This month we track Togame and Shichika to Satsuma where they look to add Zokutou Yoroi to their collection of Shikizaki’s Deviant swords. Interestingly enough, Zokutou Yoroi is not held and wielded like a regular sword, but worn as a full suit of armour (styled after Western armor). Though this isn’t so unusual considering our main male character is considered a sword in and of himself.
I’m not sure if it was mentioned before (it’s been five months; I’m lucky if I remember the names of the main characters without having to refer to my archived reviews and notes, haha) but Kyotouryuu is a defensive martial art (or form of swordsmanship where the body is the sword; I really just want to call it a martial art, though). Newly but barely introduced character Princess Hitei reminds us of this, mentioning also that Zokutou Yoroi is also known for its immeasurable defensive power. Princess Hitei doesn’t seem to like Togame too much considering the way she talks about her – unless they’re frenemies but that doesn’t really make it better. I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of her even if it’ll be a while before Togame returns to Owari.
On to the main battle (though no real battles happen in Katanagatari, and we have long stopped expecting to see any real fight scenes), the man holding Zokutou Yoroi is Azekura Kanara, and it is the first perfected Deviant Sword that we have encountered thus far. Like most of the other (ex) owners of the Shiki swords, Azekura is a prominent man in his own society; he’s a pirate and pretty much runs the economy of the port city of Satsuma. Entering piratehood at a young age after his own ship was pillaged and all its passengers murdered, Azekura was taken on as a chore boy, only to grow in favour of the pirates whom he served. This surprised me a little considering these would have been the same men who killed everyone he had been travelling with as a child (including his younger sister); wouldn’t he have harboured some hatred for them? Wouldn’t he plan revenge rather than join their ranks? I know someone’s going to argue that he probably hardened his heart until he started to get to know the pirates, and eventually grew to feel that they were his family. In the end, taking the leadership of all pirates and having economic rule over any given region is probably better (and more productive) than revenge. Azekura obviously didn’t have too much angst as a teenager.
OR maybe, after putting on the armour of Zokutou Yoroi, he killed all the former pirates who had caused him grief and recruited new men into the ranks. I could go on forever… much like this episode did… Though I would bore you who are reading this… Possibly like this episode did.
Yeah… I did find this episode a little dull; I’m not sure if it’s my personal mood or if I’m just growing tired of the format, though. Things haven’t really changed since last episode which was phenomenal with Nanami being the main focus (but the epic fight against Sabi Hakuhei withheld from those of us who were dying to see it). I still enjoy the characters but something is starting to feel a little old. I do want to point out how comparatively “normal” this month’s Maniwani Head was. I guess the crazier their outfit, the more normal they are?
Their numbers are now down to six – half of what they’d started with at the beginning of the series. Maniwa Houou – the head of the Bird Squad, and the rest of the Maniwa Corps, sought Togame to make a temporary truce. It was refreshing to see Houou represent the Maniwani because he really did have the most sense. (It’s not that I don’t think any of the Maniwani were sensible but they’ve been killed off like nothing from episodes one to four – especially in the second and third episode where they barely got two words in (backward or forward) before being slain. I actually quite liked the whole Insect Squad; too bad they were up against Nanami, that little monster.)
Though the show is about the hunt for the Shikizaki swords, it’s also about the relationship between Togame and Shichika, and in this episode, they have their first (or what I would consider their first) lover’s quarrel. Shichika acts jealous without his realizing it after Azekura’s open intention to make Togame his woman, passing it off as the “urge” to “tease” Togame. He also questions Togame’s feelings for him (though not very well) which is interesting since her feelings for Shichika are never made explicit. Her actions and expressions are a little telling that she does have some feelings for him, but to what extent is uncertain. Similarly, Shichika may say that he’s fallen for Togame and that he loves her, but what it means to him exactly is unclear. Despite the haziness of their relationship, I still find it endearing. They’re not my favourite anime couple but there is a cuteness to their interaction that I really enjoy. Perhaps it’s the absence of obvious romance in their relationship (even Togame gives Shichika a hard time about not knowing what to do when they’re at the hot springs together), or maybe it’s the quirkiness of the two of them put together. Whatever it is, it’s one of the reasons I’ll continue to watch this series till its end – in another seven months.
Next Episode: June 4th, 2010: Soutou Kanazuchi.