Emma reels from last episode’s revelation, but she and Norman meet surreptitiously throughout the following days to take stock of their situation and try not to arouse suspicion. Once they deduce and discover more of their constraints, they turn their objective to recruiting their peer Ray to aid them in plotting out the nuts and bolts of an escape. Ray, though, has his own view of logistics…
This episode gets right to setting up what might be the main conflict of the show, depending on how much time it spends getting everything ready and how Mama factors into the chase. She’s, like, 99% certain that whoever brought the bunny to the gate saw something they shouldn’t have, and may know that there were two, if she brought the compact with her and had an opportunity to check it without tipping her suspicions to the demons. Given its size, and the lack of interaction that she had with it before setting out to find Naila, I find it likely that the device merely displays the locations of all of the children at once with no identifying information. Time will tell if she’s managed any further deduction of her own since noticing Ray missing from his usual spot under the tree, but she appears to have already signaled for backup.
I’m very curious what the management dynamic is going to be for the group, considering how heavily the age ratio is skewed young – there are, like, four other kids besides the main trio who stand head and shoulders above the rest, and even if onion-head, feather-head, up-do, and bowl-cut take the news well enough to help out (as the OP may imply), that’s still two to three smaller kids apiece that may need to be shepherded, including Carol and a half-dozen other squirts that probably didn’t make it into the main lineup because they’re basically toddlers.
Not that I don’t expect some abstraction going on (and/or attrition) – the only anime coming to mind that I’ve seen with an apparent cast even close to this large is Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, which was more than twice as long as this show is going to be and still struggled to keep a handle on everyone (though I’m under the impression that there was a mixed media blitz at the time that helped in that regard).
At any rate, the important thing is that there’s room here for play and counter-play at the upper levels of the game as it stands – each side has asymmetric advantages that they’ll have to use in their bids to outsmart their opponents. Mama sees much, but not everything, and she won’t yet risk a panic that might put unnecessary merchandise in danger. Pulling in a second chaperone seems like a big step (double the current staff), and it’s likely that any more requests for outside assistance would bring Mama the kind of attention she would like to avoid. I’d like to wonder if she might have some sort of tipping point for which she’d pull a sort of Liu Bang and defect, but I suppose time will tell.
So far so good.