by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 9 of
Last episode revealed that Kotori was much more deeply involved in this whole supernatural affair than had previously been apparent. This episode more or less explains how she fits in. As suspected, she's not affiliated with either Gaia or Guardian but is instead a Druid, whose main duty is to safeguard the Key. That Key is strongly implied to be Kagari. Kotori doesn't know what that means beyond her somehow being involved in Earth's salvation or destruction, but she does know that Kagari was born of a power point under a big tree in the forest, the one where Kotarou found Kagari back in episode 7 and, though it's not mentioned, presumably the one that Kotarou remembers from his flashback to when he and Kotori were young kids.
But that brings up another point: since Kotori made no mention of that, did she even experience it? And since Kotarou doesn't know about the accident that put Kotori in the situation to become a Druid (which also presumably killed her parents) and has never remembered asking Kotori to be his girlfriend (which seems to be part of her memories), are we possibly talking about different timelines? Kotori did mention that she had certain wishes granted, so it's definitely not out of the realm of possibility. Kotarou's power manifestation also seems to be similar in nature to the power point, which further suggests that he has something more direct to do with this whole affair in one timeline or another. It's also not clear from that whole exchange in Kotori's extradimensional garden whether or not Kotori even knows about Kotarou's Rewrite ability, although I am inclined to think that she does.
It's just as interesting that Lucia didn't recognize Kagari's true nature when she encountered her with Kotarou. If Gaia is in the same boat, then that indicates both sides are acting from limited information. Kotori's revelation about how creating monsters drains life force (but she can avoid it because of having access to the power point) does at least explain what's going on at the very end of the episode, where it looks like Gaia is sacrificing members to create something nasty and powerful. That also suggests that the guy with the wolves is burning himself out pretty quickly.
For all the serious matters being explained, the episode still finds room for some fun. Kotarou and Kagari bounce off each other pretty well, but Yoshino also contributes with his philosophical take on being a gang leader and the scouting missions, and the fairies are back too. Key also gets in its share of meta references; watch for more Key brand coffee cans and, in Kotori's flashback to gaining her Druid powers, the reemergence of the infamous Gao Gao Stegosaurus T-shirt first seen in Air. Too bad the technical merits aren't up to par; if anything, they are slowly but surely getting worse.
So things are finally starting to come together about the Big Picture, although a lot of niggling details still remain to be resolved. The content here also reaffirms that Kagari's path is going to be the focus from this point out, even if other girls have significant roles. Next week, it looks like we will have some more direct conflict, but most of an episode devoted to plot-building isn't so bad after the time-killing escapades seen earlier in the series.
Rewrite is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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