In an attempt to prevent the ship from smashing into the city below, Kubinashi uses his string to hold the hull together while Kubinashi take out the Youkai constricting it before lending him a hand. However even with the threat eliminated they’re not able to stop its descent.
Fortune appears to be on their side however, as they’re able to make an emergency landing in the river that runs through the city, with Shoei bringing the ship to a halt while Reira freezes it in place. Following this they’re safely able to disembark and Hakuzozu gives Rikuo his answer, due to his loyalty to Hagoromo-Gitsune he can’t join him but instead he can give him some advice, a shortcut of sorts to what he will need to do. Suggesting that he go to Fushime Nari, the Spiral Seal, first.
Back at the Nura household it also appears that Rikuo’s grandfather has been restless ever since he received word of Hagoromo-Gitsune’s return, and when Daruma comments on how Rikuo’s sudden urge to save the Omnyouji girl, and Karasu-Tengu the weakness of his human blood. He notes that he’s interested to see him do something like this and that it could a strength instead. At the Keikain household however, various representitives from across Kyoto have come to complain about how the city is pretty much in Youkai hands, but as they do this Hidemoto speaks up and comments on how long his seal has been in place. After which he attempted to rally the remains of the Keikain clan, telling them that now that Hagoromo-Gitsune resides in Nijo Castle they can go on the offensive, knowing that she intends to give birth there. But to vanquish her once more two things are needed, the Hagun and Nenekimaru, at which point Yuki-Onna barges in.
Attempting to affirm that the Nurarihyon’s grandson, Rikuo is already on his way with the blade in hand, but before she can elaborate Yura silences her, knowing that if it got out she that she was hiding a Youkai she could get thrown out of the clan. So in order to speak further they head to
a storeroom Yura’s room where Yuki-Onna tells them once more that Rikuo is on his way, with Hidemoto being pleased by this and wondering if she’s related to Setsura, her mother who marched with the Nurarihyon 400 years ago. Along the streets of Kyoto however things have returned to the way they were then, with Youkai attacking humans left and right after Ikegimo, and this time it’s Rikuo and his Hyakki Yakou to push them back. With Jami reaffirming his reason for choosing to serve Rikuo, while Kurotabou and Awashima form something of a rivalry, Amezou and Reira performing some teamwork, and Kubinashi accepting them as Rikuo leads the march. And in the epilogue, Tsuchigumo claims them as his prey alone.
Looks to be the usual mid-season recap, if so I’ll probably watch it but won’t blog it.
Once again another fairly good episode, it’s just a shame we’ll have to wait another week due to the usual mid-season recap before the story takes another turn. Just as it was getting good, Rikuo finally arrived in Kyoto, we’ve got an idea of what they need to do to stop Hagoromo-Gitsune and what she’s up to, and we have Tsuchigumo lying in wait.
First off, though it may have taken a little too long it’s actually kind of fitting that Rikuo and his Hyakki Yakou have arrived in Kyoto, where all the action is happening, at the halfway point in this season. Once more it seems to reaffirm that feeling of everything before this point serving as a prologue, establishing the mood and characters while setting things up. And while it was kind of odd to see all the measures that they took to hold the ship together, it was still great to see them all working together to do it, giving Shoei another chance to shine, Reira to prove her use, and to force Kubinashi and Itaku to work together. Not to mention the way that the episode ended with them taking that first step, and making their way through the streets was pretty awesome, being reminscent of how the Nurarihyon did it 400 years prior.
After that it was also nice to see Yuki-Onna again, she’s barely appeared much in the past few episodes other than backing Yura up, or even in this season so far. So it’s really just nice to see her show up again. Let alone to show again just how devoted she is to Rikuo, unquestionably having faith in him to come to Kyoto as soon as he can. It’s near adorable as far as loyalty goes, now if only Shiibashi could do away with a certain irrelevant heroine for good. But anyway, aside from that her interactions with Yura are also great, going from Yura attempting to keep her quiet in front of her whole clan and then calling her room a storeroom, it’s probably not intentional but it’s almost as if she’s baiting her. Forcing her to overreact while she just acts normally. And of course Yui Horie still does a great job with her character.
And finally we were also able to get a better idea as to what direction the story will be heading in from this point, coming in both the form of just what Rikuo and Yura have to do, and furthermore Hagoromo-Gitsune’s intentions being reestablished. That steamrolling her way through the seals wasn’t just a ploy to regain some of her power with a solid grip on Kyoto, but so that she could give birth within Nijo Castle. A point which while may have been brought up in the flashback arc wouldn’t have been that hard to look past. Her goal of taking Kyoto has really just overshadowed it since then. However this change in direction also asks the question of just what she intends to give birth to, one of the aspects I hope has the discrepancies that were in the manga clarified/removed. Aside from that we’re also starting to get an idea of what Rikuo will have to do to stop her, with Hakuzozu directing him to the first broken seal and even Hidemoto hinting that it will have something to do with it.