Of all of the twists that I could think of, Hakkai actually being protected by Yuzuha instead and just pretending he was that cool was not on my list. Obviously Yuzuha and Hakkai are very important to each other, but to lie about what you’ve done to protect your sister… that’s certainly something.
Between last week’s episode and this one, I definitely enjoyed this one a lot more. I really liked the consistent narrative of loneliness vs family vs friendship. All of which are very important to the battle that is at hand and I think it developed quite nicely over the course of the episode. First and foremost, we have Takemitchy realizing that he is no longer alone in his fight against the future. He’s made a lot more friends in his trips back to the past and he’s making a substantial impact on the people he’s surrounded by. Previously, he left his small group of friends and his girlfriend without too much pomp and circumstance, but now they are all (well, minus the breaking up part) still connected to one another. He has a reason to fight and he has people who will support him in what he does. People appreciate Takemitchy and what he is able to do for them. He’s not the strongest fighter. In fact, he is probably the weakest link. But his existence is valued and people trust in him. Good for him.
The Shiba family on the other hand are very clearly dealing with really bad family relationships. Their father is essentially out of the picture and their mother is hospitalized. They had parental figures for a portion of their childhood, but it’s clear that those influences, for one reason or another, were lacking. Taiju, as the oldest sibling, takes on the new parental role, but because he is unfamiliar with what to do and how to express his emotions his younger siblings tend to take the brunt of his anger. Specifically, Yuzuha. We get a really sad, but sweet moment with Yuzuha and her mother, where they talk about protecting each other and their family. Her mother says that she will protect her daughter, but unfortunately passes away. As a result, Yuzuha takes it upon herself to protect her younger brother, Hakkai, from Taiju. Thus, lots of sibling abuse. Obviously, Taiju still hurts Hakkai, but not to the extent that he does Yuzuha. However, Hakkai has been watching all of this happen, but due to his fear of his brother he can’t protect his sister in turn. He wishes that he can do something, but as we’ve seen in this whole fight, he does not have the guts to actually go through with fighting his brother. But, man… convincing everyone that you were the one protecting Yuzuha when it was the other way around… I agree that it’s a scummy thing to do given the circumstances. But with all that said. Family gives you bonds, but those bonds may be very harmful to you and everyone else involved.
Lastly, we have friendship. This goes a little bit with Takemitchy’s loneliness conversation but it’s very clear that those in Toman, or rather, those who consider themselves friends to Hakkai, are willing to fight for him. They are willing to fight until there is a clear victor. They are all bleeding, broken, and losing, but they are all going to keep fighting because they care about one another. Even if Hakkai did something scummy, they aren’t going to just abandon him in the moment. There are still people who will fight for you and protect you. I really liked how Mitsuya talks to Hakkai in this episode as well. His seemingly perfect sibling life isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be – he’s by no means abusing or being abused, but even that perfect world that others got to see is emotionally taxing. They all do things that are bad, but that does not make them a bad person. They are all growing and learning. But, at the end of the day, I’m just happy that they were all able to come and fight together.
Granted, now Mikey has shown up. Hmm… we don’t know if that is a good thing. My hope is that we will still be able to overtake Black Dragon, but I have a feeling someone is going to be faced with a lot of consequences. Either Takemitchy or Mitsuya will have to go through a form of punishment or Hakkai will have to officially leave Toman. Thinking about it, he already left Toman, but I feel like we can make that part more emotional. Oh well, guess we’ll have to wait and see for next week!