As Yura attempts to push back the main assault she wonders just what could have made Akifusa turn against them.
In response to Ryuuji’s attacks Akifusa’s lance possesses him further, and as Ryuuji attacks his former resolve and loyalty to the clan, we’re shown a scene from their past that explains the kind of relationship that they had. Akifusa was deemed a prodigy at an incredibly young age and it was believed that he would be the heir to the Keikain clan, however at the same time someone who had been born into the main branch was finally showing promise, Ryuuji. In all causing him to resent him as the heir to the clan, and to this Ryuuji accuses him of being blind. Simply being an attempt to lure him in and use his Kyogen to poison him, however in getting close he notices something strange on his neck, Minagoroshi-Jizou.
But just as he’s about to force Akifusa to finish him, Yura arrives just in time and uses an otherwise mythical technique and just what made Akifusa delve into forbidden techniques, the Hagun. The very thing that caused Hagoromo-Gitsune to take interest in his resolve to destroy her and allowed Minagoroshi-Jizou to possess him. However even though she’s summoned the Hagun, Yura can’t make it move and it’s only at this point that a familiar man speaks out to her and explains how it works, the fabled 13th heir Hidemoto. Who explains that the Hagun is a Shikigami that temporarily passes on the skills and techniques of the past heads, allowing them to free Akifusa and give him the antidote. And when Hagoromo-Gitsune demands to know just why he’s here before her, he looks back on old times and tells her that it’s through the very technique that spelt her destruction 400 years ago. In this sort of situation though, Hidemoto sees that victory is impossible and orders a retreat even if it means abandoning the seal.
On Rikuo’s side of things however it still looks like he’s got quite a way until he actually gets to Kyoto, and while the smaller Youkai run about having fun on the ship with a few of the Youkai from Touno, Rikuo himself attends a strategy meeting with a few of his bros. And of course it goes without saying that things aren’t exactly easy between them. With the Youkai from Touno looking down on them after their heir didn’t even know about the basics, causing Kubinashi to take offence and ask Rikuo to step out for a bit before telling them that the Nura clan was at its speak during the Edo period when it was led by Rikuo’s father but still Itaku doesn’t drop the issue. And soon a fight between them breaks out on the deck of the ship.
Another great episode, not only did we get an idea of the politics inside the Keikain clan to give us a better understanding of Akifusa’s character, but the actual fruits of Yura’s training were revealed. Aside from that infighting has already started amongst Rikuo’s bros.
It was actually something that was good to see and actually made sense, Rikuo just went and brought a bunch of unfamiliar and slightly uncouth Youkai with him and just expected them to cooperate and fight alongside the members of his clan. Whether either of them really looked down on the others or not things between them were going to be a little rough, it was only going to be a matter of time before a fight broke out between them. In this case between the headstrong Itaku and the headless Kubinashi, which even worked to give us another glimpse of Rikuo’s father and when the clan was said to be at its peak. So even though we’re seeing a few of them get along, it’s still both good and interesting to see a few of the conflicts that are breaking out.
Before that though, one of the things that I probably liked the most about this episode was how it worked to look into the politics of the Keikain clan. At the same time giving a bit of detail to both Ryuuji and Akifusa’s characters and the relationship between them. We already knew that the main branch was cursed and they were forced to bring in prodigies from the branch houses. However as was shown as a result of this, just what happens when a once in a lifetime prodigy shows up while at the same time someone in the main house shows promise, should the position of clan head be decided by their skill or the blood that runs through their veins. And it was this that really worked wonders on Akifusa’s character as well, before this point he just seemed like your typical overconfident guy but through this we saw something else, that in a sense he resented those he called his brothers and sisters because of this.
Finally it was also great to see Yura gain something that sets her apart and places her in a position of significance, the Hagun. As you would have to admit as one of the main three for this arc she just wouldn’t have been able to find her place without something like it, she would just be an Omnyouji who happened to be friends with Rikuo. She just wouldn’t have had enough going for her to actually make a difference when it really counts. And even putting the incredible power up it gives her aside it even works to bring Hidemoto back into the picture which was great enough on its own. His character was just too interesting and fun to be wasted by only being used in a flashback arc so it was just great to see him back. And I’d have to admit that his brief exchange with Hagoromo-Gitsune was pretty cool as well, she was both shocked, pissed, and slightly amused at the mere sight of the guy who not only brought about her downfall but was also supposed to have been dead for around 350 years. It has me interested to see what her reaction will be like if she bumps into Rikuo’s grandfather.