Nabari no Ou – 21
Off in a room somewhere, Yoite wakes up to find himself bound and drugged, but is unaware of where he is. Back at the Kairoushuu hotel, Ichiki tells Hattori how Yae continues to ask about Togakushi’s annihilation, but still won’t answer their questions despite all the ninja techniques and medication they’ve used on her. While hoping to get Yae to call out the Shinrabanshou “fairy”, Ichiki is unsure of how much more she can take, so Hattori volunteers to talk to her, adding that he’ll let her read his mind if she wants—something Ichiki claims is like peering into Hell. Hattori then learns that Kumohira’s whereabouts are still unknown, but that the others have headed off to see Kotarou, who they consider to be a sly fox that sits around benefitting from other people’s fights.
At Fuuma village, Koichi and Raimei find out that Kumohira hasn’t contacted them and that Togakushi was annihilated, despite having withdrawn from Nabari worldly affairs. Kotarou informs them that Miharu and Yoite have been taken captive along with Yae, presumably for leaving Kairoushuu and working together to bring forth the Shinrabanshou. Kotarou wonders why the Kira user would do such a thing though, so Raimei reveals that Miharu joined the Kairoushuu to use the Shinrabanshou to save Yoite. Hearing this, Kotarou suspects that they won’t be let off easily then, prompting Raimei to say they have to save Miharu. Kotarou on the other hand refuses to start an all-out war there’s no backing out of, despite wanting to uphold Fuuma’s longtime ties with Banten. With no intention of dragging Fuuma into this, Kouichi and Raimei decide to act on their own, but thank Kotarou for the help so far.
Restrained and worn down from being tortured, Yae is surprised to see the Kairoushuu leader asking her to cooperate with them. Upon being questioned why he destroyed Togakushi when they’ve already withdrawn from the Nabari world, Hattori simply casts it off as her inexperience as a leader, whose possession of a kinjutsu is contradictory to such an idle stance. Reminding her of how she let her own daughter fall into the hands of a wicked individual, he adds that there’s no way she can make up for her mistake, except helping them use the Shinrabanshou to save humanity from all suffering. Back at the hospital, Yukimi is pissed to find out that Kazuho sold out Yoite even though she’s his physician, so she tells him that Ichiki said they can’t do anything that the leader doesn’t want. Not wanting to explain further, Kazuho simply says Yoite cut himself off from them, making Yukimi realize that they have a reason to let Miharu live, but not Yoite; however, he finds out that Yoite is still alive, since Miharu threatened to kill himself.
In a concealed room back at the hotel, Miharu wakes up to find himself locked up and monitored, but treated well for the most part, making him wonder what’s become of Yoite and Yae. Back in Fuuma village, Kotarou contemplates whether to help, so Saraba asks if he plans to leave Raimei alone during this. After reasserting that there’s no benefit in an all-out war with the Kairoushuu and that they’ll only end up with a chain of casualties, Kotarou adds that he doesn’t know what would happen if one or two recovery ninjas acted on their own. Meanwhile, Kouichi and Raimei are on route to save Miharu, and the latter of two recalls how she told the Shinrabanshou owner that she wanted him to smile until the very end. Off at another building, Gau pretends to be checking up on Yoite as a member of the Wakachi and drops off some refreshments for the guard, which have been spiked to knock him out. He then frees Yoite, who is suprised to find Gau helping him, but more guards arrive shortly after. Still under the effects of the drugs, Yoite can do little to stand up to them and Gau is about to be killed off when Raikou arrives to save them both. Questioning why he did something so reckless, Raikou then learns that Gau was prepared to accept any form of punishment and didn’t want to drag him into it, so he tells him to leave with Yoite while he tries to talk to Hattori. After the two of them manage to slip away, Yoite feels responsible for Miharu and learns that he’s probably being held in a hidden room at the hotel, so he decides to head on over when Gau leaves to check up on Raikou, and quietly thanks him.
At the hotel, Hattori provokes Yae into reading his mind since she’s curious about what he’s after, where she learns that he was once a journalist and was thrown into a battlefield as part of his ninja training. During this time, Yukimi pleads to Ichiki, a former doctor, to convince Hattori to spare Yoite and give him a peaceful time before his inevitable death, so she brings up how Yoite attacked a doctor (Kazuho) before continuing on to a story similar to Hattori’s. It turns out Ichiki once volunteered with a team of doctors providing humanitarian assistance to refugees in areas of strife. In the battlefield, she explains that there were many people who just wanted to live, contrasting Yoite’s situation. Hattori on the other hand, states that there is no distinction between combatants and non-combatants (civilians) nowadays, because even people you live with can become combatants at any time. People who were merely a civilian months ago can suddenly be recruited and sent to the frontlines as soldiers of major powers (countries). Hattori claims he understands the cause of this, which Yae pressumes is poverty and disparity from a race full of hatred, but he implies it’s something more fundamental, making her realize it’s great causes—nations, races, religious faiths.
Hattori confirms that people will become as cruel as needed for these causes. On her side, Ichiki reveals that her team and the villagers they were trying to save were killed in their sleep because a spy was suspected to be amongst them, which resulted in the loss of her eyesight. Hattori was distraught at the sight of all those he helped save from the ravages of war suddenly killed, so he decided that he had to kill or be killed and proceeded to take out the attacking soldiers. With a now blind Ichiki in his arms, he decided then that he would use the Shinrabanshou handed down in the Nabari world to get rid of all sources of strife and conflict piled up in mankind’s history. Stating that this is all for the sake of a future without conflict, Hattori thinks Yae understands, but she retorts that he’s not only trying to erase parts of history, but also individual memories and bonds — a world without family or friends — and if he can consider that living. However, Hattori says this is all merely a process to create a new world order and tells her to call out the Shinrabanshou fairy, which causes Yae to pass out. Meanwhile, Ichiki tells Yukimi that Miharu and Yoite headed off to Togakushi after learning that the Idzuna Shingan might be able to draw out the Shinrabanshou and adds how it was a mistake to spoil Yoite up until now, but commends him for taking care of the Kira user during that time.
