The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window started with a sequence that almost made me cheer this week. While Mikado didn’t actually sever his connection with the manipulative and clearly sketchy Hiyakawa, they certainly make it clear that Mikado isn’t just going to ignore Hiyakawa’s comments from episode 4. If anything, Mikado is actually seriously re-considering their entire working relationship and it is about time.
While I definitely think they are setting up a redemption arc for Hiyakawa (and he probably doesn’t deserve it) at least this story doesn’t let him just keep walking all over Mikado and certainly doesn’t condone his prior actions.
The framing used in The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window as Mikado leaves the office and Hiyakawa is left alone at his desk and we pull away from him makes him look small and powerless and it is the first time he’s visually looked anything but in control of a situation. It is a massive step in changing the relationship between these characters.
Of course, rather than let that moment stand on its own as a triumph for Mikado, The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window feels the need to reinforce the basic idea by having Keita, the fortune teller from episode 2, randomly appear as Hiyakawa faces a spirit and gives Hiyakawa a bit of a dressing down.
It isn’t as though Hiyakawa doesn’t deserve it. It is more that it feels unnecessary within the same episode. This would have had more impact last week or maybe as a reinforcer in a future episode.
The Night Beyond The Tricornered Window remains about as subtle as a brick through a window.
But while Mikado is helping Erika with her English homework (still not sure why that was necessary) the story this week takes a turn and we abruptly are in the past finding out how Mikado’s mother met his father and why he left.
It really was an abrupt turn for The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window. We’re in a bus listening to two girls discuss a guy one of them met in the park and at first I was wondering where we were and who these characters were but then it kind of clicked together that this was Mikado’s mother so given the age and hair-style we were in the past. I’ve seen smoother transitions to flashback sequences.
Also, I’m not really clear what we gained from the flashback at this stage as it feels like there are potentially a few plot points that might be significant but really the only concrete facts we gained were that Mikado’s father could definitely see ghosts and got close to his mother because somehow she protected him, he left because with Mikado and his father together the mother couldn’t protect both of them, and now he’s the twisted crazy guy who uses Erika to curse people.
How we got from past to present is still a little bit inconclusive. Also, his whole cursing the people near him to forget his name and face is just really kind of creepy (which I guess it is supposed to be).
It isn’t just Mikado’s parents getting back-story in this episode of The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window though. We also see some of Erika’s childhood and as you can imagine she’s a little twisted having been able to see ghosts for a long time and having invited many of them inside of her and living their deaths (yep, she’s definitely going to need some help).
On its own, this episode is a little piecemeal with a couple of key scenes that seem fairly sparsely connected. However, other than the detective character, all the other characters we’ve kind of encountered in this series appear, and each scene is building on or filling in something that has been missing form the overall picture. So while the episode itself wasn’t really structurally great, I kind of feel it was very worth watching because it is helping to fill some of those holes.
Overall, I’m curious about what direction The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window intends to take next and I’m very curious as to whether Hiyakawa will learn anything from Mikado’s anger or Keita’s demands that he learns a different way to do things.
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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