Following the suspenseful cliffhanger last episode, episode 9 dials down a bit on the action but makes up for a heartwarming end to a nice mini-arc.
The episode picks up right where the last one left off, with Naofumi’s party caught in a dire situation. Thankfully, Atla saves everyone in time and briefly incapacitates the corrupted dragon, giving us a glimpse of her hidden strength.
With everyone safe, it’s time to prepare for a rematch. Admittedly, the urgency is lost during the middle portion of the episode as everyone sets up a trap, but considering the dragon’s immense power, a brute force assault is no longer viable.
Nevertheless, it does give us more insight on Wyndia’s relationship with her adoptive father, showing just how much he cared for her after her presumably real one died.
But more than a glimpse into the past, we also learn the dragon’s weakness, though why it manifested in Gaelion’s body is unexplained.
Ever since Atla was first introduced, it is sometimes hinted that she’s a prodigy in battle. This is further emphasized whenever she is shown in training, when she always defeats Fohl.
As such, it is no surprise that she is Naofumi’s ace, especially with her earlier feat against the dragon. Unsurprisingly, Atla is devoted enough that she is willing to sacrifice her own life in order to defeat the corrupted dragon.
Of course, that doesn’t really happen. And though the team is nearly wiped out again even after their flawless coordinated attack and excellent strategy, Atla proves once more that she is Naofumi’s shield by breaking the dragon’s defense hard enough for Raphtalia to deal the finishing blow.
But this begs the question: What is Atla’s power exactly?
With the dragon dead, Filo is finally safe. Shockingly, Gaelion is alive as well, though he’s now stronger thanks to absorbing the filolial’s level. But the dragon emperor still resides in Naofumi’s Shield, so there’s a possibility that it could cause another chaos someday.
Even so, everything’s well that ends well. Wyndia could finally move on from her father, and also from her resentment against Ren. This is shown when they both pay respect to Old Gaelion’s grave, sharing a heartwarming conversation afterwards.
But Wyndia is not exactly an orphan anymore. In a strange twist of fate, Old Gaelion is revived inside Baby Gaelion, vowing to watch over his daughter in a new form.
A satisfying conclusion to an enjoyable subplot, episode 9 gives everyone the chance to shine in a great fight scene, particularly Atla. The insight on Wyndia’s relationship with her father gives depth to her, and while Old Gaelion’s death may have been invalidated because of his revival, it is nice to see a happy ending for both of them.
Episode score: 8/10