by Mercedez Clewis,
How would you rate episode 9 of
Slow Loop ?
Community score: 4.3
“I Wanna Go on a Fishing and Camping Trip!” gently guides us into autumn, with Koi taking the lead, until Hiyori and Koharu reveal that they've run away from home via a sudden appearance that breaks Koi's rather poetic musings on the seasonal change.
As to what caused this sudden departure, it turns out that Koharu and her step-sister were forbidden from going camping alone because… well, because they're high school students, which doesn't feel quite fair. (It's also because Koharu's father worries for his daughter who did take ill in episode 8.) Both Koharu and even the typically coolheaded Hiyori reacted rather poorly to their father's ultimatum, and the rest, as they say, is history.
It's as simple a conflict as it gets, but quickly becomes a vehicle to explore Koharu's relationship with her father Issei. More importantly, episode 9 is a frank reminder of the importance of letting children be independent and allowing them to invest time in what matters to them. Because it's clear that this trip isn't just a trip to Koharu and Hiyori: it's something really, really important to the girls, which their father needs to realize, even if he doesn't fish himself.
By and large, Slow Loop has so far been a show about Hiyori, Koharu, and their community. It's reflected in their fishing companions throughout the season: initially with Koi and her father, then with Ichika, and now with just Koi and no “adults” present. It's a small thing that builds in the background until you notice it: a kind of subtle, “Oh, yeah, I guess this is their first solo trip!” moment that when resolved feels right because it ultimately bonds the family even more. Why? Because Hiyori's arc of grief once again comes full circle, and we realize that a lot of Koharu's father's worries are because of both of his daughters. It's why he clings to them both, but also why he let's them go in the end, resulting in yet another beautiful episode of fishing that marries everything I love about Laid-Back Camp with a strong emotional foundation.
A lot else happens, of course, but most of it is the same old, same old: Hiyori and Koharu do a good deal of fishing, the girls see different aspects of one another, and they head back to go cook a meal with their catches of the day. There's a lot of joy in watching Koharu catch a bucket of fish, but what matters most is the fact that Koharu and Hiyori got to go on the trip in the first place. They get to spend time together and have fun, and hopefully, that'll mean that when the time comes, their father will be perfectly okay with something big for the finale.
Overall, it's another good Fly Fishing Friday with the girls of Slow Loop. The series continues to be incredibly charming, and reminds me that sometimes, slowing down and enjoying the ebb and flow of life – and maybe having some good fish – is the way to go. What a wonderful life lesson to keep in mind.
Slow Loop is currently streaming on Funimation.
Mercedez is a JP-EN translation and localization light novel editor & proofreader/QA, pop culture critic, and a journalist who, when not writing for ANN, writes for Anime Feminist, where they're a staff editor. They're also a frequent cohost on the Anime Feminist Podcast, Chatty AF. This season, they're reflecting on their youth with Akebi's Sailor Uniform. When they're not writing and reviewing, you can find them on their Twitter or on their Instagram where she's always up to something.
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