Episode 5: ~The Bride in Black, Hanabi~

Oogami has been working hard trying to find another member for the Paris Floral Assault Squad, going over the list of potential candidates, but none of them have enough spirit power to be of use. Grand Mere, who has just returned from a Paris Defense Conference, sympathizes, noting that if it would be as easy as looking through a list, no one would even have to bother looking. She informs Oogami that there will only be one more new member for the Squad.

When Oogami agrees with her that one more sounds about right given the strength of the enemy, Grand Mere concurs, but notes that the Defense Conference may have made their decision based on Budgetary issues. She gives Oogami a portable Spirit Energy measurement device devised by Jean, and tells him to walk about the city with it, using it to find potential candidates for recruitment... and to go get some flowers for her from the florist.

Eventually, Oogami sees Hanabi visiting a grave with fresh flowers. He goes to leave her alone, but she speaks to him and departs, dropping a picture. Oogami sees that the grave is marked "Philippe de Maleblanche" with the epitaph "Philippe lived for Hanabi's sake" on it. He collects the picture she dropped, which he guesses has Phillipe in it.

Going to find Hanabi, he finds her standing over a bridge, and assuming she means to jump, he lunges to grab her before she can fall, in the process knocking them both into the water.

When Hanabi comes to, she gets very upset when she sees the picture Oogami has of Phillipe, and runs off. Oogami notes that the Spirit Power meter is reading off the scale, but assumes it was broken from the fall and immersion into the water.

Returning to Chattes Noires, Oogami discusses his search for potential cadidates with the others. Erica enquires about the possibility of Hanabi, but Glycine interjects, stating that Hanabi is not suited for battle. As they keep talking, Erica keeps steering the conversation back towards the subject of Hanabi, much to Glycine's consternation.

After the meeting, which was inconclusive, Glycine pulls Oogami aside to talk to him about Hanabi. When he mentions the name "Phillipe", she grips his tie so hard it hurts him. Glycine relents, and explains that she used to go out with Hanabi and Phillipe, who had been engaged to each other. But one day, Phillipe died. Ever since then, Hanabi has not stopped wearing a black mourning dress. She swears Oogami to secrecy on the subject.

Elsewhere, a strange figure declares his intention to show pleasure-seeking humanity that there is a darkness that can never be extinguished, that "The darkness and the dream are the same, woven outward, and the comedy becomes a tragedy". He declares that be can feel the "heart that belongs" to him, torn apart, "the maiden's heart that whispers to the darkness." Looking into Hanabi's thoughts, he sees her dreams of Phillipe, and the sadness within her. He rejoices at the "sorrow darker than the forest, a regret deeper than the sea, and... a death longed for, for the sake of love for one who has departed to the kingdom of Hades!!!"

The next morning, Oogami gets a call on his kinematron to go pick up flowers for Grand Mere. When he heads out, he sees Hanabi at the gravesite again. Speaking to her again, he enquires about Phillipe and finds out that it's almost the one year anniversary of his death. The ship she, Glycine and Phillipe were on sank in the Atlantic. Hanabi was saved, but Phillips, who tried to save her, was drowned.

She then drifts off into a reverie, imaging him waiting for her at the bottom of the sea, whispering that he loves her. When Oogami gently tries to tell her not to mourn him any longer, she cryptically replies that she isn't mourning him, that she's still together with him.

Oogami takes her out to lunch to cheer her up, and as she starts to enjoy her meal, the Kaijin reads her throughts, enraged that Oogami is instilling a hope for life in "his darling, painted up with death."

After lunch, as Oogami goes to accompany Hanabi to Bleumer Manor, the kaijin, Masque de Corbeau, appears before them and announces he's arrived to take Hanabi to "a world of fantasy, painted up in death." He assumes Phillipe's form. Hanabi, completely taken in by the illusion, goes off with him.

Oogami tracks them down to the Paris Opera house, and goes back to Chattes Noires to get help.

Reports begin streaming in that the Opera House has begun sinking into the Earth. Coquelicot points out there was an opera opening there and that there may be audience members trapped inside.

Oogami decides to make a forced entry using the Eclair.

Upon entering, the Paris Floral Assault Squad finds the entire Opera House seemingly filled with water. Erica, who has never been to an opera, assumes this is a normal thing.

Corbeau counters that the sea is no illusion, and the Opera House, together with its audience... and the giant sailing ship in the center, will all sink into the night sea together. To her horror, Glycine realizes Corbeau is recreating the night Hanabi's fiancee died-- their wedding night.

