The gang goes looking for trouble and finds it.
— Right before the group sets off on their journey, Sayaka delivers a rousing speech. She even says, “We are weak. But they cannot take their wits from us.” I really should be kind. I should assume that she’s simply trying to give her motley crew a bit of courage, but c’mon, let’s be honest with ourselves. They have no idea what they’re up against, so they should also have no idea if they actually outwit anyone out there.
— If they run into the bad guys, what exactly can Chihiro do again? Doesn’t she just understand animals or something? I mean, she’s strong with Shuichi, but that was under a lot of duress. I don’t get the feeling that we’re gonna see that transformation again anytime soon.
— Clair is watching every interaction like a hawk, and this includes the rather innocent exchanges Shuichi might have with Chihiro. She really should just come right out and tell him that she’s envious of Chihiro — envious that someone else got to experience something with Shuichi that she couldn’t. But I suppose it’s better to stew in our negative emotions, because that’s easier. Even for someone who almost casually threw her life away, being forthright about her insecurities isn’t exactly a piece of cake.
— When Miku saves Sayaka from slipping off the path, she blushes rather deeply. Clair notices that too, and I find her reaction kinda amusing. Anyways, since there’s really no reason to show us this unless there’s meaning behind it, I guess it’s rather safe to assume that Miku might have a crush on her leader.
— Damn, Isao is a handy guy to have around on these hikes. You still wouldn’t find me anywhere near nature, though. Just sayin’, I’m the last person on this planet to ever go camping. I ain’t pissing in the woods like some beast.
— Chihiro wants to tell the group what Elena has already told her: someone has already collected 100 coins. Unfortunately, the meek girl naturally can’t find her voice, which is… well, I mean, it’s kinda pathetic. Look, if you wanna be shy in normal, perfectly harmless situations, knock yourself out. I don’t do so well in large groups either. But her teammates are putting their lives at risk for something that might not even be possible. If she tells them now, she can prevent anyone from getting hurt or worse. When your friends’ lives are potentially on the line, I don’t think it’s controversial to say that you need to get over yourself and be brave. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen. After scarfing down their watermelons, the group continues on their ill-fated journey towards the crash site.
— Eventually, Clair is actually the one to try and pull the team back. She deduces that they’re being herded right into the open, and she isn’t wrong. Unfortunately, her warning comes a bit too late; they’ve already been spotted.
— So Sayaka goes, “Calm down, we’re fine. We might be weak, but we’re good at running away.” We immediately cut to the group just running away normally. Again, she’s probably just keeping her scared friends from losing it in the face of imminent death, but I still can’t help but kinda chuckle.
— Some grotesque centipede monster quickly catches up to the gang, and the guy easily brushes Shuichi/Clair off when the duo goes in for the fight. Welp, Clair talked her and Shuichi up to the group in last week’s episode, so this is kinda embarrassing.
— The centipede then grabs Sayaka and starts groping her. Yeah, it figures there would be a bunch of potential rapists out here trying to collect those coins. The only silver lining — if you can it even consider it one — is that what we see here is likely toned down from the manga. I’ll take a peek at original source material once this season is done.
— Naturally, the good guys are told to surrender themselves or die. The centipede even throws out a severed head in case anybody thinks that he and his gang are bluffing. Episodes ago — I can’t really remember how many — some poor girl ran into these same assholes. Obviously, she lost her life. I’m just thankful, however, that I don’t have to learn what else they might have done to her before taking her head.
— Alright, pinching her nipples is a bit too gratuitous.
— With Shuichi/Clair still trying to recover from having the wind knocked out of them, it’s time for Yota to prove to the audience that he can actually fight and fight well. Personally, I don’t care for this sort of thing. We’re veering a bit too hard into shounen battle territory. Oooh, he’s a beast. Gimme a break.
— I wonder why Clair didn’t have Tadanori on standby. Seems like it would’ve been wise. Maybe she has a different backup plan up her sleeve.
— Let’s just skip right ahead to the centipede having already been defeated. The group then casually walks away even though they should know that the centipede’s allies are still nearby. This seems kinda silly to me.
— The bad guys’ boss really doesn’t like to lose anyone in his gang. They’re all scum, but they’re scum together. The centipede dude was an asshole creep, but he’s their asshole creep. So when someone hurts one of your own, you gotta get your justice! Well, this makes sense. He has to do this, ’cause otherwise, there’s really nothing keeping the gang together. They’re a bunch of amoral assholes; they have no real reason to care for one another. The boss has to instill those values in them, and he can’t do that if he overlooks the depraved centipede’s death.
— He thus transforms into his monster self — a rather boring ape — and immediately catches up to Shuichi/Clair and friends. Without any warning, Isao goes down. Yota tries to retaliate, but his punch doesn’t even phase the ape. Welp, if Yota can’t do anything, I doubt Shuichi/Clair can do much either. If the good guys wanna get out of this mess, they’re gonna have to resort to those wits that Sayaka had previously talked up. For her friends’ sake, let’s hope that she was right.
— For whatever reason, the ape takes a rather pointed interest in Clair right before she climbed into Shuichi. He even licked his lips and everything. It’s easy to assume that he’s a creep just like his centipede buddy — that he’s after Clair’s body — but who knows? Maybe there’s more to his interest than that.
— This is already the ninth episode, so we’re coming up against the end of the first season. I wonder how it’s gonna wrap itself up. If the climax is simply overcoming the ape and escaping from the mountain with their lives, then I dunno… that seems kinda weak. Needless to say, we’re not even close to unraveling the mystery behind everything. What is Elena’s group really up to? Why did Elena erase Shuichi’s memories? What are the Alien’s true intentions? And most of all, I really just want to see how Shuichi and Clair develop as characters. Everyone else isn’t really that interesting to me.