One of the key factors to take note upon watching this episode is the relationship between Rea and her family. From the audience point of view, most cannot help but feel some form of sympathy for her, moreso, sympathy and analysis of the family as a whole. Before she entered the dining room, Rea had to prepare herself for a change in personality before confronting with them. There seems to be a rather sadistic (for lack of word), rather over-protective aura is covered with a smile on his face and his calm words. However, even his smile is much more of a lie than appears to be his own self satisfaction rather than Rea’s. Her mother, or should I say stepmother, seems not to care about Rea at all. Her eyes seem to be cold when directed at her, and there does not seem to be the maternal love that should happen between that of mother and daughter. It is almost like a game of charades, in which the one who beaks down loses.
Certainly, one cannot help but attempt to understand what is going on with the mind of the father. In his perspective, he seems to believe he has given everything Rea needs and wishes to perfect her into the image that he wanted to. Rea takes this as disgust. His words and power are like a cage not only to her heart, but also to her entire body. She sees herself as chained to the ideals of her father. The love that he gives her is the true poison of her heart. She wanted out of her father’s grasp. She wishes to make her own decisions, choose whom to be with, and, most of all, have the freedom to be away from her father’s status. Rea would make the attempt to escape after hearing that her father was going to castrate Chihiro. The stepmother, who sees her secretly leaving, seems to have a smile of her face. The smile is seen to be that of satisfaction that she is out of the way. It looks like her stepmother is there for the material wealth that her father owns, as shown that she was disheveled and holding a glass and bottle of red wine while drunk.
The hydrangea is almost symbolic in this series. Although Babo is physically himself, mentally, it does not appear to be so. Babo looks to be searching for something, and no matter how many time Chihiro tries to get his attention, he does not pay notice to it. Chihiro would ditch class trying to figure out what Babo was searching for as it ran away from them. Ranko decides to follow him despite having morning practice herself. Mero, Chihiro’s younger sister, would tell her grandfather that Chihiro was chasing after a Babo imposter, but her grandfather was actually glad that Babo came back to life, causing Mero to become very curious.
Apparently, the place in which Babo was supposedly going to as a garden full of hydrangea plants. Babo was seen eating a hydrangea leaf, supposedly poisonous to the body if consumed. Babo oes not seem to mind it as much. It could mean that zombies would need to eat hydrangea leaves in order to extend their life. If that were true, then it could possibly hint that Chihiro’s grandfather is a zombie himself, since Chihiro claimed that his grandfather ate some hydrangea leaves before and was not poisoned by it. Chihiro also observed that Rea’s mansion was not too far away from the garden as well and remembers that this was the exact place that she was trying to get the hydrangea plant from. This could mean that the abandoned bowling alley was not as far away from her mansion as he would think.
This will all be past his mind when he sees that Rea was walking along the cliff near the garden. Apparently, her father was behind her and wanted her to return home immediately. For the first time, Rea would physically refuse, asking for freedom. Her father asks her what kind of freedom does she want, much to her shock because “freedom” was a different concept in her mind that his. Or maybe it is because he feels that the term is too broad to have specifics. Unsatisfied with her null response, he forcefully brings her home, but Babo actually jumps to her rescue, as he is able to sense Rea’s presence despite being a zombie. Her father would attack Babu, but Rea covered him just in time before Babu was hit. However, Rea slips in the process, causing her to call, break her neck, and have a branch cut through her stomach. Rea lies on the hydrangea field, now tainted with her blood and guts. Chihiro would be paralyzed by the sight, but Rea would come back to life despite having such a like-taking wound. Chihiro was surprised, not remembering ever giving her the potion to drink. However, Rea and now turned to a living zombie right before his eyes. As promised, Rea wanted him to take care of her in her zombie form. Having no other choice, he agreed to take care of her for the time being.
For me, this series had a smooth and decent starting point of the series and the main episode for pinpointing the fact that things truly start to begin from here on out. I am actually quite surprised by how well this series has turned out for me. I hope it keeps up with this type of direction as the anime progresses.