I REALLY REALLY LOVE YOU SAGIRI! YOU ARE SO COOL AND AMAZING!
I know I have said this many times already, but can’t you really blame me when I’m just stating the fact? Again, Sagiri and Gabimaru stole the spotlight for this entire episode! Well, to me, it’s more for Sagiri. Gabimaru also did well, but sorry to say, Sagiri is the MVP of this episode! I absolutely love her! When Sagiri wasn’t hindered by her self-limitation, she proves herself to be an excellent samurai and the display of her skill was the definite proof that she has every right to be a swordsman of the Yamada clan, woman or not.
Sagiri’s state of mind has always been struggling with sealing her emotions to do her job properly and perfectly. This was something difficult for her to do because she’s also concerned for the lives of the people she takes. Now, she has finally found her own path that doesn’t require her to throw away what makes her her own person. She has found a middle path where she get to combine her dedication as swordswoman and empathy for people into powerful yet merciful sword skill. I once again gave my immense respect for MAPPA in delivering the animation that showcase Sagiri’s inner turmoil and sword actions.
I felt sorry for Sagiri and grateful for Genji for saving her, but to be frank, I hardly care about the guy. Though in the end he acknowledged Sagiri, I still couldn’t like him for everything he said in the previous episode and how he only realized Sagiri’s worth and conviction near the end of his life. I rolled my eyes when he separate Sagiri’s determination and concern as “like a man” and “like a woman” nonsense. Why must determination and concern become something depended by gender? Both are something all humans possessed be they man or woman. There’s no man or woman, just a person. Sheesh. Anyway, rest in peace, Genji.
Gabimaru and Sagiri’s teamwork has improved so much within a short time span. If in the previous episode they were more being forced to work together due to the direness of the situation, in this episode, Gabimaru and Sagiri both made it clear that they need each other’s help in defeating Rokurota. Both acknowledged there’s nothing much they could do all by themselves against Rokurota and it wasn’t a fight they could win alone but a fight they could win by fighting together.
We are finally introduced to two of the seven antagonists in Hell’s Paradise, Ju Fa and Tao Fa…who were far too comfortable having sex out in the open. But since nobody has been on the island other than them, I understand if they think there’ll be nobody who’ll interrupt their intimate moment. And when some trespassers (Chobe and Toma) interrupted, Ju Fa was not pleased. I still remembered how shocked I was the moment when Ju Fa just changed from a woman to a man. The anime made it even more surprising because their voice also changed from soft and seductive to Jun’ichi Suwabe’s gruff (and attractive) tone! Considering how beautiful they are, I thought it’s possible for them to be voiced by female VA, both for female and male. But perhaps having two VAs voiced them was a deliberate choice, to emphasis how the characters are capable of changing their genders at will.
But of course, being antagonists they are, looks can be deceiving. The fact Ju Fa and Tao Fa looked otherwordly beautiful made it all the more disturbing how they’re not dead even after Chobe inflicted an attack that should’ve been fatal for any human being. However, this seemingly confirmed the existence of the Elixir of Life as it’s obvious that Ju Fa and Tao Fa were different from all the monsters in the island, they are immortals. And for them to just tossed the Aza brothers and left them to their demise instead of finishing them off directly could be taken as them having a sadistic side. Being left with humans-turning-flowers surrounding them must be even more horrifying than being killed right off the bat. Not only they’ll die slowly, the thoughts of going to be turned into grotesque flora would haunt them as they await their death. A quick kill would be far more merciful. I don’t even want to imagine how I’d do if I’m on the brothers’ shoes. (_ _lll)
Speaking of being different, we were also introduced to a cute little girl with a wooden-like being as her guardian. Again, looks can be deceiving. The little girl was not only athletic but also able to use a mysterious power that threw off Gabimaru despite her small size. Seeing how Gabimaru recalled Sagiri’s move when the girl attacked, it could be assumed that Sagiri most likely also used the same power without herself realizing. The wooden-like being, despite his look, was actually friendly if you just stay calm and talk things over. Although, I have to say that I was rather disappointed that I didn’t get to see Yuzuriha’s ninja technique yet.
There’s not much happened in this episode because it was more about information regarding the island and Elixir of Life. The island was divided into three regions: the shore and forest is called “Eishu”, the village is in “Hojo”, and the elixir “Tan” is located in the central region of mists called “Horai” which is inhabited by the Tensen, the immortal beings like Ju Fa and Tao Fa. While Gabimaru and the others have yet to meet Tensen like the Aza brothers, knowing this information gave Gabimaru hope that he could return to his wife’s side. Aside from this newfound information, the rest of the episode simply showed the girls and Gabimaru relaxing themselves by taking a bath.
After the action-packed episodes, a break like this helped in slowing down the pace for a bit, allowing us to get to know more about the characters outside the life-and-death battle. Watching how Gabimaru and Sagiri treated the cute pink haired girl was a treat. Sagiri treated the girl like a mother and there’s no question that these two will grow fond of each other quickly. The same could be said to Gabimaru, who even though had a rough start with the girl, quickly won her over when he told her not to mind with her scars as he recalled how beautiful his wife is even with a scar on her face. I never got tired seeing Gabimaru being such a sweetie whenever he remembered his wife. (^///^)