Nothing new in initial scene w/ Fango
Re: Frate and Ronaldo’s meal with Orco: ‘Though his throat was dry, his hands were shaking so he couldn’t drink……Of course he was nervous. The Don of the hostile Orco Family was in front of him. It was difficult to see that character in him when he was eating a juicy rib steak with his bare hands, but naturally he didn’t have the courage to point that out even as a joke.’
‘Ronaldo was composed even in front of Orco. There weren’t normally many people who opposed him even without him waving around his Galassia heritage, but here he was acting with even more arrogance than usual. I have to be imposing too, thought Fratem dropping his gaze to the glass. He wondered how that looked to the people around. He didn’t have the leisure to worry about it.’
When Orco says the line about Nero getting away, Frate ‘didn’t know how to answer correctly’. After he replies, Ronaldo follows on from him. ‘He relaxed.’
Orco’s thoughts are basically him not caring about the Vanetti’s family disputes.
Back at Fango’s, they’re housed in an old, cramped room. There aren’t enough beds, so someone has to sleep on the couch.
Corteo might have been going to voice his thoughts about the room after Barbero, but Volpe opens the door.
‘Relief spread around the room, and even Avilio smiled slightly.’ [Looking at the anime…was this before or after he turned to the window? Did he turn to the window to hide his smile? ARE THESE THE ACTIONS OF A PERSON WHO ONLY CARES ABOUT REVENGE I THINK NOT]
Volpe is dubious about Avilio’s supposed plan, but Avilio explains.
‘Nero acted so carefree you wouldn’t have thought he had a gun pointed at him. He had been the same when they had left town together and gone into hiding. Avilio suddenly recalled the absurd conversations they’d had over those few days.’
The guy who’s checking Nero loses his hostility at Nero’s attitude, but completes the check thoroughly.
When Nero eats the lasagna: ‘Of course, Avilio wasn’t holding back either. He quietly ate the rumoured lasagna.’
On Orco’s words about knowing Vincent for forty years: ‘Avilio didn’t overlook those words. If his association with Vincent went back that far, there was a high chance he was familiar with those around him, too. He might even have been close enough to call himself a friend of Avilio……no, Angelo’s father, Testa.
Corvo’s the one pointing the gun at Nero when Orco offers him a last drink.
[I love how quick Avilio is to correct Nero when he says that batch of Lawless Heaven is only one month old.]
[Nero drinking before Orco is, as expected, his way of showing it’s not poisoned.]
On Orco saying the drink’s delicious: ‘Of course it was delicious. This was a drink brewed with Corteo’s recipe. Avilio was secretly proud that his best friend’s masterpiece had been easily accepted by this man, who was so fussy about flavour. [!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!]
The Lodge is a lil way out of Lawless.
Re: Avilio’s question to Orco: ‘ […] Orco’s reaction wasn’t the one he had hoped for. The word ‘letter’ didn’t seem to evoke any sort of response. He hid his disappointment. But he had decided what to do next.’
‘Once Nero handed over the brewery’s recipe, he would no longer be useful. Orco wasn’t the sort of person to let him live out of sympathy, either. The moment he handed it over, he was dead.’
Re: Nero and Corvo’s interactions in the Lodge - Nero’s composure makes Corvo nervous. ‘“Quit jumping at shadows.” Nero’s voice, lower than usual, was forceful enough to sound like a threat.’ When they hear the sound of something falling/banging into something else, Nero remains calm, but that’s a completely unnatural response.
[As with his earlier conversation with Orco (recorded in both anime and manga, Nero responds to Orco’s accusations by thinking, essentially, ‘you would have done it too’. It’s kind of interesting to me heading into the last episode from the perspective that Nero is absolutely the type to try and get revenge on someone.]
While he’s hiding behind the barrels, Nero hears gunshots - signs that Volpe’s still alive. ‘Then there was Avilio. He had been similarly restrained. In any case, he had to meet up with Avilio.’
On Avilio’s gaze when he’s about to ‘shoot’ Nero: ‘It looked completely as if he were an enemy of the family’s. But it wasn’t the first time he had been looked at like that. Avilio watched Nero with that cold gaze from time to time. As if the world itself was his enemy.’ [I personally think this is really good insight into how Nero saw Avilio/interpreted Avilio’s actions towards him!]
‘Before he could ask what those words meant, the gunshot sounded.’
[Quick detour to talk about how well the novel adapts the anime - it does a great job of translating the suspense and false leads into verbal form whilst retaining the omniscient narration. For example, during this section (and several other ambiguous scenes), it describes Nero’s reaction without describing his actual thoughts eg ‘He looked down with an expression of disbelief’ rather than ‘unbelievable’ or ‘he couldn’t believe it’. Personally, this makes those moments where the author does write in an actual personal response/thought process all the more meaningful.]
‘Avilio, who had cleaned up that troublesome opponent Nero and, on top of that, avenged his own parents, had made a good enough impression on Orco to lift his spirits.’ [I have…always wondered about this line? Nero is right there pretending to be dead, listening in. If Barbero was here he would have latched onto this line instantly.]
