Oh look, a Kuro epsiode…………..YESSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!
Ahem. So pretty much like an Aletta episode, I was looking forward to an episode about Kuro. I knew it was inevitable but I still couldn’t help myself getting excited.
Right at the start of the episode, Kuro is greeted by an acquaintance, the Red Queen (that dragon lady who loves beef stew). As we’ve learned in Episode 1, the Red Queen considers Nekoya and its employees a “treasure”. Since she only appears at the very end of the day, she tasks Kuro protect Tenshu and Aletta from any threats in her stead. Kuro obliges since she can hide her presence with magic and shares the sentiment to keep her boss and coworker safe. And really, a dragon girl who can kill you with her subconscious sounds awfully qualified to be a bodyguard.
It is admittedly a little silly Kuro would ever have to protect Nekoya. Most of the customers just want to enjoy good food and whenever there is a fight, it’s over the pettiest thing possible. And as it turns out, the most threatening thing that she needs to face is a pair of really annoying sirens. Yeah, I won’t lie: these two are perhaps my least favorite customers so far. I give them a slight pass since they’re innocent and unfamiliar with human society but man are they just dumb. Also, if you’re going to have sirens sing, at least make them sing well. Still, this segment does show that Kuro is good on her word as she warns the sirens to not sing since Tenshu and Aletta are vulnerable to its effects.
I find the amount of care Kuro exhibits a bit interesting when you consider the fact that neither Tenshu nor Aletta really know who she is. The most they know is that she’s an “elf” who communicates telepathically and loves chicken curry rice a bit too much. Beyond that, Kuro is a bit of an enigma to them and they might not realize how much Kuro cares about them. That lack of knowing Kuro is perhaps what drives that glance Tenshu gives her at the start of the episode (something which discomforted Kuro). While Tenshu is hardly one to pry answers out of visitors, he does at least hope Kuro could open up to him more.
Part of me wonders if those curry buns was some grand scheme on Tenshu’s part to make Kuro feel more welcomed. It certainly got Kuro’s curry senses tingling (I guess anything with curry will grab her attention) and for the first time, she eats dinner with Tenshu and Aletta. Kuro doesn’t take part in any conversation but seeing her take some more buns before Aletta could hog them really suggests that she’s beginning to socialize more.
Even more progress is being made when Kuro and Aletta part ways after the end of the day. Technically, Aletta wishing Kuro a safe journey home is unnecessary. Kuro lives on the moon for crying out loud and even if aliens did exist in the other world, it’s highly unlikely they could harm her. But rather than brush Aletta’s concern, Kuro returns the feeling and tells her to be safe too. Oh, and Kuro says this VOCALLY. Seriously, my mind was blown; it finally happened! The best part is that there is no reaction from Aletta at this sudden change of events. She just says goodbye and leaves Nekoya. That lack of reaction seems awfully intentional on the writer’s part. Of course Aletta wouldn’t bat an eye because she considers Kuro a friend of hers; Kuro speaking just seemed normal to her.
Speaking of Kuro and Aletta I have previously compared the two as opposites back in my Episode 7 post. After watching this episode, I found myself comparing them again. Evidently, Aletta and Kuro didn’t become rivals like I originally suspected. I guess Aletta’s worries of being replaced vanished pretty darn quickly. But what I have noticed is that they both experience a sort of social emergence at Nekoya. Aletta has always been friendly but working at Nekoya has helped her escape from the prejudice that has dictated her life for so long. For Kuro, the situation is sort of in reverse. She’s never had to deal with any sort of oppression and Nekoya instead helps her escape from her isolation and interact with people more. It’s a similar effect albeit played differently for each girl. There is one experience these two do experience however; at Nekoya, they both end up happier as a result.