Turns out that Niche is looking rather well for someone her age - but not half as good as her long-lost twin sister, who has remained with the Maka in Amberground's frozen wastes. It seems that the time has come for Lag's dingo to become reacquainted with her past, parts of which aren't pretty...
What they say
Gauche Suede is on his last delivery before a big promotion. In the outskirts of Yodaka, the darkest area of Amberground, Gauche is surprised to find that the package is a young boy named Lag Seeing. Lag had been traumatized by his mother's abduction and is due to be delivered to his aunt. In this remote area rife with Gaichuu, Lag and Gauche face a dangerous journey that inspires Lag to become a Letter Bee.
Lag visits the town of Blue Notes Blues, steeped in the legend of the Maka, the mysterious creature deeply connected to Niche. The people in town witnessed someone like Noir heading into a cave, however the Mayor, Khari Tonov, tells them that cave is where the Maka lives and is dangerous, and entry is forbidden no matter who it may be. But despite this, at Niche's suggestion, Lag heads toward the cave wanting to find out more about what Noir was up to...
What Noir was up to, though, soon becomes of secondary interest. Yes, Niche is originally from Blue Notes Blues - but the locals, rather fearful of what a half-human, half-Maka creature could be, opted to dispose of her and her twin sister by tossing them off a cliff while they were still babies. Yes, they're full of compassion in this part of the world. Niche, as we know, ended up on the freakshow circuit, while her sister ended up in the care of the Maka - a god to the locals, but a god who has failed to show itself for the past two hundred years, having lost interest in the affairs of petty humans.
Which makes Reverse's interest in the creature rather curious. There's no doubt that it has powerful abilities - straying into the magical, even - but with the Maka itself no longer capable of speaking with humans, and Niche's sister a more than capable guard for it, you can't help but wonder what Noir was trying to do. That's a mystery for another time, though, as the episode focusses more on Niche's past - specifically the events surrounding the birth and abandonment of the girls - and that, thankfully, makes for a fascinating story in its own right.
Where it could be considered to have gone wrong, though, is that it feels a little that it's been pulled out of nowhere. Until now, Niche's Maka heritage has been used for nothing more than an excuse for her abilities - there were no hints that there was more to it than that, to her unusual age, or to the existence of her sister, until it was all dumped on us over the course of this episode, and it all feels a little... sudden, as though this part of the story was a late, unplanned addition to the show's storyline. Assuming there was much in the way of advance planning in the first place, of course.
On balance, though, this is still a good episode, and finally sees Niche get some decent character development. About time too. Going along with the questions that are answered about Niche's past, though, is a set of new questions about just what Noir's interest in the Maka was, and hopefully the series won't mess around too long before giving some answers to them.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
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