What do you get when you combine the demon-contractor anime trope with character designs and vibes from the furry fandom? Well, you end up with something like Nokemono-tachi no Yoru, AKA The Tale of Outcasts. This anime ended a few weeks ago, but I’m trying to catch up now to the last few episodes. This post contains a review of episode 12. Next time, I’ll cover the final episode.
This was quite a trippy episode, and though it was rushed, it was still good. Marbas, Wisteria, Naberius, and Dianna are facing off with Sitri and the demonized Snow. Sitri traps Wisteria in an illusionary world so she can’t fight as Marbas’ contractor in reality. Within that alternate world, everything is hostile to Wisteria, from the people to random events. Everything is geared toward her death. Whenever she dies, she respawns, only to suffer the same thing again countless times. This world is Wisteria’s personal hell.
Time flows differently between reality and the illusionary world. Seconds in reality equals years in Sitri’s hell. Consequently, while Marbas and Naberius fight Snow, Wisteria spends multiple years trying to survive in the illusionary world. She even has a teenage/ young adult form in that world. Instead of falling into despair, Wisteria figured out what she needed to do to escape this torment. She deduced that this world was made from Snow’s memories, and that somewhere in this dimension, Snow’s consciousness was locked away.
Wisteria succeeds in finding Snow, but his soul is merged with a demon, who explains that everything has been a painful struggle for Snow since the beginning. Things were so bad for him, as he tried to singlehandedly care for Wisteria, that he made a deal with a demon. The demon insinuates that Snow is bitter and doesn’t really love his sister, but Wisteria knows better. She is able to defeat the demon by calling on the power of her own demon, Marbas. (Apparently, Marbas can also manifest in the illusionary world, if called by his contractor.)
After defeating the demon, Wisteria is relieved to return to reality and see her brother Snow properly exorcised from his demon. Sitri is outraged. He takes Marbas with him to another little dimension and explains that having a relationship with a contractor is pointless. Everything will eventually be forgotten in the endless march of time, so there is no meaning. As proof, Sitri tells the story of their master and father figure from many centuries ago. Although Sitri and Marbas loved their teacher, they can now no longer remember his face.
Marbas is not swayed by this story, though he is saddened a little by the vague memory of his beloved master. He insists that there is powerful personal meaning to being connected with other beings. Even if he forgets Wisteria, he argues, it was not pointless. Sitri loses interest and accepts defeat. Before leaving, he says to Marbas, “Goodbye, big brother,” implying that the two demons were family in their original forms from hundreds of years ago.
Returning to reality, Marbas is relieved to see Snow and Wisteria unharmed and reunited. The last scene in the episode shows Luther waking up after the explosion caused by Iberta. Somehow, he’s alive. There is only an empty shell left of his demon, Dantalian. This suggests that Dantalian broke the rules of the contract to save Luther’s life without exacting a price from him, resulting in the great demon’s death.
I have three main thoughts on this episode. After this, there’s only one episode left of The Tale of Outcasts. You can expect a review of episode 13 soon.
-The illusionary world was a great concept, even if it was underdeveloped and rushed. I absolutely love that kind of psychological horror – things like Re:Zero where the character is trapped in a loop of death. While I don’t need gratuitous gore, I do think the scenes of Wisteria’s “deaths” should have been a bit more graphic to convey the pain and terror she goes through.
-Adult Wisteria was very attractive, and her confidence makes her more so. It would have been better if we saw her struggle with despair a little more before getting to the point of fierce determination, but I understand there wasn’t time.
-Sitri has a point that nothing lasts forever and there is no objective point to anything. However, I agree with Marbas that important subjective value can be found in connection to others, even if the connection fades with time. This episode’s introduction to the concept of existentialism was enjoyable.
Thank you for reading~