The war rages on as Shikeripechimu attacks a Tousukuru village. Oboro and a force arrive and drive off the invaders, but the damage has been done. Back at the main castle, Hakuoro tells everyone that his strategy for now is just defense. Touka enters the room, ready for whatever punishment Hakuoro has for her. To her surprise, he has Eruru return her sword, and Eruru explains that they don’t feel bitter. But still feeling the need for atonement, Touka tries to kill herself by cutting her throat. Hakuoro quickly throws his tessen and knocks the sword out of her hands. He explains that there are more things for her to do, including the burial of Orikakan. Everyone then rushes out because of word of more Shikeripechimu forces. The Tousukuru forces have the advantage of catching the enemy in a ravine, allowing them to pick the enemy off with arrows. After Oboro kills the enemy commander, the rest of the troops run away. Karura and Kurou meanwhile are fighting Shikeripechimu in another village. Karura’s strength alone is able to destroy legions of the enemy, sending body parts flying everywhere.
During a strategy meeting, Benaui suggests that the enemy is trying to exhaust them emotionally and physically. Hakuoro thinks that Shikeripechimu’s other objective is to provoke them. Oboro finds this interesting and suggests that they invade, but Benaui says that Shikeripechimu has ten times their forces. Hakuoro decides to wait. That night, he confesses his desire to protect everyone to Eruru, but also how he isn’t sure where he’s headed. Though Eruru can’t answer that, she tells him that she believes in him whenever, whatever happens – always. In the next days, Niwe launches an all-out attack. Hakuoro decides that the only viable plan at this point is to counter-invade Shikeripechimu and go after Niwe while all of Niwe’s forces are engaged in Tousukuru. In the ensuing battles, Guraa gets hit by an arrow, but Oboro is able to defend the twins. Hakuoro is able to hold his own against a small group of soldiers, but then comes face to face with an enemy commander and his squadron. Fortunately for him, Touka flies in and saves him and Eruru by killing all of those enemy men. Eruru then hears a boy crying from inside a burning building and runs to help. Though she and Hakuoro try their best to free the boy’s mother who is stuck under a pillar, they are unable to do so before the building collapses. Hakuoro drags out Eruru and the boy in the nick of time, but the boy’s mother does not survive. With that battle over, Hakuoro decides to give most of the troops to Benaui, backing him up with Kurou and Oboro. Hakuoro himself will go with Karura and Touka to attack the enemy castle. Eruru joins Hakuoro after they bury the dead from the village.
Lots of killing this episode: women and children being speared, body parts flying everywhere – much of it due to Karura’s strength. I was laughing watching the bodies fall down all around her, and then I was cheering by the time Touka came and saved Hakuoro and Eruru during the battle. The animation style looked different again, but I liked it. Aside from the slightly different character designs, the overall action animation moved very fluidly fast, such as whenever someone swung a sword it was in the flash of an eye, even more so than normal.
I like Hakuoro’s strategy of going after Niwe, but I’m not sure Hakuoro can handle him. From what we’ve seen previously, Niwe is at the very least equal to Hakuoro in strength. And while Hakuoro is technically bringing along two of his strongest fighters in Touka and Karura, I get the feeling that he’s going to go one on one with Niwe. I personally hope they kill off Niwe next episode because his cackling laugh is so freaking annoying…