「お稲荷さま。収穫する」 (Oinari-sama. Shuukaku Suru)
Episode at a Glance:
Trying to be more helpful around the house, Kou insists on cooking for everyone; however, her failure to do so in a timely manner leads to a very frustrated and hungry Kuugen. When the meal actually comes out, it ends up being quite inedible, but Noboru is just worrying about becoming bankrupt from all Kou’s damages.
Later that night, Kuugen sits down with Haruki and the two of them talk about Miyako. Haruki tells Kuugen how he’s always wanted to meet her after hearing so much from Miyako, which leads to a discussion about how he and Miyako first met. Kuugen then adds that Miyako left the Mizuchi household to go to school, despite the fact that priestesses only have about 30 years to live if they do so. Kuugen is surprised to find out that Haruki didn’t know about this, but tells him not to hold a grudge against the Mizuchi, much like she doesn’t after being sealed away by them for so long.
The next day, Kuugen is whining about eating some gourmet food, so Noboru tells her to go get it herself since he doesn’t have that kind of money. In the meantime, Tooru is lured to a secluded area by a trail of beans and is then attacked by a purple-haired youkai known as Mamehisui (lit. “Bean Jade”). Kou, who happened to be passing by, senses this and comes along to save Tooru. After a barrage of water attacks, Kou seems to get the upper hand, but Mamehisui uses Tooru as a shield, causing Kou to back down. Luckily though, Kuugen comes along and frees Tooru, so Kou unleashes a powerful water typhoon attack (which even surprises Kuugen) to take out Mamehisui.
「お稲荷さま。禁忌を侵す」 (Oinari-sama. Kinki wo Okasu)
“Oinari-sama. Commits a Taboo”
While continuing to see Kou’s shortcomings in house chores is always mildly entertaining, it was nice to see glimpses of her protective priestess powers as she threw water around in the form of lightning-fast disks. Those attacks were reminiscent of Krillin‘s Kienzan (a.k.a. “Destructo Disc” in the English dub) except in Kou’s case, she was whipping them out like there was no tomorrow. Despite wearing her miko (i.e. “shrine maiden”) outfit, Kou is also surprisingly agile. When the Mamehisui (voiced by none other than Kobayashi Sanae) started attacking with her vines, Kou was calmly evading them with quick sidesteps and backflips in rapid succession. I for one thought that the fight scene was pretty darn cool, given that I only expected her to be able to channel water attacks and not have any physical prowess. The action there was fast-paced and involved special powers, so much to my delight, I thought I was watching some shounen anime for a moment. (“Rasengan!” “Getsuga Tenshou!”) Plot-wise, there appears to be more to Kou’s powers than we currently know, as our Mamehisui youkai pointed out the scale-looking things on her face. Hayami Saori’s voice as Kou is as always, calming and extremely pleasant to listen to. In particular, I felt that the quiet yet assertive voice she portrayed Kou with when she stood up for Tooru simply commanded respect. All of this makes me think that it sure must be great to have a miko like Kou following you around! Speaking of which, where’s my miko? =(
Aside from Kou, it was also great to see Noboru and Tooru’s mother make her appearance in the show. Miyako is voiced by Horie Yui, one of the “moe-est” seiyuus around. “Hocchan” (ほっちゃん) as her fans affectionately call her, is one of my favorite seiyuus (if not my #1 favorite seiyuu), so I tend to watch almost anything she stars in or has a main support role in. Those of you familiar with her probably know that she’s starring in Vampire Knight this season, but also has key roles in D.C.II S.S. and The Tower of Druaga ~the Aegis of URUK~. I’m probably a bit biased here, but I find that not many seiyuus can quite pull off the cuteness Hocchan can add to a character she plays. Based on the preview shot, it seems that Miyako will show up again next episode, and I for one hope they revive her somehow (with the supposed taboo) just so that she can get some more screen time. =) While they probably won’t, I suspect we’ll see more of Miyako down the road regardless (hurray!) as there’s still a lot of history between her and Kuugen we haven’t found out about. (Anyone else a fan of Horie Yui? If so, let me know what you think!)
The other entertaining thing I found about this episode was Yukana’s portrayal of Kuugen. While I’m a fan of Nakamura Yuuichi as well (who plays the male form), I have to say I’m quite happy that Kuugen stays in her female form more often, even when she’s a fox. Yukana has this uncanny ability to play an impatient Kuugen and also a sultry, seductive, whiny Kuugen without coming off as annoying. When presented with this begging Kuugen, Noboru was able to shrug her off without a second thought, but I couldn’t help but think of C.C. when I heard Kuugen begging, which would’ve made it so much harder to say no to. (This is both an advantage and a pitfall of knowing your seiyuus.) As it turns out, Yukana is actually pretty sultry and seductive in person, so I guess it’s not too surprising how well she can play a role like that. (For all you CODE GEASS fans out there, you can find a pic of Yukana (C.C.) with Koshimizu Ami (Kallen) here.)
In the next episode, it looks like we’ll see Ebisu again, who’s voiced by the always amusing Ono Daisuke. I’m still not quite sure what role Ebisu plays in the overall series, but given that he’s some sort of god who runs a convenience store, I suspect that his role will be more prominent as we go along.
– Tenko Kuugen (天狐 空幻) / Yukana (ゆかな)
– Kou (コウ) / Hayami Saori (早見 沙織)
– Takagami Noboru (高上 昇) / Mizushima Takahiro (水島 大宙)
– Takagami Tooru (高上 透) / Shimura Yuu (嶋村 侑)
– Takagami Miyako (高上 美夜子) / Horie Yui (堀江 由衣)
– Takagami Haruki (高上 春樹) / Miyamoto Mitsuru (宮本 充)
– Mamehisui (豆翡翠) / Kobayashi Sanae (小林 沙苗)
– Female narration (女性ナレーション) / Takeda Hana (武田 華)
– Male narration (男性ナレーション) / Fujii Keisuke (藤井 啓輔)
– Park manager (公園の管理人) / Kushida Yasumichi (櫛田 泰道)
– Television girl (テレビの女性) / Honda Mariko (本多 真梨子)