I’m not going to go into it too much but I’m definitely not in a good place right now so this review may be a touch lower energy than usual.
Sorry about that, Karandi, and also sorry Morose Mononokean because you had a pretty good episode this week and you deserve better. You know what, forget that noise. I’m all in, let’s review the heck out of this thing!
Also, how are you Karandi?
I’m working off around three hours of actual sleep and a few fitful dozes (I have a cold and I keep sneezing myself awake). So also not in a great head space, but oh my god that episode was good.
Let’s jump right in, this episode ties into what I suspect is the overall story arc of the season. We find out that the Justice (that’s the purple tiger guy with the ambiguous tail ring) has arrested Fuzzy on suspicion of theft.
From what I can tell, the Underworld is essentially ruled by very familiar sounding gouvering branches each personified in a yokai. We have the Legislator (Rippou), the aforementioned Justice and the so far unseen Executor. And they have taken a sudden interest in the staff of the Mononokean. I am enjoying quick view of Underworld politics, how about you?
I am loving this side of the Underworld. I still want to know how the Mononokean fits into it given the Justice says that Abeno is above the law but he still reports to the Legislator which kind of makes it all very murky as to where he actually stands in the scheme of things. But it just adds a bit more weight to the story and takes it away from being a yokai of the week and makes it feel a bit more real. (from what I understand it’s a tradeoff. The Legislator makes the rules for all of the Underground. The Master of the Mononokean isn’t bound by those rules but in exchange, they have the Legislator as their boss and they can lose their titles on his say so)
Then again, I’m kind of wondering how these people get appointed and what the actual balance of power is so as much as I’ve enjoyed these small little touches, I’m kind of now wanting a deeper dive and I don’t know that we’ll get it this season. Also, I’m sorry I send you were paranoid previously, given the Executive’s form this week I think you might have been right about that suspicious crow.
It seems the Justice was somewhat manipulated into participating. He really seemed to not know what was going on. Or is it all an act?
I think he had a fair idea but at the same time he seemed to be trying to remain impartial in the whole process and do his job. Difficult when you have two factions leaning on you though.
Aside from being one of the most powerful Yokai in the underworld, is seems the Executor is of the type that blindly hates humans. He seems o.k. with Abeno, or at least tolerates him but he was basically trying to straight up kill Hanae for no particular reason other than he’s a human. This human vs yokai theme actually came up a few times in the last season as well.
Yes, and I’m glad we’re getting back to this because it certainly presents an interesting situation for Abeno in particular given he very much bridges humans and yokai but also for Hanae who has been moving more and more into the yokai world since meeting Abeno.
I don’t think we’ve ever seen the Morose Mononokean get this serious or for lack of a better term: dark. It’s still recognizable. Even at its darkest it remains a generally light and silly show but I was surprised to see them inject some real threat into the story.
I absolutely loved it. As much as I enjoy this story when it is light and silly, this episode just kept me captivated. Though I find that with Natsume as well. I love it all, but those episodes where he faces real threats and danger are the ones that really stand out and leave a lasting impression. This anime made me feel genuinely concerned for Hanae this week and even though logically I knew they weren’t about to kill him off, not that kind of story, I really did have fears that he’d be taken away or seriously injured at one point.
The Legislator is a legitimately scary character. That eye makeup is disturbing.
Definitely. Even before the transformation sequence he was creepy. Though, his transformation kind of reminded me of Sebastian in Black Butler. Was that just me or is there a similarity there? (I’m going to say it’s the black feathers)
I was surprised to see everyone submit to the Justice without even an argument.
Which makes me wonder again about the balance of power in this world and just what the role and power of the Justice is. Clearly there are checks and balances on all three of the major powers but the particular inter-relationships aren’t clear at the moment but they are interesting.
I also liked the Executives comment about the Legislator being too ‘hands off’. I thought that was kind of a perfect description of his management of Abeno.
In short, we find out the Hanae’s life will be spared and there will be no consequences as long as Hanae does not return to the underworld. I’m not sure this is a big deal for him, he can still help Abeno in the mundane world, but it’s a huge deal for us if t means seeing less beautiful underworld scenery.
That was my first thought as well. What? We don’t get to go to the Underworld anymore? Then I kind of thought about Hanae’s nature. I would bet a lot that something is going to happen later in the season and despite this warning he’s going to venture back to the Underworld.
Abeno really pulled out the big guns this episode. I know everyone in the Underworld respects him but this is the first time we see him use actual powers. I wonder what else he can do.
I know. Now we have Hanae’s mysterious power from season 1 and Abeno’s mysterious power. I really want to know what’s behind it and just what they can do but this gradual revealing of more information as we learn more about the world is working well as it gives us enough to keep us interested but can keep building as we move forward.
So, did you see that twist coming? You know, the one where it turns out Rippou is actually the best boss? I suspected it!
I’m just wanting the next episode because I suspect Hanae is going to have a bit more of an issue dealing with yokai now. The fear of that encounter seems to be lingering and it will be interesting to see how that impacts his daily life.
You now, Hanae used to get possessed a lot – there may have been a reason for that beyond his sight. Then again in this universe the power to see Yokai appears to be very rare so it may be reason enough. I’m also looking forward to where this leads us!
and here are some more screencaps for the rest of us.