[I had originally wondered why Orco didn’t bother making Avilio test the drinks for poison first, and then how Avilio could have been so confident he wouldn’t be made to drink the poison, but eventually realised that it really only knocked them out, so it wouldn’t have mattered if he’d drunk it and collapsed as well lol]
When Orco looks at the bottle: ‘He must have seen the vision of a bright future in it.’
‘What was Orco seeing then? Avilio imagined it. The ceiling, coming into view. Then, a man, peering at them. Someone it should have been impossible to see.’
Re: rooftop scene: ‘Once, there had been days where he had enjoyed watching the sunset like this. He’d had a father, a mother, a younger brother. He’d had his best friend Corteo, too. Those had been kind, tranquil days. But now out of those, Corteo was all that remained. Avilio had lost a great deal.’
‘For seven years, time had stopped for Avilio. One letter had made it move again.’
On Avilio’s smile when he says he put his a lot of feeling into the line he fed Nero before he shot him: ‘Nero had no way of knowing the meaning of that smile, nor which feelings he had put into it.’
On Barbero voicing his concerns: ‘He was a reliable guy, but at least spare them at meal time.’
[I like!! how Nero tells Barbero to stop talking but when Avilio starts a conversation he’s like WHAT PLEASE TELL ME and by that I mean I’m so sorry Barbero, you deserved better. (It’s actually because Barbero always worries but Avilio’s painted himself as this gung-ho guy who doesn’t usually worry about danger but it’s still funny to me :P)]
‘Avilio locked eyes with Nero. The next instant, his features relaxed slightly. “Eat. The lasagna will get cold.”’
‘Ronaldo could be difficult to handle. If she were asked whether he was a good man, she would have to slowly shake her head. But Fio didn’t dislike him.’
‘He was her husband. The man she would make a new family with. She had grown up being taught that it was a wife’s duty to devote herself to her husband.’
‘She didn’t yet have as strong a bond with him as with the family she had been born into, but she would nurture it……For the sake of the Vanetti family, too.
‘Despite that, recently there had been trouble arising from within the Family as well as outside of it. She couldn’t say it had nothing to do with her husband’s influence.’
‘Fio wasn’t so naive as to think he would understand if she spoke to him, but she knew how to make enquiries of Ronaldo, and understood her own role well.’
‘The groom’s eyes, looking at his young, beautiful wife, weren’t displeased.’
At Fango’s restaurant: Avilio agrees with Nero about the pizza’s taste, but they don’t respond to Fango, even though he’d gone so far as to strike a pose. He made a sulky expression :(
‘Why was this woman at the table with them? She seemed to have completely forgotten almost dying during Avilio’s surprise attack on Fango.’ [I LOVE HER PLEASE TELL ME MORE ABOUT CHEESE]
‘It seemed Fango and Lacrima had known one another for a long time.’ [In response to the comment about Fango’s mother.]
Re: Nero asking for Avilio’s opinion: ‘If Nero was having this sort of discussion with him, it meant he had made it quite far into the heart of the Family. While he was happy about that, he prudently pointed out his choice.’ [cue his explanation]
‘Nero didn’t reply. But Avilio didn’t miss the shade of distress in his profile. Nero treasured his family more than most. For instance, even if he was snarled at, or if his life was targeted, his younger brother was his younger brother. No matter how they struggled, he was Nero’s beloved family.’
‘This continuous discord must be unbearable for Nero……But it was nothing compared to the pain of losing one’s family. Avilio knew that. He knew it better than anyone.’ [Another important time point; another reminder that Avilio has no sympathy for your petty family squabbles (but also Nero is a good older brother too, Avilio, please)]
On Ronaldo saying Frate has good points Nero lacks: ‘Frate, who was always being compared to his older brother, unthinkingly protested those words.’
[How does Nero respond to Volpe getting sucker punched? By thinking ‘aw man’.]
On Ganzo: ‘This man was always sweet to relatives, but incredibly harsh to outsiders.’
‘Volpe, you tried hard. But you chose the wrong opponent. Sorry.’
Re: Ganzo telling Nero to come back - ‘He crushed the words that had risen in his heart for a moment — I’ll return — along with the smoke that had fallen to the ground.’
Frate has bags under his eyes and his cheeks are hollowed out :( He’s still innocent, though, which makes the sight even more pitiful. Ganzo can’t suppress a sigh when he sees him.
Ganzo doesn’t like Ronaldo calling the Vanetti’s turf his. He feels pity for Frate who [comparing them again!!] is made of completely different stuff to his older brother. ‘He understood the feelings of the ‘younger brother’ who was born after an older brother who had both courage and popularity. Ganzo was ‘Don Vanetti’s younger brother’.’
'But there were people who weren’t suited to aim for the top. There were people who shone under others, too. Whether one could accept that or not varied from person to person. As ‘Don Vanetti’s younger brother’, Ganzo had cut a path for himself and come this far. There were things he didn’t like, but he could do something about them with his own strength. So Frate had to choose his own path.’ [This is first class foreshadowing+misdirection if I’ve ever seen it?!!]
