-It was back when the Spanish and the Texans were at war with each other that a group of armed men had killed Atl’s family. Their goal had been a red tapestry that was hanging on the wall, but Atl had tried to protect it. The tapestry had suddenly started glowing and Atl was able to put her hands up to it.
-Back in the present, Atl reveals to the group that there is no word for akuma in her native language. The Spanish were the ones who called their god Diabloma. Yuki then questions if Kumoshichi is a youi, but Kumoshichi himself doesn’t know.
-Back when Yuki originally killed Shichiji, he had used his Ayagami powers to bring him back. The Shichiji in his arms disappeared and Kumoshichi appeared in front of him. Yuki had put his arm around Kumoshichi and the two continued off as if nothing had happened.
-Atl thinks that Yuki used his power of a different world to create someone that only he could see in order to escape his crime. Oshino then tries to dig where Shichiji’s corpse would be, but Yuki stops her, so she wails at him for the wasted years of her life. Atl suddenly grabs Saizou’s sword in an attempt to attack Kumoshichi again, but Yuki knocks it out of her hands. When he questions why she’s targeting him, Atl reveals that she’s been able to sense Kumoshichi for a long time since she came to Edo. This causes Yuki to vow that if Kumoshichi is a youi, he’ll kill him. Atl doesn’t feel that it’s enough and thinks that Yuki should to die as punishment too.
-Around this time, the southern town magistrate Torii Youzou has Atl’s horse brought in front of him. Torii knows that the horse is a god of a foreign country – the Aztecs from 300 years ago. He has his subordinate Honjou cut off one of his ally Youi’s heads, which causes the horse to go into a rage. It jumps up and starts spinning, turning into a yellow disk that flies off into the air.
-In response to what Atl said, Yuki says that he lives nevertheless. The group then sees the yellow disk which Kumoshichi calls a dragon.
-As Ogasawara and Edo Genbatsu are getting ready for battle at the Ayashi headquarters, the rest of the group is chasing the disk that Atl recognizes is Quetzal. They see a signal firework from Edo Genbatsu and run to the tower where he and Ogasawara are waiting. There, Saizou suits up in her miko outfit while Abi grabs his weapon.
-Atl explains that Quetzal is trying to return to the other world, so it’s desperately looking for an exit. But Atl does not seem to want Quetzalcoatl, the god of Mexico, to go.
-Watching Saizou’s dance from below, Torii suggests that it’s Ama-no-Uzume‘s dance from in front of the Ama-no-Iwato. Saizou is able to use this God’s Dance to attract youi.
-A large beam of light centered on Saizou’s dance forms and draws out Quetzalcoatl. Atl opens her arms to it and asks if it’s become tired while searching for their country, but the youi lunges at her with its mouth open. Yuki gets her out of the way, and the rest of the Ayashi group begin their attack. Quetzalcoatl lands in front of Yuki, so he once again uses his tattoo to bring out a broad ax to fight it with. However, he hesitates when he hears Atl call out to Quetzalcoatl, allowing the youi to grab Yuki’s ax in its teeth and destroy it. Quetzalcoatl then disappears into the sky.
-When Atl gets caught by Torii’s men, Ogasawara realizes that Torii himself is here and bows down to the magistrate. Under Ogasawara’s insistence, the group agrees to be tied up by Torii and taken to his place where they are placed under guard of one of Torii’s subordinates. However, Kumoshichi appears and catches the woman off guard, allowing Abi to knock her out. The group heads to the main house where Atl, who’s been knocked out with medicine, is lying on the ground in front of Torii, his men, and Ogasawara. Torii claims that she’s going to be the sacrifice to calm the snake youi and end the disturbance.
-Torii and Ogasawara explain that a long time ago, there was a group of people living across the ocean called the Aztecs or the Mexicas. But 320 years ago, Cortez and his forces destroyed their country and created Nueva España (New Spain). Atl is actually the descendant of the Mexicas. Opening her eyes, Atl herself tells the story of how her people had been forced in Nueva España to live a life lower than slaves. In order to search for a new place where they could live, the group eventually headed north. They had been attacked during the journey by a group of men on horses, but then had been saved by three different men with swords. Those three men called themselves samurai of a family from Japan. Atl had thus dreamt of Japan as a country where nature is overflowing with beauty and a place where gentleness and justice are protected. In contrast, the Texas that her people had moved to became embroiled in war. It was back then, when the tapestry had started to glow, that Quetzalcoatl had appeared. The horse had transformed into the serpent and slain all the men. Atl got herself incorporated with a show troupe and had come across the ocean by ship, though she had ridden Quetzalcoatl into Japan. However, she found that Japan wasn’t like she envisioned and just mentioning that you were a foreigner could get you killed. Atl knows that Quetzalcoatl now wants to return to the other world, and she wants to help carry that out.
-Yuki blames himself and the Ayashi group for what’s happened with the horse, but Torii thinks otherwise. He asks them if they know the reason why the Spanish destroyed the Aztecs. It seems that the Aztecs had a custom of taking out hearts from chosen people to dedicate to their god. The Spanish viewed this as a devilish act.
