I believe in a thing called love. Just listen to the rhythm of my heart.
Enta and Kazuki commit to finding the remaining dishes, but are stopped by Reo, who is revealed to be a Kappa who used to be one of Keppi’s vassals along with Mabu. He threatens them for the last dish, but they won’t budge, so he takes them down to the Otter base. Once there, they’re stopped by Mabu, who tells them that the Otter knows about the dishes too. Kazuki and Enta use this as a chance to escape while Mabu and Reo have a lover’s spat, and encounter Dark Keppi, who is Keppi’s despair that was born from a split Shirikodama that Keppi must reunite to fight the Otters. I hope everyone got all that.
Otter boss finds them and describes himself as a collection of desire, showing it by attempting to possess Enta into giving up the last dish, but he resists and breaks it instead. Reo also secures the other four, but Otter turns Mabu into a Kappa Zombie as a distraction and a way to find another dish. However, the one to face this zombie won’t be Kazuki or Enta, but Reo, who asks to be turned back into a Kappa to perform the Sarazanmai ritual. But once he devours Mabu’s Shirikodama, he learns of Otter’s deal to keep Mabu’s emotions hidden to keep his mechanical heart from exploding for the hope that they could eventually be together, which makes Reo’s treatment of him since then feel foolish. But with his Shirkodama purified, Mabu is finally able to confess his love before he is quickly erased from Reo’s memory.
Mabu’s purification gives up another silver dish, bringing the total back to five. As Reo goes on a destructive rampage to get the dishes back, he doesn’t notice Toi sneak up behind and shoot him. Keppi manages to keep him and Mabu safe as little circles, and the five dishes are turned into a golden dish of hope. Toi threatens to take it to revive Chikai, but ultimately allows Kazuki to use it on Enta. In that moment, Otter releases Dark Keppi, with the hope that he’ll destroy all connections in the world, leaving only desire. Dark Keppi grabs Toi, who is lured in by a vision of Chikai.
Oh hey, after a few episodes of no zombies, we finally follow up that idea of having one of them being an established character whose erasing from existence has a noticeable impact! Though while I was certain that the one to get that honor would be Chikai (or Haruka if this show REALLY wanted to get dark), it turned out to be Mabu of all people, who was actually a Kappa with Reo all this time! Definitely didn’t think that the next time we’d see the Sarazanmai ritual, it would be through the bad guys. We’re getting a lot of turning the established formula on its head this week…which actually leads me to my concern that the finale next week might end up feeling a bit rushed as a result.
I mean, we had A LOT going on this time. We learn about two of the bad guys’ real backgrounds, then about Dark Keppi’s nature and origins, then have another zombie fight after what feels like forever, followed by having the aforementioned two bad guys killed in a totally unexpected take on the ritual, and lastly the final battle starting up with Toi’s capture. Almost feels like just sped through about half a dozen episodes worth of plots in one fell swoop, leading me to think that the remaining episode and finale will probably be a bit of a crash landing. I’m still invested as hell, but this seems like it will conclude less gracefully than the purification ritual and more like the moment one of the boys has to jump in a butt for spiritual butt bead. I wish they had gone with about double the planned episode count, not only because I’d be interested in seeing more with these characters and this world, but also because I think the story pacing really could have benefitted from it.
But next week appears to definitely be the finale, with Toi needing to be rescued this time and Otter boss needing to be stopped once and for all. I highly doubt we’re in for a particularly dark ending, so Toi will probably be fine in the long run, but it’s hard to predict how everyone else will get there. I’m also pretty sure that one episode probably won’t be enough for me to completely change my opinion of the show, so we’re likely in for something that will be more or less satisfying, even if it might not be exactly the precision handling I prefer. So basically I’m looking forward to it.