To what I say: what more do you need? She lost her hand and was nearly killed twice because of that cherub, for Pete’s sake.Later that night, Chief Nonomura meets with Miyabi-chan. He called her to hand a complaint filed by his wife, who’s using the law allowing her to claim compensation money from the mistress. WHAT THE HECK IS THAT? Of course, Miyabi-chan slaps him and runs away, screaming that they’re not even going out. Haha, the power of money.His cheek still stinging from the slap, Ninomae appears and notices that it was nice of him to pull such a Noble Idiot move to protect her. It’s the first time that Chief Nonomura meets Ninomae, and he warns him not to harm Miyabi-chan, nor his wife, nor Miyabi’s baby, nor his little brother living in Hoya, nor his 30 y/o niece living in Seattle…*snorts* I love you Persimmon Grandpa.Ninomae stops his litany by saying that he believes in him, compared to others. Now serious, Chief Nonomura asks if he’s peacefully going to pay for his crimes but Ninomae doesn’t see himself as guilty, and calls those who went against him as such. His eyes going crazy, he says that he’s the King. Having his answer, Chief Nonomura slowly pulls out his gun and aims at a smiling Ninomae who advises him to stop since there’s no way he’ll win.

Chief Nonomura: This is not about winning. Even though I know I will lose, I will track down the truth until my life is stifled. This is what being a detective is all about.

Ninomae scoffs and says that it’s useless, as he himself produces a combat knife. Next thing we see is a fountain of blood sputtering out of Chief Nonomura’s mouth. NOOOOOOOOOO!!! OH PUTAIN, PUTAAAAAAAIN !

Ironically, we’re given a close-up of Toma, gulping down her dose of honey. Delivery rappers from (Run) DHS appear, bringing her a wardrobe, YO! Intrigued, she comes close enough to hear Chief Nonomura’s death rattle. She hurriedly rips off the wrap, and bloods flows from behind. When she opens the door, AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!As sadistic as ever, Ninomae has put his knife in his victim’s hand but as Chief Nonomura drops it, he painfully tries to smile at Toma and says that he’s fine. Yeah, not like YOU’RE GONNA DIE ANY MINUTE NOW. Distressed, Toma asks if it’s Ninomae’s doing but isn’t that obvious my dear? Chief Nonomura slumps to the ground, and off the hospital they finally go. Thank. You.

After watching intently the doctors and nurses buzzing around his body for some time, she tells him: “Chief, I’m going.” Girl is on a death mission, and quickly pays her respects to the family altar. Being reprimanded by her grandma on her manners, she unusually apologizes, detail which doesn’t go unnoticed.She walks outside and sees a little boy giving food to a stray cat. Flashback to a high schooler Toma calling out her little brother Youta on feeding the stray cats. Youta, the boy we’ve seen in Mirei’s drawings and in Toma’s family picture, tells her to shut up and calls her “Fish-chan”. Omo! Remember how she got angry at Sebumi when he made fun of her with that nickname?

Young Toma fakes being mad and runs to punish Youta but he gets scratched by the cat in the process. Lecturing him, she notices the star-shaped mark behind his ear and teases him about it. PUTAIN DE PUTAIN DE PUTAIN !!! Ninomae is her brother?????Waking up from this bitter-sweet memory, she goes to Mirei’s place. Not beating around the bush, Toma asks her to use her powers on the knife to find Ninomae. Adverting her eyes, Mirei says that she no longer has this ability but Toma insists. Mirei still claims that she lost the power when her brother died, though she soon reveals by a slip of the tongue that it’s more like she doesn’t want to use it anymore. Determined to achieve her goal, Toma kneels down and bows her head, pleading Mirei to help her. Woo, will all the police department will come to bow today or what?Her voice hardens when she says that she has to save her friends and doesn’t want to see anymore victims. She has to stop this cycle of death, and when Mirei wonders if she can do it, Toma confidently tells her to believe in her.

Under her brother’s gaze (well, his picture’s), Mirei opens the bag and touches the knife. Different sceneries flash past in her mind, and she carefully draws them on her sketch book. She’s sure Ninomae is around Yokohama, since one flash clearly revealed Yokohama Marine Tower.Sebumi also get to know Ninomae’s location thanks to a tip from one of the last members of late Unit Zero. How convenient, I thought they were already all dead.

Eating a delicious looking「たこ焼きなべ」- Takoyaki Nabe (seriously, I crave some now), Ninomae enjoys his food while his mother absent-mindedly says that she had so much of this dish that she doesn’t know what’s special about it. Putting his bowl down, Ninomae asks her if she’s glad that he’s his son. Still looking bland and empty, she wonders what he means, but he seems to know. Looking straight at her, he tells her he’s glad he met her. Why the past tense, boy?A man appears (we still don’t see his face) and puts his hands on her temples. She soon goes unconscious, while Ninomae sadly smiles and thanks her for everything. Ack, this whole sequence totally tugged at my heartstrings. A lonely boy trying to recreate a mother, you can hardly find a saddest story. Oh, except the part when said boy attempts to kill his sister, of course. Though the whole thing is still unclear to me.

