With the battle raging on above, Reira, Dohiko, and Yukari pray for Rikuo’s safe return before it shifts to him just about to take on Seimei, catching his grandfather’s blade to do so.
However his attempt at an all out attack with his friends at his back falls short when Seimei throws him back with ease and brings down the Maou’s hammer. But still they persist and with an all encompassing attack where they band together and overlap their fears they’re capable of at least matching him for a moment and landing a single blow. Despite that however Seimei emerges completely unscathed and readies a counterattack, but something happens that stops him in his tracks, his arm begins to rot.
Meaning that the world isn’t ready for his new body just yet and so he departs back to hell, inviting his loyal followers Ibaraki-Douji and Kidoumaru to join him, the latter appearing to waver for a second before following. After which the sky begins to clear and the members of the Nura clan breath a sigh of relief with Rikuo heading back to Yamabuki-Otome’s side. Where Kyokotsu’s daughter is completely devastated and Yamabuki-Otome brushes her palm along Rikuo’s face, convinced that if she ever were to have a son with Rihan he would have looked just like him and remembering how Rihan had been expanding the clan’s influence and consolidating his power for that very reason. Following which Rikuo allows Kyokotsu’s daughter and Gashadokuro to leave with her in peace, seeing her as Hagoromo’s Sesshouseki and the only thing they have left, with Hakuzouzu returning to thank him for the honour. And now with his mind free of any doubts Rikuo states his intentions to keep moving forward.
After this they all head back to the Keikain household again where the members of the Nura clan even help with the reparation efforts, the Nurarihyon and Hidemoto reflect on this like old friends and Hidemoto suspects that Seimei will return within a year. Other than that Rikuo has went to Yura, who berates him about just letting Kyokotsu’s daughter and the others walk away, about a certain matter, to ask Akifusa if he can craft him a new spirit blade. With Hidemoto even deciding to give him a few tips. And after this Rikuo reunites with his friends in the Kiyo Cross. From which it fades to Rikuo meeting two familiar figures in a strange place, his grandfather in his prime and his father, neither appearing to know the others and each regarding themselves as the true head of the Nura clan. Causing Rikuo to get flustered when they completely ignore him. Leading to a quick exchange of blows before the two former heads decide to have a drink under the cherryblossoms, another thing they leave Rikuo out of.
After which he reflects on how nice it would have been if the three generations really were all together and awakes some time later with them encouraging him and his father walking off into the distance, at which point he truly wakes up and heads to the meeting room, bumping into Yuki-Onna along the way, where the Nurarihyon completely passes on the reins of the clan to his grandson.
What an ending, honestly I didn’t know what to expect when it looked like they were going to throw in a battle between Rikuo and his friends against Seimei, but I liked it. In a way the ending to this season surpasses that of the manga, especially after that passing of the torch scene.
But to start with, even the very idea of adding a battle between Rikuo and Seimei could have gone either way, as the brief clash between them in the last episode only said one thing, Seimei was completely out of his league. To say that Rikuo could even scratch him at this point in the story would have been laughable. However regardless of that I think it turned out quite nicely, it had that awesome effect that having the opening theme play in the last episode gives and it managed to give a climactic ending to an otherwise anticlimactic arc. Providing a better sort of conclusion than simply having Rikuo effortlessly defeated and Seimei finding that his body wasn’t ready yet and having to leave to consolidate his power, a lame sort of excuse for saying that he was going to leave until Rikuo was almost capable of matching him.
After that though the epilogue was pretty nice as well, I thought that they were able to do a good job with the point between Kyokotsu and Yamabuki as well as Yamabuki’s death as a whole, when you think about it her character may not have been around that long but it was still pretty sad to see her go like that. And after that seeing things head to the ruins of the Keikain household managed to lighten things a bit, yet another parallel that Rikuo and Yura‘s story have with the Nurarihyon and Hidemoto‘s one by having the same sort of thing happen at the end of their battle. Though it was missing the sort of scene between them that the latters had. Other than that though it had a nice enduring feeling to it all, the Keikain household may have been destroyed, their clan head dead, the city in ruins, and it was only a matter of time before the harbinger of doom made his return, but they would rebuild and ready themselves for his return.
