Time really flies and all of a sudden there are only three games left in Euro 2012. By the time Ch. 368 comes out all games will be finished, and
Germany shall be crowned as European Champion we would know which team has won the tournament. Given that I am just so absorbed into the football world, I would expect serious withdrawal syndromes, but things might turn out better than I thought because the journey of the Nephalem continues…
Yes, I am just so absorbed into the football world, I have become so inactive on this blog or my Facebook Page. Replies have been slow, and no News Feed have been posted on my Page. I did make a post or two on MangaFox, but nobody
except those who can’t stand a word of mine cares.
All in all, I apologize for my lack of enthusiasm in the series. Hopefully there would be improvement once Euro 2012 concludes. Never mind the journey of the Nephalem – they always schedule maintenance on Tuesdays.
So, here we are with the fifth chapter of the “Mystery Room” arc, which so far has failed to let us know what mystery lies in whatever room. Over the previous 4 chapter we only know that Tama and Fr. Ghost have been transferred to the storage room, in which Fr. Ghost suggested “something’s bothering me”. That’s much could be told with less than one chapter, but Hata managed to make it into five and even more. Once again he is testing our patience, isn’t he?
The truth behind the lack of progress is that 0ver 70% of the arc has been devoted to other characters. Indeed, Mystery Rooms 1 and 4 focused on Ruka, while 2 and 3 belonged to Ayumu. So, Mystery Room 5 has to be the story of a character as well. This time, it’s Hinagiku.
Having (most) recently been told by Ayumu that Ruka likes Hayate, Hinagiku is now troubled. A new love rival means a new trouble for herself, and it is not a very funny thing when you already have so much trouble with your own goal. In this chapter, Hinagiku goes through a series of reactions, and we could see just how she handles her love problems.
Her first reaction is to doubt Ayumu’s words. After all, she never thought that Ruka liked Hayate, so it could be that Ayumu was mistaken… But then, Hinagiku reflects on her past with Hayate and admits that she has not been particularly strong on romance. If there is anyone who could be wrong about romance, she is more likely to be the one.
Her second reaction is to try to differentiate different kinds of “like” – in other words, she tries to persuade herself that Ruka doesn’t like Hayate in the same way she does. For example, Hinagiku likes hamburger steak and Hayate, but while she wants to be with nobody but Hayate all of her life, she may not want to eat nothing but hamburger steak all of her life. Maybe – just maybe – Ruka likes Hayate like hamburger steak…? This is of course a very laughable assumption, and Hinagiku knows that it can deceive no one, including herself.
Her third reaction is to confront Ruka directly, but then she doesn’t have to go to find Ruka, as Ruka comes to her for manga consultation. Hinagiku decides that she wants the truth, not guessing games, and asks Ruka whether she likes Hayate. Her seriousness scares off Ruka into a kneeling position, but what Ruka tells her is even more shocking. There is no other interpretation for the phrase “I love him”, and Hinagiku knows that a “hamburger steak” interpretation would not work…
From the looks of it, Ruka would become the third friend-rival for Hinagiku, following Ayumu and Athena. One might question the necessity for a girl to face so many love rivals, but we have the narrator’s words: “Katsura Hinagiku is a girl who learns from her past experiences.” By competing with so many love rivals, it should be foreseeable that Hinagiku would grow into a better and better girl. She might lack what it takes to be with Hayate now, but who knows what she would become in the future?
Looking into the ways Hinagiku handled her rivalry with Ayumu and Athena, we indeed could see some evidence of growth.
When “dealing” with Ayumu, Hinagiku started off wrongly by promising to support her while still uncertain of her own feelings. She therefore suffers from a bit of guilt towards Ayumu, and has since look inferior to her. This is part of the reason why Ayumu looks so comfortable making fun of Hinagiku: she knows that Hinagiku cannot fight back.
When it came to Athena, although she once again (not very happily) supported her reunion with Hayate, Hinagiku never promised anything to Athena or Hayate. She therefore has no guilty feelings towards Athena, but the problem is that Hinagiku has never had a real and fair fight with her. Come to think of it, this might be a good thing for Hinagiku: as we would all agree, Hinagiku is no match for the full-grown Athena yet. She would need some more… growing up.
Now, facing a third rival, with no guilt but a chance of a real fight, could Hinagiku do a better job than before? Could Hinagiku prove the narrator right by learning from her past experience? I guess even a non-supporter would want to see Hinagiku doing something better than to offer her support to Ruka: it is extremely boring seeing the same thing happening for a third time.
Okay, that’s all on Hinagiku for this chapter. Let’s get to the
titular plot in the title: Mystery Room.
After a spectacular demonstration by Fr. Ghost on how to waste time and pages, he finally reveals what is troubling him: the storage room is significantly smaller than the bathroom right beneath it. What’s more, Fr. Ghost cannot pass through the walls of the storage room, despite being a ghost. There has to be something supernatural to stop the movement of the supernatural Fr. Ghost.
Alice then comes forward and suggests that a barrier has been set up. This barrier creates a certain kind of illusion, which can deceive people unless they pay very close attention to it. Fr. Ghost is the one who has been paying attention, so he finds it out on his own. Hayate and Tama have their attention brought up by Fr. Ghost, so they are aware of it. As for Alice… well, let’s say her powers are restored to the degree that she knows there is a barrier.
But then, even the powers of Alice cannot open the barrier safely. The traps behind the barrier could be too much for Alice to handle, and so she decides against opening it. Indeed, why risk yourself anything when there is no necessity?
And that’s it. That’s all the mystery we know about the storage in this chapter. Is that not enough? Well yes, it has never been enough.
Elsewhere, there is a girl on a lamp-post, talking with someone on the phone. Those who are not too forgetful would remember that she is called Haosen Yozora, the girl who once expressed the will to rent a room, but was kicked out of the Mansion by Nagi. She was after the “28th photo”, and owned quite a few robots.
In this chapter, we come to know something more about her. She is not working for Mikado himself, otherwise she wouldn’t be calling him by his full name. She is not after the King’s Jewels – or, at least those are not her main objective – but it seems that she is more interested in opening the path, possibly to the Royal Garden.
More importantly, it was her who hinted to Atsumari that Ruka has been drawing manga. It points out that it was her who “manipulated” Ruka into renting a room at the Violet Mansion. In other words, Yozora handpicked Ruka to be the one to open the path. Why did she choose Ruka? How would she make Ruka to open the path? Let’s look forward to the future chapters!
Next week, there would be coloured pages and an important announcement. Many of you would have guessed that it is the Third Season Anime, and I have no reason to disagree. In any case, let’s see if we are correct!
And let’s celebrate Germany’s victory next week!