Anime Best in Show

Review: To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts Episode 09 – Best In Show

Quick Summary

In To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts Episode 09, "The Hound of Hell's Gate," we see Hank Henriette for the first time in a while, and he's not looking well. He's exhausted, and his conscience torments him. He has collapsed in a snow storm. All in all, it was a terrible time for him to meet Roy (whose Incarnate form is named Garm), an Incarnate under Cain Madhouse's control. The Incarnate is as bent on convincing Hank to join his side as Hank is bent on not joining. But with Hank's strength failing and his self-confidence destroyed, how long can he last? Meanwhile, Claude collapses with a fever, and Nancy Schaal Bancroft tries to nurse him back to health. Can she convince him that the Incarnates don't deserve to be slaughtered wholesale? Will Claude listen to his sergeant and rest? Or will Liza Renecastle have to get rough with him?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Best Moment in the Show

To her credit, Liza tried the easy way first. It was Claude's decision to escalate. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream

I'm not a huge fan of Claude, but he was in my Best in Show moment for episode 8, and our little major is showing up in my Best in Show moment for this episode. But for entirely different reasons.

He's young, his father is a major political figure (the president, no less!), and I suspect he secretly suffers from Imposter Syndrome. So I understand why he pushes himself so hard. But there's a difference between being driven and being stupid. In this episode, Claude learned the difference.

He got out of his bed against Schaal and Liza's recommendation to run a strategy meeting. During the meeting, he was barely able to stand, and at one point, he had to lean over and support himself against the table. Even his sergeant basically told him to go lie down and he'd take over. As a side note, I thought the sergeant was very professional; I like seeing character like him portrayed in a positive and accurate light.

When Claude continued to protest that he was fine and could press on, Liza stepped up and tried to playfully pull him away. Sure, you could interpret that to be simply a fanservice-y way to introduce some humor, but I think she was really trying to get the point across to him: Schaal, his sergeant, and now his second lieutenant were all saying it's break time. He's the commanding officer, and he has to set a good example.

As an officer, Liza knew that Claude had to stop being an idiot. It took all of her effort, with the support of the company's sergeant, to get the point across. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream

But did Claude listen? No.

When he told her to stop fooling around, she spun him around, got right up in his face, and said, "You're the only one fooling around" (14:46). And boy, did she look pissed. Her stern tone and expression finally got through to him. When his sergeant asked how he intended to help fight Incarnates when he couldn't even shake off Liza, he finally relented.

Sometimes, even a commanding officer needs a good kick in the seat of the pants.

What did you think of Hank's torment in this episode? What was your Best in Show moment? Let me know in the comments!

Please let me know what you think!

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