The gloves are pretty much off now. This is going to be a dark ride of epic proportions from here to the end, I suspect.
abandoned hospital is a horror cliché, and this ep embraced it fully – heck we even had Dr. Noguchi say “Run – he’ll be back!” without telling us who “he” was. But horror clichés (strange lights in dark windows, slowly turning door handles) are usually horror clichés for a reason – they’re scary. And given the realities of the world SSY has created, that’s all the more so here – and all of that was mined for non-stop suspense and horror, start to finish. This was one of the most white-knuckle, keep-the-lights-on anime episodes I’ve seen in a long time. Things started out bad – Saki and Satoru joining the survivors of another group that had lost three members for a late-night patrol to the hospital outside the village – and just got worse from there. The fact that there were queerats waiting in ambush was only the tip of the iceberg – there was far worse waiting inside the remains of that building.
arrogant idiots who refuse to believe the queerats are a real threat despite the evidence of dead loved ones all around them, or cowards so terrified at the prospect of facing an enemy that they’re willing to let their colleagues face the danger alone. The picture painted in the village since the news of the potential queerat war broke out isn’t much better – only Tomiko and Shisei seem to have any real sense, and they’re the primary stewards of the policy that led to this moment in the first place. Of course, Saki and Satoru are another matter – Satoru especially has proved himself to be an exceptionally thoughtful and practical young man when dealing with the unexpected and deadly. That just makes seeing the two of them in the situation they’re currently facing all the more heartbreaking.
horror of what happened in the hospital pretty much speaks for itself – the implications not so much. Clever queerats under cunning leadership bent on the destruction of mankind is bad enough, but it doesn’t hold a candle to facing a fiend. I’m not taking anything as a given, though it seems almost impossible to believe what we’re seeing (including in the preview) isn’t the work of a fiend. A fiend aligned with (or enslaved by) Yaromaru explains his willingness to go to war with the O-Suzumebachi, the betrayal by the Spider Wasps, and his confidence in attacking “Gods”. But fiends don’t seem rational in the slightest – how exactly do you go about training one to be in your service? If Mamoru and Maria had a baby 9 months after they left Satoru and Saki behind, it’s possible that he’d jut be hitting puberty now if he were very precocious – and puberty seems to be a prerequisite for cantus, never mind fiend-ism. But how could Yaromaru have known he’d turn into a fiend – and how did he “tame” him? And why would a fiend keep survivors alive, cocooned in bandages like a fly in spider silk? There are too many things here that don’t add up – there’s at least one major piece still missing from this puzzle, maybe more (perhaps connected with the way the Robber Fly lobotomized and used their queens – though the implications of that are too horrible for me to consider yet, even with this series).