As the team reacts to the situation, everyone starts to go their own separate ways in battle. Oogami sharply reproaches them and gets them back in order. Finally reaching Hanabi on the deck of the sinking ship, Oogami entreats Hanabi to open her eyes and shatter the illusion. As she begins to see the truth, Corbeau makes the ship sink faster. Oogami tells her that were Phillipe still alive, he'd want her to live... and finally Hanabi herself decides she wants to live, releasing a huge amount of spirit power that at first freezes-- then destroys-- Corbeau's illusion.

Once the illusion is shattered, Oogami urges Hanabi to flee the Opera House. She wants to stay and help, but when Corbeau chases after her, she listens to the others and flees.

Fleeing back to Chattes Noires, Hanabi meets Grand Mere, who assures her she'll be safe.

Meanwhile the others continur to fight Corbeau's giant Steam Beast, and he turns everyone against each other using illusions.

Just as they are about to unleash their most powerful attacks on each other, Oogami and Glycine are stopped when the illusion breaks, caused by an arrow hit to Corbeau. Glycine is awestruck, realizing that theonly way he could have been hit accurately in such darkness was if--

The others gasp as they see a new, black Koubu join the fight-- Hanabi's koubu.

Corbeau makes another illusion, making himself look like Phillipe, and lifhting Hanabi's Koubu up to a great height.

Glycine and Oogami finally manage to get Hanabi to overcome her feelings about Phillipe's death and she breaks the illusion once more. Finally, they defeat Corbeau, and Hanabi joins them in a victory pose.

The next day, at the Cemetery, Hanabi finally says goodbye to Phillipe and starts looking forward to the life she has yet to live.

That night, Hanabi started dancing in the Chattes Noires revue as "Tatamize Jeune".

To be Continued

Side Trips and Sight Gags
Grand Mere gave Lobelia a fancy steam-powered puzzle box, which Lobelia begged Oogami to help her open. Then they did, they found a bill for Lobelia's rent inside.

Erica drestroyed a grocer's cart, so she was made to peel potatoes. She got Hanabi and Oogami's help, and peeled ALL the poratoes, leaving none for sale. Oogami had to buy them all charged to Chattes Noires.

Kayama's Secret File
Grand Mere seems to have a unique way of dealing with her subordinates mistakes. Rather than tell Mell to bring her the sugar that Mell forgot to place in her coffee, Grand Mere had her hunt the office for something that's "sweet and melts"-- A sort of notice your own mistakes philosophy, as Oogami noted.

Lobelia has converted the basement storeroom into her own room.

Ci's spiritual energy is higher than average, but not enough to pilot a Koubu. She has always wante dot make a grand appearance on the battlefield.

Jean is a strict taskmaster, not letting his mechanics sleep in their beds for five whole days until the Koubu are fixed.

When coquelicot trains animals she always hits them with her own hand so she shares the pain and her feelings get through to the animal.

Erica's spirit power is at the bare minimum to pilot a Koubu in this episode, according to Jean's Spirit Power meter. Lobelia's, on the other hand, almost shakes the meter apart.

Grand Mere's cat, Napoleon, generally only likes women.

Grand Mere's name is Isabel Lilac.

Ambassador Sakomizu is easily affected by the summer heat.

Hanabi is Glycine's closest friend.

Coquelicot constantly worries about Oogami's safety.

Quotable Quotes
"The stage is set, and the actors have gathered! Now, open the curtain on the opera of death!" --Corbeau

"You, of all people, may be able to open up Hanabi's heart. Please... save my closest friend." --Glycine Bleumer

"You're in the way. I wouldn't care if you died, but it'd cost me my bonus." --Lobelia to Hanabi

"Hanabi, you've stood still for so long, regretting the past, but.that's no good. Rather than forgetting, you should hold it in your heart and overcome only the sadness!" --Ichiro Oogami

"This is the curtain! I shall drop the curtain with your deaths!! Turn the acclaim into lamentation! I will paint this Opera House with your vermillion blood!!"" --Corbeau

Hanabi: Thanks to you, Mr. Oogami, I was able to remember the importance of living for the sake of others. But I feel at a loss when I think how my self up to this point will change.
Oogami: Hanabi, first, start with a smile. Good things start from those who smile.

Hanabi: Philippe was always kind to me... treasuring me so dearly... letting me fawn on him... even after he had gone, I wanted to forever depend on his kindness... holding lingering attachment to him-- but had I done so... he would not be able to sleep at ease.
Oogami: ...You were truly loved. And, now it is your turn.
Hanabi: My... turn?
Oogami: Now it's your turn to love someone. It'll be all right - you have the strength now to protect the ones you love.

This episode probably takes place in July 1926 given Admiral Sakomizu's comments about the Summer heat.

These episode guides are based on the Dreamcast Translation FAQs by Kayama. All images and FMV copyright SEGA, Overworks and RED company.