On a bus, Kouichi and Raimei close in on the Kairoushuu hotel according to Kotarou’s information, while Saraba and Sourou begin infiltrating the premises without Fuuma assistance. Ichiki then calls the guard, asking him to bring Miharu to Hattori’s room, when Miharu tries to break free feigning a stomach ache and pepper as a distraction. Yoite comes by shortly after to help him, but the two of them are stopped by more Kairoushuu ninja, which Raikou dispatches quickly as part of the debt he owes to Yoite. He then tells Gau to take Miharu and Yoite away to a safe location and reveals how Hattori plans to use Yae and probably won’t do anything to her yet. Raikou adds that there’s still things he needs to take care and stays behind, but Gau heads back after giving Miharu and Yoite an escape route.
Raikou’s help came a bit sooner than I expected, but it was prompted by Gau’s determination to save Yoite as suspected. Kotarou on the other hand is as sly as ever, not wanting to mobilize the entire Fuuma clan since there’s no benefit in doing so, but hints at Saraba and Sourou to act on their own accord without his knowledge. The big revelation was undoubtedly the motive behind Hattori and Ichiki though, whose experiences on the battlefield as non-combatants have driven them to erase the sources of war and hatred in mankind’s history. As ideal as that sounds, Yae gives us the other side of it by pointing out how Hattori’s essentially attempting to erase all traces of individuality, which reminds me of how this idea of uniform public order has been used in various other movies and games. It’ll be interesting to see if Yae chooses to cooperate in helping revive the Shinrabanshou now that Hattori has basically tried to guilt trip her into it, and also what will happen to Raikou and Gau now that they’ve rebelled despite being the Wakachi (分刀) themselves (i.e. those responsible for dealing with rogue ninjas). There’s also Kouichi, Raimei, Saraba, and Sourou about to make a raid on the hotel the Kairoushuu are staying at, plus the Tategami to deal with, so it looks like things should really pick up now.
After briefly checking the kind of coverage Nabari no Ou receives, I found that the series seems to lose a lot of people’s interest when the dialogue gets heavy. However, I’m starting to wonder if that’s because those viewers are only interested in the action or simply because they glazed over the discussion without a very good understanding of it (the latter reason for people who watch raws). In light of this, I decided to provide a much more detailed summary for this episode, which will hopefully help others understand the importance of it. With that said, I found that a lot was revealed about Hattori and Ichiki, who we’ve been pretty much left in the dark about for the past twenty episodes. For instance, it explained the cause of Ichiki’s blindness, her close relationship with Hattori, Hattori’s own motives, and above all, depicted how his motives aren’t as evil as one would expect. Since Hattori’s attempting to rid mankind of suffering, he can hardly be seen as a “bad guy”, whose goals would be something more along the lines of world domination; however, he doesn’t seem to care about the repercussions of his solution, which is what makes him twisted and ambitious in the evil sense. To me, this makes for an interesting antagonist to the series, which is well on its way towards a conclusion now that most of the key parts have been laid out. Kumohira still needs to make his grand re-entrance though and more has to be revealed about what happened ten years ago, in addition to Yoite being saved and Hattori being stopped, but we’re definitely getting there.
- Rokujou Miharu (六条 壬晴) / Kugimiya Rie (釘宮 理恵)
- Yoite (宵風) / Saiga Mitsuki (斎賀 みつき)
- Kumohira Thobari Durandal (雲平・帷・デュランダル) / Namikawa Daisuke (浪川 大輔)
- Aizawa Kouichi (相澤 虹一) / Hino Satoshi (日野 聡)
- Shimizu Raimei (清水 雷鳴) / Fujimura Ayumi (藤村 歩)
- Yukimi Kazuhiko (雪見 和彦) / Tsuda Kenjirou (津田 健次郎)
- Oda Yae (織田 八重) / Yukino Satsuki (雪野 五月)
- Fuuma Kotarou (風魔 小太郎) / Okiayu Ryoutarou (置鮎 龍太郎)
- Saraba (サラバ) / Watanabe Akeno (渡辺 明乃)
- Minami Juuji (南 十字) / Koyama Kimiko (こやま きみこ)
- Katou Sourou (加藤 候) / Kakihara Tetsuya (柿原 徹也)
- Hattori Toujuurou (服部 柊十郎) / Nakata Jouji (中田 譲治)
- Ichiki (一季) / Amano Yuri (天野 由梨)
- Shimizu Raikou (清水 雷光) / Suwabe Junichi (諏訪部 順一)
- Meguro Gau (目黒 俄雨) / Okamoto Nobuhiko (岡本 信彦)
- Amatatsu Kazuho (天立 和穂) / Kano Yui (鹿野 優以)
- Nowake Hideo (野分 英生) / Yamazaki Takumi (山崎 たくみ)
- Guard (見張り) / Kuwabara Keiichi (桑原 敬一)
- Guard (見張り) / Nagata Masayasu (永田 昌康)
- Guard (見張り) / Harasawa Kouki (はらさわ 晃綺)
- Guard (見張り) / Satou Biichi (佐藤 美一)