-The sky is opening up and the two god statues are glowing. Suzuran refuses to believe that this is Ashura’s fault because otherwise she’d have met that person earlier. Her tears trigger a reaction in the Ashura statue, causing it to transform the rift in the sky into a passageway into another world.
-Mokona detects that there is no feather in this world but there is in the other world, so Mokona transports Syaoran, Sakura, Fye, and Kurogane there. Along the way, Sakura has a vision of two people fighting each other against a pink moon backdrop.
-Syaoran and Sakura arrive in this new world in the middle of a battle. They are taken in by a woman named Ashura who bears a resemblance to the Ashura statue. She is fighting against the Yasha tribe, led by Yasha who is accompanied by Kurogane and Fye.
-However, the battle soon ends because the moon has risen. The two tribes are magically transported back to their own kingdoms. Ashura explains that they go up to battle in the castle in the sky before the moon reaches the center of the sky.
-Ashura takes Syaoran and Sakura in and entertains her guests. Sakura notices a familiar instrument and plays a song.
-Mokona senses the strongest power coming from the castle in the sky.
-The next day, Sakura continues to sleep, so Syaoran chats with Ashura. Mokona swallows up and sends Yuuko a special jar. Ashura explains that they’ve always been fighting the Yasha even though they don’t know where the Yasha come from. The war is over control of the castle in the sky, and whoever gains it will get their wish granted. Syaoran wants to know what Ashura’s wish is, but she doesn’t answer. Instead, she asks him if he’s a traveler and why he’s traveling. Syaoran then wants her to take him to the castle on the moon.
-When night comes, Syaoran gets some new armor and gets transported with the Ashura forces.
-He recognizes Fye and Kurogane and charges for them. Kurogane attacks Syaoran with some of his signature moves, making Syaoran suspect that they might be different people with the same souls. However, he also notices that this Kurogane also has the Souhi sword from Outo Country.
-Syaoran is able to hold his own for a while until Kurogane uses his Tenma Kuuryuusen move. Kurogane has Syaoran cornered, but Syaoran gets saved by Ashura.
-Yasha uses a technique called Yama Tengouken that rips up the ground and destroys tons of enemy troops. Syaoran is amazed by how strong both Ashura and Yasha are.
This episode certainly had its highs and lows in animation quality. I had gotten my hopes up really high because of the quality shown off by the preview last week, but that was completely unfounded because frankly, the animation for a lot of this episode was sub-par. There were some pretty background and still shots, and the battle at the end was fairly well done, but a lot of the rest just looked poor – a lot it had to do with the odd way Syaoran and Sakura’s faces were drawn.
This world within a world with opposing sides allows them to pit Syaoran against Kurogane, which was pretty exciting to watch. Syaoran still can’t quite match up to his teacher, but he also doesn’t have as many signature moves yet. If only Fye had gotten some cool moves of his own too instead of just the bow and arrow. Ashura and Yasha are also fun to watch because you just know that those two powers will clash against each other soon. Or rather, I should say that the most interesting parts of this arc are still yet to come 🙂