Saiunkoku Monogatari Episode 25
Episode Title: An Accidental Resemblance
Refers to: The hidden identity of Senya Rin? Kourin’s resemblance to Shuurei?
Shuurei’s still troubled by the news that she’s supposed to be marrying the second son of the Sa clan. Senya can tell she’s troubled and explains that the reason why the Sa clan hasn’t asked the Kou family’s permission for Shuurei’s hand in marriage is because they know the Kou family will say no. Senya feels that the only family clan with enough “value” to match the Kou clan would be either the Royal family (Ryuuki) or the Ran family (Shuuei or Ryuuren). Senya goes on to say that as cherished as the “noblewoman” is said to be, if her Sa husband can take her virginity, even the Kou family wouldn’t take her back. So the Sa family wants to steal her for marriage before the Kou family finds out because they will of course want to protect Shuurei.
Going back to last week’s review when I said it was awful to be Shuurei, this is just one more example. Not only is everyone trying to marry her into their family but in an extreme case like with the Sa clan, they are trying to force her to marry and have sexual relations with her husband without her consent. Shuurei is obviously not ready to get married; she can’t even think about sex without going red in the face. But if the Sa family gets their way, she will belong to their family very soon regardless of how much she shrieks or stomps her foot. It makes me feel bad for her.
I won’t say too much about Senya yet, but I would like to point out that he’s one of the very few characters in the series aside from Ryuuren (plus one more we’ll meet later) who actually calls Shuurei on her behavioural traits/opinions. Senya notices that no matter how much he flirts with “Kourin” she pulls away. She continues to call him “Master” despite his request that she use his actual name. Senya asks Shuurei why she continues to hide her heart, and (thinking of Ryuuki back home) she says that she’s just not ready to be in a relationship. This isn’t a lie. We know full well by now that Shuurei wants only to focus on her career as an official and nothing else. Shuurei confesses she might even be just a little afraid of falling in love.
Much to her surprise, Senya also says that he’s afraid to fall in love. He confesses that he only hits on women because he’s not being serious. He just wants to have fun. But if he were to ever meet the right woman, Senya says he won’t be able to hold himself back.
Elsewhere Meisho and Ensei are having a verbal spar. Seiran is just overwhelmed with anger and Ensei is forcing Seiran to stay behind him, lest he lose control. I think it’s really neat in this scene how we see Ensei looking something other than happy or serious – he’s pissed. His eyes and body language have changed drastically upon Meisho’s arrival. Seiran’s more obvious with his anger; Ensei’s lurks just beneath the surface like a circling shark, tracking its prey as it edges closer.
Meisho reveals he wants Seiran and Ensei to come to Kinka, I’m presuming so they can see how the Murderous Blades have taken over the city. This means their confrontation is pointless because we know Seiran and Ensei were already on their way to Kinka. Ah well. Guess Meisho didn’t know that little detail.
The episode flips over to Kokujun, Eigetsu and Kourin in a carriage still en route to Kinka. Kokujun wants to be an official one day so he’s asked Eigetsu to help him study. Kokujun’s dream is to be a smart official like his grandfather (Enjun Sa), but he’s a little embarrassed at how much more Eigetsu knows than him, especially considering how much younger Eigetsu is.
Eigetsu shares that he’s in fact not a genius. Instead, he spent many years studying very, very hard, using a variety of methods in order to help himself memorize everything he needed to know. He knew he was only going to get one shot at the National Exams so he had to make sure he gave it everything he had. Eigetsu tells his story to Kokujun to show that one does not have to be a natural genius in order to get to where Eigetsu has. Kokujun being almost 18 years old doesn’t mean his time has passed.
Elsewhere, Meisho’s gone to seen Soujun and reveals that “Shuurei” is a fake. However he’s not worried; he has a plan to still use Kourin and Eigetsu before they are killed. In the meantime he’s found a couple pieces of the governor’s seal, supposedly. If Meisho and the other members of the Murderous Blades can find the rest, then they won’t even need the new co-governors at all.
Finally, Shuurei and Senya have reached Kinka! Shuurei can tell something is wrong with the city but doesn’t know what. As she and Senya prepare to part, Shuurei notices again that Senya reminds her of Ryuuki. But why?
Shuurei makes her way to the Kinka headquarters of the Merchants Guild but it’s dead quiet. As she turns to leave to gather some information, she bumps into a strange man who somehow knows who she is. He takes her to the actual headquarters and says the old building had been taken over the Murderous Blades. So if they’d noticed that she was outside, Shuurei would have been in a lot of danger! O_o
Once they are in a safe location, this unusual man explains that the Murderous Blades took over the city and promised that they would not harm the residents as long as they accepted the gang’s presence. The mayor of Kinka agreed to their deal because he wanted to protect the citizens.The Murderous Blades hinted that they had the backing of the Sa clan (I guess technically they do), so one by one the merchants of Kinka started allying with the Murderous Blades. Even the Merchants Guild has, at least on the surface.
Shuurei presents her case to try to win the Merchants Guild back onto her side, but they tell her that she must show all her cards; if they feel she has an 80% chance or higher of winning the situation, they’ll side with her. Shuurei explains that the governors seal and charm found by the Sa clan are fakes, but doesn’t know where the real ones are.
The Merchants Guild tells Shuurei that they will support her with their troops if she can find a way to get rid of Meisho and the leaders of the gang under him. If she can do that, then they will help her. Well, it’s a start!
Enter Ryuuren! He’s trying to get into Kinka but can’t find his pass. When he does finally reveal it by hopping around like a rabbit, the pass falls to the ground and reveals to the guards who he actually is. And if they hadn’t guessed from his pass, Ryuuren’s awful flute playing is a dead giveaway! ;D
At the very end of the episode, Kokujun, Eigetsu and Kourin finally arrive at Kinka as well. However Meisho and Soujun have already beaten them there, and they’re onto Eigetsu & Kourin’s ruse! Will the two youngsters be harmed or even killed by the Murderous Blades??
Plus Shuurei has learned that Senya Rin cannot be who he says he is, as the entire Rin family was killed by the Murderous Blades just a few days prior!! It’s a good thing Shuurei was told before she went to see “Senya”, but still, who is he?!