At long last Hagoromo-Gitsune breaks the first and final seal, bringing forth Nijo Castle where she intends to give birth to her child, the Nue. So now with no time to spare, Hidemoto attempts to rally the battered and broken Hyakki-Yakou, however his attempts fail and even though Keijourou manages to get them moving, they remain divided.
With the Youkai from Touno heading off on their own and Kubinashi nowhere to be seen. Instead he’s now walking through the streets, and with his resolve broken in being unable to do nothing as those he swore to protect are struck down he believes he has no other choice but to return to his old ways. Meanwhile Gyuuki has to resort to force as he attempts to train Rikuo, telling him that a Hyakki-Yakou is no stronger than its commander, as well as that what he did on Mount Nejireme was to make him acknowledge his Youkai self and now he intends to make him acknowledge his human side. Aside from that he’s not alone, and Rikuo must also contend with the Great Tengu that resides on Mount Kurama, one of Hagoromo-Gitsune’s old followers.
Meanwhile however the streets of Kyoto are being ravaged by Hagoromo-Gitsune’s underlings in search of Ikegimo, with Kubinashi arriving just in time to save a girl, and as the underlings beat him he realises that he just has to do one thing, kill them all and keep going. Greeting Keijourou with a smile when she finally catches up, now afraid that he’s returning to his old ways. Eventually news of his exploits finally reaches Hagoromo-Gitsune and Ibaraki Douji is dispatched to deal with him, arriving at the sixth seal pissed to find that his underlings have been slaughtered and the garden his lady liked so much showered in blood.
At this point word of the appearance of Nijo Castle has also reached the Kiyo Cross with Kiyotsugu wanting to investigate it, and even with Maki, Torii, and Kana afraid, Aotabou assures them that they’ll be fine. However just as he says this the Keikain household comes under attack by forces led by Shoekera in search of Ikegimo, and even as the current clan head attempts to counter him he’s still overwhelmed with Akifusa arriving just as they’re about to execute him. Charging in with his demonic lance. And back at the sixth seal, Kubinashi finds himself struggling against Ibaraki Douji and his Ondeko, unable to find a way to attack.
Another fairly good episode, even though Rikuo is currently in the middle of training with Gyuuki it doesn’t exactly mean that things have frozen for the other characters. With Kubinashi going through some great development, and it even looks like Aotabou may finally get a chance to do something.
Let alone something that shouldn’t come down to fighting someone who isn’t a random grunt or just plain weak, someone who from the looks of it he may just have a challenge against. And even he still doesn’t have any trouble against Shoekera at least he’ll be doing something, for a character so close to Rikuo he hasn’t really done anything this season, instead being subjected to bodyguard duty for characters who can’t really do anything in this arc. Placing him on the sidelines of the sidelines in what’s going on when all the other characters are off kicking ass and trying to stop Hagoromo-Gitsune. That said however his lack of action in this season at the moment could also be seen as another indicator as to just how strong he really is, and even putting all of this aside there’s also the chance that he could get some good development out of it as well.
Just like Kubinashi in this episode, upon Rikuo’s arrival in Kyoto we saw how adamantly loyal he was to Rihan but what we saw in this episode went beyond that, indicating that we may just be able to find out about the source of this loyalty. At the moment however the thing that’s interesting is his regression, filled with a sense of failure he’s run off on his own and has taken to indiscriminately slaughtering any of Hagoromo-Gitsune’s forces he runs into, falling back into what Keijourou sees as his old ways. And if there’s one thing that’s clear about his actions it’s that he can’t keep going on his own, on the surface he may be doing well but when it comes down to it he’s struggling, not to mention how he can barely fend off Ibaraki Douji. So by extension perhaps we’ll see Keijourou get some development out of this as well, with the situation they’re in they really have no other choice but to fight side by side and if anything I’ve been slightly disappointed how their relationship, just how important they are to each other, hasn’t really been alluded to until this point.
Almost on the side to all of this Rikuo’s training already looks promising to say the least, in a way serving as the second part to Gyuuki’s actions in the first season to get him to acknowledge his Youkai side by this time forcing him to acknowledge his human side as well. Not to mention that the strength he’ll get out of it has been something that was elluded to by Rikuo’s grandfather a few episodes back, implying that there’s some sort of benefit that comes with being a Human-Youkai hybrid and that neither side really hinders the other. Aside from that just who Gyuuki has helping him is also interesting to say the least, the Great Tengu of Mount Kurama, one of Hagoromo-Gitsune’s followers from the past who after 400 years was nowhere to be seen, instead being replaced by Minagoroshi-Jizou who just seems to have sidled into her inner circle. In all suggesting that there could be something much darker afoot, that he’s the true mastermind of this arc and Hagoromo-Gitsune isn’t much more than a catspaw in everything going on.