Nurarihyon no Mago: Sennen Makyou 23

Without so much as a flick from his hand, Seimei stops Tsuchigumo’s advance and casts him too down to the fiery pit that lies below. After which Minagoroshi-Jizou presents to him the Maou’s Hammer, and disgusted with Kyoto’s current state he uses it to burn the city. Referring to him as Sanmoto Gorozaemon.

A name that resonates with the Nura clan as a name belonging to someone who Rihan had defeated and destroyed in the past, the leader of the Hundred Tales clan of Edo. However Minagoroshi-Jizou reveals that he is but one piece of one hundred, so he shouldn’t refer to him as that, before setting about beating Yura. But before he can go any further Rikuo drives his blade through his back, and now completely pissed with Seimei intends to take him down.

But with only the tip of his finger Seimei blocks him and shatters Nenekirimaru, responding by activating the Maou’s Hammer and swinging it down. However Hagoromo’s host protects him from his first strike, and his grandfather from the second, pulling them away long enough to explain the details about Hagoromo’s host as the others finally catch up, explaining that she was known as Yamabuki-Otome, and in joint with her, that was Rihan’s wife back in the day, but while they got along well due to being unable to present an heir after so many years she left him, leaving behind a poem where she wrote of how the Yamabuki rose, while beautiful, bears no fruit. Blaming herself for being unable to conceive when in truth it was due to Hagoromo’s curse. After which just how everything came into place is explained, that having met in hell Seimei and Sanmoto Gorozaemon conspired to kill him as he was a hinderance to Seimei’s plan, crushing his mother each time she rose up. Deciding to use Seimei’s resurrection technique and Sanmoto Gorozaemon’s ability to manipulate memories to present Yamabuki Otome towards Rihan as the daughter he would have had with her. Using her to make him drop his guard before using the poem she left behind as a trigger for her to impale him with the Maou’s Hammer.

During all of this some of the veterans in the Nura clan the Great Tengu had also begun to take on Seimei only to be thrown back, with Gyuuki being knocked back just as he was about to get serious, and before he can go any further Rikuo steps up to take over. Confronting alongside his grandfather who declares that those that exemplify coexistence between humans and Youkai like his son and grandson are his pride and joy, but before they can take him on they find that they’re not alone. With Rikuo’s entire Hyakki Yakou making their way up to his side, and even with only the hilt of his blade left, Rikuo prepares to go up against Seimei.

Next Episode:

Thoughts:

In all an all right episode, with only two or so more episodes left things are approaching their conclusion quite nicely, and alongside it we were able to get some answers as well. However if anything some of those answers weren’t exactly what I would have preferred.

Namely the one to do with Hagoromo’s host and just how she was able to get close enough to kill Rihan. Being not that she was genuinely Rihan’s daughter but instead that she was the reincarnation of Rihan’s former wife posing as his daughter who left him because she couldn’t conceive instead. Yamabuki-Otome. And to be honest, ever since it came up in the manga it hasn’t been something I’ve been all that fond of, overall it just feels like something that was tacked on at the very last minute to meaninglessly complicate things and further villain-ise Minagoroshi-Jizou beyon his recently revealed status as the puppet master in all of it, heck he even beat Yura for the sake of beating her. Not to mention that her being Rihan’s daughter, a theory that seemed to make a lot more sense beforehand, still would have explained everything and then some, and better yet would have fitted in with Hagoromo’s spite by having her prop up in the Nura clan’s own bloodline to strike back at them.

Better yet, by some stretch she still could have been Rihan’s half-daughter by keeping in Yamabuki-Otome, who even despite mainly being the result of this tacked on explanation wasn’t really that bad. If anything it was quite nice to see that Rihan had another wife in between the four hundred or so years following his birth and raising after the Nurarihyon rode off into the sunset with Youhime, and the modern era that the current story takes place in, it just would have been stupid for him not to. And alongside it, it also gave a glimpse into the past that the series excels so well in. However if so it would have gone against the part of Hagoromo’s curse on the Nura bloodline being unable to conceive with other Youkai, something which aside from subtly pointing that there won’t be a Yuki-Onna end mainly only served to make Yamabuki-Otome’s plot a tragic one.

Aside from that it also wasn’t that bad to see the confrontation between Rikuo and Seimei extended from simply having him come at him, pissed after seeing what he did to Hagoromo as well as the part he had in his father’s death, with Nenekirimaru only to have it shatter without so much as a flick from Seimei’s finger. To an all out fight between the old badasses in the Nura clan, and later the newcomers ranging from the guys Rikuo has had by his side since the start to those he has right now, all making for a particularly awesome moment as they all rose up to take him on. Aside from that it also made the pause in the action quite plausible, Seimei was too busy with them allowing the Nurarihyon and Yamabuki to go into exposition mode. The downside however is that action scenes aren’t exactly Studio Deen’s specialty, as most of the time they simply look clunky or lack any tension what so ever. Aside from that I was also kind of pissed at how much they downplayed how strong Gyuuki is, he hasn’t really been given a chance to show it but from what some points have seemed to imply he should be fairly powerful, let alone he had just gotten serious. And then just right after that how the others seemed to have more luck against him, even keeping how they all teamed up against him in mind it just doesn’t seem plausible.

