The vibe of this episode felt very intentionally different to everything that’s preceded it, and I for one loved it. I was on the edge of my seat during the Haruka rescue operation, I genuinely had no idea what was going to happen and the Haruka/Kazuki storyline was as cute and heartfelt as ever (and Haruka isn’t an evil monster after all, there was a reasonable explanation for the sachet, all is well). Although I have to say, Enta’s weird Captain Tsubasa-themed sexual fantasies are getting completely out of hand (I can only imagine how bizarre it is if you haven’t even seen Captain Tsubasa). The start of the episode was a lot, to say the least. Someone get that boy a account, stat. But in all seriousness, this episode did a ton, and it feels like the story is finally falling into place. The majority of my questions from last episode have been answered, and have been replaced by a whole host of new ones. Most of them Sara-related.

Okay, so since the events of the Kappa-Otter War, Keppi is the only wish-granting kappa, and one of the only kappas full stop, it seems like. What does that make Sara then? If the manga is canon in the anime universe (which I believe has been confirmed by Ikuhara), she was raised by Reo and Mabu. Would that make her some sort of hostage of the Otter Kingdom? Does Keppi know she exists? I hope we get more focus on her soon. Mainly because she’s adorable and I like looking at her face. But also because she’s probably the most mysterious character in the series as it stands. I wonder how much she knows about them/the kappa situation in general.

That post-ED scene got me a lot more interested in Reo and Mabu, too. Are we going to get a war flashback episode? Pls, I would love that. Something about this scene makes me think they might not be on the wrong side. I’m starting to think that there’s something funny going on with Keppi. I’m not 100% certain, but I could definitely see him being the big bad of the series. Especially considering how he pushed for Kazuki to erase himself from existence for basically no reason. I’m not sure I buy that he really thought Haruka was dead. He’s a kappa, after all. He’s in it for the shirikodama, and he’ll get it how he can. And sure, he saved Haruka in the end, but at that point he sort of had to if he wanted to keep the boys on side (whom he needs far more than they need him, let’s not forget). I’m not sure, he might be good. But I’m not trusting him just yet.

There’s also the fact that Reo and Mabu appear to be good in the time that the manga takes place. I’m not saying they’re totally good, of course. I mean, they did still very much try to kill an innocent child. But I’m willing to hear them out on that, maybe they had a good reason. And they did let him go in the end. Also, this is not the most solid reasoning, I’ll grant you, but something about their adopted daughter Sara’s weirdly calm reaction to Kazuki’s crazy nonsense made me lean towards her being a general force for good. Or neutral, at the very worst.

Given Kazuki’s newfound self-love at the end of this episode, I’m curious to see how they approach shirikodama extraction next time. I guess we still have Enta and Toi’s problems to focus on. Enta alone probably has enough humiliating secrets to carry the entire rest of the series.