Ayakashi Ayashi – 12
-Chased by the frenzied Asobe youi that Matsue raised, Yuki, Atl, and Saizou ride Kumoshichi as the horse turns into his disk form and blows all the Asobe downstream with the wind force created from spinning. Kumoshichi then suggests returning to Edo because he feels an unpleasant wind blowing from the west.
-Running through the forest, the leader of the group that stole the stone fragment that Hanai wants to attempt something in Nikkou where there are the remains of a god.
-Kanou has found Honjou and the two men have drawn swords against each other. Ogasawara gets between the two, but this just causes Kanou to feel that Ogasawara has become one of Torii’s dogs. In response, Honjou affirms that Ogasawara is the adopted child of the Ogasawara family and that he did what he needed to survive.
-Yukiwa races past the group, blowing Kanou away and taking him out of the fight. Yuki succeeds in getting Kanou to run away on Kumoshichi, but the rest of them get interrupted when Doi Ooinokami Toshitsura comes and yells at them for not doing the job they came out to do for the safety of the emperor.
-The entire group goes to Koga Castle with Doi and appears before him. Doi knows now that Honjou and Hanai were looking for something and that something got taken away from them. Not knowing what they’re talking about, Yuki asks what the item was, but Honjou reminds him that he doesn’t have the social status to get an answer from a roujuu. Doi doesn’t really mind and directs the question at Hanai, who eventually admits that it’s the Sesshouseki (Killing Stone). Ogasawara figures out that this is the Sesshouseki of Nasu where it is said that a nine-tailed kitsune was shot and killed, but then turned into a stone that gave off poison, destroying everything around it.
-Hanai admits that the Sesshouseki is actually a powerful youi that’s been sealed off. Even a fragment of it still has power, and it is the natural duty of the magistrate to analyze such a power. Doi points out that they got it stolen by a thief and caused a disturbance. Matsue interrupts Doi before he can talk about the crime and notes that there’s still Kanou who’s after Honjou. Doi decides to send them all after Kanou to arrest him. However, Doi privately tells Ogasawara later to kill Kanou because Torii might later falsely blame Ogasawara for Kanou going after Honjou.
-Walking along later, Saizou refuses to believe that Ogasawara betrayed his comrades.
-The Ayashi group meets up with Honjou’s group again and Honjou explains that Moheiji was one of his names. Hanai reveals that it was by Torii’s order that Honjou hid his name. Ogasawara asks what Honjou did to Kanou because he feels that if this was only about Kanou’s teacher Takashima being arrested, then Kanou wouldn’t be only going after Honjou. Honjou admits that he hates Kanou and also Ogasawara – people who talk about different places, other worlds, or foreign countries. Ogasawara tries to say that other worlds and foreign countries are different things, but Honjou doesn’t feel that way. Honjou accuses their type of having faces that seem to say that only they know the truth and think of themselves as better than everyone else.
-Doi arrives at the Nikkou Toushouguu shrine and sees numerous red charms stuck all over Ieyasu‘s tomb. Ieyasu was supposed to be enshrined as a god, but written on the charms is the names of another god. Doi considers this to be a curse that erases Ieyasu’s powers as a god.
-Having escaped with Atl and Kumoshichi, Kanou now smells that youi meat that Atl is cooking. However, she throws him a loquat to eat instead. Ogasawara, arriving with Yuki and Saizou, explains that it’s youi meat and that the youi are monsters from the other world. Kanou doesn’t believe that there is another world and feels that the youi he saw earlier were beasts of some sort. Ogasawara claims that he’s using his studies of western knowledge to help defeat the youi so that the government can see the excellence of such knowledge. This causes Kanou to call Ogasawara a liar, but they are interrupted when Atl notices something strange with the evening sun – an Ayagami has appeared.
-Elsewhere in the forest, the leader of the masked men notes that the current character shows the sun hidden in the grass. By adding a mujina, the character becomes baku. When the leader throws the fragment of the Sesshouseki at the character in the sky, it starts glowing iridescently before covering the world in a green hue. He then calls the spirits contained in Ieyasu’s soul to awaken, which causes Kumoshichi to react and gallop away with Yuki. All of this is starting to make Kanou believe in what Ogasawara said about the other world.
-At the Nikkou Toushouguu, Doi notes that many youi were buried here for the sake of a peaceful Tokugawa, all of which are awakening now. Floating in the sky is now a huge youi with an elephant-like trunk, and the shrine behind Doi starts to give off a gold glow. After golden tentacle-like objects appear from the temple and get sucked up by the trunk, even more youi start awakening around Doi.
