Before leaving Fuuma village, Thobari had asked the others to destroy the Banten books that he has hidden at school. He also told them that the Kairoushuu are probably busy trying to secure the remaining scrolls before the villages become defensive, so they should return to their normal lives for now. Raimei has been sent back to Banten as well to help protect Miharu. As for Thobari, he decided to walk home, so he’ll be arriving much later.
Back at school, Kouichi destroys the Banten books hidden at school. Raimei, who’s surprised that they’re stored there, asks if he’s destroying Banten’s kinjutsusho, “Engetsurin” (円月輪), as well, but Kouichi says that he doesn’t even know where it’s stored. Instead, he’s simply reminded that Thobari said it’s stored in a place where power should be stored. Meanwhile, Miharu is worrying about his eye and how his vision hasn’t returned, which makes him think that the Shinrabanshou may no longer reside in him.
Shortly after, Kouichi asks Raimei if she’s okay at a Tokyo school and wonders if her parents will worry about her, but she says she’s fine because she’s a tengai kodoku (天涯孤独) girl, i.e. a person without relatives or friends. After figuring out what a tengai kodoku is, Miharu questions Raimei as to what they are to her then (aren’t we friends?), which seems to cheer up Raimei a bit. Embarrassed, Raimei takes off for a short while, during which she recalls how her older brother Raikou and her had received matching katanas named Gamon (我聞), which are handed down in the Shimizu family and embody the spirit of the samurai. At the time, their mother had also told them about the need to suppress the Shinrabanshou.
While walking Miharu home, Raimei worries about what Miharu would think if he found out that she’s only near him to find the Kairoushuu. Upon arriving, Miharu finds Yamase-sensei, who asks him for help since he was cast aside by the Kairoushuu. When Miharu says he can’t use the Shinrabanshou powers, Yamase attacks him because of some strange rumor about obtaining the Shinrabanshou wisdom by drinking the host’s blood. Miharu manages to run outside though, where Raimei and Kouichi ambush then interrogate Yamase.
Raimei questions about the whereabouts of her brother Raikou, who had killed their parents and various other ninjas before setting off in search of the Kairoushuu. Yamase reveals that he ran into him around 5 years ago when the Jakushou Ryuuha (弱小流派) (lit. “Puny School”) gathered in search of the Kairoushuu, but doesn’t know where he is now. Yamase then escapes, but not before telling Miharu that everyone’s around him to use him (including his allies), which troubles Raimei. Unaffected by his words, Miharu tells the others that the Shinrabanshou may no longer even be in him, but Raimei promises him that she won’t hide anything from him or betray him while she continues to look for her brother. Hearing this, Miharu chooses to believe her. (Kouichi on the other hand is moved to tears.)
At Juuji’s house, Thobari has finished making some Irish braise when a short old man claiming to be Tarou Zaemon (太郎 左衛門) (while revealing himself to be Fuuma Kotarou at the same time) comes along. Kotarou, Thobari, Saraba, and Juuji then discuss the information Kotarou has gathered. Based on the report, the Togakushi ninjas have hidden themselves as a small employee placement agency located at the heart of Nagano prefecture. In the Nabari world though, their wide-scale “business” ranges from a spy corporation to an international secret intelligence agency, and their leader appears to be a woman, disguised as the company president. Their kinjitsu is known as “Idzuna Shingan” (飯綱心眼), i.e. “Fox Spirit’s Mind’s Eye”.
Hearing this makes Thobari realize how much they’ve already discovered, but Kotarou says that three ninjas died in order to make that report. When Kotarou shrugs off their deaths by saying there’s no reason to hold back now that the Kairoushuu have used their Kira, Thobari questions his decisions. Saraba tries to calm Thobari at this point, saying that she understands how he feels, but agrees with Kotarou’s decision, as does Juuji. Infuriated at how lightly they treat lives, Thobari says that he’ll protect Miharu without killing anyone or getting anyone killed. These heroic views cause Kotarou to become hysterical (baka switch on!), so he challenges Thobari to show him how naïve he is.
