I guess it is true that you can’t knock it till you’ve tried it.
— So Sugimoto reminds Asirpa of her father… at the very least, his bravery does. She’s confident he won’t die, because he has no fear in his heart. That’s great and all, but isn’t fear designed to keep us alive? Sometimes, it doesn’t work as intended, but hey, that might be a feature as well. Luckily for our heroes, Tsurumi intends to keep Sugimoto alive.
— Shiraishi, a.k.a. Mr. Escape Artist, sure is rather friendly. If they fail, he’ll probably get killed by the 7th Division, so the fact that he’s willing to amiably cooperate with Asirpa is pretty cool. Granted, she threatened her with a poisoned arrow, but I’d be a whole lot angrier and bitter if I had to trade places with the guy.
— Oh, he’s in it for a share of the gold. Well then, take back everything I just said.
— Asirpa doesn’t want any of the gold? Not even a tiny portion of it? I mean, I know wealth isn’t important to her because she’s supposed to the pure and innocent heroine, but it’s always wise to have a nest egg. What if her village falls under hard times? It never hurts to be prepared.
— Shiraishi asks for soap to make himself slippery enough to squeeze through the bars on Sugimoto’s window. Asirpa doesn’t have any soap, but she does have bear fat. You guys were all complaining about the CGI bear, but look how it’s paid off!
— Christ, how would you even react to a greased up, practically-naked dude climbing through your window?
— Man, these twins are really goddamn obsessed with Sugimoto. Unfortunately, this gives our hero the perfect escape plan.
— When Tsurumi finds Sugimoto, the guy looks as though he’s so badly hurt that his guts are coming out. The latter then retends to bargain for his life in exchange for the tattoos that he’s hidden. It’s almost certainly a trick. I’m surprise that this is working on Tsurumi. Well, he did say he lost a piece of his brain in the war…
— Gross: whenever Tsurumi is mad or frustrated, his head starts to leak… something. Anyways, the evil bastard quickly realizes that something is off when he examines the dead twin’s body. But it’s too late as Sugimoto has already started his best Hannibal Lecter impression.
— Unfortunately, Asirpa couldn’t hit Tsurumi with the arrow, and as a result, a poor horse had to die instead. Or maybe she never wanted to kill him in the first place. I dunno, I think it’s odd. Hunting animals for food is one thing, but why kill this horse if you’re not okay with taking the lieutenant’s life? The guy is gonna keep coming after her and Sugimoto. Other people may even die to him.
— Tsurumi takes aim with his gun, but at the very last second, he changes his mind. He acknowledges the fact that our heroes are better at collecting the tattoos than him and his men. This also makes his job a whole lot simpler as well; the only person he needs to chase is Sugimoto.
— One potential problem for the guy, of course, is the other twin. He’s going to want to avenge his brother, so he may throw a wrench in Tsurumi’s plans. Plus, if the twins hadn’t kept trying to kill Sugimoto, our hero might not have escaped. Honestly, why keep the remaining twin around at all? If I was Tsurumi, I’d get rid of the guy.
— Oh lord, Tsurumi is literally wearing the prisoners’ skins like pajamas.
— I’m glad Asirpa didn’t dive into Sugimoto’s arms or anything. Instead, she gives him a good hit for being so inconsiderate and stupid.
— We meet yet another Shisengumi badass as Hijikata goes to collect guns for a future mission. The show loves its old geezers trying to relive their glory days. From what I can tell, Hijikata wants to reestablish the Shinsengumi. Unfortunately, I’m not very familiar with either the organization or Japanese history during this period of time, so I have no clue what this entails. Probably something bad, I imagine.
— Sugimoto really loves animals, so he wants to keep the horse around. Unfortunately, his team convince him that it would be wiser to kill the horse for food. Feels bad, man.
— Our hero reiterates that he still doesn’t want to get Asirpa involved. After spending time in her village, he would feel too guilty if anything happened to her. Of course, this denies the girl of her agency. Asirpa doesn’t yell at Sugimoto, but she does give him a pretty thorough lecture. While I understand where the guy is coming from, he never should’ve asked for her help in the first place. Again he only changed his mind after spending time in her village. So does that imply that if she had had no loved ones, it’d be okay to continue endangering her life?
— Horse meat can reduce swelling? I’m more worried that the wounds might get infected, but I guess they wouldn’t know much about that.
— Oh lord, look at that wolf.
— Later that night, we get more of food critic Sugimoto. I’ve never had horse meat, though. And I can’t see myself eating it with raw egg yolks either.
— The poor girl has aged decades over her fear of eating poop. Luckily, she tries it anyway and discovers that she likes the taste. She’ll still call it poop, but oh well, not all poop is bad, I guess! The shifts in tone in this anime are so odd. Sugimoto’s escape from the 7th Division felt like I was watching a good action thriller, but now I’m back to goofy reaction faces, and I’m not sure if I’m still entertained or not.
— The old geezer continues to make his move as he closes in on a bandit leader. I don’t have much to say about him, though. I still don’t know much about his character, and well… I don’t really care for the guy all that much. Maybe this’ll change as we see more of his exploits in later episodes.
— Shiraishi is busy gathering information in town, so Asirpa and Sugimoto go off on their own to hunt deer. She also teaches how to drink water from vines. That’s cool, I guess… if I ever find myself lost in the snowy wilderness of Japan.
— The girl also treats us to more Ainu legends.
— Unfortunately, there is no rest for the weary. There’s no downtime for our heroes, because Asirpa soon runs into suspicious-looking footprints. Upon closer inspection, she can tell that one of the men has an injured leg. Yes, that injured soldier that she had spared a few episodes ago has returned. And if you’ll recall, he’s after Retar’s pelt.
— What the fuck? Don’t do that.
— Even though I still don’t love the tonal shifts, I’m starting to get into the show’s groove. It’s not great, and I still don’t love Geno Studio’s direction, but it helps to have a source material that is competent.
One has to wonder how Sugimoto is enjoying any of this food with six open wounds in his face. Like… I’m not even sure how you treat that. Just stick a bandage on the outside and pray? The other side is your mouth. Shit’s going to get infected instantly.
I was curious how this series was going to reconcile this sort of ultra-gritty injury with Sugimoto’s tour of Ainu cuisine. Apparently it isn’t! Where did the holes go?
He stuffed his holes with horse meat, obviously.
Ah, of course.