Kuzu no Honkai 04

It might be pertinent to ask what makes someone a genuinely bad person, and the answer is usually intent.

“Bad Apple”

After last episode’s little reveal that Akane isn’t quite the pure and innocent person she puts on, this episode pulls out all the stops on her morally questionable antics. Right off the top we get a look at her initial incident of exploitation to hurt someone else. What a way to make friends, huh? I definitely don’t feel much sympathy for her character, even though this is the kind of person that will never have a meaningful relationship in their life. This will greatly complicate Mugi and Hana’s relationship depending on Mugi’s ability to see through such exploitation, because it is definitely coming.

Hanabi gets tied up in the drama of it all quite easily. Akane could spot her affection for that bland teacher guy from a mile away as if she were an eagle scoping out its prey. I find it pretty funny that the episode gave him time for some backstory and it was just a monologue of “I’m boring”. Hana doesn’t have to stick around to hear Akane’s answer to the confession, because it really doesn’t matter what she says. She’s already won. The major problem is that she doesn’t go and confide in Mugi after all of this. He is the one person that would really understand, and it is far more unfair to keep it from him. It’s interesting that Hana confronts Akane exploitation of others’ love for her, and she just straight up admits to it! I suppose the toughest villains of all are the ones that can operate in broad daylight and still get away with their evil schemes.

Ecchan makes her return at an interesting moment, and it drives the conflict in this episode a lot better than just Hana versus Akane. It plays up a big parallel between those two that they’re both exploiting someone else’s feelings for them because it feels good, but there is a pretty big difference. It’s like first and second degree murder (and voluntary/involuntary manslaughter), intent is an important factor. Akane is all about willful and premeditated actions to exploit and hurt others, while Hana quite naturally falls in to the situation of using Ecchan to fill a void. This is all of course different from Hana and Mugi, where both sides are complicit and in agreement for the most part. If anything, this episode paints several perspectives of non-monogamous situations and the complications therein. No wonder it felt so overbearingly heavy throughout.

Episode Score
8.7/10 (Very Good)

Summary: Akane reveals her true colors and attempts to draw some parallels between her actions and Hanabi’s, as Ecchan returns to fill a timely void.

Extra thoughts:
– This is why you can never trust attractive people.
– He likes Akane because she reminds him of his dead mother…
– She would be in to Wagner’s Die Walkure.
Ecchan really wants to fill Hana’s… emotional holes.
– So Akane straight up admits to being evil.
– Didn’t see Mugi even once this episode.

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