Chapter Sixteen: Glow:

Daisuke had some happy moments with Anna. In her early years, he was trying to finish school. Things had been pretty peaceful. It was a welcome change from the violence and fear that he grew up with. He still kept the habit of recording into his tape journal every day. Even Jin didn’t harass him like he used. However, it wasn’t always that easy-coming as it turned out to be. At one point, he contemplated about dropping out. Kato gave him a verbal smack down when he voiced this thought.

“You cannot do this to her!” the older man snapped.

“I already work two part-time jobs to make ends meet for school,” Daisuke reasoned. “Plus, I have a baby to take care of.” He buried his head in his hands. “I don’t think I can handle all of it,” he muttered. Kato snorted at him.

“That’s a lame excuse,” he brushed off. Daisuke looked up at him with big eyes.

“What?” he asked. Kato slammed his hand against the table.

“Her future depends on your education!” he snapped. “If you drop out now, you’ll only rob her of a better life!” Daisuke looked at him uneasily.

“But… who’s going to take care of her while I’m in school?” he asked.

“You little dummy,” the older man replied. “You have all of us.”

“All of you?” Daisuke repeated.

“Yes,” Kato answered. “You have this whole village and me, do you understand?” Daisuke blinked at him. It didn’t don on him until now how much these people really cared about him and his daughter. The boy could barely grasp it for himself. He curled his hands into fists under the table.

“Alright,” he said. “I’ll stay in school.”

“Very good,” the older man replied. Daisuke completed school and graduated in the spring. The whole village came out to see him. Pretty soon, Kato went out bought Daisuke study books. The boy looked up at him rather perplexed at the stack on the table before him.

“What’s all this for?” he asked.

“Study books,” Kato replied.

“For what?” Daisuke asked.

“Do you want to get into college?” the older man asked. The high school gave him a long blank stare.

“I… I don’t know…” he said. Kato gave him a calm little smile.

“I’ll give you some time to think about it,” he said. He turned and headed back to his room. Daisuke looked at the study books in front of him.

Me going into college? Naturally, Kato and the villagers would take care of Anna again. Kato was dead serious about this.

In the end, Daisuke decided to go to college and got right to studying for the entrance exam. However, this didn't start without many questions.

“How am I going to pay for tuition?” he asked.

“I’ll pay for you to go,” Kato answered. “Money is no object.” The boy somehow wasn’t too easy about hearing that.

“But how?” he asked.

“Don’t worry about it,” Kato told him. “I have it under control. So are you going to go or not?”

“You’re going to take care of Anna-chan?” Daisuke asked. Kato gave him a smile as he patted him on the head.

“Of course,” he said. The boy dropped his shoulders and perked up.

“Alright, I’ll do it,” he replied. After two tries on the entrance exam, Daisuke made it into Kobe University. Every day, he would commute back and forth to school. He left Anna with Kato and the neighbors. He found that this arrangement worked out just fine. Daisuke even joined the film club at Kobe University. There, he rediscovered his love of Kurosawa Akira.

“Wow,” his friend, Juta, said as they cleaned up the club room. “You really do like Kurosawa-san’s movies.” Daisuke lowered his shoulders as he put away the films on the shelf.

“Yeah,” he said. “His movies kept me sane.” Juta gave him an odd look.

“Kept you sane?” he asked. Daisuke paused and turned around. It hurt to relive those hellish years before his permanent departure from the home he grew up in. Still, the young father felt that he could trust Juta with telling him about his past. His friend would be able to take it, right? He took a seat at the table.

“Kimoto?” Juta asked.

“Sit down,” his friend said. “This will take a while.” Juta slowly complied and Daisuke told him the story. Afterwards, the other freshman looked at him with a grim face.

“Damn,” he muttered. “That’s just…” Daisuke pressed his lips together and nodded.

“I don’t like to talk about it.”

“I can see why,” Juta said. “I would block out my pain with movies too I guess.” Suddenly, the door opened wide. The boys looked up to see another one of their club members, Gombei, eyeing them.

“Why the long faces?” he asked. “I have some great news.”

“What?” Juta asked. The junior closed the door behind him.

“You know the director, Miyazaki Hayao?” he asked. The boys stared at him puzzled.

“Didn’t he direct The Castle of Cagliostro?” Daisuke asked.

“And Nausicaa?” Juta asked.

“That’s the one!” Gombei said aloud.

“What about him?” Juta asked.

“He announced that he and director, Takahata Isao, are starting a new studio next year,” the junior announced. The other two boys looked pretty surprised.

“Really?” Juta asked.

“What’s it called?” Daisuke asked. Gombei placed his hand through his hair trying to recall the name. “Studio…Ghibli I think.”

“Ghibli?” Daisuke asked.

“Why is it called that?” Juta asked. The junior shrugged and shook his head.


One thing about college life that Daisuke enjoyed was visiting his baby girl on the weekends. He happily smothered her with kisses every time he held her.

“Hey!” he whispered to her little face. “You missed me?” Daisuke sat in the living room surprised how things changed to this point. When she was really little, he was afraid of her at one point. He remembered the recording he made about this thought.

Tape #35:

April 7th, 1983.

My name is Kimoto Daisuke. I am eighteen years old and a single dad. I am in fear of my daughter. She could grow up to be a monster. She's a baby now, but still…

There is no way to tell which girl will inherit the Mother kitsune. Our powers don't manifest until our teen years. But what if hers manifest sooner?

It's silly to be afraid of a little baby like this. But, I can't help it. I don't even know what to do if she has the Mother. I don't want to kill her. That would make me no better than Haruka.

He sighs.

I have to do something. But what can I do?

He paused and lowered his head.

I don't know what do…

-End of Tape #35-

Kato happened to hear him make that recording.

“She won’t grow up to be a monster,” he insisted. Daisuke looked up at him with doubt in his eyes.

“How can you be so sure of that?” he asked.

“She doesn’t have a monster for a father,” Kato explained. Daisuke didn’t know whether to laugh or hang his head about that. He still really couldn’t trust Kato then. How did that man know so much about him and his family? None of it ever sat right with the boy.

Daisuke trembled as another thought crossed his head. Another memory that made him want to vomit. Months before he took the first entrance exam, he would’ve given into his family’s nasty habit of trying to kill their offspring a try. In the past, the Eda-Kimoto clan either killed or tried to kill their own children. None of them could really explain why and Daisuke was about to be no exception to this bloody tradition. He even thought about the quick and the most painless why to murder Anna. The first time, Kato managed to stop him just in time and talk some sense into him. Five nights later, Daisuke started up again, but this time, he stopped on his own. He ended up sitting in the corner, holding Anna all night long. Daisuke shook himself of those bad memories. He looked his little daughter in the eye.

“Anna-chan,” he told her. “I will protect you from those monsters to my dying breath.” He already knew that wasn’t going to be an easy task with an uncertain future unfolding itself before him.