In Volume 4 of Kurau Phantom Memory, we follow Kurau and Christmas as an unhappy accident allows them a little breathing space. The ship they are on (a freighter piloted by Jose, the man Kurau saved many episodes ago) is boarded by pirates, even as the GPO closes in. In the intervening tragedy, it appears as if Kurau and Christmas have been destroyed, although in truth, they have not.
They head for the Alps, where Kurau grew up with her aunt and uncle. In a flashback, her separation from her father for all those years is explained. And for a little while, the two girls are happy and safe.
The GPO, having captured all the rogue Rynasapiens that they know of, is bored. Ayaka wishes for something to do, when they are drawn into a scandal of a sort. In their infinite wisdom, The Powers That Be are doing experiements on humans, “infecting” them with Rynax energy. And you just *know* they’re doing that for the good of all mankind, dontcha?
One of their experiments, Yvon, escapes after losing it when his pair is sent back to whereever they come from and he’s left alone. Because he is looking for Rynax, he naturally tracks down Kurau and Christmas and just as naturally, drags the GPO after him.
Yvon, desperate to be paired, first challenges Kurau for Christmas, but when Christmas rejects him and says that she would die without Kurau, leaves and tries to commit suicide.
Only, he doesn’t succeed. He’s found by Jessica, a girl who lost her parents to a Rynax accident. While not a Rynax herself, she’s got enough Rynax sign that Yvon feels paired at last. The two of them are happy for a little while, until the GPO arrives and isolates Yvon. Jessica overloads trying to save him and Yvon finds himself alone again, so he goes nuclear.
Kurau and Christmas, hiding in the deep woods, see the explosion.
The thing that makes this particular volume interesting is that it centers around the conundrum of relationship of Rynax to Rynax. Kurau’s aunt sees Kurau and Christmas as sisters, perhaps coloring their relationship in light of the loss of her own sister. Yvon’s desperation and Christmas’ words clearly say that the Rynax relationship is more like that of the Jian bird, who *needs* its other half to survive or it will die. Obviously, the Rynax relationship goes deep, and we, as mere humans color it in the shades of our own understanding.
In terms of Yuri, there’s the above – Christmas’s insistence that she would die if Kurau did, and for me, there’s Ayaka’s uncomfortable memories of Kurau and the questions her apparent death left unanswered.
Kurau remains complex, fascinating and full of emotion. In a world of anime that devolved in the last few years to inane, superficial non-relationships, Kurau stands out as something well worth the time.
Art – 8
Story – 7
Characters – 7
Music – 7
Yuri – 1
Service – 1
Overall – 8
Once again, it is my sincere pleasure to thank Ted the Awesome for sponsoring today’s review!