This episode…. I feel like I allowed my mind to run too wild about what would become of this incident with Raiju. Perhaps it’s because I have heard a lot how those who read the novel absolutely despises Raiju, so I was expecting a lot worse, or maybe I’m just so used to the “absolute worst” situations to the point it becomes a cliché. Regardless, it wouldn’t be fair to say the curse he had inflicted onto Aoi was underwhelming, but rather in in some way, I liked the direction it had taken. I don’t know about you, but when Aoi lost her sense of taste, I teared up for her. It just broke my heart in a million pieces, because cooking and food is something is precious to her. In more ways than one, cooking is what validates her existence. Without it, she feels like she is useless, and doesn’t have a place she belongs. So naturally I totally lost it when she desperately went to the kitchen in attempt to cook an omelette. Luckily Chibi ate it without any problems, making me wonder if Raiju was just being an asshole and lied about it taking like crap (his eyes certainly made it look like it was WAY better than he thought it would be).

This is why I am not upset they didn’t go down the path of Aoi being trapped in a nightmare for god knows how long, being tormented by the trauma. In fact, the event of her true distress, the threat of being eaten by Raiju was short lived. And the one who actually got her out of the situation, wasn’t Ginji, nor was it Oodanna, but Byakuya of all people! I also admire she didn’t cower in fear, but even though she’s completely vulnerable, she still managed to look fierce.

It is also important to note it was an intelligent move on Raiju’s part to seal away her sense of taste, but also her voice as well. By doing so, she is unable to cook the Treasures of the Sea herself, and by taking away her voice, no one will be able to hear her scream when he attempts to eat her. Raiju probably would have been able to get away with it had he been fighting Ginji since he has been around far longer than he had, but what he didn’t foresee (or any of us for that matter) was Byakuya’s appearance. (GINJI WAS MAD AS HELL THIS EPISODE! HE WANTED TO KILL THAT GUY! It was kind of funny to see Ranmaru running after him telling him not to be reckless!)

And that, I will say was quite amusing. For whatever reason, Raiju is absolutely terrified of Byakuya, he can’t even stand being in the same room as him. Who would’ve thought he would be one to keep Raiju in check! Had it not been for the tensions between Orio-ya and Tenjin-ya Inn, surely Byakuya would have been able to lend a hand by simply being present by shadowing the Thunder God.

I think the only thing that bugs me was how this event was handled. Actually, now that I really think about it, this has been a on-going problem since the beginning of the series. There would be these really dramatic scenes where Aoi is in a serious pinch… and then the storm completely blows over as fast as it came. Now I don’t know if it’s the anime that’s screwing it up or this is the way it actually plays out in the books (it kills me that i can’t read it yet, maybe in a year or two… if I really study hard…) but I find it a bit irritating because I want to experience the suspense! It was also irked by how they casually revealed it was Raiju who sent the assassins. Like, um, that’s a big deal and they completely rush past it.

Anyhow, it will be interesting to see whether or not Raiju will look for another way to strike again. I can’t imagine his ego would be able to tolerate Byakuya ruining his fun, but we will have to wait and see.

Other than that, I am super pleased to see that Ranmaru did in fact succeed locating the Hourai Gem Branch. (See, the guy ain’t stupid!) He was able to track it down with through arrangements made by Oodanna, helping him meet the King and get permission to borrow the treasure. However while they have found it, they still need to actually get it. Nuin kept the treasure in a special wall scroll, so they will need to go on yet another journey to obtain it. Much like the difficulties they had to face when trying to obtain the Mermaid Scale, this quest has its own challenges the Ayakashi must face. The world inside the scroll tends to consume a lot of Ayakashi’s power, so they can’t afford to waste time. Aoi will also joining them on the journey, luckily with the help of Tenjin-ya’s Hyper Infusion, she was able to get her voice back, but she still cursed at the moment. I am left to wonder whether or not it has to be Raiju to be the one to remove the seal, or if someone else who is knowledgable in ancient curses would know how to deal with it.

