Starting with a quick recap of Rikuo confronting Hagoromo on the memories he has of her host, Hagoromo begins to waver as she begins to find some truth in them but refuses to aknowledge it. At which point down in the moat of the castle, the Nurarihyon speaks of his own suspicions when some reinforcements arrive.
Around now Kubinashi and Itaku’s fight with Ibaraki-Douji hasn’t moved forward much but things begin to shift into their favour when Keijourou arrives, with the same capable of being said for Yuki-Onna, Shoei, and Awashima’s fight with Kyokotsu’s daughter and Gashadokuro when Aotabou and Jami join the fray. Allowing Itaku, Awashima, and Yuki-Onna to make their way up. Just as Ryuuji and Hidemoto formulate a plan to create an opening to run Hagoromo through with Nenekirimaru.
Making their move when she’s thrown off by her own memories of her time with Rikuo and Rihan, starting with Mamiru rescuing Yura and declaring that he changed in order to protect her. And by now things have easily turned for Kubinashi as he entwines his string with both Keijourou’s hair and fear, and Aotabou not being one to be beaten removes his skull rosary to take down Gashadokuro, while Jami moves in close to cut down Kyokotsu’s daughter in a single strike. However even so, Seimei begins to return to the world as more and more of Hagoromo’s memories begin to return, feeling confident that her goal is in reach, but among these memories are those of her brief time with Rikuo and Rihan. At which point Ryuuji and Mamiru strike to create an opening for Yura and the Hagun, with her grandfather now among the past clan heads summoned, followed by Rikuo cleaving through her with Nenekirimaru. At which point she utters one word, Father.
With the grip that she had on her host now weakened, Hagoromo is cast out cursing Minagoroshi-Jizou before she realises that her own son, Seimei also happened to have a hand in this. Just as he makes his return, apologising and asking for her forgiveness as the fiery pit of hell opens up below them, and because she was his light and he himself needs to turn his back on the light to cast a shadow capable of dominating the light, he casts her down. But just as Minagoroshi-Jizou gives a cheer, Tsuchigumo smashes in for his rematch.
Honestly I was kind of let down by this episode, perhaps I spoke a little too soon but it feels as if the series is falling back into the flaws of the first season as the end to this one approaches. The action just seems nowhere as good and it’s taking the give-everyone-a-chance-to-fight approach that happened then as well.
Which is nice to see if you like those characters, and in a way it serves to better flesh them out a bit if they’ve barely played a role or even appeared in this arc, giving us Kubinashi and Keijourou teaming up to settle the score with Ibaraki-Douji and Aotabou going up against Kyoukotsu’s daughter and Gashadokuro with the non-existant Jami. But what it does do in turn is draw the focus away from where it needs to be, on Rikuo and Hagoromo, and on top of that they feel somewhat disjointed and typical as well, both breaking the momentum and being incredibly predictable to say the least. But most of all there’s really no reason for them, they could be cut out and not a single thing would change.
Alongside all of that the continuing of the clash between Rikuo and Hagoromo was kind of disappointing as well, overall it just felt really dragged out, which considering the short amount of time it took place in in the manga kind of makes sense, and was to be expected as well when it was given two episodes to deal with. But despite that, it was still fun to see Hagoromo slowly losing it and beginning to lose faith in her own memories, particularly the one regarding Rihan for which they even threw in that crucially misguiding line of her referring to him as “Father“, suggesting that her host was Rihan’s daughter. However even with that this moment seemed to lose a lot of the momentum that it had in the manga, where everything seemed to happen in an instant, Hagoromo was thrown off by her memories, Mamiru and Ryuuji struck, Yura shot her with the Hagun, and then Rikuo ran her through with Nenekirimaru. Yet as amazingly well animated as it was for Studio Deen it just felt a little too slow and overly dragged out.
And after that we had the return of Abe no Seimei, Youkai Jesus, and as short as his appearance was in this episode it really did a good job at showing just how heartless and focussed he was on his goal. Turning his back on the light that kept him going for the past thousand years by casting his own mother into the depths of hell. An action that was as decisive as it was brief. But with this Minagoroshi-Jizou’s motives still don’t exactly seem all that clear, which considering that he’s completely revealed himself to be the puppet master pulling the strings should be paramount. Does he intend to power up the Maou’s Hammer with Seimei’s blood or could it be something else entirely, and more likely as well? Personally I kind of lost interest in the manga after this arc (or at least after Yuki-Onna formed her own Hyakki-Yakou) so I don’t know if it’s revealed afterward.