As Alice reveals, cash flow has an interesting way of revealing what one’s true intentions are. Money can be used for both good and bad things, to bring wealth to the less fortunate, or to cover up what the public shouldn’t know about. In the case of the two founders of the Hirasaka Group, money gets mixed with blood, which leads us further into a gang of a mess that only a mysterious money trail five years ago can now correct. And it could cost more than a few lives to resolve the situation.
Back when episode three aired, I talked about some potential flags surrounding Soichiro’s future fate regarding the nature of his involvement with his own group and the other groups tied to it (both explicit and implicit). I had a feeling the extent of his involvement and the way he went about business wasn’t good, and it looks like I was proven right four weeks later. Renji’s appearance as a prominent character the past few episodes has been generating tension around an as-yet unknown situation in the past with Soichiro, and it’s been raising enough questions as to why he’s so bent on getting back at Yondaime. I was hoping the arc would end this episode, but it’s either looking like a resolution won’t happen until next week, or this is one of those higher-level cases that will be the emphasis of the series until its final episode presumably five weeks from now. I mean, the Hirasaka Group is one of the main branches of support to Alice’s ‘job’ as a NEET detective, so any dramatic changes that happen to the group are going to directly affect her business, and thus the series as a whole.
I think the hardest part to digest in this episode was the entire flow of money. Without knowing all the details, we’re only given the slightest idea that Soichiro’s savior-complex got him into a tight situation five years ago with a woman he and Renji were very close to. Coupled with some misleading relationships with the Gotouda Group, a rival group that Renji and Soichiro fought back then, and you have quite a few messed up cover-ups and dangerous encounters that have led to the hatred that Renji and Soichiro have for each other today.
Execution-wise, this episode was well done in that I was certainly left with excitement without a conclusion to build the momentum up for what I really hope is the final episode to this arc next time around. It’s up in the air as to how bad the last scene actually turned out to be, as well as the fate of those involved, but I think it was a good way to keep the suspense up. We even had some more reveals of Alice’s intent for having Narumi around and what he thinks of his position. It was touching to see their thoughtful exchange of words about trust in light of the growing complication of this most recent case.
Next week: more blood on the ground, and Renji returns from ‘hiding’! Honestly, I like this arc but like many of the other arcs prior, this one could have been shortened in favor of a more streamlined script. I think it all had to do with the first hour-long episode that set the bar a little too high for the show’s own good and caused me to believe that three episodes is all that’s needed to tell an arc from beginning to end. Still, the tension was high enough this episode for me to keep on believing in the plight of the characters, and it was a joy to see Alice’s crew so efficiently lay the groundwork for setting up a case once again.