Well, I was hoping for Toi and Chikai drama, and episode 9 certainly delivered. I think everyone could see from a mile off that Chikai was going to die this episode, but that doesn’t make me any less sad about it. I’m still on the fence about whether his death was redeeming or not. On the one hand, his dying words were a clear indication that he wanted to connect with Toi right up until the end even if he didn’t quite know how, and the fact that he kept a picture of Toi was really sweet. On the other hand, this did come off the back of a killing spree that he wasn’t even a little bit sorry for, plus arguably trying to murder his own brother. Would he really have shot Toi, though? I don’t think he ever had any intention of doing so; sure he killed his gang kouhai, but Toi is his own flesh and more or less his only reason for living.

Aside from that, I have a sneaking suspicion that Chikai didn’t just kill his kouhai because he was “too kind”. My mind keeps going back to the scene where the two of them are talking about the murder Toi committed as a child: Chikai warns him to keep his mouth shut about Toi being the real culprit, and yet he continues to comment on it. What if Chikai killed him to protect Toi? I can’t see another reason for this scene’s inclusion in the episode (except maybe just to show that Kouhai-kun was a liability in general who needed to go), so I don’t think it’s implausible.

Also, though, I think Chikai was trying to sever every connection he had so that he could make off on his own and no longer concern himself with human connections, something he had never really been able to get his head around. I think that this is a partial explanation for why he held a gun to Toi’s head: he never intended to kill him, but he did want to drive him away. However, I don’t think it’s sufficient to say that Chikai genuinely wanted to sever his connection with Toi; it’s clear he valued their relationship more than he valued anything else. But he’s a pragmatic guy. He knows the life he’s living isn’t one he wants for his little brother. Equally, he knows that his little brother would never leave him under normal circumstances. So in his mind, this is the only way he can force Toi into turning his life around. Or that’s my theory, at least. I might change my mind on a second watch.

Reo and Mabu had a pretty interesting time this episode too. What a reveal on the Otter Kingdom. I feel like I need to watch these scenes again, because I’m not sure I fully absorbed everything, but it certainly had… implications for the series. So all otters are mirrors of someone’s desires? Is the Otter Kingdom made up entirely of beings like this? Then I guess Reo and Mabu are (or were) ordinary humans who got caught up in this, themselves mirror versions of the Kappa trio.

And hey, Enta’s alive. Just about. Good for him. You know, I do like Enta. He’s just a troubled young man. But hey, what was I like at his age? Let he who did not have a chuuni phase cast the first stone.

I guess the final showdown of the series is on the horizon, and presumably Enta’s life hangs in the balance. Good thing Toi’s schedule just cleared up, because they’re probably going to leave him. I wonder what monstrously humiliating secret the next Sarazanmai will reveal?