Re: Nero’s worry for Corteo - ‘It seemed Avilio, who had been the one originally with Corteo, had already made preparations. If Barbero was with him, he could relax. He was Nero’s reliable brain. Recently, he had done a lot with Avilio, so they hadn’t been together much, but he trusted him deeply.’
‘Speaking of which, Nero realised he hadn’t heard the story of how Avilio and Corteo got to know one another, though they seemed to have a trusting relationship that wouldn’t lose out to Barbero and Nero’s.’ [Given the timing of everything + how they spaced the recap ep, the planning on this series is incredible. The Melancholy of Barbero + Interlude probably take place between eps 7 and 8 as well.]
In the novel, Nero starts asking about Avilio and Corteo. He doesn’t in the anime.
The Vanetti kids meet at an underground speakeasy on the Vanetti turf.
Novel talks a bit about how Nero does think about how it was Frate who ordered the hit on him, but in spite of that, he doesn’t feel hate when he looks at Frate. ‘No matter what, they shared the same blood; Frate was his precious younger brother.
Frate is aware that he is Ronaldo’s puppet :( Nero’s surprised when Frate drags up old stories.
'Frate, who was dependent on the medicine Ronaldo gave him, radiated with the madness of a scared person.’
On Fio: ‘As long as they didn’t perish, they could start over. Even if they had to live under someone, they could live. But if they perished, everything would come to nothing.’
‘Fio’s harsh critique pierced his heart. ……It was as she said.’
On Nero’s words about the soup getting cold: ‘It was ironic that this soup had “the taste of family.”’
^^^ The above scenes are all more from Nero’s perspective, but it switches back to Avilio’s when they’re walking together after the meeting. ‘It seemed the meeting purely between siblings hadn’t reached a good resolution. He watched Nero, who couldn’t hide his depressed state, but didn’t try to speak to him.’
On Nero wanting to work things out with Ronaldo: ‘He couldn’t help but scoff at the unexpected line. Nero didn’t answer. Avilio, irritated, thrust the reality of the situation at him.’
After Nero says his line about family being more important than anything: ‘He sucked in a breath. Avilio had had a family he held more dear than anything else too. Do you think you’re the only one who feels that way……You’re saying that, when you’re the one who took them away — Unable to control himself, he replied, “……I had a little brother like him once.”’ [THIS SECTION! THIS SECTION IS SO IMPORTANT]
Nero doesn’t understand. ‘You don’t understand? You wouldn’t understand. Ahh, that’s right. That’s right indeed……Avilio chuckled lightly and told him, “I’ll let you meet him soon.” The moment Nero understood the meaning of those words — Avilio was waiting impatiently for that moment.’
Volpe doesn’t suspect a thing when Avilio calls him out to the pier :(
‘People who believed in God assembled with their family and went to church to worship on Sundays. Avilio had stopped believing in God a long time ago.’
When Ronaldo tells Frate the family will be his: ‘Frate had mixed feelings about that. The words Nero had flung at him still pierced his heart. To Frate, Nero was someone he had never been able to surpass. Now, he was about to lie at Frate’s feet. But it was hard to say it was the result of something Frate himself had done. He felt both that it was fine that way, and that he couldn’t draw back now.’
After they’re fired at, Frate is relieved to be alive but terrified that he was targeted :(
Volpe’s tormented by pain and the cold, but he’s still worried about Nero :( [AND THEN THE NOVEL IS LIKE ‘welp, he did stop the bleeding’ HOW DARE]
‘The man faithful to Nero had lost his life for that. It must have been a great desire of him; Avilio chuckled darkly.
[Frate’s resolve after the crash is definitely born from his fear.]
‘He didn’t have the time to consider what expression Ganzo watched him leave with.’ [Brilliant foreshadowing, but also slightly intriguing - it’s possibly that Ganzo wanted Frate alive…]
Ronaldo’s amazed by Frate’s dependence on the drugs :(
On Fango’s gloating at Nero: ‘Avilio knew how those words pierced Nero’s heart’.
When Nero goes to answer Fio’s call, ‘Avilio watched him leave and thought, it’s almost time……’
‘Fio wanted to believe that this was the best way to do things right now. So her family wouldn’t hurt one another any more than this. It was all she prayed for.’
Fio recognises Avilio’s voice because he works so much with Nero but doesn’t know his name. The impression left on her is that of a man with handsome features but an unwaveringly cold air. She supposes the flowers are an apology for being late as Nero’s quite good with that sort of thing.
The pistol was included along with the message to Fio in the bouquet.
On Frate shooting first but ending up dead: ‘Perhaps he hadn’t been prepared, or perhaps he had forgotten to put bullets in. Nero didn’t know.’
As Avilio walks off: ‘……Still. Vincent is still alive as well. Avilio’s revenge still wasn’t over.’
On Avilio’s words to Nero: ‘He smiled with something completely different to the love Corteo had given him.’
‘At the moment, he had to support Nero, who was grieving.’
‘Barbero and Tigre were watching from nearby, concerned for Nero. But Barbero’s gaze was suspicious; he was looking at Avilio, not Nero.’