-Atl is content with being sacrificed to a god, but Yuki objects because he wants another chance to fight the youi since it’s his duty as Ayashi. He knows that a youi’s appearance is connected to a person’s feelings and questions whether a youi disappears if that person is killed. Social status, poverty, and prejudice are things created by man, but if you kill man, do those things also disappear? Is their job to be murderers? A heart that seeking somewhere not here…as he looks at Kumoshichi, Yuki feels that he cannot judge. The only thing he can do is to defeat the youi.
Alright, there are a few historical notes I have to get out of the way. First, I’m not entirely positive about the history behind this episode. From what my research has shown, the Spanish and the Texans never fought each other in the Tenpou period of time (1830-1844). It’s entirely possible that the Spanish they refer to at the beginning of the episode are actually Mexican. Second of all, Torii describes Saizou’s dance as the one used to bring out Amaterasu from the cave by Ama-no-Uzume. Those Wikipedia articles should shed some more light onto the subject (Japanese mythology). As a side note, the more I see Saizou in her miko outfit and doing that dance, the more I want to find out about her background. And finally, in light of all the Aztec background, I’ve opted to go with the spelling of Atl for the girl.
This episode actually surprised me with how much they explained about Atl and the back-story, and everything really started to make sense even with the large amounts of historical references. I hadn’t realized that the Quetzal that Atl called the horse was really Quetzalcoatl. I hadn’t been paying that close attention to the previous Aztec reference and hadn’t made the connection when it was made last episode. To say the least, I didn’t think that this story about youi would involve this type of foreign mythology at all.
Overall, this week’s episode manages to be a lot more interesting than what we’ve seen so far. I love watching Saizou dance, though I do wish the fights lasted a bit longer. I also liked hearing Yuki’s speech at the very end, which was of course made better by the intro parts of the ending song. Next week’s episode looks like it might be the conclusion of this arc, perhaps for both Quetzalcoatl and Kumoshichi.
VIVA MEXICO,great series
i don’t know why but that dragon looks alot like slifer the sky dragon from yugioh only with out any wings or legs
You mean Osiris right ? >_> “Slifer” = dub >
Yay! She is in cool mode again!
Dang never eeeever seen Mexico and the aztecs mentioned anywhere in anime, i just gotta love the twist. GO MEXICO!
so they’re even mixing in foreign mythology? how could people think this isn’t cool?
…what part of that Quetzalcoatl/feathered serpent looks feathered to you…
…they can take liberties but at least get the basics down 1st…
this could be taken the wrong way 0_o
Quetzal is a bird from Guatemala. Quetzalcoatl called “feathered serpent” and can be a Dragon. VIVA MEXICO
it’s fun to see that now many animes are using things from other countries, first, the hescafe part of ouran(in my country is NESCAFE, i dunno if this coffee is international or not), second, the crazyness with pizza hut in code geass, and now this, COOL 🙂
The Aztec’s head god is Tezcatlipoca
Quetzalcoatl was the God of the toltec’s, the people that predated the Aztecs.
Incorporating Aztec mythology and Spanish-Mexican history into a show like this was something I wasn’t expecting at all. It reminds me a little bit of the Cloud of Sparrows and Autumn Bridge novels by Takashi Matsuoka (the Spanish-American history part anyway, great books, by the way, I highly recommend them for anyone interested in the Meiji Era of Japan). It’s an interesting twist and gives the show some possibilities for storylines/arcs.
Saizou is really cute when she’s given screen time to shine as a miko; very graceful animation during her dance sequences too. I hope they devote some episodes explaining her background and why she dresses like a boy samurai most of the time.
This series was off to a really slow start but seems more and more promising as it gets further along, just like Eureka Seven. Keep up the good work blogging!
The flashback showed 3 different time periods and 2 different geographical locations, the destruction of Aztec Empire by the Spaniards, Texas War of Independence 1836, and Texan Republic around 1843 before the Mexican War with conflict between Anglo settlers and Mexican settlers. Those 3 Mexicans with katanas were supposed to be descendents of Samurais from Hasekura Tsunenaga’s Mission who stayed behind. Unfortunately this show relies on a lot of historical knowledge with a steep learning curve, so it will be difficult to establish a mass-appeal.
…like Egyptian gods Aztec gods have multiple forms…but there is a canon to how each individual form was portrayed…Quetzalcoatl in his serpent/dragon form…and it does really look like a dragon…always have feathers somewhere on him even if it is just a crest on his head…
…and Xellos…Quetzalcoatl may very well be originally a Toltecs diety…but the Aztecs adopted him fully into their own mythology after they finished migrating south…as they adopted much from the Toltecs…and as the Toltecs adopted much of stuff from their predacessor the Olmecs…history is like that…there is actually little unique cultural distinctions floating around in ancient civilizations…
4 Tezcatlipocas and the four directions:
-Black Tezcatlipoca was Tezcatlipoca himself-North
-White Tezcatlipoca is Quetzalcoatl-West (Quetzalcoatl & Tezcatlipoca are rivals, thats why their colors are opposite.)
-Red Tezcatlipoca is Xipe Totec-East
-Blue Tezcatlipoca is Huitzilopochtli-South
They are all in accordance with saced duality.
Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca are both from the Toltecs. Quetzalcoatl was a legendary Toltec hero/ruler as well (in human form.) until Tezcatlipoca “punished” him by getting him drunk and making him sin with his sister, causing the fall of the Toltecs.
Did Quetzalcoatl intend to f**k Saizo?(its just the way it was staring at her…..)