Dark Gathering Episode 4 Review

This episode begins exactly where the previous left off, with Yayoi asking Keitarou to officially team up to dispel the curse afflicting him and Eiko. Keitarou is conflicted, because in his eyes, Eiko spent lots of time trying to get him to re-immerse himself into society and go back to school, away from the occult — but the only way to save Eiko and dispel the curse is to once again submerge himself into the occult, effectively turning his back on her efforts.

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Eiko showing Yayoi her cursed hand

After asking for some time to think, we timeskip to Keitarou and Eiko’s first day of college. For some reason, Yayoi also tags along, saying she’s scouting out the college. It feels like it’s just for plot convenience.

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Yayoi coming along

We see that Eiko is extremely popular at school, being a top scorer on exams and pretty extroverted. She convinces Keitarou to go to a demo class of some sort of “Ghost Stories” class (more accurately, she manipulates him by crying when he makes it clear he doesn’t want to go).

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Eiko crying

In the demo class, the professor literally shows the class a VHS tape of a su1*cide. The story goes that whoever watches the video will, themselves, perish the same way as the man in the video. The pictured man pours gasoline on the ground around him and lights himself on fire.

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The VHS tape

Midway through burning, the video glitches and instead of the original man, it now pictures Keitarou burning to death. Now, he’s been cursed.

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The VHS tape glitching to Keitarou

Not scary at all.

The rest of the class is confused and just gets up to leave — although, if I noticed my classmate was pictured in the video, I’d be freaking out. Keitarou is noticeably scared. Yayoi gets up to examine the VHS tape, saying there’s a curse on it. Keitarou’s arm spontaneously combusts with fire, and Eiko pours water onto it.

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Keitarou’s clothes keep catching on fire

Yayoi has the idea of forcing the spirit in the box to watch its own video, forcing it to dispel the curse it’s just placed on Keitarou or to perish the same fate as Keitarou. She assumes the ghost will dispel it out of self-preservation. To do this, she captures the spirit in a Wara Ningyou (straw doll).

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Yayoi luring out the spirit

She then places the doll in a box with a little set-up that would force it to watch its own video. All the while Keitarou is combusting in flames and trying not to die.

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Keitarou without clothes in the car (because they keep combusting)

After it’s over and Keitarou is cured, we timeskip to later that night, where Eiko is explaining the story of the curse. After investigating, Eiko and Yayoi learned that the person depicted in the original VHS video was actually heavily bullied to the point where they forced him to burn himself alive, or else they would attack his family.

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Eiko explaining the backstory

The victim cursed the VHS tape only to get back at the bullies, and passed on peacefully after they died. However, the first bully who died was so angry and vengeful that he cursed the tape again, to harm anybody else who may watch it. Eiko and Keitarou have a cute little wholesome scene that seems like silly romance-bait.

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Eiko smiling

…That is, until the end of the episode, where Eiko goes into her own bedroom and we see her closet is adorned with photographs of Keitarou and spirits. Turns out, Eiko is actually a creep.

dark gathering episode 4 review 0000 eiko blush creepy

Opinions / Analysis

I knew something wasn’t right with her. She seemed too flat of a character, like they weren’t pushing her as the main love interest hard enough, in addition to that weird ending at the end of episode 1 or 2.

I’m willing to bet Eiko is actually possessed by something rather than actually being this way. I don’t think the show can resist shipping her with Keitarou and making her seem like the ‘waifu’. It would be awesome to see him lose feelings for her after discovering how weird she is, though.

She could be possessed by the demon that killed Yayoi’s father and kidnapped her mother, or possibly even the spirit that cursed Eiko and Keitarou as children.

What do you all think?

Check out our coverage of other series here on LAN:
Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead Episode 5 Review
Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Episode 19 Review
My Happy Marriage Episode 6 Review

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