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Chtholly seems physically fine but her mind is rapidly deteriorating. As she tries to adjust to her new civilian role, the group celebrates
Christmas with a Snowfall Festival before departing for the surface.
Hearing Ithea’s experience with memory loss reminded me of the recent series Plastic Memories, in which the main heroine is scheduled to essentially die on a pre-determined date. I did not like Plastic Memories because the entire series was built around a relationship that I had a hard time caring about. It felt like the main couple were together because the script said so, like there was no spark or chemistry that made you feel how much they loved each other.
Putting the creeper angle I’ve been complaining about aside, I think I feel the same way about Chtholly and Willem. He literally has to ask “what do you see in me?” several times and the answer is basically “you’re the only man I’ve ever met and you have shown us basic human decency”. Now those are perfectly fine reasons to take an initial interest in someone, but is that very compelling to watch? Part of the problem of course is Willem has been actively suppressing his feelings, so that does automatically put a damper on their interactions. I guess my point is, I’m still not buying into all this.
Fortunately, unlike Plastic Memories, WorldEnd and Chtholly herself has more going on than romance. Seeing her forget the children’s names was far more heartbreaking than anything related to Willem, and I thought the initialed scarves were a great, subtle way to drive that home. She has a such a strong sense of duty and a desire to protect her loved ones that losing her ability to do what’s most important to her is the real tragedy here.
Of course we also have the larger scale plot of saving the world and what not, and it remains to be seen if this dug weapon Willem is after will actually help Chtholly’s condition. I kind of hope they stick to their guns after building up all this emotional tension but I could see it going either way. Was Ithea’s story a glimpse of Chtholly’s fate in the future where she must live as two people, or was it just a foil to help us appreciate some kind of recovery? I think it will be the former, but we shall soon see.