And then there’s the matter of the Mystery Ayakashii. It is rather unfortunate how long this had to be dragged out, but finally, THEY GAVE US NEW INFORMATION TO WORK WITH! And it’s about bloody time! This episode have more or less indirectly confirmed the Mystery Ayakashi has always been two individuals, Ginji and Oodanna– at least to those of us who have considered this theory. While I have been on the Oodanna bandwagon from the start, as I mentioned last week, the theory of Oodanna and Ginji both playing a role of the Mystery Ayakashi has always been on the back of my mind. In fact I had gone crazy and starting gathering as much information as possible while rewatching the show from the beginning. Here are some of the clues foreshadowing this:

Mixing Voices: Both Oodanna’s, Ginji’s voices have been used, and even mashed together. I have always interpreted this as a sign of holes in her memories, and how her confusion of who she thought the Mystery Ayakashi may have been influence by that. Remember, the kid was starving to death. You are definitely going to be missing pieces of information after that!

Different Knowledge: While it’s likely the two of them have exchanged information with each other, it is also apparent how one such as Ginji would know something that Oodanna doesn’t, and vice versa, most noticeably, her favourite food.

Change of Hair Color/Appearance: Okay, I recommend taking this with a grain of salt, but it in ways it has been foreshadowed the two of them were involved from the very beginning, starting with the first episode itself! As you can see, there are four variations of the Mystery Ayakashi. Here’s a couple of observations I have made in regards to the Visual Clues!

  • Black Appearance: Episode 1, Ep 4, Ep 9, Ep 10, Ep 14+
  • White Appearance: Episode 3 (*This is most likely to have been a colouring error though)
  • 1st OP Sequence: A bit of both (black and white, purplish hue) and a black/purplish shadow.
  • Teaser: Whitish/Silver Eyebrows

The Sense of Touch/Familiarity: Aoi recognized Ginji’s touch when he wiped her tears, (I think this was when she really started believing Ginji was the Mystery Ayakashi) and when Oodanna was comforting her, it felt familiar to her. The scene Aoi has yet to connect the dots however, is when Oodanna’s nails broke her skin when she gave him her lunch at the shrine (Episode 1).


Now let me explain why I believe the one talking in this episode was specifically Oodanna.

The Mystery Ayakashi spoke about there’s a place (we now know: The Hidden Realm) that needs her. Once she becomes an adult, he will come to get her and make her his bride, and it would make him happy if she were to come to love him.

As soon as I heard that, there were two things that came to mind. The first is Oodanna’s compassionate reputation of helping others find a place to belong at Tenjin-ya Inn. After having been abandoned by her mother, he is basically telling Aoi not to give up hope, and there’s a place waiting for her in the distant future. And then there’s the second, the most important part of the promise: To marry her when she’s older. The moment he says this, the first thing that came to mind was Oodanna’s reaction when she rejected him in the first episode.

Episode 1

He was absolutely shocked, but most of all, hurt (as seen in the image on the right). Their reunion ended up being everything he ever feared, to the extent, if he revealed the truth to her, he might disappoint her. This is possibly the exact moment he became incredibly his self-consciousness of being an Ogre around Aoi. That’s why he recoiled so coldly, and was taken aback when Aoi started approaching him on her own. This is also where the misunderstanding may have ensued. He may have thought Aoi had remembered him and his promise, but in turned out she didn’t, or at least she didn’t believe it was him. Sadly, that is still the case since she believes it was Ginji who was her sole saviour/first love at the moment. And on the subject of first love, this would also explain why Ginji said (after Aoi told him about her first love) Oodanna would love to hear about it. Most certainly so, especially now that he knows he has a fighting chance with her.

Another thing I want to quickly dig into is “Aoi’s Role” in the Hidden Realm. We learned from Ginji today how he never thought of eating Aoi because to him, she is the embodiment of hope. This is another thing we have seen her demonstrate by opening Moonflower. Her food brings happiness and health to the Ayakashi. In a world where poverty is rampant and many are struggling just to put food on the table, Aoi’s cooking is something that can change things if she is given the power to. It is something I am certainly curious to see whether or not it will be something that is explored in the novels.

