Ah here we go. Rumiko Takahashi’s favorite trope: The romantic rival for the main characters love. He’s actually super hot and his name is….Jumonji. . . resist urge to make jokes. . .Jumonji is an exorcist and kind of makes an endearing character for one reason: he is really really into Mamiya for his own reasons. I like his reasons, too, and it’s hard not to give the guy a shot even though as per the Rumiko formula, he will never ever be able to win Mamiya’s affections. If anything, he’ll probably be a catalyst for Mamiya or Rinne to have feelings for each other.
You know there is an interesting and funny thing about these kinds of tropes: Making a character like Rokudo actually talk about his feelings and give a damn. When it comes to Mamiya it’s clear he is bothered when things happen to her or when she might choose someone else, and his obvious nature isn’t exactly like Inuyasha’s which is a comfort. Instead he seems like a teenage boy with a lot on his plate: I have feelings for a girl and I’ve got a huge weight on my shoulders so I know I shouldn’t have those feelings. It’s kind of weird because I like both Jumonji and Rokudo and in shows like this I know the payoff is going to take forever. Can I just has pairing Rumiko Takahashi?
The conflict outside of Mamiya’s heart is that Jumonji can see spirits and is an exorcist, but he uses an aggressive method that doesn’t work on passive spirits. Rokudo doesn’t like him because of this and asks him to chill out, but he basically doesn’t listen and demeans the conversation to just being jealous about a woman. But nothing was more fucking gloomy than hearing “Mamiya Sakura isn’t mine” baby no!!! Rokudo san, she could be! Just be like TRYING OVER HERE!!
The contention over a spirit comes as Jumonji tries to forcefully exorcise him, but Rokudo uses his Haori of the Underworld inside out to let him manifest and confess to a girl he like that he never truly got to know. It’s always nice to see Rokudo being a really nice guy in the end, and trying to understand the motivations of the spirits. It’s obvious he is the protagonist compared to Tsubasa because he is always using his connection to shinigami in order to actually help the spirits move on with their lives.
Honestly, by the end of it I only had one thought: I really want more episodes like this. I know Rumiko has the hardest time with romances but I really like Rokudo and Sakura. They’re absolutely cute together and I know their romance will take a backseat to whatever Rumiko is writing, but I love it. I just love the way these two idiot kids have such a case of the hots for each other. It’s also hard for me not to admire a red head protagonist and his obvious feelings for a girl. Hell, it’s just refreshing for me to get to see Rumiko’s romances outside of the tired KAGOME!!! INUYASHA!!! dynamic. Two kids fallin’ in love for the first time.
Gotta say, ‘I’ll Cherish it’ was the best moment for these two yet. Hope to see more like this from now on!