Saiunkoku Monogatari Episode 37

Episode Title: Tears From Eyes and Rain From Heaven
Refers to: Both tears and rain are part of the world’s natural order. Eventually the rain will stop and tears will dry, and life will go on.

 

Shūrei and Eigetsu are hard at work in their new roles… almost too hard. Ensei busts the pair working all through the night again and takes them to Yūshun Tei for a gentle reprimand. (It’s Shūrei, so get real, no one’s ever going to yell at her and mean it. ;P )

Privately, Ensei points out to Seiran that Shūrei might be pushing herself so hard because keeping busy prevents her from thinking about Sakujun’s death, something she appears to still be struggling to process. Even though the relationship between them was messed up due to Sakujun being, well, a psychopath, his death is still a loss for Shūrei.

Later, Yūshun and Ensei explain the upcoming New Year’s celebrations planned at Kiyo to Shūrei and Eigetsu. They are incredibly important for diplomatic relationships between the different provinces, something that Sa province province has likely missed out on due to the corrupt Sa clan. So, having a new representative attend the celebrations will be crucial for what happens with Sa province throughout the rest of the year.

Naturally, Shūrei is chosen to go. She has her father back in Kiyo, who misses her, and of course there’s Ryūki. It makes more sense for Eigetsu to remain behind in Sa province because he has no ties to Kiyo. Ensei will remain behind with Eigetsu, but Yūshun, Seiran, Rin Sai (Sho Sai’s sister, head of the Merchant’s Guild) and Kokujun will be traveling with Shūrei back to Kiyo.

That night, Ensei finds Shūrei alone outside looking up at the stars. She’s having some doubts about seeing Ryūki again while she’s still unsettled about Sakujun’s death. Ensei and Shūrei trade some playful banter about Shūrei missing Ensei after being reliant on him for so long, but he refuses to let her go to bed without making her some tea first.

The truth slowly comes out: Ensei is worried about her (and Seiran too, as we’ve been seeing from the way he’s been looking at Shūrei for the last couple of episodes). Shūrei confesses some of her inner conflict, namely that while she knows Sakujun was a horrible person, he never forced her to do anything for him (if you discount a couple of kisses). Is it really ok to not hate him even though he hurt so many other people? Ensei affirms for Shūrei that it is ok not to hate the man.

That’s quite alright for you, Princess. You are the first and only person Saku ever tried to get to like him since he was born. He showed only his prettiest colors to just you. There is no way you could hate him, nor is there any need for you to. – Ensei

Shūrei goes on to say that she regrets not telling Sakujun that she couldn’t be with him romantically. Over and over she should have said it, and then maybe he would have understood. Then again, maybe not. Sakujun demonstrated repeatedly that he didn’t care about the feelings of others, so why would he take Shūrei’s feelings any more seriously? Maybe he would have continued trying to wear Shūrei down until she caved. It’s something Shūrei won’t ever be able to know for sure now that Sakujun is presumed dead.

Of course, where Ensei is, Seiran’s likely not far behind. Sure enough Shūrei finds Seiran hiding outside her door in the shadows. She gives him a big smile and tells him not to worry about her anymore, and we see that Seiran isn’t entirely convinced that Shūrei’s grief is magically gone.

Shūrei is left alone with her thoughts after Seiran and Ensei leave, and then who should show up at this late hour but… Ryūren?!

Conversations with Ryūren amuse me because he’s often so straightforward and blunt. He openly tells Shūrei that she killed Sakujun, but points out that in the end he’s the one who chose death. Shūrei was the only person who could’ve saved Sakujun, and she was also the only person who could kill him.

Ryūren has Shūrei wrapped up in his arms surrounded by the blanket she gave him, and he allows her to cry out her grief in her arms. Interesting how Shūrei’s guard comes down with someone whom she’s not overly close to, and yet she feels she has to put up a front with the people close to her like Ensei or Seiran. That being said, Seiran suspected that Shūrei’s guard would only come down around some neutral third party, so hey, it’s a good chance to bring back Ryūren for a couple of random scenes right? (/half sarcasm)

After Shūrei finishes her cryfest, Ryūren reveals that he’s been staying at Kokujun’s home ever since Kokujun found him playing his flute in the city and asked Ryūren to help him pick a wardrobe for the New Year’s celebrations in Kiyo. Ryūren finishes his tea and then leaves, concerned about Shūrei’s reputation if he were to spend the night in her room. (Besides that privilege is reserved only for Ryūki! ;D )

The following morning brings a rejuvenated Shūrei. She and Eigetsu are still trying to figure out what the Sa province’s main industry should be. There’s been little to no contact with the other provinces (so no tourism or commercialism) and the lands are not very fertile (meaning agriculture and farming are out as options), so what should Shūrei and Eigetsu suggest to Yūshun and Ensei?

The new co-governors decide that in order to create new industries, they should seek the advice from professionals in their respective established fields. For example, pharmacy and medicine, applied arts and fine arts, and so on. They could consult with artists, doctors, people who sell herbal concoctions, and so forth. There must be something Sa province could be successful at!

Eigetsu and Shūrei come up with a mysterious idea and put all of their energy into assembling its many pieces. When Ensei busts them staying up all night again, he gives their draft to Yūshun in order to gauge his reaction. Maybe if Yūshun were to dislike their idea, then Ensei would have to get mad at the young co-governors.

Thankfully, Yūshun immediately sees the potential in Shūrei and Eigetsu’s idea. He directs Shūrei and Eigetsu to get their paperwork together, and Ensei to round up all of the provincial officials for a meeting.

At said meeting, Shūrei and Eigetsu reveal their plan: they would like to see Sa province become a center for academic research. Professionals from many fields would travel to Sa province (thus encouraging trade and commercialism in the process) and share their ideas on how to improve the province. Perhaps there’s a farmer in another province who knows how to improve barren soil, or someone who could speak to the potency and development of certain medicines or medical techniques. This new information could then be shared with the rest of the country.

Rin Sai speaks up and points out that Shūrei and Eigetsu’s plan will require a lot of funds as well as the hard work of many skilled people. Yūshun says that he invited Rin to the meeting with the intention of asking the Merchant’s Guild for financial assistance. Much to everyone’s disappointment, Rin says that she cannot support the co-governors’ plan because it could be aborted while still being assembled. However, Rin’s compromise is to work with Shuurei and Eigetsu in bringing their plan to fruition, even if she isn’t quite ready to commit to helping financially.

Yūshun says that they will break for 1 month and meet back just before Shūrei and the others leave for Kiyo. Then Shūrei and Yūshun will formally present the proposal to the king at the New Year’s celebrations. How cunning of Yūshun! (And smart too!)

There’s a really nice scene with Ensei that explores Shūrei’s feelings on becoming a government official. Shūrei tells Ensei that initially she wanted to become an official in order to keep the country from collapsing, but after everything she’s experienced during her probationary period and in Sa province, Shūrei says that she wants to become an official who will be respected by the people she respects. She also wants to be strong enough and competent enough to finally help others, instead of having to rely on others for help.  And in order to do that she can’t take “that man’s” hand – but is she referring to Sakujun, or Ryūki? Hmmm…

The episode wraps with Yūshun Tei and the others getting ready to leave for Kiyo while Shūrei and Eigetsu are doing some last bits of research. Will the announcement of their proposal at the capital during the New Year’s celebrations be successful??

 

Only 2 more episodes to go! ^_^v

 

     What might possibly be my favourite shot of Ensei from this whole season. *fans self*

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