by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 10 of
So I'll admit it: I was actually caught off guard by Sakuya not being on the offensive when he encountered Kotarou, Kotori, and Kagari. Instead, he ends helping them in butler-like fashion and training Kotarou at the latter's request, which suggests that his orders from Akane carried additional implicit meaning. Combine that with Akane later sending Chihaya off to join them (with a letter to Kotarou in hand) and her attitude both during the scene where she meets with Kotarou and Kagari and later when she's with the older Saint, and you easily get the sense that Akane is more strapped into Gaia doctrine by her position rather than in agreement with it.
For his part, Sakuya surprises in another way too. He actually knows about Kotarou's power, though based on his reaction when Kotarou first shows his claws, he may not have known that Kotarou himself had it. His proclamation that Kotarou would eventually lose his humanity if he uses the power too much is not surprising though. It makes perfect sense; he's fundamentally altering himself when he uses it, after all. Still, Chihaya's comments about being “given” her strength by Sakuya suggest that he's a lot more than he appears to be.
The other big turn of events comes from what's going on at Guardian. As soon as Lucia said she was going to investigate the forest in Shizuru's place, but that she wouldn't do anything foolish, I had a feeling that things were going to go bad for her. Her confrontation with the beast guy did result in the series' best action scene to date, and even though she did seemingly lose, she left that guy (I presume) in no shape to continue going after (she thinks) Kotarou and Kotori, so at least in that sense, Lucia's decision to prioritize friends over duty paid off. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait at least until next episode to find out whether or not she survived that skewering and fall at the end. There is certainly precedent in Key series for killing off a major female character in a fight (see the flashback arc from Air), and Key has built its reputation on populating its titles with tragic girls, so it's certainly not out of the question that Lucia may have gone tragic on us. However, I'll be a little surprised if they actually do it in this case.
Unsurprisingly, we also saw Kagari have a brief and potentially troubling flash to her true personality, which is undoubtedly a setup for the major plot push in the final three episodes. Despite all of the serious content, this episode once again had a satisfying amount of humor. Though it was close to being edgy for a moment, I liked how Kotarou played Akane during their meeting (over the whole promise of feeling her up if he could prove the existence of the occult), and Kagari's passion for cheap canned coffee – and the way it totally throws Sakuya for a loop – is an effective running joke.
So despite the ragged start, it's another pretty solid episode.
Rewrite is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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