First off: Mad Props to Grandpa Matsuba for making sure Aoi accepted the Tengu Fan! It turns out to be incredibly useful, enabling her to fend for herself instead of becoming a helpless damsel in distress! Not going to lie, I honestly expected Oodanna to sweep in there and save her after being separated, but no worries, Aoi got this! It was such a pleasant surprise to her get of what could have been an ugly situation on her own, and with humour at that! And she doesn’t stop there, she even pursued after O-Ryo (the jealous snow hostess), who caused the problem of attracting/alerting the Ayakashi near-by that she was Human by knocking off her mask in the first place! Better yet, she even leaves O-Ryo behind and helps Suzuran (a geisha, also younger sister of the front desk manager at the inn) escape after having been sold off to the Yahata Clan’s heir Tan (a rich stalker, as Aoi bluntly puts it).
Even though Oodanna doesn’t need any help (and he looked really cool with the way he caught those arrows with his bare hands, haha), Aoi took it upon herself to defend both of them with her new handy-dandy fan against the flurry of attacks from the Yahata Clan. She says did it for self-defence, but Oodanna would rather interpret it as her protecting him! It was absolutely hilarious how her “power” with the Tengu Fan (or maybe she is actually powerful, and the Tengu Fan enables her to draw out that power), scared the shit out of Yahata-ya clan when Oodanna introduced her as not only Shiro’s granddaughter but his fiancé. I guess they would be a fearsome couple wouldn’t they, ahahaha! But they had me cracking up when they started going on how it is such a tragedy, one that would “end” the Hidden Realm! Of course of all things, the only thing Aoi could pay attention to was being called the Ogre Bride!
Fortunately Suzuran has been rescued and will for the time seek safe haven at the Tenjin Inn. It was funny though how Oodanna scolded Tan for selfishly forcing Suzuran to marry him, and Aoi just whipped her head around and fired back, “Look who’s talking!”
Finally Oodanna steps into the spotlight, spending the majority of the episode with Aoi. It was so cute, yet strange at the same time because we are so used to see Oodanna treat her coldly, yet today he was acting like a proud hubby. He rewarded her for saving the Inn and the relationship with the Tengu Clan with a fancy date night! (Clever!) The interaction between the two was quite fun to watch, especially when Aoi was reluctant to accept him offering her to buy some goods while they were visiting the capital. He teases her with, “Well I guess you don’t want to be treated to a tasty meal!” or how when she asks him about what his favourite dish is, he can’t help but tease her blood being his favourite dish. She set herself up for that one, haha! We can definitely tell he has a soft side and finds Aoi endearing, especially with how independent and self-sufficient she is.
I liked seeing this side of him, so it is too bad he becomes all uptight again as soon as they return to the Tenjin Inn. I guess when he is out and about, he is more free to be himself rather than having to worry about behaving responsibly as the Master. But at the same time, it confuses me because I can’t get a read on him, especially after knowing there was tension left between Shiro and Oodanna before his passing.
It was great to see they have established a time limit with paying off the debt, especially with the use of the rose quartz. Right now it is in a form of a bud, but will eventually bloom into a big camellia (how epic is that?!) — except once it does, it will fall off! What a shame!
Still, I am fascinated in what will become of its purpose once it falls off. Does it fall off when it’s fully bloomed or when it “wilts”? Surely it must be used in some other way afterwards!
But now I wonder about the red camellias. He seems to associate Aoi and the flower together often, even gifted her a yukata with camellias on it. Curious about the meaning behind the flower, I decided to look it up the common meanings are:
- Desire or Passion
- Perfection & Excellence
- Faithfulness & Longevity
Well the first two are absolutely on point, especially in regards to how he spoke about her being dear to him because she is a delicious meal he cannot eat. But when we take into consideration of the colors, NOW THIS IS WHERE IT GETS INTERESTING!
- White – White camellias mean several things. They can mean purity, the love between mother and child or mourning when used in funeral flowers. When presented to a man, a white camellia is thought to bring luck.
- Pink – Pink camellias symbolize longing.
- Red – Red camellias symbolize passion or desire.
- Red and Pink – Combing red and pink camellias expresses romantic love.
And if that isn’t enough to get us to start thinking about how he feelings, they throw in a new ED Theme! It didn’t take long for me to realize the song was about Oodanna’s feelings towards Aoi, but boy was I surprised! It was beautiful, especially the lyrics, wow that gave the feels. One thing to note though, the lyrics describe a red camellia (passion/desire), but with the pin being a rose quartz, it has a red and pink color, which expresses romantic love (fitting for an engagement ornament too), so there are definitely some form of inconsistencies, making it harder to to grasp the nature of his emotions.
This makes me incredibly curious about what kind of feelings does Oodanna have for Aoi. Has he already fallen in love with her from a previous encounter, or has he yet to actually fall in love, and is merely harboured by his desires to eat her? So many questions, but luckily (for now) we have plenty of time! But this also makes me wonder if whether or not the two have encountered each other in the past. Aoi doesn’t seem to have any distinct memory, other than the Akaysashi who gave granted her the wish of calling her name and providing her food.
Speaking of which, today we hear Ginji bring up her favourite food she shared in the flashback with the Ayakashi. But here’s the thing: it might be a red-herring. It sounds like it might be Ginji, but what if it were actually Oodanna and this was something he had share with him in order to meet Aoi’s needs? It is really too soon to say, but with the current distraction of O-Ryo experiencing a fever or a sorts, Aoi might just forget about it until a later date.
Furthermore, it dawned to me how mysterious it is that the Ayakashi did not eat a child who has high spiritual power. Was it simply out of kindness or pity for the plight she was in? Perhaps so, especially when she straight up offered herself on a silver-plater, or because he knew who she is, (he called her name when she asked him to), he had no intention of eating her in the first place? I am so curious!!!!
Lastly, we learned a bit about the Hidden Realm: They visited the Capital of Youto, where the Ayakashi King lives. Surrounding the capital are eight lands, an an Ayakashi rule the land and possess a title of Hachiyo, such as Elder Tengu Matsuba, who rules Mt. Shumon. We also discovered the word of Shiro’s death has yet to make way across the Hidden Realm. Only a select few knows of his passing. Given his reputation, one may expect the Ayakashi who were tormented by him to rejoice, while the others like Matsuba will grieve for their loss. It was surprising to see Oodanna made sure Aoi didn’t break the news to Suzuran, as he changed the subject before she could say anything. While it spares her the grief or spreading the news yet again, it also makes me wonder it’s there is another purpose in mind keeping the truth in the dark.