Since we had a two week gap between episodes (though they were nice enough to include a 45 minute recap episode for the whole series last week), let’s start this review off with a brief recap shall we?  Shuichiro has taken the crystal that started the whole Apocalypse Virus outbreak in the first place and is using some sort of radio wave device to essentially finish what he started ten years ago during the first Lost Christmas.  The Undertakers were in the midst of attempting to take it from Shuichiro when Gai was overcome by the virus being suppressed in his body and became weakened as Inori tried to fend off the virus from killing everyone in Roppongi by singing a song that seems to be linked to the stone – or something else entirely – in some way.  Shu arrives with the help of his friends and their Voids and is reunited with Inori, only to be ambushed by a blond boy who also has the King’s Mark.  The boy tries to kill Shu, but he’s saved by Gai, who steps in at the last second and takes the blow for him.  And that’s where our next episode picks up!  As Shu is holding Gai and begging him not to die, we see Shuichiro and Makoto walking down some sort of corridor and we learn that all of Roppongi Fort was a phantasm created by one girl’s heart: Mana Ouma.  Shuichiro hands Makoto the Void data he wanted but tells him that he is no longer needed and cannot accompany him any further.  It seems as though Makoto got what he wanted, but what he plans on doing with it, we’re not sure.  Heading back to where Shu and Gai are, Shu is staring at Gai and finally really notices the cross he has always been wearing.  After a series of flashbacks, it dawns on him who Gai truly is and the fact that he’s known him for almost ten years.  But before Shu can completely remember who Gai is and what their connection is, Gai turns his attention to the blond man holding Inori’s unconscious body.  He calls him the Daath grave keeper, though neither Shu nor I know what that means.  As the man and Inori begin to drift away, Gai urges Shu to follow them, saying that they plan on sacrificing Inori to re-awaken Mana.  Shu follows the man and is able to use his King’s Mark to gain access to the dimension/realm that Daath is taking Inori to.

However, before he’s able to truly follow them and rescue Inori, the grave keeper tells Shu that if he’s to truly understand, he must uncover his lost memories.  It’s at this point that we get a nice, lengthy flashback that fills in a lot of gaps and answers a ton of questions.  As it turns out, Mana was Shu’s older sister and was the first one to touch the stone, though no one truly knew the results that could happen to her.  On a summer vacation to Oshima, Mana shows Shu her secret spot, but Shu notices something – or someone – floating in the sea below them.  The two venture down there and find out that it’s a young boy, whom Mana performs CPR on and helps resuscitate.  The boy – who turns out to be a young Gai – awakens and Shu asks him what his name was, but Mana decides to call Gai “Triton” since he came to her from the sea.  Gai seems a bit confused by Mana’s actions, but is welcomed into their home by Shu’s mother and the summer proceeds happily.  As it turns out, Shu was quite the daredevil as a child and was even more brave that Gai was at that point in time.  The two quickly bonded and Shu is able to remember that Gai is the only person he was ever truly able to call his best friend.  At this point, we return to the present time when Shu arrives at the alter that the grave keeper has taken Inori too.  She’s bound by some weird crystals and has what appears to be a veil over her face.  Shuichiro is standing before her, preparing to take her as his bride.  Shu demands that Shuichiro give Inori back to him, but the older man laughs, saying that Inori isn’t truly Shu’s.  As it turns out, she was more or less a vessel for Mana’s soul to live in while they figured out a way to bring Mana back to the living.  Shuichiro goes on to explain that in a sense, Mana is Eve since she was the first one infected with the Apocalypse Virus and started it all.  Her soul is being poured into Inori’s body and once the ceremony is complete, Mana will be able to walk the world of the living once again.  Shuichiro also explains that with Mana’s return to a body, the second coming of the Lost Christmas will occur and he needs to be there to witness it.


