There’s no final boss in the castle. The castle IS the final boss.
I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS IS ONLY EPISODE 9, IT FELT LIKE THE PRE-FINALE!!!
If you couldn’t tell by my capslocking, this episode really pumped me up. It was a perfectly orchestrated piece of shounen action, with all the aptly-timed drama and plot twists I could ever want. I still find it hard to believe we’re only on episode 9 out of 12, since it already feels like we’re close to the climax. How much higher can we climb? We’ve already hinted at Yukio being more than he seems, revived Nee from the dead, and had the Impure King explode while Rin still can’t draw his sword. Man, this arc is great!
A big part of what makes this action-packed episode so great is that it never lingers for too long on one scene. The characters are scattered around the mountain engaging in their own respective battles. As soon as the timing is right, we switch to another group fighting for their lives. It keeps things fresh and exciting. I also like that they somehow all tie in together, with repeating themes and groups joining up at certain points.
I caught on to the theme of responsibility pretty quickly. It would be easy for any one of them to run away from the Impure King’s spores and pick the easy option. However, everyone is putting their lives on the line very clearly to stop this, so doing so would be the most shameful thing imaginable. It would mean abandoning everyone you loved. That’s why everyone is fighting so hard. The monks are waving their fire-on-a-shiny-stick, Bon is literally a sitting duck who will die if a cat and some twerp with a fuzzy tail can’t protect him, and the other students are basically just trying not to get owned in this situation that is entirely beyond their experience level. It’s an insanely stressful situation, but it’s bringing out the best in everyone.
Well…sort of. Shima temporarily shrugs off responsibility to try and take the easy route, leaving everyone else to die. Shima usually makes empty threats about giving up when things are a hassle, but he’s always gotten roped into doing it anyways. Peer pressure was the biggest thing that prompted him to spring Rin from prison just a little while back. So it’s a little surprising to see him actually walk away from his close friend in a time of need. It would have been a lot more interesting though, if he walked more than like 5 steps before changing his mind. It was a little too hasty.
Shima is such a chill guy that he ends up being one of the most shallow characters of the group, so I would have really liked more time spent on his issues. He does have some interesting baggage, due to his brother sacrificing himself to save him (and Bon). It appears that Shima isn’t flaky because of his personality, but because he doesn’t want to die in vain like his brother. It adds a new level of depth to his previously wafer-thin characterization, and it’s a shame it was so short-lived. Ah well. Maybe in another arc.
fun sized and family sized
In comparison to Shima being a dick for a few seconds, you have Shiemi who immediately rushes to aid Kamiki. She hates being weak, but she doesn’t just try to run away when she doesn’t think she can win. I’m not sure how Nee survived, but I’m glad he’s back since it gives Shiemi something to do other than spill tea and give moving speeches.
I’m also worried about Bon, who is just sitting there and hoping he doesn’t swallow a lungful of spores if Rin so much as blinks for too long. It’s pretty nerve-wracking that Rin still can’t draw his sword, and I wonder what the trigger will be. His friends are showing him affection, he’s in a life or death situation, he felt a twinge of panic from his brother being attacked, and the main sporangium has now exploded…is he mentally triggered to pull it out yet? What other condition needs to be satisfied???
Usually summoning a bunch of sexy ladies is the opposite of a problem…but not this time.
The biggest and potentially most shocking reveal is that Yukio is not quite as human as he lets on. This was part of how season 1 ended, but I wasn’t sure if that was an anime original decision or if it was also part of the manga. I didn’t know how things would play out here, in the “remake”. In season 1, he started to gain demon-like skills that were similar to Rin. Will the same happen here, or are his blue eyes the sign of some sort of possession instead? Todo says that those eyes do not belong to Yukio, suggesting that it’s not something innate…but acquired.
I hope this season ends well, because that means there will be a chance that more arcs will be adapted! I like the anime version because it has some sweet beats by Sawano Hiroyuki. By the way – the music choice this episode was absolutely on point! I’m dying for more!