The first half of this episode had something that you hardly ever get to see in anime: tracking. It was fairly basic: following someone’s sled tracks in the snow, but what made it work was the mystery: Mamoru had some kind of reason to do this, and it wasn’t even sure whether he, with his weak cantus, would have survived.
The revelation of why he ran away… yeah. For some reason the adults found it appropriate to get rid of him. Even though at first sight there might not be something wrong with him. Next episode will probably delve more into that, and why he has to fear for his life and got those copycats after him (which were quite the intense scenes, by the way).
What I’m also quite worried about was that one queerat that this episode showed. This episode avoided the issue, but it WAS walking around in holy territory, which it probably is not supposed to do. I love how gray these guys are on the moral scale: they’re always helpful, and yet there is always something itching about fully trusting them.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)