A dark Youkai aura envelops the town as Tamazuki’s 88 Kiyakou begins to arrive, Rikuo is glad that Tamazuki won’t lay a hand on his friends anymore but Yuki-Onna and Aotabou remind him that they still shouldn’t sit back and relax. Kiyotsugu wants to hold another camp at Rikuo’s house but the others turn it down since they would only be imposing on him.
In the mountains of Shikkoku the small tanuki has managed to turn the tables on Natto-Kozu as Inugamigyoubu tells Rikuo’s grandfather how his son may have obtained a legendary weapon, the Maou’s Hammer and from that day forth he changed. Just as he says this Tamazuki meets his 88 Kiyakou and proves his right to lead them by presenting the legendary sword to them. Security has gone up at the Nura household as Rikuo meets with his advisors who feel that they should prepare for an all out attack, meanwhile Shoei is growing impatient as he meets Yuki-Onna and tells her how he had originally intended to just live among humans. But due to what happened to his father he chose the path he did and feels like Rikuo isn’t doing anything to avenge him.
At the high-rise building Tamazuki is confident that he’ll be able to defeat the Nura clan and reveals that he only let Inugami go in order to measure their strength, also telling him how they’ll make their final attack soon as he transforms. At the Nura household Yuki-Onna is feeling uneasy and having had enough of waiting, Shoei heads to the high-rise building alone but when he arrives he’s quickly stomped on by Tearai-Oni. He remembers how his father told him how he joined the Nura clan by being taken by the Nurarihyon’s charisma and in his current condition begs him for forgiveness, luckily the Tengu come to his rescue and Tamazuki stops Tearai-Oni from going any further.
The news of what’s happened to Shoei brings Rikuo running and he feels that he’s responsible for this as he meets with his advisers again, but Zen tells him it isn’t and tells him to fight back with his own Hyakki Yakou. With the others reminding him that he must form his own Hyakki Yakou now instead of using the one left by his grandfather and father, and Zen telling him that the form he takes doesn’t matter but how he acts will get them to follow him. So he goes to the weeping cherry blossom tree, remembering how his grandfather had headed out in the past but had left him behind and after hearing what Zen had to say, Yuki-Onna, Aotabou, Kubinashi, and Kurotabou have come to join his Hyakki Yakou which had been something they had been waiting for.
So due to this they each pledge their loyalty not to his nightform, but Rikuo himself with Yuki-Onna seeing this side within him and Gozumaru and Mezumaru watching on from above. After this he goes back to the cherry blossom tree and meets his nightform and they agree to let each other handle their respective sides with Rikuo wanting to see his world from the same branch but being told that it’s still too soon for him. He then hears Shoei trying to get up and tries to stop him but he won’t listen, so tells him that if he intends to go he’ll go with him, simply because they’re family and at this point he finds himself taken by his charisma, understanding how his father felt. As the sun begins to rise his advisors comment that though it’s small for the time being, his Hyakki Yakou will grow in power over time, and at the high-rise building Tamazuki is ready to make his attack.
In a way I was kind of disappointed not to see Gozumaru and Mezumaru’s Tanuki impersonating infiltration hijinks but considering how there’s still three episodes left there’s still some time for it, it doesn’t look quite likely from the preview though. Despite that though it was still nice to see some development and focus on Shoei’s part and even some emphasis placed on how Rikuo still had to create his own Hyakki Yakou. Finally with something like the Maou’s Hammer in his possession the villain vibes that Tamazuki gives off definitely grew stronger.
If Gozumaru and Mezumaru’s infiltration mission isn’t included it’ll definitely be something I’ll be disappointed about, as seeing them sneak and acting like Tanuki was something that I found kind of funny and entertaining. However with only three episodes left and the preview for the next not showing anything for it, it doesn’t seem quite likely but at the same time it’s sort of already been included, though in a different way. With things like how they attacked Gangi-Kozou before, how Tearai-Oni had attacked Shoei instead of them, and was then rescued by the Tengu so it seems less likely now.
How Shoei got some development out of this was something that I liked though, as there was really no doubt that someone who was really only there to kill the one who killed his father would have been getting impatient with how Rikuo just seemed to sit down and do nothing. So it made sense that he would have tried to take them on on his own, and through this him being injured it was also able to lead to Rikuo becoming a bit more decisive. But other than that he was also able to understand why his father had chosen to follow Rikuo’s grandfather, with him being taken by what Rikuo had told him towards the end of the episode.
But what I had really liked about this episode was how some emphasis was placed on the Hyakki Yakou that Rikuo had been using wasn’t really his own, and though it’s members had followed him they really didn’t have anything that bound them to him. With there pledges of loyalty being to his grandfather and father, so in this sense he had to go out and create his own as Zen was really the only member he had. But with this it was actually kind of nice to see those members that had always been by his side and had been his friends throughout come forward to formerly join it. Let alone Rikuo himself finding that it doesn’t matter what form he takes, but as long as he has that charisma he’ll be able to lead it.