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May My Soul Reach You – A Dry Heart inside Unbearable Isolation?
Todoke, Watashi no Tamashii 〜Kawaita Kokoro, Tamaranai Kodoku no Naka de...?
Japan: August 25, 2008
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|Maka Albarn's fight with Crona takes a very surprising turn when she endangers herself by willingly accepting the Black Blood, hoping her actions will free the odd meister Crona from a life of pain.|
Death City Underground
Riding his skateboard Beelzebub while armed with his Demon Pistols, Death the Kid has proceeded far past where Maka Albarn battles Crona. Black Star has not caught up to Kid, but the young shinigami has not caught up to Free and Eruka, who are bringing the Black Blood to Asura's location to resurrect him. But as he continues skating down the hallway, Kid sees something approach him: one of Eruka's Tadpole Bombs, which knocks him off his skateboard. Kid stumbles but is uninjured.
Patty Thompson directs Kid's attention to more bombs suspended ahead in their path. It is not the danger of these bombs that bothers Kid so much as their asymmetrical arrangement.
Further ahead, Free, running on all fours, informs Eruka, who rides Tadpole Jackson, that he can hear the explosion of the bombs behind them, meaning the Shibusen forces are following them. He smells the Kishin ahead.
Elsewhere, Maka Albarn and Crona are both enthralled by the madness of the Black Blood, their heads twitching as Maka giggles and Crona whimpers. Inside the Black Room, the Little Ogre repeats what he said earlier: now that he leads this dance, things will become more interesting.
Liz Thompson tries to motivate Kid to ignore the inconsistent arrangement and move forward, but the shinigami is already on his knees in disgust. Liz admits that Kid's frustration with asymmetry is hardly different than other persons' (and her own) fear of monsters, while Patty points out that bombs can be scary for anyone. Liz tries to motivate Kid by reminding him of his mission as a shinigami to stop the Kishin's revival, but Kid again thinks he is nothing more than garbage. Therefore, Liz asks Patty to persuade Kid in that "special way" she has, which is for her to make a scary face and, in a punkish style of speech, telling him to "get yer ass movin'." Hearing such an insult, Kid's eyes well with tears as he closes them to avoid seeing the bombs—and still sets them off as he skateboards by, using their explosions to increase his forward momentum. Patty giggles, impressing Liz but provoking anger in Kid.
Further ahead, Eruka assures her exhausted familiar Otama Jackson that they will arrive at the shrine soon, but she needs him to keep moving forward or else Medusa will kill her and Free. However, Free senses Kid's fast approach, inspiring an idea for how he may use Jackson to "get a jump on the enemy."
Further back, Maka still stumbles with mad delight, as the Ogre commands her to begin. Crona backs away in fear of how Maka wiggles and giggles; when Maka slices at them with Soul's blade, Crona stabs Maka's shoulder—and the meister simply laughs and removes the blade so she may punch Crona across the floor. Maka says she likes giggling and wobbly, as she touches the shoulder wound to show the black blood she now has in her body. Maka then clutches Crona's head and bashes it against a nearby pillar and then into the floor before proceeding to stamp on Crona's back. Maka stops to laugh more, allowing Crona to return to their feet and slice at Maka's torso—but Maka falls without injury forward along the edge of Ragnarok's blade and smiles more widely.
As the Black Blood wraps around his body and is pulling him into a madness from which he may never escape, Soul is shocked how far Maka is falling into madness, as the Ogre explains that while madness protects Maka from injury, neither her soul nor Crona's are relevant to this fight.
Meanwhile, Maka demands Crona fight back, suggesting they twist, gouge, or tear Maka apart. Crona backs away, while Soul demands Maka act now. Instead, Maka leaps onto Crona's back—and wraps her lips around the back of their head, licking it. Soul calls again to Maka to resist the madness, finally reaching her from within her own soul.
Maka floats in a darkness like water, a drip heard. She wears her usual attire, except without her longcoat, her vest, socks, and boots, and with her tie and topmost shirt button undone. She is embarrassed at her behavior, licking Crona's head, but Soul assures her that such behavior is hardly that different from how she normally is. Soul tells Maka to hurry, as she explains she is trying already. When she was sane, she had a premonition about Crona's wavelength, and now under madness, she should be able to resonate with the mad Crona's wavelength as well.
