THIS SERIES JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER!!!!!
One of the things I have come to appreciate is the overall pace of revealing bits of information about the ceremony. There is a lot to it, and if it’s not done right, it can easily become an information dump that becomes too complex and too much to absorb all at once. And this week, we were able to learn about The Curse’s background and why the Ceremony is so important.
The main reason why the Southern Lands is said to be cursed is because of the sheer amount of natural disasters that take place, such as tsunamis, typhoons, and tornados. The curse itself however comes straight from the ocean. Because it’s such a dangerous and unstable place to live, it makes it incredibly difficult, if not impossible for economical development make any progress. As result, the region is plagued by poverty, homelessness, and orphans. Merchants who come to the region never stay longer than necessary, making it difficult for the locals to find jobs outside of working at the Harbour or at Orio-ya Inn.
The tradition of the secret Ceremony started a thousand years ago, and have otherwise been proven successful when all conditions were fulfilled. 300 Years ago, due to missing one of the required articles (national treasures), the ceremony failed and the Hachiyo at the time was killed. For a time,Ougon-douji stood in his place until Ranmaru, who was the former Hachiyo’s assistant inherited the position. Ranmaru and Ginji are the Shrine’s Guardians.
The articles they have to gather each belong to a certain important individual. These are the VIP Guests for the Ceremony, and that is why Orio-ya is busting their asses off to make sure their guests are pleased. For this ceremony, the five articles they need are:
- Rainbow Umbrella (Yodoko: The Rain Woman)
- Tengu Secret Liquior (Matsuba) – Hatori was expelled bc of the liquor in the first place… Oh dear.
- A Scale of a Mermaid – I am curious to see whether or not the clam shell Oodanna had found and given Aoi is actually a mermaid scale. Or Chibi will end up playing a crucial role in locating it.
- Hourai’s Gem Branch
- And the food for the party, dishes made of ocean treasure
Although a “pot” hasn’t been listed in the necessary articles required, I do wonder if the fifth condition may have something to do with it. This is something that continues to make me nervous, because I am still worried about the pot that Shiro broke. It has been constantly brought up and referred to as a “national treasure” several times during the first half of the series for a reason. If we learned anything in this show, most of the things that have been foreshadowed and eventually have been followed up on.
But one of the most intriguing things we learned this episode was the introduction of the Eternal Realm. It is said to be a strange place where humans ruled for some eras, while ayakashi ruled during others. This is actually something that was quietly established earlier on, when we learned how Oodanna has traveled to multiple worlds beyond the Apparent Realm. As it turns out, the Southern Land is the closest to the Eternal Realm, and between the Southern Land and the Eternal Realm, is Jouno Island, where the Ceremony takes place. Hatori explained they have no idea whether or not it’s an ayakashi behind this or something else entirely, but the consequences of failing the ceremony is catastrophic to say the least.
Another important point that was brought up was how it appears Ougon-douji fully intended to take Aoi away to begin with. It doesn’t really surprise me, but I am very confused about her intentions. Just what is she trying to do with Aoi? One minute she is trying to kill her, now it sounds like she wants to use her to help prepare good food for the ceremony, unless she wants to offer her as a sacrifice. I can’t get a read on her at all. Her malicious smirks and everything really throws me off.
After a rather intense and heavy start to the episode, the second half was full of fluff! *SCREAMS* This week Oodanna followed through with his promise of having a secret meeting with Aoi! In the matter of fact, he took her on their fifth date! But before they did that, they made a baby, and named her Ai.
HAHAHAHAHAHA! That shocked you there for a minute didn’t it? I love how we can joke about this in the best way possible.
