5. "Right and Wrong" - Episode 18
This episode secured its spot as the fifth-best episode of the season, but not without stirring a whirlwind of emotions within my soul. It is literally a draining episode. It makes you feel all sorts of feelings, leaving you reaching for a strong drink to cope with the intensity.
The episode is marked by a shocking and heartbreaking moment: the death of our favorite babysitter and anime daddy Nanami. This isn't just a regular departure - it's a brutal, unceremonious exit that left me reeling over Thanksgiving of all days. Nanami, the cool, composed figure who's been both a father figure and a mentor to many, meets his end at the hands of the unhinged Mahito. This moment is particularly gut-wrenching because it happens while Yuji is watching, which just screams emotional damage. The episode does a great job of balancing the shock of Nanami's death with the tension of the ongoing battles, making it a memorable and impactful episode in the series.
The episode doesn't just stop with Nanami's death. It ramps up the intensity with Mahito using humans as pawns in his fight against Yuji in an effective attempt to break him mentally. This psychological warfare adds depth to the episode, displaying the truly cruel and manipulative nature of Mahito. We all held our breaths as Nobara engaged in a fierce battle with the other Mahito (he split himself into two because one Mahito apparently isn't terrifying enough) and as he touches her face right before the episode ends.
The episode's ability to bring together the emotional impact of a favorite character's death with the suspenseful ongoing battles cements its place as one of the season's best.