Maka feels one soul near her, its brightness awakening her. She draws the soul towards her to hug it, knowing it is her own soul. She remarks how tiny it is. Then a brighter light attracts her attention. She lets go of her own soul and studies this one: from its twisted shape, she knows it is that of Soul, "a great guy who always listens to my selfishness." But she cannot find Crona's until she senses one that is of a different color. As she draws the soul to her, she feels like it is dry.
Maka floats no longer in water but in a bright blue sky, above a sandy orb that initially resembles a beach but, as it lacks water, more closely resembles a desert. Below her is a small child clutching a stick to draw in the sand. That child is Crona, as they appeared when Medusa first tortured them to kill The Little One.
The lights in the Death Weapon Meister Academy are extinguished. Throughout the city, smoke rises upward from the destruction by the Mizune Family, which has its hands full contending with the powerful magic cat Blair, who is unafraid of confronting the Mizune Family hovering above her, as she intends to get vengeance for their attack on her "food slave," the Fish Shop Guy. Blair leaps atop the Mizunes like stepping stones, chanting her spell until she leaps above all of them to actualize Smashing Pumpkin, downing the Mizunes. Looking down at her handiwork, Blair is surprised to see one Mizune missing in the aftermath, until this one attacks her from the sky. Blair recovers to prepare another attack, kicking the Mizune away thanks to, as Blair claims, her feminine "flexible body."
While Blair is pleased the Mizunes could not put on scratch upon her "perfect body," the Mizune she kicked still hovers, grinning as she begins snapping her fingers to awaken her sisters who begin to snap and chant with her. The Mizune fly upward and assemble on each other's shoulders, stacking atop each other such that only their outfits are seen, except for the top sister whose hat is seen but not her face.
The stack of Mizunes collapses, as light encircles them. In a puff of smoke, a taller iteration of Mizune appears, merged so that she retains the outfit of the sisters—only their attire has not changed to match her greater height. Unlike the original sisters, her face lacks the shut eyes and large teeth, more closely resembling a conventionally attractive face. She wears a three-toed mouse-like shoes, a short skirt, gauntlets, and a top that barely covers her breasts. Her bare midriff has marks radiating from her belly button, like the Mizune's whiskers. Seeing this slender woman, the Fish Shop Guy, still buried beneath the rubble of his shop, blushes and breathes heavily with lust—as even his dead fish seem to revive and fly with similar attraction to Mizune. Blair seems to blush, although she may be wearing her usual facial expression.
Blair transforms into her human form, not in her usual dress but now in low-riding shorts, a collared top that covers only to her breasts and leaves her midriff exposed, a long-sleeve short jacket with a fur collar, Zukun, and heeled shoes that curl at their tips. Blair expresses annoyance that Mizune assumes her appearance as if to "provoke men on my turf." The Fish Shop Guy and his resurrected fish pass out from their overwhelming lust, apparently dead. The two women approach each other until they are eye to eye—and their breasts pressed against each other. Looking down on the slightly shorter Blair, Mizune promises to devour the cat, while Blair is unimpressed by this "quintuple-decker." The two women take one step back from each other so that Mizune may grope one of Blair's breasts, finding her outfit distasteful. Blair responds by lifting up Mizune's top to show more of her breasts, remarking the top must be drafty. To Blair's underwhelmed surprise, the Fish Shop Guy somehow rises to life again with his lustful appreciation of the two women standing away from him.
Death City Underground
Medusa Gorgon keeps her Vector Plates encircled around her and Franken Stein, who although armed with the Death Scythe Spirit Albarn risks injury should Medusa command even one plate to sweep her towards Stein or Stein towards her. Medusa is pleased that her victory is secured: Maka and Crona's fight shows the Black Blood "is finally complete," which promises her success once her team injects it into the Kishin.
Stein still wants to know, as he asked before, what Medusa will do with Crona upon resurrecting Asura. Medusa stares blankly, so Stein persists while Spirit, within his weapon, shakes with anger. Medusa calls Stein's question "boring": as she has abused her own child throughout raising them, Crona now lacks independence, which makes them a "failure" for her plans. Stein again asks what Medusa will do with her own child, but as he does so, he removes the cigarette from his mouth—and crushes it as he clenches his fist in anger.
