Rikuo and his Hyakki Yakou arrive at Fushimi Nari, greeted by the numerous Torii gates and head inside, but before they can go any further than that Awashima spots an odd stone and picks it up. Finding it to be surprisingly heavy.
“The LOVE SONG” by LM.C.
Back at the Keikain household Yura, Hideomoto, and Yuki-Onna receive news of Rikuo’s arrival in the city and where he’s now headed, with Hidemoto commenting that a rather troublesome Youkai is nested there. At which point Rikuo’s group continues on their way, however when Awashima stops to help a crying child she finds the others nowhere to be found when she looks back. So she takes the child with her to look for them, but as she wonders what’s happening arms reach out of the Torii gates and proceed to grab her, hacking at her with numerous blades when she’s within reach.
However while she truly wonders whether she’s going to die here, all sorts of spears and other weapons burst out of another one of the Torii gates to free her, Kurotabou. Who explains the predicament that she’s in and how he suspected that something like this would happen, along with how the Youkai she’s up against grows stronger the more she fears them, telling her she needs to break its control. And so, as an Amanojaku she takes up one of his broken spears and fights it with the powers her feminine side possesses, however only now does she realise that it’s the child’s fear that’s making her opponent stronger. Forcing her to make the choice of whether to kill the kid and save herself or die, however instead remembering what Amezou told her, she chooses to embrace him instead, telling him he doesn’t need to be afraid. And with its source of power cut off she’s now able to cut it down with ease, commenting on the nature of how she possesses both feminine and masculine techniques, comparing them to Izanami and Izanagi and explaining how her name comes from their deformed second child, being neither male nor female they were neither an angel or a demon.
Following this she’s able to escape and meet up with the others, arriving just as Hidemoto finally arrives to meet Rikuo with Yura and Yuki-Onna, noting on how much he resembles his grandfather, while Ryuuji and Mamiru seal the Youkai Awashima just fought as the cornerstone to the new spiral seal. For the first time in a while Yuki-Onna is also able to talk with Rikuo, landing in his arms and giving him the letters she wrote, aside from that the Youkai from Touno are finally able to see the girl who Rikuo wanted to save and are not too sure of what to think. Along with that Hidemoto explains that they’ll need the Nura clans help to lay the spiral seal this time, the very thing that may break the chain of fate that Rikuo is so intent on, and that Hagoromo-Gitsune will be holed up in Nijo castle until she gives birth to her child. Presenting them with their best chance to stop her, however before they know it Tsuchigumo is upon them.
“Departure” by Katate☆Size.
After an extra weeks wait due to the usual mid-season recap it was great to see this, let alone for it to be an Awashima centric episode complete with new opening and ending themes. Which I must say compared to the ones we’ve seen in the past differ quite a lot.
They’re not bad or anything, as something new they’re actually fairly good, style wise I kind of prefer the opening theme we had before this but I have to admit that the tune is fairly catchy and the general feel to the animation is great. It has a gloomy feeling of nostalgia to it that just suits this arc, giving each character no matter how small their due, foreshadowing some of the fights and aspects of this arc coming up. The only downside is that it foreshadows the same generic end villain, which I guess they don’t exactly have a choice about. At least the inconsistencies (the transition from the Nue to Youkai Jesus, I blame the editors) have been removed so far this time however, there’s just one more I’m worried about. Of course the ending theme isn’t so bad either, it’s refreshing to have one that isn’t entirely dedicated to Yuki-Onna, Yura, and that girl with the brown hair with an upbeat pop song, and seeing the transgression of the Nura clan from head to head is interesting to say the least.
But anyway it was great to finally see Awashima and her tomboyish/rash ways (not sure whether the former term really applies to her) get an episode in the spotlight, pitting her up against a difficult foe that she really had to struggle against, and giving her the chance to show off just what her fear is as an Amanojaku. Which for what it was would have been kind of interesting either way, as so far aside from being fairly good with a sword we only really know that she changes genders, not the sort of thing to strike fear into the hearts of her enemies. That said however, for it to really come down to abilities and attacks inspired by the Japanese gods of creation, Izanami and Izanagi was also interesting in its own way, basically coming down to two polar opposites interchanging acting as one. Not to mention that it was nice to see Kurotabou show up to help her, they may have not exactly been on the best of terms but for him to be the one to light the way out to her was great, seeming to bond them a bit.
Finally it was also great to see Rikuo’s group meet up with Yura’s, allowing Hidemoto to at least provide him with some direction now that he’s here instead of just having him aimlessly wandering about, without exactly knowing what he has to do until he somehow gets there. So at least now after this episode he has a goal and we have a solid idea of just what Hidemoto intended to do when he mentioned going on the offensive, letting all the seals break to put Hagoromo-Gitsune in a vulnerable state, and then take advantage of it to set it all up again. Not to mention that we even got to see Yuki-Onna finally reunite with Rikuo while he met Hidemoto, however considering all the cute things that she did in this episode in regards to him, falling into his arms and presenting him with her letters, I’m kind of worried about her. Tsuchigumo‘s finally arrived and from the preview, he’s quite literally tearing Rikuo’s Hyakki Yakou apart.