We knew the change in tone was coming, but despite being postponed for the duration of episode eight, it finally arrived this time around with Shinkurou and Murasaki being forced out of their apartment as the Kuhouins finally manage to catch up with their errant daughter.
However, despite that escape to the safety of Benika and a hotel, Shinkurou decides that he and Murasaki need to return to the apartment for one last night to say goodbye - An action which unsurprisingly puts them both at risk.
While I've expounded many, many words on this show's use of dialogue to create much of the fun and hilarity of this show during its run so far, episode nine of Kurenai showcased the script writers ability to use these powers in a very different way here in what is surely an emotional crux of the series. Throughout the episode, there was a very ominous feeling of impending doom, and once again Murasaki seemed to get the best lines, on this occasion some really touching thoughts on loved ones and loss. Also of interest during this episode is confirmation of Murasaki's place in the Kuhouin family, and some real question marks being thrown up surrounding both Benika's true motives and intentions in this whole affair.
I've been a little worried that switching Kurenai away from its simple and truly hilarious formula which has worked so well for much of the series would dent its popularity with me, and although the absolutely heart-rending ending to this instalment has left both me and my slightly damp eyes wishing for a return to joviality, I can't deny that this particular episode proved to be a top-notch construction once again. We've had the rise of Murasaki, now we have her fall, and while I'm braced for futher hardship and sadness in part ten, I still can't wait to see what happens next in this absolutely magnificent series.