Medusa chuckles, and Spirit finally speaks, demanding she stop. Medusa is amused that these two men want her to say what they already know: she will abandon Crona because she thinks it irrational to keep what is no longer valuable. If these two are so concerned, Medusa reasons, she can give them her "hand-me-down," perhaps for one of Stein's experiments. Stein's eyes twitch with anger as he shouts and begins to move towards Medusa—but he stops, as Spirit has transformed out of his weapon form, marched to Medusa, and seized her by her collar. Medusa is unimpressed, goading Spirit to speak despite his anger preventing him from forming the statement he wants to make. She knocks Spirit back with Vector Storm, not killing him but sending him onto his backside beside Stein. As his meister chastises him for his recklessness, Spirit begins crying, prompting more frustration from Stein at such immaturity. But Spirit counters that being a parent makes him realize that there is something unforgivable but unspeakable to abandon a child. Stein speaks for Spirit, explaining that a parent must have faith in their child, if the child is ever to receive faith from anyone. Spirit stands and announces that they will defeat Medusa—prompting Stein to reply sardonically that such was their plan anyway.
In the sand is a seashell, supporting Maka's assumption that this desert may once have been covered with water.
Crona's sense of themselves, appearing as a small child, asks now that they are here in the arid soul what they should do. Taking a stick, Crona draws a circle around themselves to cordon off as their own area. Kicking up sand, Crona does not know what to do next. Even the Sun is lifeless, its light hardly energetic as drool forms from its mouth as it sleeps. Therefore, Crona curls up their legs and decides to do nothing.
But as they sit, their shadow emerges with eyes and teeth. The shadow introduces itself as Crona, speaking in a voice like that of the teenage Crona and interested in asking the child some questions. The child seems to have expected this to happen, thinking that the shadow always comes to engage Crona in self-questioning when they sit to do nothing. When the child asks whether they may pass on questions, the shadow says it is up to Crona. First, the shadow asks for Crona's name—and is shocked that Crona passes. The shadow asks whether Crona will agree to the argument that Crona seems to engage in self-questioning in order to maintain sanity, especially when Crona is unable to answer the questions from other people. The child passes on answering this question as well, and with each question passed, a mark appears in the sand to count off these questions. The shadow is shocked, asking Crona whether they even consider this self-questioning; Crona again passes, and another mark forms in the sand. The shadow asks whether Crona expects to gain attention by acting like this, then asks whether Crona knows that no one cares about their suffering; Crona passes on this two-part question, marking a line to show five questions skipped.
The shadow tries changing topics, asking about the Little One Crona attacked, asking how Crona felt defeating it; Crona again passes. The shadow asks whether Crona felt better finally finding an opponent weaker than they are; Crona passes. The shadow assumes it is correct in its previous assumption, that Crona desired more power hence followed Medusa's instructions without question; Crona passes. The shadow says Crona is now much stronger, so it wants to know how Crona feels; Crona passes and draws five more lines in the sand.
Crona draws one line in the sand for each subsequent question, including whether getting stronger has driven away the Hell in their head. The shadow actually has a tear fall down its face, asking whether Crona will answer any question and whether not answering questions will enlarge the Hell in their head; Crona passes again. The shadow realizes Crona has passed on 41 questions, as more tears fall down the shadows face as it says Crona is the worst.
Crona realizes the shadow has never criticized them before and asks why the shadow persists hanging around them when it is the shadow that hurts other people around Crona and Crona themselves. Shocked that Crona thinks it is a split personality, the shadow corrects Crona: it is actually just an ordinary emotion that all persons have. But Crona just wants to escape. The shadow chastises Crona for repeatedly saying that they cannot deal with others, because such thinking is why Crona is now in self-denial. The shadow asks where Crona is trying to go—and Crona again passes. The shadow says it has had enough of this and will go on ahead without Crona, evaporating in the sand. With that, Crona picks up the stick to mark the forty-second line.
Then Crona remembers how Maka convinced them to introduce themselves by name—and begins sobbing, confused why they could answer with their name. To prove it to themselves, Crona announces again that they are the Demon Swordsman Crona. "I know," someone says—but it is not the shadow. Crona slowly lifts their head to see Maka, now a child around the same age as Crona, who growls. Crona stands and backs away in shock as Maka giggles and approaches to enter the circle. Crona holds up their hands, refusing entrance by claiming this space is their own. Maka expresses confusion and walks inside the circle anyway. Crona grows worried, confused how Maka could enter this space so easily and explaining they feel more at ease being inside the line so as not to deal with others. Now that Maka has entered, Crona no longer has the peace of mind when this line is shown to be only an imaginary barrier. Maka examines the line drawn in the sand—and kicks more sand over it, showing how easy it is to erase the line. Crona begs Maka to stop, but Maka persists. After Maka knocks the sand off herself, Crona stares in shock.
