With Youhime kidnapped the Nurarihyon takes up her spirit blade to bring her back and when Gyuuki tells him he’s being reckless by taking on Hagoromo-Gitsune, he tells him that if he’s to become the lord of all Youkai he’s going to have to surpass her.
Meanwhile at Osaka castle Hagoromo-Gitsune has been presented with the women gathered by her retainers, among which there is also the girl who would later become the shrine god Kokehime, and begins to gather their Ikegimo. But just as she’s about to move onto Youhime the Nurarihyon comes to the rescue with his Hyakki Yakou at his back. Giving us the chance to see the likes of Hihi, Karasu-Tengu, Hitotsume, and Daruma in their prime as they take on Hagoromo-Gitsune’s various Youkai retainers. During this Gyuuki also takes on a fellow mountain Youkai who recognises him as the young prodigy, Umewakamaru.
However as all this went on Hagoromo-Gitsune has managed to take Youhime hostage and finally sees the Nurarihyon as a threat, using all of her tails to stop his advance. At this point Koremitsu has gone to meet the head of the Keikan clan, his younger brother Hidemoto and tells him that the Youkai he’s interested in has moved in on Osaka castle, however Hidemoto knows that Hagoromo-Gitsune isn’t an ordinary Youkai. In the sense that she can’t be “killed”, she has a human lifespan but is able to reincarnate. And at this point the Nurarihyon continues to stand against her, confessing to Youhime that he’s doing all of this simply because he’s intoxicated with her. In admitting this he also decides to get serious, making it seem as if he’s not even there to get close enough to slash Hagoromo-Gitsune with the spirit blade.
With this done Hagoromo-Gitsune loses all the power she had gained from gathering Ikegimo and tries to escape, but Gyuuki tells the Nurarihyon to go on ahead while they take on her retainers, believing he can surpass her. However when he does this she rips out one of his organs, knowing that it won’t even bring back a fraction of the power she’s lost. At this point though Hidemoto finally arrives to back him up, summoning previous Keikan heads in the form of the Hagun, allowing him to seal her as the Nurarihyon cuts her down. And as she parts, Hagoromo-Gitsune curses them and all of their descendants.
After this the Nurarihyon becomes the lord of all Youkai and meets Hidemoto’s questions about what he intends to do by telling him he’ll work for some degree of co-existance, with him seeing him and Youhime together as a sign that it may be possible. They then all go on to celebrate their victory at the Keikan household where the Nurarihyon and Hidemoto get the chance to talk again. Where the former tells of his plans to go to Edo and the later how the seal should last for a good 400 years, after which he’ll be dead so it won’t matter. But even then it’s still possible that he will join the Hagun, in which case he’ll be interested to see the type of Youkai the Nurarihyon will become, in itself being one of his main regrets.
It’s probably kind of obvious but I’m going to miss this kind of setting when the story switches back to modern times, that said however how short it was probably one of the things that made it so good. The idea of the hero of the story running off against insurmountable odds to save his love interest doesn’t exactly come across as anything new, but it only lasted two episodes.
What it offered in the end was a short change of pace, the chance for a quick break from the events at hand while fleshing them out a bit at the same time. Introducing the current antagonist, Hagoromo-Gitsune and her motives, as well as how she bears a strong grudge towards Rikuo and Yura’s families, that going up against her wouldn’t be your simple battle against the generic villain. But instead is a conflict with roots set back 400 years before. And that she isn’t the type who would die when she’s killed either, so defeating her would require a bit more. Alongside her as well it was also great to see her retainers and followers fighting alongside her, one of which even acknowledged Gyuuki as the young upstart from Mount Nejireme, and given how they’ve all survived it doesn’t take much to guess that some of them will make a return soon.
With that it was also great to see the Keikan family further brought into this story in the form of Hidemoto, we may have already had Koremitsu around but in the end he was only one guy, and really only one who was assigned to protect some feudal lord’s daughter. Hardly enough to represent this side when the other is backed by the Nurarihyon and his Hyakki Yakou in his prime (the likes of Gyuuki, Hitotsume, Hihi and even Karasu-Tengu before he shrunk). And even looking past that Hidemoto still made for an interesting addition to the cast, bringing in a somewhat eccentric Omnyouji who had an air about him that gave the feeling that he knew everything about what was going on, he just couldn’t be bothered to deal with it himself. Also who would have thought that he and Rikuo’s grandfather were drinking buddies back in the day? Which through we were also able to learn a bit more about their attitudes and aspirations.
Finally for what it was I also loved the story between the Nurarihyon and Youhime, as simple as it was, the young hero falling in love and running off to rescue the heroine before walking off into the sunset (in this case Edo). It was a story that I’d been wanting to learn about, just what kind of girl did the Nurarihyon end up falling for, and at the end of the day it turned out to be kind of relevant to what was at hand. Or to put it better it was told in a way in which it was entwined with what was relevant, playing out alongside it. That their story just so happened to coincide with his battle with Hagoromo-Gitsune which has become relevant now. And last of all in cutting her down it also felt as if he had brought about a new dawn, times would change for better or for worse and he would deal with it by coexisting with humans, even going far enough by taking one for his wife.