The main focus of this episode is on Gintaro and Haru, and I think this was done to make up for the fact that these two characters were almost all but non-existent over the course of Episode Eight. Episode Nine emphasizes the fact that at this point, Gintaro and Haru still don’t get along too terribly well.

The episode sees Haru trying to practice her ability to be able to see into the future, and Gintaro tells her that her flame is too small and that she’s not holding her hand right. Gintaro offers to teach her, but Haru rebuffs the offer. They get into an argument, and Gintaro goes up by himself onto the roof of the shrine and takes a nap. After spending some time looking at bugs and at the clouds, Haru also falls asleep.

Haru is awakened when Aki and Sachina, the two little girls Yumi helped with the cat back in the first episode, come to the shrine and pray for the same boy to notice them. As they go to wash their hands, three boys from their school come over and say the girls are going to get in trouble for not going straight home after school. They get into an argument, and one of the boys grabs one of the dippers and begins splashing water at the two girls. This escalates to the kids breaking a couple of the dippers and damaging one of the fox statues. In the midst of this, Haru is knocked out of the shrine.

When Haru lands, she’s dizzy and disoriented, and she ends up wandering around town. When Haru is no longer dizzy, she realizes that she is lost. Fortunately, Gintaro is able to locate her and lead her home.

In a lot of respects, this feels like a lighter episode to lighten the mood before a pivotal plot point happens. According to what I’m seeing, there should be 12 episodes for this series, which means that there are only three left. This would seem to be the right point to start a final story arc and conclude the series. And if I’m reading the preview for Episode 10 correctly, it appears we may have a story going on with Satoru that could be important. And it would be nice to see more of Satoru at this point. While he did appear in Episode Nine, it was only in a couple of scenes. This was an improvement from Episode Eight, when Satoru didn’t appear at all and his absence wasn’t even acknowledged!

Even though this was a lighter episode, I still enjoyed it. One of my favorite parts came near the end, when it starts raining while the sun is out. According to the series, it’s referred to as a “fox wedding.” Makoto’s father explains that it’s said that it can rain when the sun’s out because foxes are responsible, but he doesn’t know if it’s true. This is relevant, because it ties into a prediction that Haru made at the beginning of the episode when she was practicing her fortunetelling.

And after seeing the preview for Episode 10, it looks like it may have some promise. I’ll be watching next week to see whether or not that promise will materialize.

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