Dark Gathering Episode 5 Review

College is now starting for Keitarou, and he’s very nervous. He’s at a welcoming event for freshman on campus. We see in a flashback Eiko helping him pick out new clothes, and it’s evident he’s still unaware of her acting so strangely as we saw in Episode 4.

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Keitarou Nervous at the event

In the flashback, Eiko presents him with a pair of glasses frames, saying he should wear them because they make him look smart. Um, okay. A little weird, I guess.

dark gathering episode 5 review 0005 glasses eiko

Regardless, Keitarou is extremely determined to make friends other than Eiko at this event. We see back at Eiko’s house that she’s rigged Keitarou’s glasses so that she can spy on him while he’s at this event. He’s struggling at a meet and greet, so the leader of the club — Nagayama — invites him to go to another location with a few less people to get to know others better. Keitarou agrees.

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Yayoi catching Eiko spying on Keitarou

In the car ride, Keitarou feels a spirit. This prompts Nagayama to tell him the urban legend of “Jisastsu Circle” — or, the su*cide club. This is a well-known urban legend in Japan, and I even read a manga of the same title awhile back that I enjoyed. Here’s that link: Manga

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Keitarou being weird

Basically, there’s a supernatural-esque club that pops up all over Japan called the Su*cide club. The leader of the club always has the same name, no matter where it pops up. What that name is depends on the version of the tale you’re listening.

The group all plan to take their own lives at the same time. From here, the story changes sometimes: either everybody dies successfully, or only one person survives. That person who survived goes on to take the name of the leader of the club, and restarts the club in a new location.

Regardless, Keitarou asks what the name of the club is. Nagayama replies: it’s “Nagayama.”

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Nagayama is possessed by a spirit!

Eiko and Yayoi, who had been snooping on Keitarou up until now, panic and run out to go help him. They’re able to pinpoint his location and get there just in the nick of time (as usual). Yayoi is able to subdue the spirit possessing the club leader enough for them to escape, but doesn’t take the spirit’s soul.

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Yayoi fighting Nagayama

We learn something about souls. Basically, a soul is like a candle. The candle has a set amount of time it’ll burn until it goes out. Souls are only able to extend their time by devouring other souls and “taking” their time. In that sense, the soul that is eaten ‘dies’, but not really. Its life force is being used for something other than what it wants.

We see this when the spirit once again possesses Nagayama and forces him to take his own life. It then eats Nagayama’s soul.

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In the reflection if her eye is the spirit eating a soul

We end this episode with Yayoi trying to console Keitarou, saying that making friends is really difficult and he shouldn’t be embarrassed.

Opinions / Analysis

I was really hoping for more from Eiko. It seems like this series is painting her obsession with Keitarou in a positive or comedic light, as evidenced by Yayoi not being completely creeped out by Eiko’s actions.

I don’t like that at all.

I was hoping we’d see Eiko become more of a villain or some kind of chaotic character. She’s giving off “stereotypical female lead” and it’s very sad because this series has a ton of potential to be really cool and have cool characters. Keitarou is kind of bland. Yayoi is cool visually and is the only one who makes jokes that stick. She’s meant to be creepy but also endearing, and they did a good job with her. But Eiko is bland, too.

Nothing is worse than a bland couple.

Check out our coverage of other series here on LAN:
My Tiny Senpai Episode 5 Review
Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Episode 20 Review
Rurouni Kenshin (2023) Episode 7 Review

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