As Shuichiro approaches Inori, Shu tries to break free of his confines but is suddenly surrounded by the same crystals that are holding Inori upright.  Daath tells him to stay put because Shuichiro is about to propose to Mana through Inori.  Shu seems a bit confused, so Daath goes on to explain that Mana’s chosen partner will become the progenitor of the next generation and the new human race.  Shu doesn’t seem to want to believe it, but the conversation stirs up another ring of memories for him and we get another flashback scene!  We see Shu and Mana as children at the summer retreat where Mana asks Shu if he’ll be lonely if she ever marries.  Shu asks her who she’s planning on marrying and she says someone, maybe even Gai.  Shu protests this (likely because Gai is his only friend) and Mana hugs him, saying that she’s never marry Gai because he looked at her with “adult eyes”.  She goes on to say that Shu is welcome to look at her that way (which only confuses the poor kid even more) before saying that she loves him and wants to marry him.  When she kisses Shu – like, full-on kissing – we see a minor flashback moment to the night before when Gai confronts Mana about the spots on her neck.  He warns her that his dad said that the virus in the rock she touched can make people go crazy, but this only causes Mana to have a mental breakdown.  She ends up binding Gai’s arms and feet and tells him that since she’s the one who saved his life, he is hers to do with as she pleases.  Gai is completely thrown off guard by this and isn’t sure what to say, especially when Mana goes on to say that she’s going to marry Shu and that no one will stand in her way of that.  After that flashback is over, we’re back to the present where Shu is desperately trying to get to Inori and stop the “marriage” that could bring about the end of the world.  Somehow, Mana is present and she summons these weird eyeball things and tells Shu that he has no right to get angry because he was the one that shunned her in the first place.  Just as Shu is about to be killed by the crystals/eyeball things, Gai and Ayase show up and manage to break Shu free from the crystal’s grip.  Ayase tries to fight, but the crystals overpower her and Gai commands Tsumugi to bail Ayase out before she was killed.  As that’s going on, the stone has turned into two rings and Daath has stated that the Spiral Nuptials are about to commence.

Gai hurriedly tells Shu that he needs to remember what happened that day, but Shu doesn’t know what he’s talking about.  Gai tells him that on Lost Christmas, they were all in Tokyo and Gai had asked Shu to meet him at the church in Ruppongi so that he could tell him about the real Mana.  But instead of Shu showing up, Mana did.  Gai is nervous at first until Mana hands him a present.  The present turns out to be a gun and some ammo; Mana asks Gai to protect her, but he has to prove himself by shooting the star off of the Christmas tree first (it’s here that we notice Mana’s eyes turning red and that she’s obviously being controlled by the virus).  Gai hesitantly agrees, but when he shoots at the star it somehow bounces back and hits him instead.  Mana tells Gai that she’s sorry because she really did love him, but laughs and says she was only joking.  It’s at this point that Shu finally arrives and rushes to Triton’s side, but Mana asks him to join her so that they can create a new world using their genes.  As she approaches him, Shu becomes scared and shoves her away, calling her a monster.  This sets Mana off and her powers release and set the church on fire, but Mana seems to return to her old self.  She calls out to Shu, telling him not to be scared because she’s scared that she’s turning into someone else.  Gai tackles Shu and covers him as Mana’s powers go out of control and start the Lost Christmas epidemic.  Mana eventually destroyed her body with her own out-of-control powers and Shu seems to finally remember everything.  Though he feels immense guilt about not being able to help his sister back then, he and Gai decide that the least they can do is help her now.  Something starts glowing around Shu – which also destroys the crystals and eyeball things – and Daath comments on how now that Shu’s memories’ shackles are undone he’s able to enter into the New King Mode.  Using this, he retrieves Gai’s Void and the two split up and start fighting their way up the steps; Gai towards Mana and Shu towards Inori.  Gai’s Void turns out to be one that forces other people’s Voids to come out and he uses it on Inori, which breaks the “wedding” between herself and Shuichiro.  Shu is able to grab her Void and between himself and Gai, they’re able to essentially kill Mana before she’s able to take over Inori’s body.  Shu ends up killing Gai in the process, but Gai said that he wanted to die protecting him and Mana as well as reminding Shu that he can become like him any time he wants because Gai strove to be more like Shu after Lost Christmas.  Shu and Inori are able to make it out of the crumbling building safely, though Shuichiro is killed off by Daath himself.  Once back in the normal realm, Inori awakens and tells Shu that Gai was happy because she could hear him saying “thank you” as he was dying.  This brings Shu to tears and the two comfort each other.


Opinions:  I must say, this was one hell of a episode!  It feels like they really pulled out all of the stops for this one.  We not only learned everything about Mana – as well as Shu and Inori’s connection to her – but how Gai knew about Shu from the beginning.  At times, it was an odd episode (especially when Mana said she wanted to marry Shu) but it was clear that it was the virus controlling her and not her own will.  Seeing how she essentially evolved into Eve was interesting to see, as well as how she continued to interact with Shu and Gai.  Learning who Gai was in relation to Shu was really touching, especially since it showed how much Shu influenced and altered Gai’s life.  It was really sad to watch Shu have to kill Gai, even if it was for the best.  I have to wonder though, does this mean that Shu was Mana’s “true” chosen partner?  I have a feeling that it might have something to do with their genes or something.  Two thumbs up, Production I.G.  You done good!

Score: A+/A+

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As a 22-year old gamer chick, anime/manga addict and all around geek, Nagi is one of the prized members of the Anime Evo family! She likes any sort of genre so long as the artwork is shiny and the plot good (it also doesn’t hurt to have some fan-service and gore either!) and will give any anime or manga at shot.

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