I get a lot of seasonal viewers have already dismissed The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window after the ultra-cheesy and somewhat sleazy first episode, however I’m kind of glad I decided to stick with it. Episode 3 is intriguing and we finally get a conversation with Erika who has a bit of a fun personality and also calls out Hiyakawa on his possessive tendencies. From start to finish this episode kept me focused and it left me with a real curiosity about who these characters really are and what is really driving them.
When The Night Beyond The Tricornered Window started it didn’t really nail its execution. However that’s left plenty of room for the next couple of episodes to show improvement.
This episode of The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window stars with Hiyakawa and Mikado investigating a potential spirit in a pond though mostly this sequence just reinforces to the audience what we already know. Hiyakawa is most definitely shady and Mikado does not ask enough of the right questions.
What episode 3 adds to the mix later in the episode after the encounter with Erika is the possibility that Mikado can’t ask the right questions potentially because of some direct interference from Hiyakawa. The scene plays out uncomfortably, and I’m pretty sure it was supposed to, as Hiyakawa most definitely forces Mikado beyond his comfort zone (spiritually of course) and Mikado makes an attempt to stay in clear headed and in control but finds he cannot.
It is quite clear now that Hiyakawa is most definitely toxic for Mikado where in episode one it felt like poor writing and BL Tropes from an era we’d all prefer to move on from, by episode 3 they’ve very much established that there’s something off about Hiyakawa and how he has approached Mikado and it feels very much like the plot might actually explore that rather than just leaving the relationship as is.
It would be kind of fantastic if The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window did have Mikado actually remove himself from this situation, or at the very least confronted the situation head on rather than just succumbing to an imbalanced relationship. Whether this story is ambitious enough to deal with that sort of problematic content or whether it just wants to show it while at the same time look like it isn’t endorsing it remains to be seen.
Though I guess anyone who read the source would know, but I’ll just kind of wait and see.
And before I get onto Erika (who definitely stole this episode of The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window) I kind of liked that Mikado’s life continues to be explored. Why can he see so well? It is curious and the mystery of his father who left his mother when he was four, taking every image of himself with him is definitely suspicious.
We also see that Mikado ends up being contacted by people who knew him from school, and knew he could see spirits, for assistance. They aren’t grateful when he helps them but more see it as confirmation he’s some kind of freak but Mikado seems very used to this kind of treatment and just kind of shrugs it off.
A final point, the eye-balls peering out through the ‘cracks’ in the room was perhaps the creepiest visual I’ve seen in anime in a good long time. Not quite as creepy as Megumi in Shiki as she squeezes out from under the bed, but still, I’ll be seeing those eyes in my dreams I think.
Okay, so the best part of episode 3 of The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window was Erika. Not only does she have a bit of a sassy personality when she encounters Mikado and Hiyakawa we also learn a lot about her but that just leaves so many questions about what we still don’t know.
We know she’s cursing people and we learn this is because there’s someone else in her life that is kind of forcing her too, but how and why are not really explored other than we get a glimpse at her home-life and it is off. That’s the only way to describe the situation in her house. It’s not right. We don’t yet know how it got to this point or what is causing it but Erika’s house if clearly not a home.
More than that, her movements are restricted and she’s clearly not free to make her own choices. That isn’t to say she’s an innocent bystander in all this. She happily admits to cursing the girl at her school in the last episode of The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window because the girl was unpleasant. So while there’s something behind Erika’s action she isn’t exactly against laying curses on people who cross her or she decides deserve it. It makes her a somewhat intriguing element in this story as her character really could go a number of different directions.
I hope we see more of Erika in The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window. I liked Keita who was introduced last week but was strangely absent this week, but Erika is definitely show stealing quality.
Honestly, episode 3 has been the strongest episode of this series so far and I’m kind of hoping it continues to build on this as each episode so far has felt like it has been on more solid footing than the last and made less missteps. I’m looking forward to where The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window will go and I’ll just hope it hasn’t peaked already.
You can read the full season review here.
Images from: The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window. Dir. D Iwanaga. Zero-G. 2021.
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