Gao Gao Stegosaurus.
What the fuck, Gil and Pani?! I thought they were cool! I mean, Gil is annoying as fuck, but I still haven’t forgotten how they chose to stay with Kotarou to the bitter end when he became a tree – yet here they are, ratting him and the barrier out to Sakuya. I know he hasn’t exactly been treating them well, but doesn’t he have a contract with Gil? And they were the ones who raided his house to begin with! Sakuya arriving to take custody of the Key is honestly the last thing Kotarou needs right now – no-one except possibly Kagari will be able to do anything to the strongest familiar. On top of that, Gaia are preparing the Earth Dragon and rehearsing the song of destruction. With Midou also around, the cumulative result is that Gaia should be the biggest threat to Kagari in the coming episodes, the irony being that Guardian actually want to kill her outright instead of using her for their ends. It’s also interesting that Akane seemed a little unsatisfied at the end there when she was watching the Earth Dragon being nurtured with Shimako, although as much as I want to see more of her I doubt anything will come of it. As her route proves, she’s never been one to let her personal feelings sway her from her allegiance or the role she has to fulfil as the next holy woman. What I do really hope to see is the Earth Dragon talking. Maybe even in a fight against Kotarou where it agrees to wait patiently whilst Kotarou rewrites himself?
Creamy Kagarin is too lewd. I definitely wasn’t expecting a naked Kagari-chan, but if Romeo knows what’s good for him he’ll have that scene as a Rewrite+ CG. Maybe even a lewd expression for her character sprite when she begs Kotarou to hurry and give her it. In fact, coffee (and horrible reproductive acts) might be the good memories Kagari uses to decide that salvation isn’t worth triggering. Coffee will literally have saved the world.
The fact that she has a defence mechanism that activates whenever she’s in serious danger all but confirms that her amnesia was Moon Kagari’s doing – it’s probably something she built into the current Kagari so that she wasn’t inadvertently killed. It actually would have been easier if Kagari had taken out both Midou and Fuego right there – she’s easily capable of doing so, and it’d avoid Midou being a pain in the ass in the future. In fact, Kotarou alone could take on Midou himself just fine, given how a lack of physical ability isn’t unusual for summoners, at least in relative comparison to both the familiars they control and Guardian superhumans. Exceptions including Chihaya and Takasago, though I think the latter ended up reinforcing himself with familiars anyway. Kagari then deals with Fuego, and that’s one threat gone. Of course, neither of them know anywhere near enough to do what’s best for them – it’s hilarious how he literally brings the Key to Guardian’s doorstep through looking for Esaka and meeting Lucia, and at the end of the episode both of them prepare themselves to hunt the very thing that’s been under their noses just moments earlier. I’m wondering whether Midou knows what Kagari is, though. He can sense her – but as what? As a familiar not affiliated with Gaia?
I have to say though, I enjoyed the Kotori scenes the best this episode. The remix of Soft Windflower was amazing. It’s probably where there’s the most overlap between the Kagari and Kotori routes (most of the other scenes were all original) but I was waiting to see how much they would reveal of Kotori and Kotarou’s past. In particular, I wonder whether it raised any alarm bells for Kotarou to realise that he hadn’t previously heard of such a major incident like Kotori being in a classic Key bus accident (that may or may not have killed her parents – just like Kotarou himself, my memories are little fuzzy on this). His most painful memory involving Kotori is probably her rejecting his confession during middle school, which of course is because of her fear that he only confessed to her because she does in fact like him, and thus as her familiar she thinks he’s doing what she wants him to do. Which turned out to not be the case. Who wouldn’t fall in love with someone as sweet and precious as Kotori?
What I’m worried about is what Kotarou and Kotori plan to do from now on. It can’t possibly be the same as what they did during the Kotori route (because that’s not what this is supposed to be adapting) but if Kagari doesn’t get her memories back, that’s effectively what it’ll be since Kagari will be just as useful as the relatively mute version that was dragged around by Kotori during her route. Midou, Sakuya and the Earth Dragon will make a huge difference, as Kotarou is now more involved in the Gaia-Guardian conflict than he ever was during Kotori’s route – and there’s also the song of destruction to contend with, although I’m not sure how far away it has to be before it starts having an effect on Kagari. This’ll be exciting! It’s been a bumpy ride, but I think we’re finally getting there.