Sorry for the slightly delayed review! Also SPOILERS I guess.

Time for more scenes of a kid experiencing depression, oh boy!

Summary:

The first half of the episode is mostly dedicated to Sana and her experiences in the aftermath of the the encounter with Hatori. The Hinagiri twins end up staying over at Sana’s place, and Sana shows off her newfound knowledge of everyday life. While Sana is happy to spend time with the twins, it’s fairly obvious that she’s still angry at Hatori for what she did to Zouroku. Sana vows that she’ll have her revenge.

Love these dorks.

Awkward sleepover time.

Meanwhile, Hatori and Ayumu end up returning home after the incident. Hatori, sinking deeper into despair over her powers, stops coming to school and becomes a recluse. Hatori believes that this is the only fitting life for a “witch” like her, and soon even turns away her best friend, Ayumu. It’s not long before Naito and his crew learn about Hatori, although they currently have a difficult time actually meeting her due to her mind control powers.

Hatori, how long are you willing to live like this?

Ayumu, wanting to help her friend in some way, decides to go looking for Sana. However… Sana ends up finding her first.

Let’s hope Sana goes easy on Ayu.

My Opinion:

The first half of the episode gave us some pretty cute slice-of-life scenes. However, I did find the presence of the Hinagiri twins to be kind of… pointless? I thought they’d contribute more to the plot, but nothing much happened with them. I guess they were just around to show that Hatori can even manipulate Dreams of Alice users, except Sana for some reason. And as much as I enjoy cute slice-of-life stuff, I do wonder if it’s a smart idea to fluff around like this when there’s only three more episodes of Alice & Zouroku left. With Hatori’s side of the story being so intriguing I just kind of want the plot to get on with it.

Hatori’s slow decline into despair was heartbreaking to watch. This must be a horrible ordeal for a kid to go through. I suppose some may say she’s being melodramatic about the situation, but she’s just a kid. She only knows how to see things in black-and-white, and thus she can only think in absolutes. Because she did a few bad things, in her mind she’s irredeemably evil. She’s also suffering from a hostile family atmosphere. While she’s not being directly abused by her parents, having to live in an unhappy family household can really mess a kid up. Hatori’s not at all acting rationally, but of course she doesn’t realize that.

I do like that we get confirmation in this episode that Hatori also suffers hunger/exhaustion from using her powers. Perhaps it’s not as extreme as the other Dreams of Alice users because she’s not manifesting a physical object out of thin air. Plus, she’s living an essentially normal life rather than in the confines of a horrible lab. I’m also happy to see that Naito and his crew are attempting to get in contact with her (who knows what would have happened if it were some other organization). But as Hatori’s powers also affect other Dreams of Alice users, they’re out of luck at the moment.

Going back to Sana… boy I hope Sana doesn’t do anything too reckless. Hearing Sana talk about getting revenge is terrifying. ¬†Although Zouroku did teach her some morals, Sana is shown to still be capable of murdering people if she’s angry enough (i.e. the first encounter with Hatori and Ayumu). Here’s hoping Ayumu can reason with Sana in some way.

At this point, it’s very likely that Alice & Zouroku will end with the resolution of Hatori’s arc. That’s kind of a strange place to end it at, since the series initially revolved around Sana; but I’m fine with that. The animation quality this episode was kind of bad in places, and I still think the first half of the episode fluffed around too much. But overall, I still did enjoy the episode even if it felt a bit weaker than past episodes.

Out of five:

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I still desperately want Hatori to have some sort of happy ending.

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