Besides having to still wait to hear from Oodanna himself, there are still a couple more crucial pieces of information we still have to consider:

  • How long it was before she was found by the social services?
  • How did they find out about her situation? Where did they get the word from? And how did they find her?
  • The Circumstances behind Promise of Marriage
So I have always been wondering how long Aoi was taken care of by the Mystery Ayakashi, but more than that, I wanted to know how they found her. For a while now, I have wondered if the promise of marriage may be tied together with the contract Oodanna made with Shiro. For instance, one of the main things that have been on my mind was the timing which Shiro sent Akatsuki and Suzuran to Tenjin-ya Inn. The reaosn why this is important, is because we now have to wonder, whether or not Oodanna had already promised to make Aoi his bride before Shiro went on a rampage, or was it after?

Let’s say Oodanna made the promise with her before he and Shiro formed the contract. This definitely gives me the impression that he most likely knew Aoi in her past life, and they may have been together at the time (and so, that would explain why he identifies her as his bride and eventually his wife from the get go). It also a way to eliminate the baggage associated to the engagement, as it comes from a place where he sincerely wanted to marry her as oppose to simply using her as a collateral. This would also explain why Oodanna accepted the terms, shocking at least Akatsuki, in the process.
On the other hand, if the promise to become his bride was made after he formed the contract with Shiro, then this may be how they found out she was abandoned, such as Shiro being unable to track her down. Considering the guy has been a total trouble maker, it can really go either way. Either he was completely selfish, and he made the contract after he picked her up from the orphanage, or he got himself into debt on purpose as a way to get help on finding Aoi.
Of course I can see why some would still argue (until we get an outright confirmation, and if I’m wrong, that’s on me) it may have been Ginji who promised marriage (but considering the guy never thought about being in love nor dating before, I have my doubts).
Whew! That was a lot to take it, wasn’t it?

In the end, while week’s episode it didn’t quite live up to my expectation, it certainly surprised and allowed me to enjoy it in a different way. The MVP of the episode without a doubt has to go to Byakuya. This guy doesn’t get enough airtime, but when he does, he makes it count. I live for his savage comments, especially having the guts to nonchalantly insult the King, like DUDE. AHAHAHA! Also a special mention to Chibi because, how could we not appreciate his effort to protect her with a cucumber! GInji also had his adorable moments (after he was able to calm down!) He did such a beautiful job on the meal! *Drools* I want to eat it too…

Next week, we’re off on an adventure with Ranmaru! 😀 Since the guy softened up I have grown more fond of him. But I am intrigued to see what we will encounter when the enter the woods that said to project ones’ inner desires. Oh goodness, I am a bit worried about Ginji now because this could be a rude way to learn he loves Aoi.

*Resumes praying for Season 2 to happen!*

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Blogging Anime since Summer 2009, & Founder of AngryAnimeBitches Anime Blog ...I may or may not be addicted to writing

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Claudia

    Does anyone know where I can read Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi novel in english? I’ve been looking everywhere but couldn’t find it. Someone help 🙁

    1. Eva

      There’s no official translations for the novel yet, but there is a fan translations in the works. I also encourage anyone who reads the fan translations purchase the Japanese novels to support the series.

  2. Linda MacQueen

    I really hate that Oodanna was not in this episode at all. But he was “in the back ground” helping Aoi anyway he could. I can’t help but wonder why he keeps his distance from her so often?

    1. Eva

      Initially, Oodanna kept his distance from her because he didn’t want to be hurt again, nor he did think she wanted to be around him. Of course that has changed throughout this arc. While his confidence in their relationship has grown, now both of them have their own respective roles to play in ensuring the ceremony is a success. For Oodanna, that’s discreetly doing the work behind the scenes. It is likely because he is actually busy with sorting things out, or even possibly looking for an alternative way to remove the curse without needing Raiju to do it for them.

