Haruto sees off Asuka, then decides to give Yuzuki the necklace he bought her two years ago, as a birthday present from a ‘friend’. Haruto takes the bus to his hometown. Kaga, Takashi, and Nanami are wating at the stop, and they go to a hot spring. The next day while biking around, he runs into Yuzuki. They go to their old high school where Rin is visiting. That night everyone gathers for a dinner party, with Yuzuki helping Haruto in the kitchen, and then biking to the market to buy snacks. When they return from fireworks, Yuzuki pulls Haruto aside, telling him there’s something she needs to say.
Haruto and Asuka are at a crucial point in their relationship, and they both seem ready to take it to the next level; Asuka dispenses any doubt of this when she coyly promises they’ll “pick up where they left off” when she returns from taking care of her mom. And Haruto wants to move past Yuzuki as an object of romance and start thinking of her as a good – but platonic – friend. He does this in a funny way: by giving Yuzuki a very expensive necklace he was going to give her when they were still dating. While giving it to Asuka instead would have been worse, we still don’t think this was a good idea. Another bad idea? Spending the time you’d planned to spend with your girlfriend with your ex and her flirty devil-spawn sister.
We know, we know, it was just a coincidence. But smaller coincidences have ended up torpedoing stronger relationships. In the OVA we were firmly rooting for Haruto and Yuzuki, but here we find ourselves hoping against hope that Haruto and Asuka can make it. Yuzuki is the past; Asuka is the future. Yet this week Haruto returns to the past in the form of the town where he and Yuzuki lived some of the happier – and definitely simpler – days of their lifetimes. If Yuzuki is pulling Haruto aside to say she still loves him, we wouldn’t be surprised, and at this point, we wouldn’t be surprised if Haruto does something stupid and/or unfaithful.
Rating: 8 (Great)
- Haruto gets picked up in a badass van by his high school mates, and all he does is complain? Jackass.
- This felt like an even more lush and beautifully-drawn episode than usual, likely owing to the change of scenery from urban to rural.
- Our advice for Takashi vis-a-vis Rin: STAY AWAY, MAN. That girl likes head games.
Benten saves Yasaburou by using him as an umbrella and flying away. She tells him Yodogawa is claiming the tanuki soon, and right after she leaves he spots him, covered cage in hand. Yasaburou follows him to a restaurant, where he orders an egg bowl, but it was all a trap by the Ebisugawa brothers. Poison in the egg bowl makes Yasaburou revert to tanuki form and they cage him. Soun brushes off judgment by his sister-in-law and delivers Yaichiro to the real Yodogawa. Kaisei notices a light in the warehouse and frees Yashirou, but she must stay behind to occupy the guards.
The ladies come up big this week, with Benten saving Yasaburou from capture by Soun. It’s only temporary freedom, though, as Ginkaku and Kinkaku actually get one over on him. Disgusted by her brothers’ behavior, Kaisei decides to sabotage her family’s plans by springing Yashirou. Benten could pass of her heroics as simply needing an umbrella, but Kaisei’s won’t be so easily explained to her father. So two brothers remain free, though one is small, weak, and timid, and the other is a frog in a well who doesn’t think he can change back. Still, better than nothing, right?
As he sits in his cage under the watchful eye of an iron-girded Ginkaku and a creepy Kinkaku who’s giant face is literally popping out of the wall, Yasaburou gets broodily philosophical, as Yajirou is wont to do. Everything that he and his family has endured is all part of being a tanuki, whether it’s tricking humans, annoying tengu, or getting captured and eaten. Their situation can be fully explained by their blood. But as his mother protests, the Soun and his sons aren’t acting like tanukis. Such horrible treachery is more suited to humans or tengu. Which is precisely why they can’t be allowed to lead tanuki society. They’ll be its downfall.
Rating: 9 (Superior)
- The twins’ elaborate “back in the game” celebration upon capturing Yasaburou was a fantastic piece of stagecraft.
- When a caged mother tells Soun how pained his brother be if he knew how horrible his brother had become, Soun simply says “he knew I was like this.” Cold bastard.
- We realize he’s not strictly a villain, but when Yodogawa takes delivery of Yaichiro, the tone of his voice is blood-curdling.
- Again, mad props to Kaisei, who is just plain badass this week. We only wish she could go with Yashirou to teach her dim-witted brothers a lesson.