The Eighth Bone – “The Entrusted Bones, Part 2”
This episode went in more different directions then I could have previously imagined, and it’s not as though there were any huge revelations or plot dumps, but the episode weaves together different plot points with a simple elegance that I greatly appreciate. The one thing I don’t quite care for, though, is how the entire events of Sasaki-sensei’s past are visually presented through still images with voiceover recounting the story. I understand that that is a perfectly logical way to show a memory, but how much cooler would it have been to see the events simply play out as actual scenes with dialogue? It’s much more difficult to animate and direct, but I think it would have made for a more powerful narrative vehicle. Though, I did quite like the scene where we see a younger version of Sasaki-sensei’s sister, when she reads the poem written by his brother’s love.
To focus on what I like about the episode, the so-far ubiquitous theme of using bones to construct bridges to the past is working overtime here, as Shoutarou is able to take away a message from his meeting with Sasaki-sensei’s sister and uses it to clear a misunderstanding with Sakurako-san. Previously, we’ve solved mini mysteries with largely ancillary and usually dead characters, but the connection Shoutarou makes allows him to bridge a gap with a living person, strengthening a relationship that we, the viewer, are invested in and thus making this particular arc the most meaningful one so far.
With the mystery of Ulna and Radius cleared up, we understand things about Sakurako-san that we never knew before. For example, she has, at some point in her life, shown compassion for living things, and that she was Sasaki-sensei’s prodigee. She learned the ways of osteology from him, the genesis of this interest being the poisoning of her cats, Ulna and Radius. However, burning questions still remain. Namely, what is the comatose person asking Sakurako-san to do and who poisoned her cats, because I refuse to believe that the death of her cats and their nature are not somehow related.
“To him, death was peace. It meant becoming complete.” ~ Sakurako Kujou