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7 Responses to Nurarihyon no Mago: Sennen Makyou 23

  1. Mistic says:

    I think the anime is heading to an original ending. Mainly, because at this point the manga was somewhat different. I understand the necessity and it’s also nice to see the old guys again. However, I’m with you and I also think that the battle was lacking. At least it was more believable than Rikuo vs Hagoromo Gitsune.

    As in the manga, I don’t like Yamabuki Otome’s plot because it could have been done better. The anime offered more foreshadowing and they even explained why a yokai was resurrected as a human (it’s said that she was a human before becoming an ayakishi, something that wasn’t said in the manga). Nevertheless, as you, I think her plot would’ve been more interesting as Rihan’s secret daughter.

    I have the theory (that can’t be proved) that it was the original idea, but that would have meant that Rikuo’s father wasn’t a saint. So instead the author gave him a first wife, a contrived reason to get rid of that wife, then a more convoluted assassination plot and a tragic flashback to sweeten the deal. And now we have the loose end of Hagoromo Gitsune’s curse.

  2. Nayrael says:

    “(it’s said that she was a human before becoming an ayakishi, something that wasn’t said in the manga)”

    Actually, the Tankoubon’s revealed that she was a daughter of a Samurai (think she even liked to play piano) but than died due to some illness or accident thus turning into a Ghost-type Youkai. It also revealed how Rihan met her and how she got to be called Yamabuki Otome in first place. I kind of hoped they would use the situation to animate the entire story rather than just what was shown in the chapter.

  3. Mistic says:

    Maybe I should have specified and said that “it wasn’t said in the weekly chapters”. It was a bit jarring when I read it the first time.

    Yes, I would have liked the anime to show the side stories, the omakes, etc. Even if it’s just the humorous ones, just after the ending credits of each episode. A pity that it didn’t happen, but at least the anime mentioned what I think was an important point. I like my fictional universes coherent 😉

  4. Ginnodangan says:

    @ Nayreal

    My guess is that by doing that they would be going a little too far with it, it would work great for DVD/BD extras but there was only so much detail they could go into right then and there. That said I think I may have preferred it as well, it would have been nice to learn those little details about her but instead we got action scenes for the sake of action scenes.

    @ Mistic

    Isn’t it something of a convention in anime and manga for Yakuza bosses to have secret illegitimate daughters? So fitting in with the Yakuza theme of the series I think it was quite likely as well. Nearly everything seemed to support it and then it seemed to veer away from it in a matter of chapters, if not pages.

    It looks like it, or at least one that will end on a similar note to the manga so that they can animate the Hundred Tales arc later if they intend to. The battle with Seimei that they’re setting up could make the ending a little less anti-climactic but at the same time I’m not exactly sure how to feel about it.

  5. Mistic says:

    Yes, Ginnodangan, you’re right: where’s the secret illegitimate daughter? xD

    I don’t like when the series idealizes Yakuza. Yes, they’re cool and powerful, but they also should be dangerous and morally ambiguous. In fact, the first episode of Sennen Makyo showed us a good deal of that: Nurarihyon wasn’t a good example for Rikuo to follow in his footsteps and no board member cared when Gagoze said he had been killing children.

    I could buy that Rihan had been a better man than his father (in fact, after reading the Hyaku Monogatari flashback, I think he was an awesome leader), but when I thought that he could have an illegitimate daughter, that made his character more interesting. A caring husband and loving father with an embarrasing secret, a secret that then was used against him by his enemies. I think the author wasted a perfectly good plot.

    But I’m just voicing my dissapointment, so don’t mind me. Your blog is amazing and it makes the watching anime experience even more enjoyable.

  6. Ginnodangan says:

    There’s nothing wrong with voicing disappointment as long as you can back it up, and in this case it’s from what could be considered the weakest part of this entire arc. It would have been interesting to see it go down that path, as well as how if so she would have interacted with Rikuo and the others.

    Not to mention even when it was used against him there was little he could do to stop it, it would have made a little more sense for him to be unable to lift a hand against his actual daughter than one that he knew deep down was ultimately fake. There was even a good amount of mystery to Rihan beforehand at the time as well. So in many ways it really was a waste.

    I think it glorifies that aspect a little too much as well, as it really only comes down to having Rikuo look cool while the others march behind him. Aside from that there isn’t much else to it, so in fact a little more moral ambiguity at times would actually be pretty nice. And given Rikuo’s views it could even make for an interesting struggle between his ideals and the darker aspects of the Youkai world.

  7. Rapunzel Kidakagash Morgana Lisanna Lacrimosa Farewell Scarlet says:

    (sorry I’m kinda crying)

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