This episode did pique my interests — it put a bit more on the philosophy of the show. Something tells me that Saya got into a bad deal with a weird “experiment” (somewhat reminiscent of Blood + where Saya also is involved with people she at times regrets getting involved with) and the weird “wish” that accompanies it and all the baggage attached to it.
This episode had a remarkable strong point with a good load of harsh realism: what can you do in a life and death situation which is too close for comfort? That part was illustrated with fear, panic, blood and gore galore that even pondering about it can get anyone tensed. The part was nicely executed and got my attention immediately.
The enigma of the show is ok though this is not “finely tuned enigma” rather it is “ill enigma” and the bizarreness of it is not aesthetically pleasant. Some of it was nice and good probing; others made Saya look too dumb and even the town acts too nonchalant without even the slightest apprehension of anything (if you ask me that is too cosy for realistic).
Also character development is in a pit. Many people say its ok but to me it’s not totally fine. As this anime has 12 episodes it should give more credence to the supporting cast and even to Saya. The situation she is in has no “normal” effect on her though (as Star crossed anime blog linked the interview ) the producers wanted her to act like a gentle, normal girl. This Saya acts too silly to be normal. When she is a normal situation I can understand her clueless-ness/silliness but during battle she acts like an idiot without much of the “human” presence and seeing this indifference has made me annoyed. It feels too unreal and apathetic — is Saya trying to care when in actuality not caring at all? If that is the case her kindness would be called hypocrisy and then her character model may betray itself.
There are good questions asked in this series, however, it still needs a better execution and better character interaction. It’s distance from even its mundane moments makes it try to hard to be “subtle” the series feels restlessly quiet than actually like classics as The Grudge where seamless quiet mixes with restless quiet but in good pitch then transforms to disturbing, reckless horror.
I think this version of Saya will probably abandon the town in the end including her so-called father, the cafe owner and everyone and launch herself out into the wild endless road of finding a truer goal in life.