Konohana Kitan – Episode 9 Review (Flash Anime-tion)
If ever there was an episode that perfectly represented this show’s flaws…
Today’s episode began with… honestly a few minutes of what I can only call a time-waster segment. At first, I’d questioned where it was going, but as the episode went on, it became apparent that it was ultimately unnecessary. Yuzu and Sakura (mostly Sakura) saved a talking turtle from some monkey children on the beach. What followed was his visiting the hotel. This led to a brief gag about them visiting an underwater shrine or something, but ultimately it fell kind of flat. Though once again my assertion that Kiri is the best thing about this show proves correct. She and Natsume get in on what’s easily the funniest part of the entire episode.
But really that entire portion of the episode was a bit on the unnecessary side. All it really does is show off a bit of Yuzu’s mythological – or in this show’s case, historical – knowledge. The actual arc of the episode builds on it ever so slightly. But that segment could just as easily have been cut in order to explain that stuff in a way that was actually related to everything else that winds up happening.
As for the actual events, a high-ranking goddess stops by the hotel, and it’s always been one of Ren’s dreams to tend to one of them. Once again I’m forced to concede to my personal interest in Japanese mythology. The show manages to consistently get me to do the research on the myths I’m less familiar with. This happens to be one of them. Well… sort of. This particular goddess, anyway. The problem arises when Ren, in her eagerness to serve said goddess, accidentally causes her to “melt” into hundreds of adorable little bubble children.
From there it’s basically just the group trying to round them up before Kiri catches on. Of course, we know how these things go. As one can expect, shenanigans ensue. There are a few funny moments throughout it. There’s on in particular where they try to get Sakura to help and… well… if you’re watching the show at all, then you know what I mean when I say… she’s Sakura. You can figure out how that goes.
I don’t particularly have a problem with the episode, but it didn’t really do much for me. The same things come here that have persisted throughout the series. Yuzu consistently makes notes of things that the guests teach her, yet it didn’t really seem as if she learned anything because she never seemed to struggle with the lesson beforehand. She more or less figures everything out entirely on her own, and without much (if any) effort. At best, each guest just helped her in being able to verbalize these little morals. The issue is just that. Yuzu never seems to have an issue with whatever the theme of the episode is, so her claiming to have “learned” from the guests, while perhaps not untrue, isn’t really felt. And having to repeat this from one episode to the next is just not really worth doing.
This episode suffers from the problem just as much, if not more than most of the others. Yuzu learns a lesson about how fleeting life is, despite her absolutely never having difficulty grasping that concept. In fact, the episode never sets this up as the theme at all. So the Aesop ultimately rings hollow, as it ultimately comes straight out of nowhere. Ren goes through more of an arc than her (again), and the lesson she ultimately winds up learning is entirely unrelated to this. Also, there’s a very bizarre scene between Kiri and Sakura, where Sakura’s caught one of the mini-goddesses but doesn’t want to give her up because… reasons? It’s not entirely clear. There’s never a scene of Sakura befriending the adorable little thing, or even spending any amount of time around it. Yet when Kiri comes for it, Sakura gets all sad and starts crying. Why in the world did she become so attached? What I’m trying to say is that it feels like there are scenes missing.
This was ultimately a very… disjointed episode. Moreso than a fair amount of the others. It opens on a segment that, while fairly amusing and packed with some funny moments, is ultimately pointless and does little more than let Yuzu show off how saintly she is… even though the entire point of her message is lost under lackluster storytelling. The rest of the episode is likewise funny, but ultimately just has far too many issues in the storytelling department. There’s a clear beginning, middle, and end for once, but the end feels like it belongs to an entirely different story. It’s not at all an unpleasant watch, but at best it’s Harmless. It’s unfortunate, but perhaps there are other things this season you’d rather spend your time on. We’ve probably got a review or recap of it. Feel free to check those out!
Or, if maybe you’re seeing something in the storytelling that I’m really not, Konohana Kitan Simulcasts on Crunchyroll, Wednesdays at 8:00am EST.