Ayakashi Ayashi – 03
Edo Genbatsu and Abi take Yuki and the rest of the group through an underground passage to a hidden building standing on water. As Yuki sees a sign labeling the building as the Bansha Aratamesho, Genbatsu goes in and comes back out wearing a priest outfit. Tae is also here and is reunited with Ota. Genbatsu once again tries to convince Yuki to become an Ayashi, and Saizou even adds that he’ll get paid. Since Yuki doesn’t answer and instead turns his gaze to Tae and Ota, Ogasawara Houzaburou tells those two to forget everything they saw tonight. He plans for them to live in the Shimousa Province if they promise not to set foot in Edo again. Ota wants to know if Yuki is going too, but he keeps silent and the smell of something attracts everyone’s attention.
Abi has finished cooking a large piece of meat, which is actually from a Youi. Houzaburou claims that it’s delicious, and Genbatsu thinks that Yuki has already eaten this before. Yuki remembers that he had indeed swallowed something way back when he went to the other world, yet he swats away the bowl that Abi offers him. Meanwhile, Torii Youzou is discussing the success of Yuki’s awakening with one of his men when they get interrupted by news of a fire. A Youi has appeared and is yelling about war, but Abi and the rest of the Ayashi group arrive to drive it off. At that time, an old man is also getting a report about the fire, causing him to ask if it’s not war. His servant tells him that it’s not war, and the old man starts ranting about getting back an armor that his son sold off.
Yuki wakes up the next morning at his own place and finds Tae there with some food. Outside at the water well, Yuki has a brief chat with Kumoshichi about going with Tae and Ota. Kumoshichi notes that if Yuki became an Ayashi, he’d have to use that other world power that he despises. As Yuki is thinking about the possibility of taking the place of Tae’s husband, she comes up behind him and asks if someone had come. But Kumoshichi is nowhere to be seen anymore, so Yuki denies it and says that he was talking to himself. Yuki then goes and finds Ota at the garbage site. The boy is worried about the other Youi from the first battle and knows about the monster that appeared at the fire last night, so Yuki comforts him. Around that time, a woman is telling someone in an armor shop that because the whole country is peaceful, armor isn’t selling and is being thrown away. She also thinks that in a decade, the Black Ship will arrive and the age of armor and weapons being bought up will come.
As they walk through town together, Yuki tells Ota that a soul staying in an old thing is called a tsukumogami. Ota asks if Yukiatsu thinks that thrown away armor is becoming the Youi, prompting Yuki to say that simply calling him “Yuki” is fine – Yukiatsu is a name he threw away. When Ota wonders if that’s just like the old armor helmets being thrown away, Yuki replies that thrown away things probably flow on without dying. He then smells something good and takes Ota to go eat wild boar, though he learns that Ota won’t eat horse meat or beef because Ota was raised to believe that horses and cows were very important. This causes Yuki to realize that the thing he wants to eat isn’t this either. Ota then asks if Yuki actually wants to eat the monsters, and Yuki responds by saying that since coming back from the other world, nothing he’s eaten has satisfied him. Suddenly, a man holding a boar’s head in front of his face comes into the shop. It’s the boss who confronted Yuki about being a fumin before all this got started, and he now once again points out that Yuki is a fumin. Yuki simply throws the food into the man’s face and escapes with Ota.
After they get away, Ota suggests that Yuki should join the Ayashi group so that he won’t have to run anymore and he’ll be able to eat the monster’s meat. Since Yuki doesn’t like this reasoning because it would only make his own life easier, Ota then asks if Yuki is going to be coming with them, but Yuki walks off before Ota can finish what he’s saying. The two come across the crazy old man rummaging through piles of armor. He suddenly falls asleep and his servant introduces him as the lord Inoue. When Yuki and Ota bring him back to his mansion, the old man tells them that the neighboring house stole his armor. He becomes surrounded by the red particles and a Youi suddenly strikes. News of samurai residences being attacked reaches the Ayashi group, and they know that they have to fulfill their duty even without Yuki’s powers. At that time, as he watches the old man recall battle experiences, Yuki figures out that the old man couldn’t have known the battlefield because they’ve had peace for 200 years. He thinks that the old man read a war chronicle and started believing it was true. Upon ripping off the armor chest piece, Yuki discovers that there’s a sphere of the red other world stuff on the old man’s belly.
Outside, Abi and the Ayashi group have engaged the Youi. As he loads his gun, Genbatsu reminds Saizou that it is the miko’s duty to attract the Youi. Saizou proceeds to jump up onto the roof and throw off her outer clothing, revealing the miko robes she’s wearing underneath. Back with the old man, Yuki explains that an armor made of gold is fragile and is useful for nothing more than decoration. Wanting such a thing is not a desire of a warrior. The old man’s soul has been violated by the other world and the Youi is feeding off his delusions. Using his Ayagami powers, Yuki then sticks his hand out to the old man’s stomach and forms the word Rekkou – the Youi’s name. As Yuki proceeds to thrust his hand into the man’s stomach, the Ayashi group sees the same character form around the Youi. Yuki manages to pull something out that briefly turns into a sharp weapon before disappearing, and at roughly the same time, Genbatsu fires his gun and defeats the Youi. Going home later, Yuki talks to Ota about how the other world confuses people and how the Youi take away everything. Yuki has decided to fight, but Ota feels that the old man was happy to have been dreaming.
In the aftermath, Yuki returns to the Ayashi group and eats the meat, an indication to them that he intends to become an Ayashi. Houzaburou ends up being the one who sees Tae and Ota off the next day, though Yuki is watching them from afar. Kumoshichi thinks that it wasn’t possible for Yuki to run away, but Yuki says that he doesn’t like the other world, and that’s a better reason than making his own life easier. It is sometime later that Yuki encounters a girl washing herself by a lake with her horse.
I’m still having some issues with the pacing of this show. Like the first episode, this one felt like it started off too slow, but it got much better at the end. The Ota-and-Tae-leaving stuff made this feel like more of a drawn out second conclusion after last week. But I guess the point of the episode was for Yuki to have a reason to join the Ayashi. The entire episode wasn’t bad though. Saizou got to be a cooler than she normally is with her transformation into a miko, if you could call it a transformation. Now if only she could be convinced to wear her hair down all the time…
I think I like this show a lot better when it focuses on the supernatural rather than the historical. Maybe that’s just because the supernatural parts feature the youi and the Ayashi group using their powers while the historical parts are the exposition. Anyway, they do show that new girl briefly after the ED, but before the preview. It seems like she’ll be pretty important to the overall story since she’s featured in the OP a couple of times, including in the final shot with the entire Ayashi group. We’ll probably find out more about her next episode.