Mushi-Uta - 09: Dream Fragments

Episode:09: Dream Fragments
Rina is in anguish after witnessing Asami becoming a "fallen"; she laments to Shiika that she was unable to help her friend. At school, Ryouko and Miharu wonder what happened to Asami and discuss the rumors that are circulating. After retrieving Kakkou from the digital dimension, "C" reports to Touko and offers to help Kakkou at any time. Kakkou and Haji are having an impromptu conference; Kakkou is angry that he wasn't told that Fuyuhotaru/Winter Firefly is an escapee from GARDEN. Haji says some unknown person helped her escape, and she may or may not have been "turned back from her fallen state". Also, she has definitely returned to Ouka City. As they eat a meal together, Rina tells Shiika how much she appreciates her friendship. She tells Shiika not to worry about her and to go ahead with her meeting with her boyfriend. Kakkou is delighted to recieve a call from her, and suggests a meeting at the planetarium. Afterwards, he notices how grotesquely mutated his right forearm has become. As Shiika prepares for her date, she and Rina discuss their dreams with each other, and Rina promises to help Shiika make hers come true. "Hey, dreams exist so that they could be realized, right?"...
Three weeks between episodes! Who's idea was that? But, at long last episode nine has arrived:

What happened to Kakkou, who had presumably ceased to exist when Kasuo crushed the digital camera he was imprisoned in, was a big issue for these past three weeks, but didn't really amount to much. Kasuo, curiously, didn't appear at all in this episode; perhaps she still believes Kakkou to be dead. Early on, I got the impression that things were going to calm down for awhile after the wild episode 8, but at the end I worry that too much has been given away. Rina knows who Shiika really is, and so does Kakkou; I had thought that he knew all along, but I guess it wasn't until now that he finally figured it out. And, presumably Kakkou has realized who Rina really is; only his identity remains a secret within the triangle. It's as if the original plan was that an ending of sorts would take place after twelve episodes, even though I've heard that a second season of twelve more has gotten the green light. For now, the net result is another devilish cliffhanger, as we are left wondering how each of the three principal characters will respond to their shocking discoveries. Speaking of being shocked, Shiika was especially startled to see sensei (I think) outside of the planetarium--she'll definitely play a major part in the remaining three episodes of the first season. poor Rina just gets kicked when she's down...

Some interesting lines:

"Dreams, fantasy and imagination won't expand" --Ryouko
"Because it'll attract Mushi?" --Miharu
(Do ordinary people dread exercising their imaginations too much, because they believe that will attract Mushi?)

"I don't want to forget again after all" --Shiika
(Maybe losing all or part of your memory is part of becoming a "fallen"; or perhaps it's a defense against attracting Mushi?)

"In order not to let this cruel mission go to waste, I can only keep on dreaming" --Haji
"I barely manage to live on, with the help of the hosts who never abandoned their dreams" --Haji
(Apparently, the truth is that once you've become a "host" you must KEEP dreaming, lest you become a fallen)

One random comment: a scene of moving clouds in what would ordinarily be a static landscape frame was a nice touch. Finally, the SBS fansubbers presented a little joke at the very end, in the form of the "Demon Insect Romance Drama". As I mentioned before, it's the excellent shows which I worry might not be as good as usual. This episode wasn't the best, but at least once (when Rina made her promise to Shiika) I had the distinct feeling that I was in the presence of brilliance at work.

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