The Eraser asks (with a weird, deformed voice) if he should completely erase her memory and Ninomae tells him to do so, to delete everything up to when she met him. If she remembers even a little thing, she’d be an easy target.  Oof.  While the Eraser does his thing, Ninomae asks him to also change her face and let her live a happy life elsewhere.Meditating, Toma starts her special calligraphy session, and writes down the pieces composing the mysterious puzzle, starting with Ninomae.

Having completed the part, she shreds the whole thing as usual and throws it in the air. Once again, it works: Itadakimashita Time! Turning respectively to Sebumi’s and Chief Nonomura’s places, she calls their name and thanks them for everything.The Baba team finds her saluting when they enter, and no one even complains about the messiness. Solemnly, Chief Baba tells her they came to know if they could be of some help to her and Inspector Shikaima shares his own story of how Chief Nonomura used to cover his ass when he was still a rookie. Eagerly, Inomata asks if there’s anything they can do. There is, she says, if they’re okay with illegal methods.His hand suspiciously hided in his coat, Sebumi walks down a street in a disused area near the Marine Tower. Answering a phone call, he hears Ninomae’s voice singing a nursery rhyme from both his phone and behind him. ♫ “It’s there, the demon’s hand.”♫

Slowly turning to face him, Sebumi quips: “Which one is the demon?”Toma arrives on the scene, but doesn’t see Sebumi getting stabbed. Trying to compress his wound, he glares at Ninomae, looking mighty bored, not even enjoying the spectacle of his (possible) death. Sebumi levels his gun and fires, but Ninomae has already moved. Handicapped and forced to bend because of his injury, Sebumi can’t even walk properly and has his gun taken from him.Totally in control of the situation, Ninomae giggles like a fool and makes fun of the SIT. He’s about to press the trigger when the snow softly falls on them, making him stop for a second to admire its beauty. This is precisely the second Toma wanted, as she’s the one targeting him now. She fires, but too late. ARGHGHGHGHGHGH! Tell me that wasn’t your final trick!?Both Sebumi and Toma hear a thud behind them and see Ninomae entangled in Toma’s suitcase handle (that sounds weird). Both of them fire at him, but the whole scene goes slow-mo, the bullets flying slowly towards Ninomae who has plenty of time to see them coming. He stops them and walks to the Mishou duo, knocking down the suspended bullets on his way.Addressing to Toma, he says that in the end, she’s pretty stupid. Strictly speaking, he can’t stop time. It’s just that time flows differently in his world than it does in theirs. In other words, no matter how many occasions they’ll have to attack him, their movements will always be in slow motion for him. He takes the time to marvel at the snow that has stopped as well, though it melts when touching his skin, but revenge prevails and he prepares his knife.Coming closer to Toma, he starts by saying that he wanted to show it (the snow) to her, but he turns glacial as he concludes that she’s being annoying so he’ll just kill her. Leveling his knife, he’s ready to hit her when he suddenly spots Toma’s lips turning to a faint smirk. He quickly jumps back, dumbfounded: “It moved! No way…”Impressions:

Okay, here I go again. Hide the children.

OH PUTAIN DE MERDE ! This episode was…..no, we need to come up with a new word for that. Too bad my brain exploded from the awesome.

In my opinion, Chief Nonomura owned this episode. He who I thought was at best a comedic relief proved me damn wrong. Over the past episodes, he gradually grew into the father figure, sharing his life lessons and *gasps* wisdom with his protégés. When the Baba team tagged along Mishou, I was practically pumping my fist in the air. Nothing like gratitude and loyalty can turn a asshat into a decent man. Chief Baba, I’m looking at you.Speaking of changes, I find it funny how the underling turned out to be the main threat. Makes me wonder a bit about the real power of the supposed Big Bad Council of Evil.

So, is Ninomae Toma’s little brother? Oh, I have so many questions! Does she know? If not, HOW COME? The explosion where she lost her hand is one of these moments I’d like to be developed a bit more, to give us some insight as to how they met, what led them to be such antagonists, how they get their SPEC, and so on…

Will the finale clear all these points? I kind of doubt it but who cares when there’s so much fun around the corner with the SP and the movie? *crosses fingers anyway*

波のゆくさき for SPEC【壬】

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11 thoughts on “SPEC ~ First Blood – Episode 9

    • Kyaaaah, I read your SPEC recap ^^

      Yep, I confess it’s hard to recap it, especially when I have to manage my daily life, work, family….AND english isn’t my first language >__<
      but now that I'm recapping the last episode, I feel relieved and sad that it has come to an end. I want more, moaaaaaar (and we'll have more yeepee yay!)

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