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.
Leave now if you wish.
Also spoilers for the episode and the whole series. Do not read any further if you don’t want spoilers.
Recap: The episode picks up where the last one left off. Saki and Satoru being buried under the cave in. They are in a tight embrace after the cave crumbles. Satoru asks Saki if she is okay. They are both alright and he lets her go. He soon realizes they must be buried very deeply because they can’t hear anything.
Saki and Satoru wonders about the others and both say they are grateful to have the other with them. Next we get a series of surreal images. They seem to be showing us the inside of Saki’s mind. We see the False Minoshiro again but this time it keeps changing and altering shape. Next we see the fire in the temple of purification. Then a flashback occurs where we learn that Saki know Satoru’s mantra from a childhood game.
With this knowledge and a bit of improvisation she puts Satoru under a hypnotic state and unlocks his powers. He clears away the rocks and makes a staircase for them to escape. Saki listens to see if there is anyone close by. With the cost somewhat clear they leave the cave in. Saki and Satoru quickly deduce where the Monster rats are hiding. Saki wants to run away but Satoru says otherwise. He decides to wipe out the enemy monster rats. To do this he adopts a number of tactics including transforming a rock into bullets, sending their arrows back at them and setting threes on fire. He reflects that slicing them up with wind would have been cooler but he will make do. Even Saki is scared by this display of blood lust.
Next they come across the machines making the poison gas and more rats. Satoru’s methods become even more cruel using the rat’s dead bodies to scare the others. Soon the Earth Spiders at the Machines are dead. Saki then says then should just leave as the Earth Spiders are no longer following them. But Satoru instead wants to wipe them out. Saki then confronts him saying ‘What has happened to you it’s like you are a different person’. She points out that they don’t even know where the Earth Spider’s nest is. But then Squalor pops up again.
Squalor informs them of where the Earth Spiders are hiding, in the forest across the clearing. Squalor offer them a safe passage. We also learn that the monster rats use poison arrows. The poison is from a foreign frog. Squalor also tells Saki and Satoru that his Queen is safe. Squalor asks them to smith the Earth Spiders colony. Saki fears the path may not be safe but Squalor assures her it is. Saki is not fully trusting and arranges for doubles to be used just in case.
Their doubles do not last long and are killed by archers hiding in the trees. Saki quickly deduces which one has Satoru shake it so they fall out. The archers are two small snake like creatures not monster rats. Saki and Satoru speculate that perhaps the Rats can take on other forms and hide themselves as anything in the forest. Saki suggests turning back but Satoru says if they do so they will hunted down.
Next they come across a pound. When one of the monster rats on their side is killed. Turns out there are frogs hiding in the pond. Satoru begins to boil the water in the pond killing them. Saki notices that behind them are some badger like creatures. She tells Satoru this and their location. He promptly cuts them down using the water from the pond. Satoru points out that the frogs were just bait to pull them in. Saki fears that use of his powers is wearing him out but he just smiles at her and insists they keep going.
But Satoru is clearly becoming more tired as in the next scene he protects them from rocks being flung at them and send them back. In the end they run for it. Saki realizes which tree they are up and Satoru sets it on fire. Squalor appears again and tells them the Earth Spider’s defenses have been cut down and asks Saki and Satoru to crush them. Saki however is angry because he told them the path was safe and it turned out to be a trap. She is also worried that Satoru is too tired to continue. She tries to get Satoru to leave again but he refuses. However in her anger she lets slip that her powers are sealed to Squalor.
As they continue Satoru becomes more exhausted. They come across where the Earth Spiders are gathered and hid themselves in the woods and shrubs. The episode cuts to credits.
Analysis: There are a lot of things done well and done right in this episode but one thing that really wasn’t. We’ll start with that. Saki unlocks Satoru’s powers using his mantra, why didn’t she do this sooner? The plot? Also there was no hint before hand that she knew his mantra making this come out of left field. But everything else in this episode is very well handled.
Saki and Satoru are shown to care about and comfort one another. Saki’s concern for Satoru is shown through out the episode and exposes a wide range of emotions. From worry to anger. We also see that without her powers Saki is far from useless, she is able to spot traps Satoru and others are not. She deduces quickly where the enemy is hiding. It was Saki was the one who figured out how to unseal someone’s power (although why she didn’t do it sooner is still bothersome). However we also see her character is not perfect when in her anger she gives away information that endangers her. Namely that she does not have her powers.
Meanwhile we also get more character development for Satoru and my goddess is he terrifying. He displays blood-lust and joy for fighting. Not only does he enjoy it but he is good at it. Coming up with rather creative ways to kill the Monster Rats. These last few episodes have given Satoru a lot of development. At first he was a loud and annoying child who told tall tales. But now his tales are not so tall, he is clearly a fast thinker, logical and smart. He is also loyal sticking alongside Saki (that will come up again). So because of this I actually like the fact he has such blood-lust. It keeps his character more fleshed out and developed. We and Saki have seen some very different sides to him lately-shown by Saki saying ‘you’re acting like a different person.
We also learn more about the Monster Rats their battle tactics and that even though the humans have a clear advantage the Rats are still a threat to them. Perhaps the rats are also more powerful then they first seem with the idea of ‘taking any form they want’. Or perhaps they simply have made allies with other creatures. Either way they are mounting up to be quite the antagonists down the the road.Lastly the animation once again stands out here especially with all the action and fight scenes there are in this episode. It makes them very interesting to watch.
There is only one episode left before we get to the first of two time skips. While sexuality is clearly growing as an important aspect of this series, it will not be until after the first time skip it becomes a core part of the story. Especially same-sex sexuality. For that reason I intend on publishing my analysis of sexuality in this episode along with my review of episode eight. I will be addressing the very simple question -do the character in this anime count as bisexual representation? I hope you enjoyed this review.