Alice & Zoroku
Episode 9

by Amy McNulty,

How would you rate episode 9 of
Alice & Zoroku ?

For the most part, Alice & Zoroku opts to keep things low-key this week. After the previous episode's lengthy look at Hatori and Ayumu's struggles, the latest installment shifts the focus back to Sana as she deals with the aftermath of last week's super-powered battle. It's clear that Hatori's shenanigans left Sana shaken, and the audience is given a look at how she deals with people who compromise the safety of her family, even if the attack was never intended to be personal. With plenty of laughs, fun interactions, and character insights, episode 9 helps move the current storyline in the right direction.

After regaining consciousness, Sana finds herself back home with Asahi, Yonaga, Sanae, and Zoroku. Because the incident from the previous episode put Zoroku behind schedule, he has to return to work, much to Sana's chagrin. Fortunately, the twins turning their visit into an impromptu sleepover helps lift Sana's spirits a little. However, she isn't about to forgive Hatori for what she did. Because her powers were caught on a security camera, drawing the attention of Naito and Yamada, Hatori has resolved to stop going to school and remain in her home indefinitely. Despite the detectives' efforts to speak with her, the girl uses her powers to send them away each time they visit. Reasoning that Sana is the only person who can help her wayward friend, Ayumu attempts to track her down—only to have Sana find her first and pull her into an alternate dimension.

While it doesn't do much to further the plot, the first half of the episode serves as a fun little detour and nicely illustrates how much Sana has changed during her time with the Kashimuras. In some respects, she's done a better job of adjusting to civilian life than Asahi and Yonaga, though the twins seem to have more common sense and a better understanding of social norms. Watching her obediently do chores and abstain from using her powers during this portion of the episode also makes her Wonderland-inspired attack on Ayumu all the more surprising.

Sana's deep-seeded desire to protect her loved ones is an interesting approach for the character to adopt. In light of everything she's been through in recent memory, it makes perfect sense that she'd want to nip any potentially significant threats in the bud. Her devious laughter while planning and executing her scheme to ensnare Ayumu may also suggest that she derives a certain amount of pleasure from getting even, though this is likely meant to serve as a source of comedy. Given the Wonderland motif of the world she created, her nickname—the Red Queen—may finally hold some significance. Her sense of justice is warped and bound to lead to trouble.

Two episodes in, the Sana vs. Hatori storyline continues to prove entertaining and intriguing. Had the first few episodes unfolded at such an organic pace, the show would have been better for it. Hatori's descent into isolation coupled with Sana's desire for revenge are likely to make for an interesting confrontation in the near future.

Rating: B+

Alice & Zoroku is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Amy is an author who has loved anime for over two decades.

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