Okay they didn’t have an actual baby, Ai is actually the Ogre Fire that has been feeding on Aoi’s Spiritual Power to keep itself alive, and as result it has officially become her follower (said to be equivalent to a child). As Oodanna so eloquently put it, she is the first fruit of their love! This is because what Oodanna did last week was apply the final touches to properly awaken it. And he wasn’t kidding about how these followers are akin to children. Ai quickly latched on to the two of them ahaha. It was so funny since it’s certainly not Aoi’s character to hug Oodanna, but seeing Ai as herself doing so made her flustered. Needless to say, it is quite a nice surprise, because this grants Aoi a form of power, something she lacked since the Tengu Fan had been taken away from her. I am excited to see how she will work with Ai to do what she needs to do at Orio-ya Inn, especially since Ranmaru and Hideyoshi are ungrateful little shits after she saved their asses by pleasing Yodoko. (Watching them cook was super to watch by the way!) It was also great to see her be used to help Aoi be able to sneak and have a date with Oodanna all day, fufufu!
After that shit went down it was just nice to see Aoi be able to get out of the hostile environment and experience visit the harbour with Oodanna. He took her through the market, where she was having a field-day. We learned that Oodanna was able to work undercover with the help of Akama Seafood. He has a good relationship with them, well enough that he doesn’t have to hide himself and even introduced Aoi to them. They used to be a long established Inn, so this is probably where he is staying for the time being, along with Sasuke as his escort it seems.
Ah, but while Aoi was visiting Akama Seafood, she encountered a familiar face: The Mystery Ayakashi Mask. My god, this show so far has been really messing with our heads with who the Mystery Ayakashi is supposed to be. However despite everything that has been thrown at us, I still firmly believe it is Oodanna, and if anything, this week, seeing the mask hidden in the shed and Oodanna quietly pulling her away seems to arose my suspicions. The main reason why I feel so strongly about this, is because of the one clue (the scratch on Aoi’s hand EP 9 paralleling their encounter at the shrine in the premiere). But if Oodanna does end up being the Mystery Ayakashi, it begs the question: Why is he keeping this a secret? Why won’t be bring it up? Well I guess I do have a couple of ideas floating around in the back of my head for a while now.
That being said, I honestly I don’t think Oodanna’s character gets enough credit for his unwavering support and love for Aoi. Yes they had a rocky start, but somewhere along the lines, Oodanna has undoubtedly fallen for her. A lot of the times, we see the love interests gets jealous of how much attention the heroine is giving to another man. Instead we have a mature character like Oodanna respects Aoi’s decision of wanting to stay in the Southern Lands to help Ginji, and declared he will support her from behind the scenes. It’s just so nice to see, especially in a slow-burn romance like this one. This is another reason why I am so happy this series has twenty-six episodes to work with, because there is no way in hell they could have delivered this development in a span of 13 episodes. And the best part? Oodanna is finally making progress. It certainly helps when they are away from work, although this is anything but a vacation, they are able to spend some quality time together without too many interruptions. Today’s date was an excellent example of that. I mean, how many animes do we actually get to see the couples go on dates like this, without excessive drama spoiling it!
And Oodanna’s patience is definitely paying off. As much as Aoi doesn’t want to admit it (mainly because she is the type who hates to lose/give into a situation, including her own feelings) she is slowly but surely falling in love with him. She feels like he’s “cheating” with his Human Appearance, since it likely makes it easier to overlook how he is an Ogre, and he has always been super smooth with expressing his feelings, such as how he gifted her the rainbow clam shell while they were walking along the beach.
I have also noticed Oodanna is taking a small step forward with initiating more skinship with Aoi. He has been doing it very subtly, as up until this point, they have been more or less limited to head-pats, and the one hug when he rescued her and she was unconscious. Now I am just waiting for the two to finally hold hands, hug and hopefully will eventually have a kiss, regardless it will certainly be worth the wait.
The date certainly ended with a bang, an explosion coming from Orio-ya Inn. It’s not a small fire either, so i wonder what had happened. My main concern is that Taichi may have been caught in it. After he shared his story about his siblings with Aoi, I couldn’t help but a get a bad feeling something awful was going to happen to him. I don’t know if he will be killed off, but I do wonder if this explosion may have happened at the Old Inn, possibly an incident where Aoi oi may be targeted by the assassins once more. If that ends up being the case, then Oodanna most certainly saved Aoi from a certain death.
With that, said, this show is giving me everything I have been craving to watch for a very long time, and its probably why I can’t stop watching it over and over and over again (I must have re-watched the entire show over a dozen times now).