R.O.D the TV
"In the Gray Light of the Abyss"
Episode no. TV 15
Airdate December 16, 2003 (Japan)
April 5, 2005 (US)
Year 2007
Episode chronology
Previous episode "Forest of Paper Leaves"
Next episode "Fahrenheit 451"

Episode SynopsisEdit

The Paper Sisters and Nenene Sumiregawa are blamed for the destruction of Hong Kong. The girls must find a new direction, but when all hope is lost a new light appears.

Extended SummaryEdit

At the airport, Nenene Sumiregawa checks in at Immigration with the name Junko Suzuki. An equally annoyed Anita King is next, with the name Keiko Tachibana on her passport. As the four travel by train back to Nenene's apartment, it's revealed that they are now branded as criminals in Hong Kong (for their involvement in the fight at Hong Kong) and returning to Japan, under aliases, was their only choice.

When they arrive at Nenene's apartment, however, they find it to be a mess, as though someone was searching for something. Maggie Mui suggests that it was a robbery, but Michelle Cheung realizes that Nenene's credit cards and bankbook are still here. Nenene is furious, deciding to call the cops and expose Dokusensha (now that they're safely in Japan).

By luck, Michelle turns the TV on first, revealing that the police are already on the way, to arrest her and the 3 terrorists with her. The girls barely escape in time and flee to a restaurant. As Michelle makes suggestions on what to do, Anita picks up the Zippo lighter Nenene was playing with earlier and lights it. It sparks a memory in her, and Anita drops the lighter under the table. Nenene picks up the lighter and sees that three white sticks have fallen from inside it, reading "Dokusensha Mission Order". Michelle asks for the rolls, and using toothpicks, she unrolls each one:

  • "Collect immediately...Toto Books in Jinbocho." Anita recognizes the name of the bookstore and wonders aloud at what it means.
  • The Book of Clairvoyant Eyes. Maggie guesses that it's what Dokusensha's looking for.
  • Owner: The Paper.

The girls go to Toto Books to ask the owner what he knows. He talks about how the bookstores in Jinbocho are closing, which makes Nenene explode, demanding to know where Yomiko Readman is. The owner claims not to know where she is and asks them to leave. Anita proceeds to assault the old man with a paper man, asking if he can understand what Nenene is going through, fortunately, her sisters take Anita down before she can heap more abuse. Nenene then makes a more heartfelt apology and plea for help.

The old man tells himself that he made a promise to her, and he'd never broken a promise before, "So, I guess it will be my first time today." Admitting that he's also waiting for Nenene to keep writing.

He directs them to the largest collection of books in Japan, the National Diet Library. The girls meet the Deputy Librarian, who is surprised that someone is coming to visit the woman who's been hiding here for the past 5 years. Michelle and Maggie are excited at the sheer number of books, Anita holds her nose. The Deputy Library leaves them to see an unexpected guest, also telling them not to touch the books because they're so old.

The girls are wandering around when they hear a woman yell. Nenene rushes forward, thinking it's her sensei, and helps pull an arm out from under the books, but it's not her. Nenene demands from the woman where Yomiko is, causing her to look upset, when the 2 are interrupted with a familiar "Nancy-san!"

A woman appears around the corner, with a stack of books blocking her view. She tilts her head around, and it's Yomiko Readman.

For almost 15 seconds Yomiko and Nenene stare at each other, then Yomiko sets down her books and runs. Yomiko immediately protests, insisting that she isn't the one Nenene's looking for. Nenene finally takes the running Yomiko down with a book to the head, causing Yomiko to collide into a book cage, and tackles the older woman. Yomiko attempts to escape, but Nenene tearfully hangs on. Nenene promptly begins berating the legendary Paper Master.

Yomiko invites the group into her "home", hidden behind several mechanized shelves. Nenene introduces the sisters, who reveal that they are Papermasters; Yomiko makes a butterfly that Nancy chases. Yomiko introduces herself and Nancy, "a friend". Nenene, Maggie and Michelle explain the events leading up to now as Anita wanders away to meet Nancy. Nancy comments that Anita is cute, just like her child, but her child died.

Nenene and the sisters try to get Yomiko to come with them, but Yomiko doesn't want to leave. As long as she has books and Nancy, she's happy. Nenene explodes, demanding to know what happened to Yomiko 5 years ago.

A second voice chimes in that he would like to know as well: Joseph Carpenter. He greets Yomiko and Nancy as well, much to Nancy's fear, before joining the group.


  • The fake Japanese passports were issued on April 10, 2005 and expire 5 years later.
  • For dessert, the girls order custard pudding, ice cream, annin tofu, and sweet red bean soup with (water) chestnuts, desserts commonly found in Asia.
  • Mr. Woo is perched on a taxi reading "Kura Taxi".
  • The Dokusensha orders are written in traditional Chinese (used in Hong Kong and Taiwan), as opposed to simplified Chinese (used in mainland China).
  • The ceilings in the storage area Yomiko lives in are lower to allow more books to be stored.
  • Yomiko cleaning up her living space is highly reminiscent of OVA Episode 1.
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