I would be lying if I said I haven’t been wondering when we would learn about Hideyoshi and Nene, especially with how chaotic is at Orio-ya. I am alway look forward to these episodes because it shows us the other side of these characters. Like O-Ryo, Nene left a terrible first impression by bullying Aoi (even injuring her in the process). But the truth is, she lacks confidence in herself as the young hostess. She was put in a difficult position this week when dealing with problematic customers who were sexually harassing her. The lot claimed they had the Hourai’s gem branch, nobody knows how they figured out they were searching for it, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Raiju were to be the one responsible for dropping such a rumour. And this is exactly why the ceremony and the quest of finding the treasures is a secret mission. There is always going to be somebody looking to take advantage of their situation.
But the quick arrival of Tenjin-ya’s secret backup team, starting with O-Ryo coming to Orio-ya’s inn as a guest helped smooth things over when things were quickly getting out of hand. She has the skills and experience of dealing with drunk customers, so she was able to get Nene and the others out of an ugly situation. (Goodness, it was so nice to see her again!!! I MISSED YOU O-RYO!!!!!)
Nene however felt ashamed of being unable to properly handle the problematic customers and reverted into her true form as a fire rat (A REALLY CUTE ONE AT THAT). We also learn that she became a room attendant after being inspired by the way O-Ryo helped her out when she was a guest at Tenjin-ya when she was younger. She has admired her ever since, but she also couldn’t help but start feeling jealous of them, and acknowledges her feelings were an ugly thing and it makes her feel pathetic.
And the truth is, she is actually a precious sweetheart who lacks confidence in herself. She was even nervous about walking around the market in her rat form. It was so much fun to see her and Aoi just taking it easy, going around the market and having basically, well, girl talk. With how stressful the entire situation has been with the ceremony, it was so nice to see someone like Nene who has a lot of pressure on her shoulders too, get a chance to unwind and consult her concerns with someone like Aoi. I also really liked she asked about how her foot is doing, and apologized for her actions.
The same applies to Hideyoshi: As the young master, he struggles the pressure of trying to fill the void Ginji had left behind. That is why takes his job very seriously as the young master, because it is difficult to meet Ranmaru’s standards when he is is pining for Ginji’s return. At the same time, he is always looking out for Nene because not only he wants is for her to be more confident in her abilities, but he is also in love with her. Unfortunately for him, his love seems to be unrequited, but he doesn’t mind because he only cares about Nene’s happiness, so he is rooting for her and Ranmaru. Oh goodness, what a good boy! MY HEART! And I absolutely loved how he straight-up acknowledged he has feelings for her when Aoi asked him about it, effectively spoiling her plans on teasing him about it. This was definitely one of the times I really liked how straight-forward he was about it, and owning it too.
And seriously, this is one of the things I love about Kakuriyo: Getting the chance to see the other side of the characters. They aren’t perfect, they are flawed, they can be jerks, emotional and lash out at others, but it doesn’t mean they are actually terrible people, and vice versa for those left a positive first impression, such as Matsuba! So when we have Nene and Hideyoshi, both who have left us with a terrible first impression of them, it is refreshing to see their softer and more intimate side. This was something that could only be achieved between the two of them because of their relationship as childhood friends.
Although this week’s episode was all about Hideyoshi and Nene, we were given a brief update of how Raiju screwed everyone over 300 years ago. However I do find it rather strange how even though Raiju is a noble, it’s not like he is the Haichyo of the Southern Lands, so why in the world is Ranmaru even providing him updates on their progress? I suppose it has to do with abusing his power and status, letting him live like a King and be the one to decide whether or not the Southern Lands should be spared of the curse’s wrath. It probably feeds into his ego to be in such position. It doesn’t help that he’s a maniac either.
It is quite interesting though how it was the Hourai’s gem branch, that was the final article that needed to be found for the ceremony 300 years ago as well. What is also worth noting, it seems nobody knows what the Hourai’s gem branch actually looks like, which is surprising to say the least. That is why it’s so easy for customers who catch the wind of their mission can abuse their powers so easily. So if Aoi’s hairpin ends up being the Hourai’s gem branch, this would explain why neither Ranmaru nor Ginji recognized it. I also believe this is why Ranmaru is traveling to Youto, trusting the capital will likely either have knowledge of the sorts, or he will be able to find it there, or perhaps he may even be taking the hairpin to be inspected by an expert to verify his own suspicions.
However I do quickly want to make note of the way Raiju was smirking at Nobu when he was talking about it. Perhaps Nobu actually knows what it looks like, or maybe through Raiju ‘s orders to retrieve it/hide it away, he may have even manipulated via flute! While we know Nobu is powerful himself, there’s no telling just how much stronger Raiju could be! This is precisely why ever since it has been established he is interested in Aoi (for all the wrong reasons), I have been at the edge of my seat every episode because I am just waiting for him to strike. I dread the things he might do to her, exploit her trauma, poison her dishes, manipulate her with the flute (LET’S BE REAL HERE: IT IS ABSOLUTELY GOING TO BE USED AGAINST HER), the list goes on. He is a legitimate threat because he is the reason why Princess Iso ending up dying in the first place! So yeah, I am very concerned about her!
On the bright side, at least Aoi now has more allies nearby that aren’t part of Orio-ya’s staff. Therefore I would hope this gives a bit more wiggle room to support Aoi. Either way, having an extra set of eyes watching Aoi’s back is better than nothing, and luckily Oodanna is a fast worker and is already back in town again.
Speaking of our favourite Ogre, I was shocked to see him back so soon. I had mentally prepared myself for his absence, only for him to show up when we least expected him! (Since it doesn’t look like anyone else is there, can I believe that Oodanna prepared their nata de coco? HAHA!
He prepared a dish for Aoi, that’s all that matters to me.) It cracked me up real good because not only he switched jobs, but he smoothly suggested Aoi to purchase Coconut milk and oil. I swear the way Aoi gets so excited about these things is so cute and funny, especially with how Nene was standing there completely stunned by her enthusiasm.
What was even more hilarious though, was how Nene thought Aoi was secretly dating the Fish Peddler (not realizing he is actually her fiancé)! It was really cute how Nene was worried about her angering Tenjin-ya’s master and worried she would be a prey for the Youto paper. No surprise she became suspicious of such because of how sweetly Aoi and Oodanna were
sweetly interacting with each other. She caught the wind of it when Oodanna gave Aoi another hat (his field hat, fufufu- that likely enchanted to help protect her) since she carelessly offered the first one he had given her to Nene. Oh Aoi, you need to remember where you are and put your safety first! I DIED THOUGH WHEN OODANNA WISHED HER LUCK SO SWEET, I CAN’T!
And lastly, this week’s ED featured Hideyoshi’s Character song! It was super good, and gave me a lot of feelings. *SOBS* IT’S ALL ABOUT HIS LOVE FOR NENE!!!!! MY EMOTIONS! I am really happy I decided to pre-order the second volume of the Character CD, I was sure to order the first one, now just waiting for it to be shipped. Looking forward to it whenever it comes in.
Ah man I am going to be so sad when this show is over. I really hope there will be a second season, it would be such a shame if there weren’t!!!!