Part 78: Episode 18 - Despair Side, Episode 9: Chisa Yukizome Doesn't Smile
We rejoin our Despair Side shenanigans with Chiaki talking to Izuru, saying that while his hair is different, he looks like Hajime.
Izuru just replies with a "you talk as if you know me", which really throws Chiaki for a loop.
Junko then inserts herself into the conversation, first showing Chiaki that she knows a lot about her...
...and then attempting to get Chiaki to watch the despair video by flattering her. However!
Chisa's got a fire extinguisher, and she's not afraid to use it! She tosses it at Junko, though Junko manages to dodge it, quipping "You can't hit me with detention like a normal teacher?", which is a pretty good line. The fire extinguisher then fills the room with mist.
Chisa attempts to grab Nagito and run, but she then spots Izuru, which causes her to freeze in her tracks. Instead, she tells Chiaki to take Nagito and run. Chiaki hesitates, but Chisa tells her that no matter if they're in the classroom or not, she is her teacher, and she can leave this to her.
So while Chiaki manages to escape with Nagito...
...Chisa faces off with Junko and Izuru. Junko introduces herself and Izuru to Chisa, which causes Chisa to realize just who she's dealing with here. Junko doesn't sugarcoat things and just straight comes out with it that she plans to turn Chisa and her class to despair, and she won't even have to hunt the class down, since they'll immediately jump at the opportunity to save their teacher...
...and indeed, as Chiaki arrives back at the class, she immediately tells them Chisa is in trouble and they need to help her.
Mikan also shows up, ready to save Chisa. Yep. That's totally her objective here. She's brought Peko along, who looks a bit worse for wear after her fight with Mukuro. Fuyuhiko runs to Peko's side, but Peko just tells him to run away, which is probably a good idea, which is why they're not going to do it.
Meanwhile, Junko explains that she's going to use brainwashing to turn Chisa and her class to despair, and she has a little example here to show off her brainwashing capabilities.
In comes what I presume to be a Reserve Course student. What's he going to do?
...well. If you guessed "kill himself with a hacksaw while screaming about how he doesn't want to do this mixed in with screams of agony"... you're kinda fucked up. I like it.
Chisa tries to intervene but finds herself restrained by Mukuro, and thus is forced to watch as somebody kills himself right before her eyes. You know what the fun thing is? This isn't the fucked up part of the episode. Ahahahaha.
So as blood splatters all over the room, Junko fantasizes about how great it's going to be after she turns Chisa's class into Ultimate Despairs themselves. I like the touch of Junko being so excited she actually starts drooling.
Back at class, they seem to have gotten their plan together and seem ready to rescue Chisa.
Nagito, however, is of a different opinion. He believes that Junko's and Izuru's despair is too great for them to even compete - that going up against them is essentially a suicide mission. They will die.
That puts a good bit of doubt into the rest of the class.
So it then falls to Chiaki to give them a pep talk about how Chisa would try to save them in a heartbeat, talking about how Chisa was the one that allowed her to become friends with all the others, that kind of stuff. That gets everybody else fired up again. Of course, since we all know how this is going to end, this scene gives off a somewhat different feel.
Also, the Imposter reveals himself as, well, the Imposter. Strangely, it's kind of a minor point.
Nagito then talks usual Nagito stuff about how they passed the test and how their hope will obviously be greater than the despair. Phew, for a second there I thought Nagito would've actually, like, said something sensible.
However, Nagito can't even really get up right now. So to take care of that, Sonia orders Kazuichi to carry Nagito, which he immediately jumps at the opportunity to do. The class is united and ready to march towards certain doom. Hooray!
Meanwhile, somewhere else, Kyosuke and Juzo can't reach Chisa for obvious reasons.
Kyosuke suspects that Junko is hiding something and figures she's behind all the recent fuckery, but he's a few steps behind at this rate. Note that Junko was allowed into Hope's Peak via the Board and not the scouting. Juzo declares he's going to drag Junko in for an interrogation and "doesn't hear" Kyosuke saying not to go too hard on her as he heads out. Kyosuke also declares he will have revenge on Junko.
Now, welcome to the real fun part of the episode. Looks like somebody's getting a special presentation of the despair video. Who is it?
Well, I think you figured that much out.
But while they're giving the Ludovico technique a good shot, it doesn't seem to be working on Chisa while it did on Mikan. Of course, that can be easily explained by the fact that Mikan isn't exactly a shining example of mental health.
Junko leaves Mukuro to try and break Chisa herself, and so Mukuro consults the enclosed instruction book. It suggests introducing external stimuli if the procedure fails to bring results. So, uh, how do you guys feel about knitting?
How do you guys feel about brain knitting?
So, uh, yeah. Mukuro straight jabs the needles into Chisa's head and starts some serious amateur brain surgery shit. And as such, we are treated to the wonderous sounds of Mukuro poking around in Chisa's brain mixed with Chisa begging for what is essentially her life. Some real fucking pleasant shit, let me tell you.
And as we get a representation of Chisa's memories in the form of a picture of Kyosuke burning up...
