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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Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! – 08

Rikka and Touka “do battle” in the lot where their house once stood, but Touka can’t get through to Rikka, who flees. Yuuta chases after her, and he finally finds her on the night train back home. She forgot her key and his family is all away, so the two spend the night at his place. Meanwhile Isshiki goes on a walk with Kumin, but he misinterprets her intentions. While in (separate) bed(s) trying to sleep, both Yuuta and Rikka are kept up by the possibility they may have a deeper bond than they thought…

Throughout the last couple episodes, Yuuta has felt compelled to come to Rikka’s aid and stay by her side, no matter how out of breath he gets. Part of him is doing this because he identifies with her Chuunibyou, having gotten it after feeling “left out” with his friends. Part of him wants to cure her. And then another part is totally into her, whether she’s acting like a kid or not. He and she are, as Isshiki said, high schoolers. Acting like the adults they’re becoming isn’t just about accepting the reality of lost homes and departed dads – it also means girlfriends and romance. While Yuuta finds himself in a most fortuitous situation – alone with Rikka in his house all night – he’s confused by how to proceed, and it seems would rather not want anything to…happen.

Not that it would; most of the time Rikka mistakes her racing heart for her instincts telling her the “goddess” or other “overseers” may be near. Yuuta remarks to himself she may not even be that conscious of the whole concept of love. But the fact of the matter is, the two have bubbling chemistry, and are very comfortable being around each other. So will Rikka ultimately come to escape her Chuunibyou through her strengthening bond with Yuuta? Or will Yuuta continue to “regress” back into Chuunibyou under her charm and influence? Or will this just be another case of nothing happening between two people who would seem to be a good match? What is that, some kind of KyoAni hallmark?


Rating: 8 (Great)

P.S. Isshiki’s little side-story involving Kumin was actually quite entertaining. We even felt for the guy when she left him a polite note telling him she’s going home ahead of him while he’s on the phone with Yuuta pleading for advice on how to…proceed.

Yozakura Quartet ~ Hoshi no Umi ~ 03

We here at RABUJOI seem to have a knack for coming out with extraordinarily late OVA reviews. Case in point: this third and final part of the Hoshi no Umi trilogy aired back in November. Oh well, no anime blog is perfect…except The Perfect Anime Blog, of course.

This segment picks up right where part two left off: Kotoha’s utterly spent, but Zakuro’s just as powerful and evil as ever, and Rin is now in her clutches. The finale lacks the complete visual insanity that always accompanies the exhibition of Kotoha’s talents, but it still possessed a truly electric atmosphere; an irresistable energy that comes with everyone working together as a team, bouncing off of walls, and bounding across rooftops. The multi-vector attack and pursuit of Zakuro is stirring and expertly wrought, though her lines could be a little more inspiring (she mostly just yells ‘Shut up!’).

But while Demon Zakuro vows to kill every single human in the town (all 2,040 of them), she’s disappointed to find they’ve all been evacuated, so it’s pretty much a matter of chasing her until she gets tired and bringing her down. Neither is an easy feat, but the Quartet and their supporting crew are more than up to the challenge. That is, after Hime has a minute-long inner conflict (which Kyousuke even times). There’s also a very funny scene with everyone falling from an under-construction skyscraper and offering to cushion everyone else’s fall until they all fall on a giant cushion conjured by Kotoha on the ground, ending the debate.

So Rin is saved, the evil is drawn out of Zakuro, and everyone gets back to their happy lives. And it’s the little mayor’s job to keep ’em happy, along with the rest of the town. And now we move Yokazura Quartet: Hoshi no Umi into the “Completed” category.


Rating: 3.5