The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan – Episode 12

Things are gettin’ weird. New Nagato (or, well, Old Old Nagato) has been firmly established now, and so the show has apparently decided it’s already time to start relentlessly messing with her. That messing was depicted in this episode through a wide array of unnerving visual tricks, along with a narrative that kept hammering in her very understandable fear of being erased by Old Nagato’s return. The show can’t stick only in this off-kilter space forever, but it’s really making the most of it so far. I’m excited to see where it goes from here, which is certainly not something I could have said a few weeks ago.

Here’s my full ANN post. Notes below!

The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan

Nagato and Kyon at the library

Kyon making small talk to the wall

Current Nagato absolutely loves the library

These peaceful horn and string tracks and the really saturated lighting

Peaceful afternoon montage as Kyon takes a nap

“Let me get to a good spot to stop.” Getting some nice personality from new Nagato here, and a bunch of faces

Kyon mentions getting a library card, and Nagato “remembers” she had one. Tense cut that conceals her eyes, as the moment echoes the original

“This is the place where he and the other Nagato first met.” Weird static

You can tell other Nagato by her body language immediately in this flashback

Nagato watching herself in a flashback

“Her personality that’s sleeping inside me might be waking up little by little, too.”

“If she completely wakes up, what will happen to me?”

Looking at the image of the fireworks festival, which other Nagato was so excited about. “Such a meddler”

“Would you like to wear them now?” No, she doesn’t, because they’re a symbol of the other self

A very low-key identity crisis

So she’s beginning to be more self-conscious around Kyon again

Yep, she’s bashful around Kyon now

“I’m not my usual self today. Why did I refuse to wear her glasses?” The book shelves do a great job of framing these characters, either pushing them together or marking them as trapped between bending walls

“I don’t have enough data. There’s no doubt that dreaming about her memories triggered it.”

“What I am experiencing right now belongs to me.”

“You’re such a meddler… in a good way.”

And this Nagato is able to directly say “thank you”

More unnerving static shots

This last sequence with the dream dissolving into static as the piano builds is great

“Is it possible if her consciousness continues to come back, I’ll disappear?”

2 thoughts on “The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan – Episode 12

  1. It seems like the show violated the number 1 journalistic rule: don’t bury the lede.

    Also, if you like the themes expressed here, you might enjoy Dollhouse, which also begins to explore what it means when a new consciousness/soul in a stolen body has to come to terms with what they consider reality, if they count themselves as real, if that matter, and what happens if returning the body means their erasure. It also examines the link between memory, personality, and identity.
    And you won’t have to sit through 8 episodes of mediocre SoL filler to get to thematic exploration! (Just 5 episodes of well-constructed popcorn action. But even then, it includes hints at the thematic concerns.)

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