Welcome everyone to Anime Rants! Today we have a review of Nakanohito Genome or The Ones Within episode 5. It was a compelling episode full of character development and hints about the secrets of this strange game world.
Let me offer a quick episode recap. Zakuro, Kai, and Akatsuki managed to free Karin and the other captives of the demon girl Kikka. Incidentally, rather than eating the girls, Kikka forced them to play house and follow her every order. If they resisted, the girls would have been crushed to death by the old grandfather in demon form. The mission was a casualty-free success, but only thanks to a little intervention from Paka. The view count rises to 18 million.
The critical part of this episode was undoubtedly in the middle, right after Akatsuki is knocked unconscious by the oni grandpa. Paka stops the old demon from killing Akatsuki. During the talk, our dear llama friend drops some interesting lines, which evoke fascinating implications and speculations. He says he’s the master of the game, and the old oni is only a character in that game. If needed, Paka warns that he’ll start a “reset,” which would for some reason cause the old oni to be separated from his grandaughter. (Maybe a reset would mean the characters lose all memories, and must start life again as different characters who aren’t even related. Or “reset” could mean the death of every game character so far created.)
What exactly is 13th Avenue anyway? Can Paka create game characters? Do the viewers exist in our world or the world where the game is happening? The most interesting questions, though, are about Akatsuki. Who and what is he? Paka interfered with the game just to make sure Akatsuki didn’t die, saying the boy was indispensible. He also notes that killing Akki is equivalent to breaking the game system. This could mean Akatsuki has a hidden power that can control and reshape the world around him, which Paka is somehow making him use unconsciously to build the game world. That’s only one possibility. There are many, and thinking about them is exciting! I also have to wonder what the promise was that Paka said he made, which keeps him from “escaping” the game world with Akki.
One of the main characters this episode focused on was Onigasaki Kaikoku, or Kai. Even this confident, strong, and mature young man had something he was sensitive about. He was rejected by his grandfather, ordered never to set foot in his property again. In the flashback, Kai said he didn’t care because he didn’t want to be a tool or an ornament for the Onigasaki family. Most likely, he was tasked with taking over the family, but either refused, or did something that made his grandfather see him as unworthy. Also… forgive my fujoshi fantasies here, but doesn’t it seem like Kai acts weird with Akatsuki? As if maybe he thinks Akki is really cute?
Another character who got a lot of focus was Zakuro. In the previous episode, he mentioned he was searching for his “younger” twin sister. In this episode he finds a bracelet with her name on it (Sakura Oshigiri). Zaku explains that his sister went missing while playing the beta game release of The Ones Within two years ago. Since then, he searched for her but found nothing. So he let himself be “abducted” (or taken to another world) on purpose, hoping it would lead to clues about Sakura. Kikka the oni girl thought Zaku’s face looked familiar, suggesting she might have once held Sakura captive. But when pressed for answers by Kai, Kikka says she actually doesn’t remember a girl with that face.
That’s about all my Nakanohito episode review for this week. I know it seems a little abrupt, but that’s all I’ve got in me for now. Anyway, thank you very much for reading! Take care now!
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Images from: Nakanohito Genome (Jikkyouchuu). Dir. S Oonuma. Silver Link. 2019.