As Kidoumaru swears to hold them back for the sake of his lord, Seimei, Rikuo closes the distance with his own fear and drives Kurotabou’s blades through him. However it matters not, they’ve run out of time.
Bringing them all back to the real world as Hagoromo-Gitsune rises from the depths of Nijo Castle and declares to her followers that the time is almost upon them, welcoming every Youkai there as guests and asking that they protect her child just a little bit longer before changing into her usual pure black attire. Meaning that Rikuo hasn’t entirely ran out of time just yet, that he and Yura just have to get close enough.
But Hagoromo-Gitsune’s followers don’t intend to let them get that close, but with Kubinashi countering Ibaraki-Douji and Shoei countering Kyoukotsu’s daughter and Gashadokuro they keep heading forward. Before they can arrive however, Akifusa makes his move by lunging at Hagoromo-Gitsune with his demonic lance, being impaled by a tired Hagoromo-Gitsune with all nine of her tails. However this was revealed to merely be a ploy by Ryuuji to cover up Mamiru’s attack, which in so would lure her attention away long enough to drive a seal through the weakened Seimei. But if this were to happen Tsuchigumo wouldn’t be able to fight him. At this point though, Rikuo arrives just in time to save Ryuuji and recognises his father’s killer, a girl he had played with when he was younger. Aside from that, Yuki-Onna, and later Awashima arrives to support Shoei and Itaku fights Ibaraki-Douji alongside Kubinashi.
Yet while Hagoromo-Gitsune appears visibly shocked for a moment by Rikuo’s claim she soon sets about fighting him, drawing a giant fan she had hidden with her second tail from her time in the Heike clan to throw them back. Despite this though Rikuo and Ryuuji still appear to be okay and actually appear to be getting along somewhat, with Rikuo charging in while Ryuuji orders Mamiru to support Yura. Rikuo’s attacks can’t get through her tails however, so Kurotabou suggests that he use him for an all out attack to create an opening for himself, entrusting his life in his hands. But even this isn’t enough to stop her as she blocks his attack with her fan and draws a blade from her third tail, then proceeding to take his Ikigimo with it.
But while she saw this she soon finds that she had missed it, still striking him but missing, and so their fight reaches a standstill with Rikuo taking the chance to ask her human side something. And elsewhere, Minagoroshi-Jizou implies to Tsuchigumo that he won’t even give him a chance to fight the Nue.
Some of the fights may have seemed a little disjointed in some aspects but still a good episode, there were some all right ones through out it all along with a gratuitous amount of Hagoromo-Gitsune, and above all things are about to reach their climax.
That said while some of the fights on the side may have seemed a little uninteresting and disjointed, mainly coming down to one of Hagoromo’s followers being confronted by one or more of the members of Rikuo’s Hyakki Yakou as he made his way up to her, they were still something that I kind of liked. Despite being something of a remnant of the style from the first season they still worked as a nice way of giving the impression that there was more going on than Rikuo and Hagoromo’s clash, not to mention giving some of the other characters a chance to shine and conclude some of the confrontations that really didn’t get a chance for it. And on the side it was pretty cool to see Kubinashi and Itaku, two characters who were at each other’s throats earlier this season, team up.
In contrast to this though the actual main fight between Rikuo and Hagoromo felt kind of uneventful, it had some great moments but overall I thought that it was something of a letdown. A lot was happening and the characters were racing against the clock to stop her but it certainly didn’t feel that way, as if from time to time a few things were being intentionally stretched out. That said, this is being animated by Studio Deen, if I was expecting a fast paced and intense smoothly animated action scene with everything happening all at once I was going to be disappointed anyway. Despite that however some of the things that we saw during it were still pretty good, such as the ploy within a ploy within a ploy that Ryuuji had which if successful would have essentially came down to trolling the fuck out of Hagoromo and watching as she and her followers, and the Nura clan as well, destroyed each other. Aside from that it was interesting to see Hagoromo possess various weapons from the eras she had been reincarnated in, and it was fairly cool to see Rikuo going from a walking Gate of Babylon to actually using an attack like the original.
Most of all though the most interesting part of this episode would have had to have been the actual confrontation between Rikuo and Hagoromo itself, with Rikuo finally getting the chance to see just who his opponent is with his own two eyes while Hagoromo would have found herself faced with the Nurarihyon’s splitting image. However while Rikuo may have possessed some clarity, recognising her as the girl he had once played with and who had driven a blade through his father’s back, there still appeared to be quite a bit of stuff to obscure it. It didn’t exactly confirm anything or not confirm anything either, things are still rather inconclusive as to the identity of Hagoromo’s host. Now having read the manga I both know and was somewhat disappointed by it, but regardless it was still nice to see some of this mystery and indecisiveness is still there.