Yes, things are quite serious in Kyoto now. Aotabo has finally put the kids to bed and taken the field.
In terms of the episode itself, it continues the trend this season has been on for quite a while – quality steadily increasing, and the story steadily getting darker. It’s interesting that DEEN has chosen to mix in backstory on the Night Parade at the same time so many important things are happening in the current time, but it does work fairly well for what it is. A lot of the focus this week was on Aotabo. While his human story sounds a bit too close to Anji from Rurouni Kenshin for comfort, it does at least explain how he so often ends up in the babysitting role. As badass a priest as he is, though, it seems to me as if Shoukera is winning their battle before Hidemoto and Yura show up.
Turns out that board on Ibaraki Douji’s face was a stupa from his father’s grave apparently, and he’s a lot better looking before Kubinashi cuts it off. We get a continued history lesson on Kubinashi’s human past, too, and it looks as if he was a self-styled Robin Hood of sorts who was friends with a nine year-old Kejoro. I can’t help but laugh every time Fujiwara Keiji has a speaking part as Rikuo’s father – yet another deceased character for Fujiwara-san. But he remains the enigmatic presence I’m still most curious about. Nurarihyon is a beast even as an old man, and to think that even in hos prime he’d have been no match for the second heir – it beggars the imagination.
As for the third heir, he’s not much present in the episode. His training with Gyuji and an old youkai who as far as I know still hasn’t been identified – but who looks very much like a tengu – is going poorly, to say the least. But there’s not a lot of time to draw this out, even with Hidemoto and Yura having placed a seal at the Keikain HQ – Kubinashi and Kejoro appear to be in bad shape, Tsurara is a captive of Tsuchigumo and the hunt for livers and Chianti is still going strong.