Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Ga-Rei -Zero- - Episode 9

I'm really starting to think that Ga-Rei -Zero- should actually have been called Major Characters That Survive -Zero-, so high has the body count of this series been thus far. Last episode added Mei (for a second time, which has to be pretty bad luck) to the list, which seemed to be closely followed by poor old Yomi.

Except Yomi didn't die, nor was she implanted with the Death Stone that cursed Mei. Instead, she was left with terrible injuries which put her into a coma for two months and left her all but paralysed, blinded in one eye and unable to speak. However, it seemed to be the emotional pain which caused Yomi the most distress, as Noriyuki calls off his engagement to her (under pressure from his father), her colleagues hold her responsible for Mei's death (well, they're not wrong on that count to be fair), and eventually even Kagura who continues to dote on her "sister" has some moments of doubt. It's then, at that lowest ebb, that the kid that's been parading around with the Death Stone strikes, curing Yomi physically but leaving her with the same curse that racked Mei.

I'll be the first to admit that this was a rather slow-paced episode of Ga-Rei -Zero-, which kept much of its focus on the immediate emotional fallout of Yomi's fate rather than the more practical aspects. This may seem a little languid and luxurious, but the more you think about it the more sensible this focus seems, as the viewer needed to be taken on a journey from the Yomi that loved Noriyuki, Kagura, and indeed everyone around her into the Yomi who, while still feeling guilty about many things, doubtless also found hatred building up inside her due to the way she had been abandoned to varying degrees by those who she considered close to her. This kind of drawn-out exposition of that fact might not suit everyone, but for me it made for a pretty good episode in its own right, and if you are itching for some more action then surely now we must be at a point where all Hell will break loose and we'll loop back around to where we started this series. Much as I enjoyed this quietly upsetting interlude, I can't wait to get back to the real crux of the matter.

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