by Gabriella Ekens,
How would you rate episode 8 of
Community score: 3.8
Another Occultic;Nine episode, another plot point introduced right out of nowhere. At least it's only one thing this week. It turns out that Yuta's dead dad – who has not been mentioned prior to the point in this show - was the host of that radio station, FM-KCZ, that Shuu brought up in connection to the case last week. He goes to visit the station and finds Asuna there to meet him. She explains that his dad is somehow involved in whatever the hell is going on. Apparently his independent radio show, which was quite popular, led to him becoming a central figure in a cult, the Society of the Eight Gods of Fortune, putting Yuta at the center of all this somehow. Yuta didn't know that his dad was a cult leader, but he comes to believe Asuna when she displays her psychometry powers. Following this conversation, the two split up, resolving to work on the case together at a later time.
At this point, Occultic;Nine is doing a decent job of tying a good chunk of its plot threads into the Society of the Eight Gods of Fortune, which is that SEELE-like cult that stood around in a red room talking ominous nonsense a few episodes ago. Apparently their plan (which one of their number exposits to a room full of people already in-the-know) is to sell immortality as ghosts on the astral plane to rich investors, which they've figured out how to do by injecting people with the element scandium. The suicides were test subjects for the Eight Gods of Fortune to perfect this technique. Seems simple enough. But that's not even the entire plan! Selling immortality is really just a front for giving rich people the injections, which will actually contain mind control serum. With the ruling class under the Eight Gods of Fortune's control, they will achieve WORLD DOMINATION. (They go into a lot more detail about the plan than I mention here, but it's mostly irrelevant technobabble.) The members sit around clapping, obviously very proud of themselves. Then their real boss calls in on Skype. He doesn't show his face and alters his voice in a very final-boss-like manner. He calls them all stupid and says that he's opposed to the idea of extending the human lifespan because it goes against the Sephiroth or whatever. So the real villain's plan is way more crazy than getting super rich and taking over the world. I bet he's Yuta's dad. That'd be suitably melodramatic and completely out of nowhere.
Meanwhile, reporter Touko uses her newfound ghost powers to figure out that her bosses are working for the Eight Gods of Fortune. A conversation with Ririka, the doujin-author, implies that the creepy albino kid who put Chi into the Death Box is one of the clients for immortality. Devil-san Kiryu has flashbacks to Aria as a child, even though he claims not to be her brother. Miyū is still sad in her room because Chi died. The episode ends with her getting a text from her dead friend. Cut to credits.
So the plot is finally coming together. It's still hot nonsense, but the show is gradually revealing the connections between all its various events. I feel like this is the best that I can hope for at this point. It's too late for Yuta's backstory to become central to the story in any emotionally impactful way, just like it was too late to introduce Asuna as a new major character in the previous episode. I have to reiterate that the production is doing an excellent job at making this material even somewhat compelling, considering how much of it consists of people standing around explaining plot points to one another. I'm most curious to find out how the kotoribako, or Death Box, relates to anything, since it seems like the most disconnected remaining element. I was hoping that Occultic;Nine would be more like a rollercoaster, but it's still approaching its conclusions with fits and starts rather than charging ahead with force.
Occultic;Nine is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Gabriella Ekens studies film and literature at a US university. Follow her on twitter.
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