by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 11 of
This episode is titled “Countdown,” and despite the lack of a literal countdown, it's still quite an appropriate title. The clock is most definitely ticking in more figurative ways, and the end of the episode leaves the overpowering sense that we are about to see Crap Hits The Fan, Part 2. Only this time it won't be a mid-season transition.
As we guessed, Lucia didn't die from that fall at the end of last episode, which suggests one of two things: either the story still has a need for her or this actually isn't one of Key's typical tragic tales. Either way, this and the fact that everyone easily falls back into being friends when Lucia is found and returned to Kotori's hideaway also leans the story away from a reset approach for the finale, since reset approaches require lots of tragedy. But even as the story plays nice on one front (mixing in a rare dose of mild fanservice in the process), troubling signs are all over the place elsewhere. At Gaia, the old Saint is on her last legs, and it looks like this kind of spirit affects the mind of its host when it takes over, much to Akane's alarm. That irritating hunter also gets an exceedingly dangerous new pet in the super-monster that Gaia was shown making a couple of episodes ago, though it does appear that it will eventually be the death of him. At Guardian, scout teams are disappearing, so they're pushing reinforcements into the forest too.
All of this wouldn't be so troublesome if it wasn't for some things Kagari says as she continues to revert to her true persona. In her amnesiac persona, she makes some cutting (though hardly original) observations about the foolishness of humanity, both in the way they resolve conflicts and the way they callously use up resources. Her opinions about humanity aren't entirely negative though, as the way she has seen the humans immediately in front of her interact peaceably – despite coming from three entirely different mindsets – is also giving her a positive view about how things could be. That seems to be setup for the eventual difference-maker in the determination about how Kagari will act when the time comes. However, this still doesn't explain how Kotarou, his special abilities, and the flashes of the past fit into all of this. He still seems to be the swing factor, which could be the linchpin for either getting an impressive message out of this series or a more typical “humanity can save the world and themselves if they just learn to get along and not abuse the planet” line. Let's not forget the odd things that Kotori has noticed either, including another suggestion of an impurity in that power point.
The writing still allows room for a little humor though. It may just be me, but Kagari's running joke about idolizing canned coffee is still pretty funny. (Could it be “freecof” that ultimately saves the world? That would be such a savagely ironic twist that I will stand up and applaud if they actually have the gall to pull that stunt.) Contrarily, the “Kotarou gets slapped around” antics are tiring, as is the ongoing lack of quality artistic merit. Still, the setup for the big finale looks like it's now complete, so the overriding question is whether or not Key is going to pull out something great and emotional to finish this story off.
Rewrite is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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