Welp… so much for my hopes and dreams of Tonari staying alive. It just goes to show that you can’t be too comfortable with any character sticking around for a long time. Even Hisame is long gone by now and honestly, for as long as Hayase stuck around in the previous season, I’m impressed!
I have… mixed feelings about this episode. Did I cry? Absolutely. Do I think Tonari’s death was the saddest moment? No. It frustrates me that that is the case because if she was going to die, I wanted it to feel like a punch in the gut and not just a “you have a new person in your arsenal”. Truly, the build-up gave me more of an impact. Watching Fushi talk about all the people he met before probably hit the hardest in the episode, especially when he realizes people like Rean, have passed away. It probably hurts more because we don’t know how they passed away. The boozeman was likely dead due to old age and the same could be true of Rean since we know at least 40 years have passed, but we can’t say for certain. Then we get Fushi’s joy at finding out Tonari and Sander are still alive. That’s exciting! Imagine how things could have been if the two of them travelled with Fushi! No! Instead, Tonari dies and Sander leaves before Fushi is even aware that he’s talking to them!! A slight flick to the gut when he finds out by reading her journal, but still!! Why did you give us a character just to have her die by the Nokkers anyways!!
Anyways, I’ll stop ranting about the Tonari situation and talk about where that leads us in this episode. Despite my feelings on her death, Tonari actually leads Fushi to start believing in people again, causing him to finally give up a life of solitude and meet new people. Arguably, by the end of this episode, he is unsuccessful in this endeavor, but he is able to read books and eat good food. So, rather than finding new friends, the only consistent things he can do are: 1) travel between villages, 2) fight Nokkers, and 3) keep running into Hayase / Hisame’s descendants. Thankfully, no matter how much this episode was really leading us in this direction, Fushi doesn’t actually know how to use his reproductive organs. And honestly, that’s probably for the best.
We really fast forwarded in time during this episode. Hisame is now dead and probably a handful of the other descendants that came across Fushi’s path. I think it’s pretty neat how they all approached Fushi at different ages and despite all being clingy, did have unique personalities that showed through in their minimal screen time. I am, however, more interested in what these Guardians are spouting to others about Fushi. How does one just start a new religion and have it maintained for decades? How does every single new kid that comes into the bloodline just blindly follow the words of this religion? I mean, I’m not surprised that some of them did, but even Fushi goes through his angsty teenager phase. So, all of those descendants must really be drinking the religion punch. All of this evasion and tragedy does see a silver lining in the end though… A man!
At the end of this episode we are introduced to the sixth generation, Kahaku. And for the most part he seems as troublesome as the others, but at least he can’t get pregnant. So, Fushi is safe from Hayase’s curse of trying to have his child for at least one generation. I mean, there will be a whole slew of other problems. Naturally, because he is a descendant of hers, I won’t be trusting him so easily, but it seems like he will be joining our party for at least the next episode, so perhaps… Fushi can finally have a friend.