...it's finished. This, again, is one of those scenes that are far harder to watch than they are to read described by me. Just look at the reactions in the thread to me announcing shit will get worse in this episode. I'm not the only one that thinks this scene was some really fun shit. To note, this my second of three "Jesus Christ this is fucked" scenes. The third one is still coming up, and guess what? It's the worst one! Now doesn't that just fill you with desp- uh, I mean, excitement?
Izuru is not impressed, and even calls it pedestrian. Well, fuck you too, Izuru, you jaded fuck.
Meanwhile, the class is trying to get to Chisa, hoping they're not too late. Of course, we know the answer to that, and it ain't good.
Also not good? The Reserve Course protest is blocking their path. Now, this is bad enough on a "they're blocking them from getting to the statue" level.
What makes it worse is the Reserve Course deciding that, well, if all of those Main Course people were to die, somebody would have to move up, right?
Gundham and Nekomaru stay behind to deal with this while the rest take a different route.
Somewhere else, Ryota also found himself pursued by Reserve Course students, and, well, didn't fare so well. However, they don't seem to be doing anything, and that's because they're waiting to let somebody through. That somebody?
Junko, of course!
She's here to say her goodbyes to Ryota. Literally, not figuratively (i.E. in the "I'm going to murder you" way).
So Junko fangirls a bit about how much Ryota's brainwashing techniques helped her spruce up that despair video of hers, and about how she's going to make Ryota's entire class watch it, and, well, Ryota isn't dealing with it too well. He keeps insisting that he just wanted to create a better world with those techniques and that he was forced to do what he did.
Junko kind of agrees! Indeed, he hasn't been responsible at all the moment they met - he could just run away and nobody would blame him at all!
And then, she tells him to run. Run, and live with the despair that while nobody else will ever know of his role in the Incident, he will know exactly what he did. And as Junko skullfucks the world, he'll be able to see it all fall apart, and it's all because of him. Note - not an actual quote. There's some weird shit being said in this dub, but skullfucking isn't one of them.
And run he does, having his mind now completely fucked by Junko.
But then, Junko notices that somebody beat up some of those Reserve Course students. That somebody?
Juzo, of course. He demands Junko head to the principal's office.
Meanwhile, Ryota is, well, still running. No aim, no logic. Just pants-shitting amounts of fear and despair, running in the straightest line away from Junko possible.
As a result, his running has him falling straight into a river.
And as he sinks, all he can think of is how much of a fool he was for believing he could use his talents to make the world a better place.
He does however not drown - obviously, since we'd kinda be fucking the timeline if he did - but washes up on a riverbank.
And there, in his most dignified moment possible, he beats himself up about running away and not fighting back. He tries to get up, tries to be brave once in his life, and immediately falls back flat on his face. And thus, Ryota concludes he's nothing but a weakling. This is something Despair Side should've been full of. Junko completely and utterly fucking people's minds up. This is something that the games also failed to show enough of for my tastes. Just systematically tearing away piece by piece at a victim's mind until nothing but a cracked shell remains. To somebody who knows what Junko is capable of, squaring up with her mentally should be utterly terrifying. I never really got that impression from her other appearances, but this gives a glimpse of what should've been.
And speaking of Junko, she's having a bit of a faceoff with Juzo. She mocks him and Kyosuke for only now figuring out she's behind everything...
...and Juzo gets ready to bust some faces in. However, that will have to wait.
Meanwhile, the class has arrived at the secret staircase.
Chiaki says she has this feeling in her stomach that there's still time to get the best ending in this RPG. Oh, sunshine, if only you knew...
Mikan then takes Chiaki aside as the rest of the group continues down the staircase. Mikan says she doesn't quite understand Chiaki - how she used to be so quiet, but then suddenly became the centerpoint of the class, the glue that holds the class together. And then, she asks one thing of Chiaki... that she forgives her.
And with that, she shoves Chiaki down a secret passageway.
It seems that Chiaki was knocked out by the fall. As she wakes up, she finds...
...Chisa! Oh, what a joyous reunion!
Chisa explains that after Chiaki ran away, Izuru (well, "that long-haired boy") let her go, and that it seems like Izuru isn't their enemy. But now, they need to find the rest of the class.
And that's the episode. Quite a turn of events, no? Next time, on the Future Side, it will be time for the great collision between hope... and other hope. ...doesn't sound that impressive, does it?
What the fuck just happened?: Chisa interrupts the Junko/Izuru/Chiaki/Nagito shenanigans from last time, allowing Chiaki and Nagito to escape. That however allows Junko to capture Chisa and subject her to the despair video. That plus some creative brain surgery by Mukuro seem to have broken Chisa. We also learn that Junko has been using brainwashing to get the Reserve Course students completely under her control. Meanwhile, the class, including Mikan, who had come back, attempts to rescue Chisa and sets out to do so. Junko catches up with Ryota, who had been attempting to run away, and breaks his mind completely, sending him running away in complete terror. Juzo then finds Junko and attempts to take her in - the result of which we'll only get later. Back at the secret stairway under the statue, Mikan takes an opportunity to get Chiaki alone and shoves her down a secret passage. When Chiaki wakes up from being knocked out by the fall, she finds herself together with Chisa, who seems to be the same old Chisa... kinda. Ominous mystery ensues.