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Sengoku Youko – 11

It was another strong episode of Sengoku Youko, but I was a bit distracted by the unofficial news that this is apparently going to be a split cour.  It was announced as 37 episodes with no mention of a split, but MAL has changed the listed count to 13 and Syoboi doesn’t show it as airing in Spring.  That would suck altogether, especially since the second arc is when things get really great.  But where Mizukami is concerned I always fear the worst with anime, as if a curse hangs over his work.  Maybe this was the plan all along but it’s odd it was never mentioned, if so.  And if not, I have a queasy feeling it might Hoshiai no Sora‘d.  That would be the classic Mizukami experience.

In any event the sibling arc is steamrolling towards a climax.  Tama and co. are headed for Dangaisyuu headquarters, where Yazen awaits.  With Jinun and Senya sealed, Yazen offers Douren the chance to fight Jinka again by himself.  The big man is ecstatic about this of course, but Yazen is anxious about having two monsters like that out of commission.  Douren urges him to use the opportunity to cultivate other weapons, and Yazen makes note of his “new model” – the Ten Celestial Saints.  After Douren heads off to prep himself the old man has a conversation with Kuzunoha (Yukana).  Who, as we know, is both the love of his life and Tama’s mother.

Meanwhile, Jinka finally awakens in an inn with the others, and after a momentary disoriented panic he seems to be in as good a mood as we’ve ever seen him.  Lost an arm?  Small price to pay for ridding themselves of the dragon.  Tama isn’t so sure (Yami no Kami’s invoice is never far from her mind, either).  And Shinsuke is raging at himself as usual, for one more not being much use when the chips were down.  Rinzu takes down everyone’s name in case she has to do a soul calling as a sort of emergency-break glass move, an extremely difficult spell Jinka is rather envious of her ability to execute (fortunately, she’s hot for that side of him just as much as the others).

Douren meanwhile has an encounter with the Ten Saints, which Yazen tells Kuzunoha is going to be over with pretty quickly.  Douren is indeed powerful, perhaps the strongest among the Dangaisyuu despite possessing less spiritual power than Jinun (and the new Jinka).  Why?  Because what he lacks in spiritual power he makes up for in sheer martial ability.  Worried that his new powers (thanks to Yazen) would make him arrogant and dull his skills, Douren doubled down on his dedication to the martial arts and continued to grow stronger.  He really is quite the admirable fellow in so many ways.

As before, Team Tama walks straight in the front door.  And Douren is right there waiting for them, never supposing a sneak attack might be their approach.  For the first time we see the full spirit exchange between the “siblings”, and Jinka makes it very clear –  if he achieves his dream and becomes a katawara, he wants to shift their relationship to husband and wife.   Shinsuke is very much on guard, much to Rinzu’s puzzlement.  He clearly expects someone else to join the fray, and makes no claims of lofty reasons for his involvement – he’s here for revenge, and it’s Barry he wants to exact it against.

Shinsuke can take pride for a change, because the sneak attack he was expecting comes quickly – Barry is in the house.  These two only have eyes for each other, and Barry – after a long round of teasing his opponent with shikigami – lures Shinsuke into a cave leading to an underground passage, which as it turns out leads to the Dangaisyuu’s underground labs.  Why would Barry do this?  That’s as yet unclear, though it’s obvious that Barry has no more regard for Yazen’s new models than Douren did.

In the main event, Douren seems to have the upper hand against Jinka – six tails and all of him.  Simply put, he’s the better fighter, and Jinka realizes that simply waiting for his power to overwhelm his opponent.  But he does realize he can use his fairy eyes to predict Douren’s attacks, and when pushed finds that he has a new arm all of sudden (thanks to Yama no Kami.  Yazen and Tama are in disagreement as to who’s going to come out on top here, and at the moment it’s looking like a pretty even match.

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