.hack//Liminality

Season 3 Episode 1

In the Case of Kyoko Tohno

Aired Unknown Sep 09, 2003 on
8.6
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Episode Summary

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In the Case of Kyoko Tohno
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In Hida, Takayama, Junichiro finally meets up with Kyoko (who is first mentioned at the end of the second OAV) and during their conversation, Kyoko's phone starts ringing - it's a message from Helba. Helba says that she wants to talk to Kyoko about the recent events in The World. If interested, they are to meet at the "place where the carpenter's daughter sleeps". Junichiro knows Helba as a notorious hacker, while Kyoko says that The Queen of Darkness is a strategist with a reservoir of information in the Epitaph of Twilight, and more ingenious that Apeiron, the King of Light. She doesn't like the idea of a hacker using Helba's name as a cover, and then knowing exactly when she and Junichiro were to meet. Further, a rumor has it that delving too deep into the Epitaph causes strange things to happen - like "The 100th Tale in the 100 Stories". They've gone to the Takayama Green Hotel to talk in the lobby, and Junichiro gets paged for a phone call at the front desk. Things are getting eerie, since he hadn't told anyone he was coming out here. He returns from the call annoyed - a man calling himself "Bith the Black", and working for Helba - had asked how dedicated he was to getting answers. Bith is Helba's retainer in the Epitaph. Kyoko mentions that they're being watched physically, and not just inside the net. So she wants to follow the clues to get answers in order to confront Helba. Bith tells them to go to "The place where the carpenter's daughter sleeps." Kyoko knows that this is an ancient pagoda, where the designer was rumored to have killed his daughter and buried her beneath the building. While they look around, Mai calls saying that she doesn't understand Junichiro's e-mail. It says "please go to the place closely related to Sadako", and had just arrived from him a minute ago. Junichiro tells Kyoko that this seems to be Helba's way of letting them know that Mai and possibly Yuki are under surveillance. Kyoko wonders if these events has anything to do with the Epitaph of Twilight. Kyoko explains that the Epitaph is about a race of sprites that don't cast shadows, and are being devoured by a force called the "Cursed Wave". The sprites face extinction until Helba, the Queen of Darkness, and Apeiron, the King of Light join forces to slow the advance of the Wave. A legend holds that three beings with shadows will set out in search of the Twilight Dragon at the wavering peninsula at the edge of the world. The beings are 1 human and two half-sprites that can cast shadows. They are assisted by two allies: Philly the White, and Bith the Black. As they leave their location, they are watched by a man in a taxi, and approached by an old woman with a message: Dual-sided Demon Victory Wish. The woman leaves, and Junichiro catches a glimpse of the man as the taxi drives off. The Dual-sided Demon is at Senko Temple, a statue attributed to a warrior a long time ago who had 2 heads, four arms and four legs, representing both good and evil in the same body. After a little while, Kyoko's father drives up and offers to give her and Junichiro a ride on his way home from a meeting. In the car, Kyoko's father comments that someone else had also asked about the Epitaph of Twilight earlier in the day. The meeting her father is coming home from was with an out-of-towner who's wanted him to translate the entire Epitaph (and was the man Junichiro had seen in the taxi). Her father had turned down the job, not just because of the rumored danger in it, but that no one knows what the original text is. Kyoko's father got the business card of the other guy - Ichiro Sato, but they think its probably a fake name. At the shrine, Kyoko says that Emma and Harald knew each other but were just acquaintances. She then tells a story about Harald and Emma. Yuki then calls Kyoko, complaining about the weird e-mail Kyoko just sent her. Kyoko makes up a story about it, and asks Yuki to read the e-mail to her. It says, "The cross of smoke rises, lake of water sprite." They continue on to East Hongan Temple, Takayama Branch, which had caught fire several times over the centuries, but once the rising smoke had formed the shape of a cross. Nearby is a lake where water sprites (or water spouts, I'm not sure which) appear. Bith the Black is waiting for them at a scenic overlook by the lake. He acknowledges that Ichiro Sato is a fake name, but names are just symbols - your screen name and your real name may be different, they still stand for the same thing. Bith stands in for Helba, who has many clients. He adds that hackers also make excellent security analysts and cyber investigators. Bith tells them that Harald had based Fragment on the Epitaph, but if the game was just modeled on the world-view of the poem, it would not have produced the chaos taking place in The World now. What he really did was to "bring the outside into the inside". And now, the boundaries are wavering. Kyoko explains that there are combinations of two things - religion and secular, black and white, true and false - which can not be fully separated. This means that there's an area where the concepts blur and become ambiguous (the gray area). The boy Kasumi lived in the outside world, but in the game he was Sieg. His body was in Kanazawa when he lost consciousness, but he'd been playing inside the game at the time. So the question becomes "where was his consciousness at? The inside, or the outside?" You could make an argument either way. To make the distinction stick, you need to use force, but you have to understand the boundaries of the two elements first. In anthropology, the name for the nature of boundaries is "Liminality". Biff says that the answer is simple - you separate the outside from the inside; or, you learn to become autonomous from the inside world. Unfortunately, the outside world that Harald brought into the game is also autonomous and hasn't become fully assimilated. If that's the case, then all Bith and company need to do is "help it along". To do this, Junichiro has to commit to the project and not waver any more. They have to take actions that, in the worst case, would result in they're being labeled criminals and wanted for arrest. Junichiro wavers, but Kyoko wants in. Junichiro asks what would happen if they acted like he hadn't been told the truth. Bith answers that CC Corp. is planning on destroying the servers and burying all the problems in total obscurity, causing the clues to saving the coma victims to be lost. Bith gets into his taxi, saying that they'll next meet on Christmas Eve in Urayasu. The taxi drives off. Kyoko is happy; she knows where she is going now, adding "this is MY game".moreless

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