Isanami and Saizo continue their journey while the threat of assassins hangs over their heads. Saizo runs into Ana, a childhood friend, while she’s bathing, and they all go to the festival where Isanami has been invited to dance as the shrine maiden. Oh, and there’s a giant snake in the forest that almost kills our main characters.
Saizo: We are totally just friends, and I was totally not peeping.
I never knew that Saizo was a peeper, but when he does, he goes for the wrong type- the kind that can grow ice picks from her body and hurl them by doing a spinning handstand. A RIVAL APPEARS?
Isanami has something totally going on for Saizo, and I had the inkling it was going to be one of those horrible romance/not-romance shows, where they dangle attraction until the end of the show, and then leave it just out of reach. But it seems like there’s something different at work here. Isanami, who had grown up without parents seems to be showing a deeper issue, one of being afraid of being left alone in the world, rather than one of a romantic nature.
Though, I would totally root for that. Ana, that woman that Saizo accidentally peeped on while she was bathing in the river seems to see it as her job to be a neutral non-drama stirring friend, which is a refreshing change from usual trope of teasing the main “couple.” It seems like guys can’t ever be just friends with female characters, especially the childhood kind. the tension between the “love” triangle rises to a peak, and ties together when Isanami and Saizo end in a moment alone, and they have some time to breathe and think. Their relationship of friendship is really sweet, and I’m looking forward to it becoming deeper. I’m actually not too concerned about romance between them, if there is any, since they balance each other so well in personality.
The biggest tiff I have is how vulnerable Isanami was in this episode. I was hoping that she’d be more active in fighting, beyond the NULLIFY-ALL-THE-THINGS headpiece, but no, she get’s picked up like a potato sack and told to get out of the way while Saizo shows off his manliness by protecting her. Oh, and the blood. Not as much as your typical day in Hellsing or Bleach-land, but enough to wonder how these people still move around.
This entire episode was about Isanami, but Ana was a really great vector for moving the story forward. She’s the perfect opposite to Isanami’s optimism; she’s mature, strong, and handy in a fight.
Beyond the endless ninja jockeying (yes, there are more ninjas than Sarutobi, Saizo and the assassin), there’s another
potential romance pair in the making between Yukimura and Rokuro that take centre stage. The dynamic duo get caught up in the village battle, and when Yukimura is about to be taken down by four ninjas and spiderwire, Rokura uses his sexy bishonen body to jump in between the danger and Yukimura. The end result is that both end up pressed up against each other omgomgomg in danger together. Yukimura seems to be the one that more aware of when it’s OK for Rokuro to let loose, and they get out fine. But this scene had a strong impact on me, I just love this slash pair team. I kind of have a crush on Rokuro because he totally looks like Hajime Saitou from Hakuouki has this strong aura and sense of loyalty will become key in later episodes as more problems arise.
Verdict: Looking forward to the rest of the cast, if the characters in the OP are any indication. I love the OP song- I almost, almost didn’t get to the rest of the episode, since I was watching the opening on loop. XD