Guys I am being so unprofessional this week! You won’t believe how last minute I am at giving Karandi, my part of the review. I’m afraid to look. Does she seem mad? I bet she’s mad, she has every right to be… If it’s any consolation, I had a great Party last night and also this morning.
I’m feeling a bit like Hanae here. Let’s just get this started.
It’s fine Irina, if you hadn’t been late I probably would have been. I’m actually having to write posts the day before they come out at the moment because I’ve been a little busy and I’ve almost run down my draft collection and I’m just not getting to watch episodes in a timely manner. It hasn’t made me reschedule anything just yet but I suspect this week I may have one or two days where I do not get three posts ready to go out.
After two very solid and plot advancing episode, we got something that was half overall plot and half random slice of life. More or less literally. The episode was split down the middle.
In the first half, we continue to deal with Hanae’s banishment from the Underworld as well as the power struggle that seems to be taking place therein. But first, we have a school trip to wrap up. Whenever Abeno is surrounded by classmates like that, he always seems so out of place yet people seem to like him. Why do you think that is Karandi? (I mean, I know why I like a beautiful blonde tsundere but it might not appeal to all).
I really do not get it myself. The boys turn up to have a pillow fight in Abeno’s room and he initially tries to slam the door in their face. Like seriously, why do they bother trying? That said, I kind of loved that after being forced into participating he decided to play by his own rules. Watching him pummel Hanae in the face repeatedly with a pillow was pretty hilarious, though why Hanae didn’t just take two steps in either direction to get away from him was more than a little confusing.
The wrap up of the trip was cute and basically just served to let us know that Hanae can now reliably use his power to sense Yokai. Good thing two, as that becomes immediately useful when the Legislator shows up for a surprise visit with a strange proposal.
It seems that hearing what had happened, the Legislator grew very angry that the Executor had attacked someone under his general supervision and had strong armed him into some odd compromise. Bringing two boxes to Hanae, the Legislator tells him that if he picks the right one, he will be conditionally unbanished. (look at that – unbanished is a real word…) At first, I figured this was a test to see if Hanae had any powers and he should fail on purpose to not give himself away. What were your thoughts on this oddness?
I’m not sure what this test was supposed to show from the point of the Underworld. I mean, Hanae having powers makes him more dangerous. This test doesn’t show his character or desire to help/hurt yokai or give them any particularly useful information.
But, despite not really getting why the Executive let this be the test (I get why he agreed to a deal at all but not why this test was acceptable), I really loved Hanae during this scene. I think it was great that we got to see that despite his claims that he is fine, that he seriously considered losing on purpose because he isn’t sure he wants to go back. He’s genuinely scared that he’ll be killed and that is a legitimate fear. However, it is perhaps the first time we’ve seen Hanae suffer from some kind of ongoing trauma from all the weird stuff that happens around him.
Turns out Abeno did want him to choose the right box and not only that but the Legislator had sort of cheated by putting a Yokai in there in the first place, allowing Hanae to get the right answer. Basically, it was rigged for the Executor to lose and it all seemed to be going to plan until Hanae asked what the condition was.
We find out that Hanae has to be accompanied by the Justice whenever he chooses to visit the Underworld. Am I the only one who thought it was a great deal? The Justice has proven to be rather friendly and pleasant company. As long as Hanae doesn’t knowingly cause harm to the Underworld he has a powerful Yokai to protect him and keep him out of trouble. If anything, I thought Abeno would have been happy about it.
I think we still don’t quite know enough about the underworld politics to know what is really going on. Considering Abeno works for the Legislator, maybe he doesn’t want the Justice knowing everything he’s up to or overlooking his work as well as a second supervisor? Or maybe he’s just ticked off that his employee was attacked and then treated as a villain? It’s a murky situation and one that I assume will be expanded on in coming episodes but I’m really enjoying seeing how it is playing out so far.
There’s something I didn’t quite get in this part of the episode. For instance, why would the Executor care if Abeno no longer visits the Underworld? And what is Ripou hoping to accomplish. I find it hard to believe that he didn’t knowingly set all this in motion by sending Hanae to the Executor in the first place and now he’s scandalized the latter retaliated? It’s like he provoked him into action only so that he could strike back while claiming self defence.
Yeah, there’s more to this than we know. I love how innocent the Legislator is playing it putting the blame entirely on the Executive. However, we know he sent Hanae there in the first place when he literally could have sent anyone else, and I doubt he did that accidentally. Though whether the response was what he expected I’m not sure but it has definitely given him an excuse to act against the Executive. I feel bad for the Justice being stuck between those two.
As for Abeno’s declaration that he isn’t coming to the Underworld anymore, I wonder how that will impact on his job. I know that mostly he sends yokai into the underworld, but on more than one occasion he’s had to go to the underworld to fetch something so it seems he might be making things harder on himself. More importantly, he used to go there before he had an assistant so it doesn’t make sense that he couldn’t go and leave Hanae behind. Unless this is some kind of protest. Or something Abeno and the Legislator decided on given it seems they’ve been talking a lot about the situation with Hanae (given the test the Legislator gave Hanae).
And this is random but have we ever seen the Legislator’s “true” form. The Executor is a Crow, the Justice is a Tiger but what is Ripou? I always imagine him as some type of Salamander because of his sister, but I don’t think we’ve ever seen him as anything else than human.
Nope, and I was wondering that too. The Justice seems to enjoy his tiger form, the the Executive clearly uses his crow form to terrify… I think that when we finally see the Legislator’s form it will be because something major just went down.
Does Abeno stopping hanae from going means he chose some type of side?
So many question and I am looking forward to finding out all the answers but that will have to wait as we jump right into a little story about Zenko finding a doll like Yokai with a simple but difficult request. They want to be human for a day – or at least very human like – so they can go dance with everyone else at the Bon festival. I would like to think that this would be my ambition should I ever become a wraith.
I found this random addition to the end of this episode, lead in to next episode, a little bit of a let down. Sure it is what The Morose Mononokean used to focus on, but this season has given us so much more. Plus, as you said, we’re sitting here with all these questions and instead we’re watching some doll yokai ask to be human. Possibly if this had been its own episode and we knew early on we were in for a monster of the week story we’d just kind of go with it, but coming on the tail of some really solid world building it just felt like an unwelcome diversion even if it did bring Zenko back into the story and have Hanae using his yokai detection skills.
We don’t really know how this turns out as the episode ends pretty much in the middle of this storyline. Hanae having brought the Yokai to the Mononokean so they can make their request directly to Abeno.
There was something particularly Natsume like about the plot of this specific story. Seems like exactly the sort of thing a Yuujinchou Yokai would ask for, don’t you think? Ok so maybe it’s just because I literally order volume 22 yesterday and now I can’t wait until I get it…
Really jealous of that (I’m waiting on the next couple of volumes to arrive but I’m not in the twenties yet). I don’t know, I try to avoid comparing this to Natsume because honestly, it doesn’t hold up as an anime if I do. I absolutely love and adore Natsume whereas this I find pleasant and entertaining enough. I will admit, I’ve liked this second season a lot more than season one, but it still pales in comparison with Natsume (so many things do).
Still, yokai wanting to be a human for a day does indeed seem like a Natsume plot and hopefully they can pull it off because comparisons are more or less inevitable at this point.
Obviously this doesn’t live up to Natsume but then again what does?
Even though we didn’t see the Underworld much, there was still some pretty images here and there!