Death City Underground
Crona begins wailing, surprising Soul as he sees Crona rejecting the Black Blood, as it forms pulsating spikes along their body. Soul hears Maka call to him to pull her from the madness. The Little Ogre is surprised by these developments as Soul frees himself from the Black Blood and descends. Within this shared soul space with Maka, he falls towards a large body of water, and he is now clothed in a shirt and pants but barefooted. He lands atop the water, as if it were solid, and he sees Maka below. He reaches down—his finger struggling to move through this vicious material. Soul continues to push until his hand clasps Maka's wrist. With all of his strength, Soul pulls his meister from the water, and the madness, frustrating the Ogre.
Maka awakens in her body, seeing what has happened to Crona. Maka's eyes grow concerned as she sets her weapon down by a pillar. Soul realizes what his meister intends, as he warns her that approaching Crona will get her skewered on their Black Blood spikes. Maka simply smiles at her weapon and marches towards Crona. Crona shouts for everyone to stay away, a spike shooting from them—towards Maka, knocking back her left pigtail and slicing her neck. But Maka tells Crona not to be afraid and walks forward, the spikes sailing along Maka's body but not hitting her—until a force of these spikes pierce through Maka's abdomen, shocking Soul. Maka squints her eyes as she reassures Crona, collapsing onto Crona's body.
Crona stops screaming, and the spikes do not move. Still alive, Maka can sense Crona's wavelength, as she wraps her arms around them for a hug. As Crona remembers the abuse Medusa committed against them, Maka tells Crona that it is not that they cannot deal with people: it is that no one has interacted with Crona as a person. The needles are gone from Crona's body, none piercing into Maka, the meister seemingly uninjured despite the penetrating attack. As something within Maka's wavelength envelops Crona, they seem more lucid, remarking that it is okay to have been so mistreated, as they had given up on themselves anyway. Crona also realizes they are no longer needed, hence it would be better for them to disappear anyway. Maka closes her eyes and pulls back from her hug, producing a book from nowhere to Maka Chop, comparatively gently, Crona's head.
Maka removes her glove and extends a hand to offer friendship to Crona. Soul is shocked, then smiles, as his own meister puts on a large grin for her new friend. Crona cannot put out there hand, sobbing and unable to believe why someone would be their friend when they do not know how to deal with other people. But within their soul, the child Crona can see the child Maka also extending a hand of friendship, and Crona takes it with a smile that forms on their shadows as well. And that friendship brings water back into Crona's soul, causes a seashell to sparkle in the sunlight.
Outside of their souls, in their own body, Crona clasps Maka's hand to accept her friendship. Soul, transformed back into his human form, sits by a pillar to watch with a small smile. As he considers the fear of interacting with other people, he imagines his meister, as well as friends like Blair, Black Star, Tsubaki, Kid, and the Thompson sisters, and thinks how he too is afraid.
Manga and Anime Differences
- In Chapter 19, Crona stabs Maka in the forehead with Ragnarok, the Black Blood from Soul preventing any injury to Maka. In Episode 21, Crona never stabs Ragnarok into Maka's forehead.
- In both the Japanese subtitles and the English dub from Funimation, Medusa refers to Crona as an "it" and "a hand-me-down," indicating how little humanity she sees in her own child.
- The lines in the sand show one line, then two, then skip to four lines.
- In the original Japanese, upon meeting Crona in their soul, Maka growls. In the Funimation English dub, Maka says, "Hello," elongating the "o" sound.
- This episode includes a special version of the closing credits: rather than showing Maka walking to the park to meet Soul, the credits show Maka's child self holding hands to walk with Crona. But as Crona keeps their head down, Maka smiles wider until Crona's fingers tighten around Maka's hand and they continue their walk.
- In the teaser for the next episode, Kid is worried how to catch up to Eruka and Free. Liz recommends Stein's new invention, jet engine sneakers. Kid complains that their design looks like assembled junk and worries whether they have been tested, but Liz puts the shoes onto Kid and turns them on, causing an explosion. Kid concludes, "Symmetry is perfection."
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