Ep9 basically had 2 parts, which I guess explains why the episode felt so short. First we were with Shibazaki and detective friend visiting one of the men behind the Athena experiment. So it's not like they were being trained to be killers or super soldiers (like in Halo or similar), but the experimenters were interested in replicating the enhanced intelligence of savants. But as we all know.. intelligence is not a simple matter.. similarly for rationality/creativity etc.
Then the second half focused on Nine going to save Lisa while Twelve goes to retrieve the plutonium bomb before its too late. I really liked the neon ferris wheel, especially the perspective from the bottom looking up at all the crossed beams of the ferris wheel, reminds me of pictures of the Eiffel Tower from the inside (seeing things from a different perspective, you know all that good stuff..):
I was almost convinced that they were going to kill Lisa for plot motivation and roll my eyes while they did so. But they didn't! And looks like Five is having to relive some trauamtic thoughts in the process. I guess partly she feels like she was left behind by Nine and Twelve.. and just wants someone to love her again.. instead of just using her for her talents and such. And so maybe she feels a little jealous toward Nine and Lisa, but that conflicts with her desire for 'revenge' on them for leaving her.
So it will be curious if Shibazaki's investigation finally reaches the conclusion that Nine, Twelve and Five are the surviving children from the Athena experiment, and how that will affect the plot. It definitely looked like his detective partner was feeling really sorry for the children who died, but it is much harder to read what Shibazaki might be feeling about the children being used in the experiment.
I'm not a fan of darker scenes, because it can be hard to see stuff, and sometimes I can see my reflection on my screen. But I feel like this series does enough with the lighting and angles to keep things visually interesting, while maintaining a consistent and unique tone(?something like that?) For example during the interview with the old man. I really like the way they animated the old man wipe his face, or how the tea spilled over, or how they cut in the visuals explaining the savants and the experiment in the white facility.