This week in Yashahime, thrill as Moroha and Hisui…read letters! Yes, it’s nonstop epistolary action as the two read detailed instructions on how to defeat the respective demons they’re fighting, with Moroha’s letter revealing that apparently Sango and Miroku were fully aware of her being alive and didn’t bother to do anything while Hisui’s missive from the slumbering Setsuna shows that our girl is way overprepared for all snow demon contingencies based solely on the heights of the demons. Letter reading hasn’t been so exciting since Pierre Choderlos de Laclos published Les Liasons dangereux in 1782.
All jokes aside, I’m really not sure what the point of this episode – or even the two-parter itself – was. Surely it wasn’t the cameos by Moroha’s and Hisui’s parents, because they barely showed up last week and, as I mentioned, it’s pretty clear that Sango and Miroku were at least somewhat aware that Moroha has been alive and wandering around the whole time. Defeating the Full Moon Raccoon Dog doesn’t seem like it did much for the overall plot either; yes, it showed that Moroha is skilled, much as her parents were, and that she can use both her family’s skills and ones originally used by Miroku, even if he’s terrible at explaining them. (So glad he drew that illustration, though.) And Takechiyo’s past doesn’t appear to have served much purpose either, since he had no desire to be the ruler of the tanuki anyway, although I suppose it was nice of him to want to free his people of an oppressor. And then we have the whole “new moon” issue, which results in Setsuna sleeping the whole time and Towa being kidnapped for…reasons?
Maybe it’s a thrill for someone to animate sleeping Setsuna since that wasn’t really a thing for the first season of Yashahime, but the Looney Tunes results of her epistolary efforts aren’t all that exciting, although I will grant that they’re at least a little funny, if only in terms of how much the guys clearly had to prep for taking out Yukinyudo and his larval minions. (And how annoyed the demon is.) But I can’t help but feel that the most significant piece of this whole mess was probably Towa, and she’s the one we spent the least time with. Did I want to see her pain and suffering sucked out of her by some sort of evil insect? Not really, but at least we’d know more about why he wanted it, not to mention whether he was causing it in the first place with those damn butterflies (and the aforementioned insect) or if he was pulling out preexisting pain and suffering, which would arguably make him less of a bad guy. (Although that didn’t necessarily work well in Locke and Key.) But hey, at least we got to see Sesshomaru being garbage at emoting again!
I am, at this point, about seventy percent sure that Zero has a plan that isn’t just “be evil.” Maybe that’s too generous of me, but I’d like to think that she didn’t excise her memories into pearls for kicks. (Although that would make as much sense as anything else in this series.) Towa is definitely the most vulnerable of the girls, if only because of the guilt she carries about her sister. While Moroha’s got enough of her dad in her to be pretty happy as long as she’s hunting things and Setsuna’s got “stoic” down to an art, Towa is arguably more human in how she thinks and reacts to things. We should see a bit more about why that is next week, which is at least in part a flashback to her time with her uncle in Tokyo (I don’t entirely trust the previews at this point), and I think fleshing out Towa’s interiority would be a good thing. Someone needs to have believable motivations at this point in the game, and she’s a very likely candidate. Now if they can do that AND make the episode fit into the larger context of the series, I’ll be a happy camper.
But after this week? I’m not holding my breath.