  3. Kirsty

    She jumped to the conclusion that ginji was the nice ayakashi way to quick she won’t even talk about her childhood with odanna, Odanna’s been organising her arrival from the day the debt was singed or longer gets reports on her activity he seems upset with her surprised reaction to “wife” worries over her every min is constantly keeping her protected even know first episode Odanna “or get the benifit of My protection” introduces Aoi as his wife without fail and now we get this proposal when she’s a kid Odannas got this in the bag, ginji seems to be just obeying orders and learned to like her maybe a little more then he relised

    1. Eva

      To be fair, Aoi doesn’t know there were two of them, nor could we really expect her to considering the condition she was in when they found her. It doesn’t help how she had her suspicions Ginji was somehow tied to it because of his slip ups. Another thing to take into consideration, she has no idea that Oodanna = Mystery Ayakashi is the same person who wants to marry her. In her mind, the two are entirely separate entities (though she has considered him as a candiate, but was afraid to ask), that’s why even though the Mystery Ayakashi is her first love, to her, that proposal means more than the one that has been established through the contract. So it’s understandable why Aoi isn’t connecting the dots.
      Poor Ginji, never been in love, never thought about love and worst of all, he has no idea he probably likes Aoi more than a friend. SOBS

  4. Kdfe

    I was a bit disappointed as well that Odanna didn’t appear in this episode to be the one to rescue Aoi from Raiju. Byakuya popping up to rescue her was…surprising, but I felt the whole incident was underwhelming. The danger and rescue was just too easy, there didn’t seem to be enough menace in it. Is it bad of me to hope that Raiju isn’t done with Aoi as yet, so we can get a big triumphant rescue instead of these low key scenes?
    What is Byakuya anyway – is he a thunder beast like Raiju or something else?

    1. Eva

      Agree, the incident resolved way too quickly, unless of course there’s actually more to come. But even then, it’s hard to be hopeful for something epic to happen when virtually every incident up until this point all had the same problem.
      I’m hoping Raiju won’t go down without a fight, because he doesn’t strike me as the type to simply rollover— even if Byakuya is around. If anything, I would hope (for the sake of a good villain) he would will go back to the drawing board and figure out how to go on the attack without having to deal with him or anyone else for that matter.
      I have heard Byakuya is a Hakutaku!

  5. Metaldillo

    I was loving this show until this episode. I’m all about cooking and Aoi subtle fierceness. But could they have been more obvious that Aoi can still cook good food despite losing her taste buds. Maybe I’ve watched too much anime and this is the result, but it makes no sense that Raiju would gobble up all of Aoi’s omelet unless he was afraid of other people trying it and finding out she can still cook for the ceremony. And although I feel for Ginji, I do not like having to choose between him and Odanna. I’m pretty sure the contract of marriage between Odanna and Shiro was out of protection for Aoi. Like Odanna is the coolest cat ever. He’s stern but still very supportive and affectionate. He’s like the responsible, strong, nice guy and I will not watch him compete with a beautiful fox. I won’t! Also, I want to say that half of the episodes thus far have been simply to introduce the next episode where real eventful things happen. I’m so tired of being strung along and I really don’t appreciate how the Ogre love has to fight so hard to be recognized. Odanna obviously loves Aoi, but now I have to watch Ginji’s cheeks blush as he makes foods for Aoi. Ugh.

    1. Linda MacQueen

      I feel your pain. Someone I started watching the show with stopped watching because of all those issues you mentioned. I was REALLY mad that Oodanna wasn’t there when Aoi really needed protection from Raiju! I worry that Oodanna will not be in this next episode either because Aoi, Ginji, and Ranmaru are all going into the painting. If Oodanna shows up it will probably be as Aoi’s illusion in the fog and not really him. It’s going to be interesting to see what Ginji and Ranmaru’s desires are… But we are coming to the close of the show. Things should start coming together pretty quickly. At least I HOPE they won’t wait until the very last episode to wrap everything up! Is it Monday yet?!

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