Finally after that, the thing that probably made this last episode a great one was that last anime original scene where both the Nurarihyon and Rihan pass on the torch as heads of the Nura clan to Rikuo, it managed to make an ending that was more about transitioning into a new arc and stage in the story with Rikuo completely taking up the mantle into a much more definitive one. One worthy of ending this season on. Other than that there was just a nice feeling to seeing the three generations of the Nura clan together even in a dream, and Rikuo getting flustered about his father and grandfather ignoring him was fairly fun as well, we don’t really see that cool and smooth act that Rikuo has in his night form break all that often. In all it was simply it a nice addition, making the ending a lot more definitive and fun as well.
I may have had a few gripes with it towards the end but now that we’re at the end I think I can see that this season has been amazing, Studio Deen may have churned out a passable, and nothing more, adaptation in the form of the first season but they really did a great job with this one. In many ways it did justice to what could be seen as the best arc in the series.
The point where even the manga went from a fairly fun and nicely styled series that overall wasn’t anything special and simply became an epic, throughout it all there was a compelling feeling of anticipation that would just keep you reading. And through it Shiibashi seemed to move the story out of its comfort zone by making it a lot more darker and grittier, making it a lot more serious and giving us a look into the past regarding Rikuo’s late father. Not to mention that this could also have been the point where he fully committed to an arc, having managed to break away from that typical and sad twenty or so chapters and that’s it pattern that many new coming series in Shonen Jump tend to fall into. Where if they fail to grab a reader base by then and rank poorly in the ratings they get axed. Allowing him to stop testing story ideas and fully commit.
Other than that one of the great things about this arc was that feeling of what I would call, bittersweet nostalgia that seemed to be throughout it. Not just being limited to how some of the characters were still coping with Rihan’s loss but how an equal amount of the story felt to have been centred in the past as it was the present, the events at hand may have mainly dealt with Rikuo’s conflict with Hagoromo, but just why he even stood up was because he wanted answers. Answers in regard to his hazy past and his father’s death. And other than that there was that almost romantic short arc of how the Nurarihyon took on Hagoromo to save Rikuo’s grandmother, starting the chain of fate that seemed to entwine the Nura clan and Hagoromo as eternal rivals.
Next to that of course I also liked how the scope of the story was a lot more wider than the two arcs in the previous seasons which primarily followed Rikuo. Yura managed to take to the role of a secondary protagonist quite nicely, and was actually kind of important as well as opposed to only being the somewhat cute Omnyouji girl who had really only showed up for the sake of putting pressure on Rikuo. A matter which was also dealt with quite early into the season. And it wasn’t just limited to her as well, even the villain Hagoromo-Gitsune managed to get a fair amount of time where the story was following her as well. All together providing yet another parallel that the story at hand had with the past with the three key figures consisting of a relatively good Youkai in the form of Rikuo and his grandfather, an evil one through Hagoromo-Gitsune, and an Omnyouji through Yura and Hidemoto. Seeming to make the story a bit more diverse as well.
But anyway all up I thought that Studio Deen did a superb job with this season, honestly before this point I didn’t really have that good of an opinion of them, the shows they produced have usually been passable at best and pretty shitty otherwise, and personally I’ve never forgiven them for the clusterfuck that was the UBW movie. But they truly did a great job with it and it wasn’t just a matter of them having amazing source material to deal with, they managed to capture the right sort of atmosphere and even pull off some great action scenes, the sort of thing I don’t think they’re particularly good for. Probably thanks to the change in directors and staff. Not to mention that there was even some good music from time to time as well. To put it simply, they did justice to and in some ways even surpassed the strongest point in the series.
So in all this has been a lot of fun to watch, and for those who watched the first season and even enjoyed it a little I would recommend it. It improves in leaps and bounds and even fixes a few of the flaws that it had.