Remember Super Mario 64? Yeah, this wall scroll is a bit like that.
— First things first, we see yet another iteration of Aoi’s first encounter ever with an ayakashi. Boy, I sure do love seeing the same scene over and over with only slight variations to break up the monotony.
— So what’s new this time around? The masked ayakashi had promised to take Aoi to his realm one day. Also, he would take her as his bride. That’s creepy, man. I said before, but I’ll say it again: who goes to a child and says, “I’mma marry you, girl!”
— When Aoi wakes up, she finds herself in bed with Ginji tending to her. Y’see, after all those episodes with Odanna — and that near kiss in the Dragon Palace — it’s time for the pendulum to swing back in Ginji’s favor. But don’t be naive! The girl’s not going to make her pick anytime soon! The whole point behind this silly charade is to keep you viewers (or readers for the light novel) hooked!
— As a result of Raiju’s shenanigans, Aoi has not only lost her voice but also her sense of taste. Well, that’s gonna make it hard for her to cook. Unfortunately, her silence is only short-lived. You’ll see.
— This is why you don’t accept candy from strangers. Whatever Raiju slipped into Aoi’s mouth was designed to react to the secret liquor and thus rob her voice and taste. How oddly specific.
— Ginji obviously wants to give Raiju a piece of his mind, but these ayakashi are all wimps. They all act as if the creepy jerk is untouchable for whatever reason. Maybe it’s tradition, but that doesn’t excuse everything. If one aspect of your culture sucks, fix it.
— In any case, Ranmaru has to deliver the bad news: Aoi’s getting benched. Look, kid, if you can’t perform in the big game, then you just gotta sit on the sidelines.
— After everyone leaves, Aoi can only helplessly cry in bed. More importantly, she goes, “They really do exist — ayakashi who just have ill will for no reason.” Uh, is this a joke? Did she really assume that ayakashi were just all good people? Shit, didn’t Oryo try to get Aoi killed just because she was jealous? Hasn’t Odanna had to warn her over and over that she’ll get eaten if she doesn’t disguise herself in public? Didn’t someone send an assassin after her? How naive can you be?
— Frustrated with her situation, our heroine gets up and tries to cook something — anything — to see if her taste is truly FUBAR. Yes, yes it is. So she goes, “I’m just someone with no real usefulness now.” Girl, that’s only true if all you can do is cook. That’s why you go to college to become a well-rounded per–… oh… oooooh. Psst, don’t drop out of school to frolic with the ayakashi. At least get your degree first, kids!
— On the plus side, Chibi likes the omurice. You have to keep in mind, however, that the kappa’s favorite food is cucumber. Compared to cucumbers, tomatoes are spicy, so let’s just say I wouldn’t rely on Chibi’s Yelp reviews if I can help it.
— Elsewhere, Ginji rushes to Raiju’s room for what I’m sure is a friendly conversation. When he and Ranmaru both get there, however, all they find is the ugly dog. I bet you the lightning dork has decided to go bug Aoi again.
— Raiju then gulps up Aoi’s omurice, but claims that it is bad. I guess he’s trying to troll her, bless his heart.
— Afterwards, Raiju gets all handsy with Aoi, and this is the cue for Ginji to come roaring back and scream, “Get away from Aoi-san!” Oooh, feisty. But immediately after the commercial break, he adds a please. What a polite nine-tailed fox. I-I-I do beg your pardon, but would you please refrain from molesting my friend?
— Ginji also adds that Aoi belongs to Odanna. See, that’s the problem with this guy. He respects Odanna too much. Even if he is the masked ayakashi from Aoi’s past — and I don’t think that he is, but that’s not important right now — he would never, ever betray his master. He would always defer to Odanna. Even if Odanna was like, “Yo, you can have her,” Ginji would feel too ashamed to pursue a relationship with Aoi.
— In any case, he goes, “That little Aoi-san is still alive…,” and this makes Aoi instantly come to the conclusion that Ginju must be that masked ayakashi. Maybe. Or hell, maybe both Ginji and Odanna visited Aoi! Tell me, what proper man wouldn’t seek out a scared, hungry, frightened little girl who just got abandoned by her mother and tell her that he’ll marry her one day. Tell me that, ya damn prudes! Welcome to anime, bitches!
— What happens next honestly surprises me. I expected someone to show up and save the day, but I didn’t think it would be Byakuya of all people. Really? That accounting nerd? Not only that, Raiju is just randomly scared of Byakuya. Scared shitless, in fact.
— After an exchange of words — where we find out that Raiju was indeed responsible for Aoi’s assassination attempt — the above happens. I say simply the above, because I don’t really know what is happening. I can only assume Byakuya is attacking a lightning god with lightning… and it’s working. But what’s working? Again, I don’t know, because before I can say “This anime sucks,” Raiju’s gone. Is he dead? No, Byakuya simply tells Aoi that the pervy ayakashi had run away. Um, okay… did you maybe think to animate that, Gonzo? No? Welp, it’s your adaptation.
— And because it’s Gonzo’s adaptation, the rest of the episode is just a bunch of people sitting in the room, spouting exposition. Yaaaaaaay.
— So remember these dorks? They’re back! They’re back because they have the Hourai branchamajig. Those horny toads were just scammers, but good thing we can trust royalty!
— Y’see, while all this nonsense was happening at Orio-ya, Odanna was quite busy behind the scenes. He discovered the true location of the Hourai branchamajig, and in exchange for this information, he negotiated for both Aoi and Ginji’s return to Tenjin-ya one day. That’s why the nine-tailed fox is not a true rival. Look, it’s a total power move to also secure your woman’s side dude.
— Did Byakuya just tell them to make Raiju say uncle?
— So the royal couple will just hand over the branchamajig, right? Not so fast, my friends! We still have three episodes left after this, so of course, we have to go on an adventure… and adventure into a wall scroll!
— So the couple keeps all of their family treasure within the scroll. Sounds reasonable, right? But you can’t just waltz in there and pluck the branchamajig then come home. No, you gotta climb a goddamn mountain to get to the top where the tree is. Not only that, while you’re in there, your goddamn spiritual power is being sapped. Finally, as the brilliant cherry on top of this retarded setup, you’ll encounter illusions within this contain space. That’s right, illusions. This is like me going, “Hey babe, I’m just gonna go grab that old family album out of the storage real quick. I’ll be back in a jiffy. I’ll just have to climb Mount Everest and drop some acid.” Who does this? Why would you do this? Why can’t you keep your damn treasures in a sensible but secure location? Why does it have to be a survival game?
— Once again, she wakes up in bed. She really gotta stop blacking out like that. It’s not healthy.
— So did the medicine work? You’re probably thinking that it was a panacea to all of our troubles, right? Wrong. It doesn’t restore the girl’s sense of taste. Nope. Instead, it simply restores her voice. Great, just great.
— I feel bad for anyone who are still following my posts on this series. I’m just taking the piss now.