Warning: The series I am reviewing contain depictions of child abduction, disappearance, murder and violence in a future totalitarian society. It also depicts sexual violence. The show also contains relationships sexual relationships between young people. That is the trigger warning.
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Also spoilers for the episode and the whole series. Do not read any further if you don’t want spoilers.
Recap:The episode opens where the last one left off. The monk has been killed by the balloon dog. Right before the blast we see Maria grab Saki’s hand with a strange look on her face. Not only does it explode it also contains a number of weapons for bones. Shun says ‘A species will do anything to survive even if its absurd. The children are now not only powerless but have no one to protect them. The monster rats don’t attack straight away so Group One begin to slowly move away. However the rats sense their fear and attack. Group One thus run for it, splitting up. Saki becomes separate from the rest of the group and falls down a slope but she is soon joined by Satoru. He embraces her comforting her in a way that is clearly more then friendly. Satoru keeps up a brave face because Saki is clearly scared He is calm and gentle. Satoru and Saki are soon surrounded by Monster Rats. Satoru is injured (a cut on the forehead) and Saki is grabbed by one of the rats.
They are put in a cage in a tree. What follows next is not shown but is clear that Saki and Satoru are engaging with each other sexually. They are both clearly stressed and this is relief for them just like with the bonobos-including immature ones. Like the false Minoshiro states. Saki then notices that one of the rat guards is watching them. Satoru give the rat a fake thatchnester’s egg. Mentioned about two episodes ago when they saw the thatchnester’s nest. The rat eats the egg and his stomach to explode giving the two a chance to escape. They start to run as fast as they can. They meet a rat called Squealer who takes them to his colony’s rat cave. He called the two Gods and brings them to his Queen. The Queen is first hidden under a cloth. But Squealer trips and the cloth catches fire. The Queen enraged nearly kills Squealer but ceases her attack at Saki’s pleading.
Squealer then makes a request of Saki and Satoru. The Robertfly Colony is being invaded by another Colony. Squealer begs for their help. Satoru tries to get out of the situation by saying that they don’t have permission from the elders. If the other Colony wins, the Queen will be executed and the other rats enslaved. During the night the other Colony (the earth spiders) attack. Saki and Satoru try to flee but toxic gas spreads through the tunnels. They are chased by monster rats. Satoru uses his torch and the gas to create an explosion causing the tunnels to collapse. They end up in cave trapped beneath rubble. Things then take a surreal turn. Saki and Satoru see what they think is the sky but it turns out to be some kind of liquid. The end is a bit hard to understand but it looks as though the liquid falls down causing more collapsing of the tunnel. They are buried further.
The episode cuts to credits.
Analysis: This episode contains a lot of action, the fluid and mobile animation style serves this episode very well. Other then that the character who really comes into his own here is Satoru. This is my second time watching this series. The first time round I disliked Satoru until this episode. I found him annoying and his tall tales distracting. However this time round I found him far less so. A lot of his tales have some element of truth in them and he is more sharp then the others realize. He also is rather resourceful using the fake thatchnester’s fake egg to escape. In this episode we also get see that he and Saki are attracted to each other in a way that is more then friends. But it does not seem to be as clearly spelled out as her romantic feelings for Shun, it’s more subtle.
There will be more on this later in the series. This is another aspect of the series I greatly enjoy, it is a series that takes time to introduce things and builds on them. It does not rush straight into the action instead it is more slow paced. I have criticized past episodes on the fact that the pacing and timeline were jumbled but by now the show does have it figured out. The story progresses forward from here in a more smooth manner.
The other thing is this episode tells us more about the monster rats and their society. We even meet one of their Queens. The monster rats are a eusocial species. Their Queens give birth and seems to be the only reproductive member of their society. They are compared many times in the series to the Naked Mole-Rat. Since the monster rats are based off the mole-rat then the other monster rats besides the Queens are male or else infertile females. One the Queen dies in mole-rats another female takes her place. We don’t get much more information on that through out the series but this does make for an interesting species that are different to the human pk users.
Of course there is so much more coming with both of Monster Rats and the Humans.