Dance with Devils
by Rebecca Silverman,
How would you rate episode 6 of
Dance with Devils ?
Community score: 3.9
This is the episode of answers. (And sexually charged song lyrics from Shiki. Whoa!) As an added bonus, it's got a nicely creepy vibe, using the carnivalism that Urie's episode and the ending theme use, but without the direct and unsubtle circus link. Instead Devil of the Episode Shiki (who, as it happens, is part angel or a fallen angel – he claims both over the course of the half hour) transports Ritsuka to a hall of paintings. After a while she realizes that each picture is somehow familiar to her, and before she quite knows what has happened, Ritsuka has walked into a painting of her grandfather's study.
What follows is one of the strongest sequences of the show in terms of the vague horror atmosphere and carnivalesque plotline. Ritsuka wanders through her grandfather's house (which we saw burn earlier in the series), seeing shadows of the past appear before her: her aunt kissing the long-haired man from the opening of the first episode, her own birthday party, her dying aunt with Lindo beside her in bed, her grandfather speaking to Lindo. But when she opens the doors, she is greeted by a dark, empty chamber. It's standard Gothic fare, but it works really well, making it feel like Dance with Devils might be moving beyond relying on its singing gimmick. Most hauntingly, her aunt appears to see her in the window and when she opens the door after hearing her grandfather, she is confronted by a tall, shadowy male figure. That's enough to bring her back to reality, but more important to us is the fact that he was talking to child Lindo, and now there's a man in the room – could he be an older version of her brother/cousin? (It seems pretty clear what Lindo's real blood tie to her is after this segment.) Who is that white-haired man, and is he Lindo's father? What does that mean for his relationship with Ritsuka? When she finds out shortly after her vision that Azuna has, in fact, been working as an exorcist to keep Ritsuka, or rather, the grimoire, safe, she is less than thrilled, and the fact that Azuna can't (or won't) deny that she wasn't really Ritsuka's friend from the start is enough to have Ritsuka repudiating her. Sure, she doesn't let Shiki kill her, but that could be because she doesn't want anyone to die, or in acknowledgment that Azuna was important to her as a friend before. Regardless, her temper has and suspicions have been roused, and I'm really hoping she'll be a little more circumspect about trusting people, Lindo included, after this.
Speaking of circumspect, that seems to describe Rem's attitude towards Ritsuka at this point. Everytime he sees her, the expression on his face is somewhere between constipation and anger...and I'd hazard that the anger is more with himself than with her. Urie asks him if perhaps Rem likes Ritsuka. He's summarily shot down, but Rem's actions and expressions would suggest otherwise, and his yelling at his demon buddies about acting on their own with regards to Ritsuka seems to come from a place that isn't just preoccupied with finding the grimoire. (Perhaps he's emotionally constipated?) That the others are going to use this against him feels like a given, and while Shiki just appears to have wanted his turn at Ritsuka, or possibly even to just reveal Azuna's truth to her – they do meet over yellow roses, which symbolize friendship – it looks like the Pomeranian may have other ideas. In any event, the stakes have been raised for everyone now that most of the perceived truths are out in the open, and the fact that one of the major mysteries remaining is Lindo himself should probably give us all pause.
Along with all of these answers and events, this week also introduced Funimation's broadcast dub of the show, beginning with episode one. While we haven't heard much from all of the voices, Ritsuka thus far seems pretty strong, with Dawn M. Bennett giving her much more spunk to her personality than Himika Akaneya's original. The guys sound about equal thus far, though I can't say I'm sold on Ricco Fajardo's Mage – there's just something a bit too light about it. The songs are not dubbed, which does make sense for something put together relatively quickly; we'll just have to either hope or fear that we get English versions eventually. Regardless, episode six is a great time to review episode one given some of the events, so take the opportunity to check out the dub as you remind yourself who was present when this all began.
Dance with Devils is currently streaming on Funimation.
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