Nines: Blacksmith, Letter Bee, 11Eyes

Not one, but two painful flashbacks in Sacred Blacksmith 9. But the ep starts cute, with Cecily forced out in girl-clothing to see Luke, while Luke wonders what gift he should give “her.” Some nice misdirection here when we learn that the gift is actually for Lisa Oakwood, the girl he couldn’t protect, who died three years ago. Sooner or later we had to learn a little about what gave Luke such a happy personality.

Lisa Oakwood's brave but futile battle.

Luke should cut himself a little slack. Lisa was headstrong, there was no way she wasn’t going into that nasty cave, and she was the one training to be a knight, not him. And no way could he just leave her alone. Yet he blames himself. Well, his father died in the fight, too. That’s a hefty burden.

While Luke unloads this story to Cecily (who reminds him of Lisa), our Lisa treats a damaged sword brought by a girl named Elsa, who has a dark story of her own, however much of it is true, anyway. We know things aren’t right with her when she makes a move to strangle Lisa from behind. But we get the sense that she is indeed, troubled by something.

Or maybe it’s guilt, because she leaves and reports to some deranged knight that Vanbanill (who, BTW, was the one who killed Lisa Oakwood) is there. There’s a confrontation and it looks like our Lisa is going to get toasted by electricity. A lot of name games going on. The deranged knight says Elsa is dead when she’s right in front of him. So is that an assumed name? And are we to suppose that Lisa is actually Vanbanill in some other form? And why does Cecily look like a cross between Lisa and Lisa? Or is it in fact Lisa was a cross between Cecily and Lisa? … My head hurts.

Letter Bee 9 left me scratching my head, too, but that’s because I’m no longer sure where the story is heading. Lag doubles back to talk to Sylvette once more, and thanks to the stones on Gauche’s old gun, and Lag’s weird powers, they get an extended flashback on what Gauche was up to, but we basically learn nothing we didn’t already know or guess. Gauche was determined to work as hard as he could on Sylvette’s behalf, taking on too many missions, until just about all the other bees are worried about him.

And we also learn how much Gauche had cared for Lag. But, again, we don’t learn a thing about what happened to him. Did he use his heart up? Everything points to that, but it can’t be that simple. It doesn’t matter to Lag and Sylvette, as they react to the flashbacks as we expect they would.

So you know that we haven’t heard the last of Gauche’s story, but the ep ends with Lag being accepted as a Bee. Congrats! But if he’s delivering letters all the time now, what will happen with Gauche’s story? Well, there’s only four episodes left, so they’ll work something out, I hope.

In 11Eyes 9 the superbly named Superbia (I’m reminded of Eddie Izzard’s line “There should have been an Emperor Fabulous.”) says, “I’ve broken the bonds between you,” boy howdy, does she! The ep hops around from one confrontation or battle to another. We got Takahisa, grieving for Saeko in his own inimitable way:

Understatement.

Yukiko tries to chase him down. Superbia reveals herself as Misao …

Master exorcist who’s so much stronger than Misuzu that she winds up utterly defeated and humiliated without even receiving a blow. Yuka has become little more than a vegetable that pours tea while chaos spins around her, Yukiko is forced to kill Takahisa, and finally:

Well, they had been hinting at this for a while, so it’s not a big surprise. It’s rather big news to the group, however, as you may expect. They are now depleted, and completely confused and demoralized. What’s more the bad (or good) guys can now attack even when it’s not red night conditions, so civilians feel the damage caused. Nobody’s safe anymore. Though little of the tragedy is getting through to me. Takahisa was an annoying character, and Saeko died last episode. Well, it was about time they raised the stakes, since this show has only three eps left.

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