-Doi sees Yuki riding up on top of Kumoshichi, though the horse suddenly transforms into a dragon and starts destroying the other youi with Yuki. However, Yuki’s broadax cannot cut through the Baku’s trunk, and he gets blown back by the wind force. He is caught by Kumoshichi, and the pair land on the ground in the forest. Back in horse form, Kumoshichi feels that it’s impossible to control the Quetzalcoatl inside of him since the Sesshouseki is its favorite food. Hearing this, Yuki offers to let Kumoshichi eat him since his name is Ryuudou – one who guides the dragon. Kumoshichi warns him that doing so would likely make Yuki into a monster of the other world. Yuki, however, has decided to fight the youi and apologizes to Kumoshichi.
-The pair are surrounded by a beam of light stretching to the sky as Kumoshichi agrees. Yuki proceeds to pull out characters from himself, from Kumoshichi, and then from the Nikkou Toushouguu. All the Ayagami rain down on the two of them, combining them into one creature.
-Watching from below, Ogasawara recognizes that Yuki and Kumoshichi have become a Haku – a legendary sacred beast that surpasses a dragon.
-The Haku attacks the Baku head on, but gets knocked back by the Baku’s force field.
-Ogasawara realizes that with the way things are going, Yuki is going to get devoured by the Haku and won’t be able to return to being human. He knows that to end the fight, they must break the Sesshouseki that is the source of the youi’s power. Kanou questions if Ogasawara intends to help the monster that is the Haku, but Ogasawara claims that it’s his subordinate, an Ayashi.
-Deciding to help, Kanou tells Ogasawara that his gunpowder is insufficient and that he needs to calculate the distance in order to do this in one shot. After he explains that he learned Western gunnery techniques from his teacher Takashima, Kanou lines up a shot and scores a hit on the Baku, shattering the Sesshouseki fragment embedded in the youi.
-The Haku uses this opportunity to rip apart the Baku and destroy it. As the evening sun returns, the Haku also starts to disappear, but it first breathes a stream of fire onto the ground that turns into Yuki, Kumoshichi, and the mujina.
-With the battle over, Kanou and Ogasawara shake hands. Kanou knows that Ogasawara has to deal with him by killing him while Ogasawara knows that Kanou will not be able to give up on Honjou. In fact, Ogasawara admits that if he were Kanou, he wouldn’t be able to forgive Honjou either. From this, Kanou figures out that Ogasawara heard about what happened back then.
-Years ago, when Honjou was still going by Moheiji, Kanou had been given the chance to go to Holland. However, Honjou had asked Kanou to introduce him to Takashima.
-Drawing his sword against Ogasawara, Kanou remembers that Honjou had entered Takashima’s residence and framed Takashima with evidence of rebellion. Kanou blames himself and feels that if he cannot kill Honjou, he won’t be able to forgive himself.
-Kanou raises his sword to attack, but Ogasawara delivers a quick slice to Kanou’s gut first. As a pool of blood forms under Kanou, Ogasawara rushes to his friend’s side. Kanou admits that he nevertheless wanted to go to Holland and asks if Ogasawara would have felt the same way. Ogasawara nods silently as Kanou breathes his last breathes and starts crying as he dies.
-Back at the hotel, the girls are sleeping as Yuki is feeling indebted to Ogasawara for earlier. Ogasawara says that he has something he wants Yuki to carry tomorrow, and Yuki immediately understands what it is. Commenting on the beautiful moon, Ogasawara also reveals that he joined the Ogasawara family in order to continue studying Western knowledge, though in the end, he just wanted to live in comfort. Yuki feels that Kanou was the same way about wanting to be better off. In response, Ogasawara admits that he’s afraid of himself and afraid of what Ayagami would come out of him, which is why he refused it earlier. Yuki leaves the room as Ogasawara starts crying.
-Wow. Last week’s episode got a “holy crap” out of me. This week’s episode simply made my jaw drop because it was like a different series. The fight with Yuki and Kumoshichi vs. all the Youi was like a space battle, and the sword battle between Kanou and Ogasawara was so good because of the change in animation style and that background song. Needless to say, I was pretty impressed.
-I definitely didn’t expect this arc to end so soon. This might be a good sign for the pacing of this series which has been slow until recently.