Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen – 06

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Utawarerumono is tops this Fall in sheer amount of time spent in the baths, but by that same measure, no Fall show is better at selling the sheer pleasure of those baths, particularly after a hard day’s work. This week, there’s no work, nor does the episode ever leave the inn. But that’s okay, because a lot of neat stuff happens within the inn’s walls, as well as in its baths.

And it all starts when a beautiful, mysterious woman offers Haku sake in those baths, without any concern about him seeing her naked. The next day Haku receives an invitation to a banquet hosted by inn’s owner, whom Haku deduces was that woman. He brings Kuon as his plus one, and they proceed to explored the surprising depths (and heights) of the expansive inn.

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Kuon solves a puzzle on the wall at the supposed top level, revealing a staircase to an even higher level, Myst-style. But Kuon Has A Bad Feeling About This and doesn’t want to go up there. Haku doesn’t have any reservations, and the woman from the bath ends up on top of him. But for all the threatening purple fog and compromising positions, there’s actually nothing to be afraid of.

Turns out the woman is Mother Karura, one of the women who raised Kuon, and who is so sensitive about her age Kuon must call her Big Sister Karura. The three of them are soon joined by another one of Kuon’s guardians, the husky-voiced Mother Touka. Her reservations were based on her believing she saw Touka before, dressed as an inn employee.

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Turns out the mothers founded the inn as a kind of home away from home, complete with baths that the country they’re in used to lack. It explains why Kuon likes the inn so much, as well as her nervousness around the mothers. She doesn’t consider herself a “full adult” like they are, and was unsure how to act.

Haku is a good guide in this instance, calling for the start of drinking, only to be drunk under the table by Karura. He nearly drunkenly confesses his love for Kuon before passing out, leaving the daughter and two of her many mothers to chat and reminisce.

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Touka, for one, believed Kuon and Haku were married, and Kuon reacts like she usually does in such instances, assuring anyone curious that they’re just “travelling together” and she’s far more of a guardian than a lover. Her mothers let her obfuscation pass, though they may well sense better than she does what she has with Haku, and it ain’t just guardianship.

After a huge meal (which poor passed-out Haku misses out on, but is apparently smaller than the meals Kuon used to scarf down), and the mothers explain their presence in Yamato (they’re investigating and observing its development…to be continued), Kuon loosens up a lot more, and before long, the women are back in those lovely baths.

There, the mothers have a pleasant surprise for her: they share sake with her, like a fellow adult, and not just any sake: the same sake she accidentally drank when she was a boisterous little girl. All this time Kuon sought the ideal of adulthood her mothers represented, but they already considered her an adult ever since she drank that sake. Now that she’s drinking it again, she can officially consider herself one, too. And not just because she’s a Hakusitter.

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Author: braverade

Hannah Brave is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

6 thoughts on “Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen – 06”

  1. Karura’s a returning character from the 1st Utawarerumono game, released in 2002.

    Kuon’s birth and existence was acknowledged in the game’s universe, but not in its anime adaptation. (Likely because the 1st game, for the PC, was an adult visual novel.)

  2. Wow, I was not expecting any of the old characters to show up. I thought this was a different story, just set in the same setting.

    If Kuon is who I think she is, then people will need to play the game since the anime didn’t show her birth or the relationship that led to it, leaving anime only viewers a bit confused.

    1. Well, it’s always likely they could explain it in this series, it really wouldn’t take that long to do that. If a certain character shows up (and I’m pretty sure he will) then they could just do a flashback to the events leading up to that event at some point and let viewers connect the dots. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did.

  3. This is one of those episodes that people who watched the previous series/played the previous game will get more emotional about because of all the connections. It very subtly confirms something about the ending of the first series, and it’s also some serious nostalgia fuel. Seeing all those characters from part 1 and knowing they raised Kuon is rather heartwarming.
    Though now I’m wondering exactly why they’re so focused on the growth of Yamato. This is certainly pointing towards some pretty interesting conflict. I have this suspicion we’ll be seeing Tuskuru, their country of origin, at some point. With Oshotoru’s mask being remarkably similar to a certain mask from part 1, and Haku reminding Karura of the person related to it, things are gonna get very interesting.

  4. Well that was interesting on quite a few levels. Hopefully the story alluded to by my fellow commentors is not left in-game. I consider that a bit unfair really. I can see I have to go back and crash watch series one soon. I was hoping I could put that off for a little while but if they are bringing in characters and stories from series one I have little choice I guess.

    I enjoyed the relationship and story building going in this episode. I enjoy the world building this show does by casually throwing in small details which help create a bigger wider picture. its very enjoyable to watch.

  5. I am enjoying the new show, only complaint on this episode is they could have aged up Karara and Touka as it has been about 20 years. But, Japan don’t like old women any more!

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