After the previous episode’s…interesting cliffhanger, this episode focuses on the group getting Manatsu back. The death of his horse causes him to have an existential crisis and run off into Masumi’s spiritual realm. It ends up becoming a conflict of which sibling he should stay with: his deceased brother or his very-alive sister. I wasn’t too sure what they meant when Mayura was talking about Masumi “taking” Manatsu away and becoming one, but it implies that Manatsu could let Masumi eat his soul. Or something. They really weren’t clear what the stakes were in this episode.
As the conclusion to the Souda triplets arc, I thought some things could’ve been done better. We find out that Manatsu has the same heart defect that killed Masumi, so Mayura wants to become the World Heritage Candidate to help him. First off, we still have no idea what being a World Heritage Candidate means. They’ve brought it up many times now, but it seems to exist solely to advance the plot. In a way, it’s a lot like the rivalry between Takayanagi and Mayura: they talk about it a lot, but we never really see it.
Weirdly enough, I felt that Izumiko and Miyuki ended up getting more character development than the Souda triplets themselves. Here we see Izumiko trying her best to help find Manatsu. Despite the risk of the Goddess coming out and interfering, she insists on finding Manatsu and bringing him back. From her posture and her tone, she is definitely not the same Izumiko from the very beginning.
Even Miyuki got some development in this episode. We get just the smallest glimpse of what his true potential is. It’s been hinted that he’s actually stronger than we’re lead to believe, and that he keeps his knowledge and powers hidden to protect both himself and Izumiko from suspicious eyes. The black wings were really surprising, and I wish we had gotten to see just what his powers were before he was stopped.
The appearance of Izumiko’s mother was really surprising as well. She certainly looks like the adventurous type. The very fact that she was in the vicinity, in a forest out in the middle of nowhere, is pretty suspicious to me. I get the feeling that she knows more than she’s willing to tell her daughter.
While not the best of arcs, it was interesting to see the characters develop outside of school. The focus on the Souda triplets revealed more of their background together and showed just how important their bond to one another is. The arc also helped strengthen the bond between Izumiko and Miyuki, who seem closer than ever. Now that their summer is over, we can get back to the central conflict at school.
- Did they ever explain why Masumi was a dragon?
- I feel like this show introduces a lot of ideas without any explanation to the audience…