Blood Lad – 10 (Fin)

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Staz meets Heads Hydra, Bell’s dad and Neyn’s wife. Neyn wants to adopt Fuyumi, but Heads wants to give Fuyumi the choice of whether to stay with them or be brought back to life. He makes Staz pledge to do what Fuyumi says and not drink her blood without permission. Staz agrees, and he and Fuyumi are transported to Hydra’s exit. Meanwhile, Deku and Mimic protect Staz’s territory from interlopers, while Liz helps Braz escape from Goyle. Braz and Stein complete their work resurrecting Braz’s dad.

All of Staz’s and Fuyumi’s adventures have risen out of the original plan to bring her back to life. At first, Staz wanted to do this so he could drink her delicious human blood (Ever tried drinking ghost blood? Nothin’!), a selfish reason that didn’t have anything to do with Fuyumi’s well-being. But now that both he and Fuyumi are given a choice: give Fuyumi up to Neyn, or continue with the resurrection plans – his motives have changed from selfish to selfless. In the end, this is partly because Heads intimates that he might die of a curse if he harms or defies her (though that “curse” was merely a trick played with herbs.)

Heads was never a guy Staz had to fight, just a guy he had to convince he had Fuyumi’s interests at heart. Fuyumi decides she wants to be brought back to life, so they leave the comfort and safety of Hydra and will have to deal with Braz – who clearly has other priorities, along with some mysterious team of red-eyed baddies. But that will have to wait until next season or the OVA(s) or film or whatever. It was a very tentative ending. So…will we keep watching whenever it starts back up? Mmm…probably not. We didn’t dislike this series, but ten episodes was about right for us.


Rating: 6 (Good)

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Uchouten Kazoku – 10

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The day of the Nise-emon election – and anniversary of Soichirou’s death – arrives. Yaichirou heads to meet with the elders. The twins lock Yashioru in a warehouse. Yasaburou meets with Yajirou, when a thunderstorm suddenly rolls in, and Yasaburou runs off to find their mother. Yaichirou’s rickshaw is interrupted and he’s captured in his tanuki form. Yasaburou and the empty rickshaw arrive at the same time. Kaisei is there to again apologize, for it was her father who betrayed Soichirou and sold him to Benten. Soichirou and his elite guard capture Kaisei and surround Yasaburou…

For most of this series’ run, the Ebisugawa family has been primarily represented by the fumbling, dim-witted duo of Ginkaku and Kinkaku. Initially threatening and in control, but always ending up with tiger bites in their rumps. Their petty mischief lulled us into forgetting that the family they represent is not merely a political rival but an existential threat to the Shimogamo family. This week they’re charged with capturing the youngest, weakest Shimogamo, while their father, Soun, takes the lead in executing a carefully-planned takedown that is devastating in its efficiency. The episode oozes with imminent dread that gradually builds like that storm as things go from bad to worse.

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A day filled with so much hope and promise turns to utter shit for the Shimogamos, many of whom never see what’s coming. Kaisei’s apology last week definitely intrigued Yasaburou enough to relay it to Yajirou, and he knows as soon as he hears it something awful will happen today. This time, Yajirou’s crushing pessimism is perfectly accurate. Soichriou didn’t just get eaten by Benten; he too was lulled into a false sense of security, under the ingenious guise of a “reconciliation ceremony”, Soun uses So’s kryptonite – Benten’s mere presence – to revert him to tanuki form. So could only shrug and calmly accept defeat. Kaisei recounts the story to Yasaburo because her father had taken her with him to witness everything (in the form of one of a purse).

It’s very much left to our imagination whether So knew it was Kaisei he was taking along, just as its ambiguous as to whether Kaisei is actually fulfilling her family duty by stalling Yasaburou with her long and troubling story. At any rate, the Shimogamos are now on the cusp of total ruin, all for believing Soun had a shred of honor and trusting he’d follow the rules. The episode ends with Yasaburou surrounded and only Yajirou unaccounted for which could be the one fatal flaw in Soun’s grand scheme. Now that he’s the only one who can save his family, will the useless frog be able to transform into a useful tanuki?


Rating: 10 (Masterpiece)

Stray Observations:

  • “What’s with that cage in the corner?” Ah, shit, man. Run. RUN! AAAAAGH!
  • Other questions for next week: Will the cliffhanger end with Yasaburou surrendering, or will he be able to fight his way to safety, perhaps with an assist by Kaisei? We’ll see…
  • Other than the flashback, Benten was absent this week, but that flashback proves she’s quite villainous for accepting the leader of tanuki society on a platter simply to ingratiate herself with the Friday Fellows.
  • Any one of the captured Shimogamos could end up in their next hot pot, but we suppose the money should be on Yaichirou.
  • Yajirou says “I’m convinced a little brother is something everyone should have.” Well he has a nice one, but his late dad’s SUCKS.