|Innermost Feelings ~ Herzenswärme
|Original name:||Chūjō (衷情)
|Release date:||29 August 2004|
|Chapter basis:||The One Who Has Freedom|
|Previous episode:||Receipt ~ Empfang|
|Next episode:||Confrontation ~ Zufällige Begegnung|
Bando awakens in the office of the Doctor performing his cybernetic replacement procedure. His vision is blurred and yellow, but the Doctor assures him this will improve with time, and that his new hand is the top model available. Bando complains about the castration operation to follow, and is handed a sedative for it. He asks the Doctor about his new hand's strength and striking capabilities, then punches the Doctor before he can fully respond. The nurse cowers and shrieks while Bando jumps through the window, realizing he must act to get new weapons before his clearance with the Special Assault Team (SAT) is revoked.
At the Maple House, Yuka leaves the bath, hearing a depressed Kouta about to go out in search of Nyu, hoping to recover her from Professor Kakuzawa. Her offer to go with him is quietly, but is firmly turned down, leaving her depressed and bitter.
At the university office of Professor Kakuzawa, his assistant, Arakawa, arrives, having returned from his errands and frustrated by his absence. Finding the hair ribbon taken off of Nyu, she is stunned by the sudden entrance of Kouta, who claims to have a late appointment with the Professor. Arakawa guides Kouta down to the basement lab, telling him that he has been deceived as to Nyu being the daughter of Kakuzawa's younger brother, since the Professor has no younger brother. On the street, the now-active Lucy encounters a nervous young woman complaining of her new job and boss, just before we see her vectors activate.
When Kouta asks her what the Professor does in this basement lab, Arakawa speaks ominously of his research into a disease that causes Humans to grow horns. She believes his efforts are geared toward creating a vaccine for this deadly, contagious disease she refuses to elaborate on. Kouta' s shock from hearing this again startles the jumpy Arakawa. She guides him into the lab as the scene returns briefly to the street, and the death by damaged blood vessels of the woman Lucy sighted before. As the woman collapses, Lucy seems to struggle for control.
Inside the lab, Kouta and Arakawa cannot seem to find Professor Kakuzawa, till they find a darkened room and in a mild panic, stumble across his head and body, both wondering why he has horns. Arakawa briefly fears that the Diclonius who did this is still about. Arakawa then tells Kouta that anyone who survives the disease she mentioned is quickly quarantined and killed, though Kakuzawa's horns are still a mystery to her. The bloody scene and thoughts of Nyu trigger a brief painful flashback in Kouta, who is urged to return home and forget what he has seen. In a daze, he leaves, and Arakawa decides to call their sponsors, including the Professor's father, before calling the police.
Arriving back at the Maple House to a worried Yuka, Kouta quickly finds himself overwhelmed by all he learned at the lab and is suddenly unable to remember it, excusing himself to Yuka by saying he is ill, and heading for bed.
At the Diclonius Research Institute, Chief Kakuzawa is informed of his son's death by Kurama, a death that the Chief feels can only be Lucy's work. He demands to know of Kurama's efforts to locate her, insinuating that he has done little compared to his efforts on behalf of Nana. Kurama responds that he has completed disposal of Nana, and that their searches for mysterious individuals in Kamakura have yet to bear fruit. As tensions rise between the two, Kurama departs while Kakuzawa calls him a fool under his breath. Outside the office with Shirakawa, Kurama notes with some discomfort how the Chief showed almost no reaction to the news of his son's death. Shirakawa inquires to Director Kurama about his family. Kurama responds that his daughter is dead, killed by his own hands, the sight of which drove his wife to suicide. Shirakawa is shocked into silence after acknowledging him.
At the Maple House, Kouta washes up before going out to again search for Nyu, informing Yuka that Nyu escaped the Professor, but still not speaking of his death, and being fuzzy on the details, even in his own memory. This time, to Yuka's apparent delight, he welcomes her presence as they decide to jointly search for Nyu. Mayu leaves with Wanta, wishing them well in their search for Nyu, giving a hopeful reminder that she has come back home before this on her own.
On the beachfront, Mayu spots Bando by the water, and wishes him well on his apparent recovery. Bando for his part is badly thrown off by being in the debt of anyone, particularly a young girl like Mayu, and so writes a note promising to defend Mayu against any attacker. Before leaving, he casually asks if she has seen a woman with horns, and Mayu mentions Nyu.
On the trail in the mountains searching for Nyu, Kouta and Yuka take cover from the rain inside a small shrine, where Kouta holds the shivering Yuka close. The two begin to feel the intimacy of the moment, culminating in Yuka asking flatly if Kouta likes her. Kouta apologizes for his lack of memories of their childhood memories, but says he knows he did like her and that he still does. Yuka kisses him long and deep.
Mayu is nearly under assault by Bando as he demands any and all information she has on horned girls and Nyu, striking her and not buying her denials and explanations. Finally, she resorts to turning the tables on Bando by using his own note of promised protection against him, forcing him to walk off with a warning not to let him see her again, as Mayu wonders what Nyu did to cause such trouble.
At the shrine, Yuka makes it clear she understands about Kouta's bad memory, and forgives it so long as he stays by her side. Kouta kisses her this time, and outside, the rain stops, but Yuka loses her footing and slips, exposing her striped panties and earning Kouta another punch. After saving Yuka from another spill, the two decide to try and search the train station. On the upper part of the stairwell leading to the shrine, the pair hear Nyu/Lucy's footfalls and Kouta turns to get her before she can turn to leave. Lucy for her part remembers a bloodied, pleading young Kouta and is anxious to go. Stunned when she is able to respond with coherent speech, Kouta finds he must again aid Yuka, this time pushed invisibly by Lucy's vectors when she approaches. The sight of this awakens a childhood memory of the pair within Lucy, and again she turns to leave, only to be stopped by Kouta. As she goes, she insists that she is going home, having recovered her memories and capabilities, and will make her own place in the world. Kouta forcefully insists that Maple House is now her home. Lucy breaks down and insists that she has no right to be near Kouta, and seems on the verge of confessing something she did to him eight years ago, almost triggering a bloody memory in Kouta as well. All this ceases when Nyu emerges once more, her tears turning to ones of joy as she hugs Kouta and asks to be hugged in return. Yuka allows this grudgingly, and Nyu has a happy memory of playing in a shallow stream with Kouta when they were children. Yuka's patience used up, Kouta gets yet another slap to end all the hugging.
On the beach, a pod opens, revealing a very much alive Nana, who wakes up to a recording from Kurama and new limbs that respond to her vectors. A recording from Kurama instructs her to take the money he has left her and go into hiding until he can join her. Stumbling around on her new limbs, Nana wishes that Kurama had come with her. Her reverie is disturbed by Bando, who recognizes the horns on her head and demands quick answers about who she is.
- This episode, which speaks directly to the attraction between Kouta and Yuka, causes controversy and enmity towards Yuka among some American fans. In America, cousin romances are considered immoral and illegal in many places, whereas in Japan, they are legal if no longer common.
|“||Having lost both the reason and the means to survive, the little soul is left adrift. Each encounter is rendered meaningless, except for the pain it causes, and the stain of blood and tears it leaves, too dense to wash away. Soon, the little girl has become a vicious animal. On the next Elfen Lied, Episode Seven : Confrontation.||”|