Kotarou finds out that Thobari’s best technique is his Kaiin Jutsu (解印術), a dispelling technique that requires the user to match his opponent’s jutsu speed, so he tells him to try dispelling his Henge no Jutsu (変化の術), i.e. transformation techniques. During their “fight”, Kotarou says that if a single Banten ninja could aready protect everyone, people wouldn’t be seeking the power of the hijutsu. Thobari then dispels some of Kotarou’s transformations, but he’s shocked at how quickly he can reform into a new one. In the process, Kotarou transforms to Raimei, Thobari himself, and then Miharu, while explaining Fuuma’s firm resolution to get things done. As Miharu, Kotarou makes an opening to knock Thobari out by saying, “if you don’t only think of me, I’ll end up hating you.” With Thobari on the floor, Kotarou tells him that his kindness alone will only make him lose everything someday.
Afterwards, Saraba takes Thobari back to Banten and Kotarou recalls how he thought like Thobari when he was younger. Back at Miharu’s house, Kouichi and Raimei are on the lookout, but get knocked out shortly after by Yoite.
Another heavily dialogue intensive episode, with only glimpses of fighting coming from Yamase-sensei, Kotarou, and Thobari. The most interesting revelation this episode was the existence of Raimei’s older brother, Raikou (played by Suwabe Junichi), who has a katana like hers and is a self-proclaimed samurai as well. I got some Uchiha Itachi vibes from him though, when I found out that he killed his own family and went in search of the Kairoushuu. While I’ve heard his character’s personality isn’t quite as it appears, I’m not sure if I can ever see him in a good light given his parent-killing history. I mean, even if his character isn’t as sinister as Itachi, he’ll in all likelihood remain as a dark antagonist unless there was some really good reason for killing his family. I’m sure I’ll find out more along the way, but that’s just the feeling I get for now. In another obvious comparison, I’m quite relieved that Raimei isn’t so bent up on revenge like Sasuke, because that pretense has really grown old on me after Naruto dragged it out for so long. Currently, it seems like Raimei is searching for answers more than anything else.
Other than that, the other interesting thing was finding out how casual Kotarou is about the ninjas who died in order to accomplish his goals. When I heard him nonchanlantly shrugging off the death of three of his ninjas (and giving a half-hearted “sorry” to Thobari), I couldn’t help but think of how Lelouch uses the Black Knights as sacrificial lambs whenever it’s convenient. However, I don’t see Kotarou being quite as heartless as Lelouch, given how Saraba and Juuji tell Thobari it’s not that they want to let people die or anything; it’s just that casualties will happen when they’re dealing with the Nabari world. To contrast that, it was nice to see that Thobari has his much more righteous way of the ninja and refuses to let people die. Because of this, I get the feeling that the morals of these two will conflict again some time down the road, even though Kotarou already tried to remedy this difference in nindou (“way of the ninja”).
As for Kotarou himself, I took notice to how he told Thobari that he might even find out what his true form is if he’s able to dispel all his techniques. If you recall in episode 2, Raimei pointed out that the picture of Kotarou seen in his book (i.e. the human form we currently know) might not even be his true form, since he’s a master of henge no jutsu (transformation techniques). I doubt they’ll delve much more into this since his true form isn’t really important, but the fact that they brought it up again makes me wonder what Kotarou really looks like.
In the preview, it looks like Yoite has taken Miharu somewhere, but it doesn’t seem like he wants to kill him or anything. I realize that this screenshot seems to indicate otherwise, but the subsequent scenes show a troubled and almost remorseful expression on Yoite’s face. As I mentioned before, Yoite’s probably going to be a secondary main character more than a support character (based on the order in the credits if nothing else), so I’m eager to see what happens between him and Miharu. I haven’t ruled out the possibility that he may even side with Miharu’s group later on, but it’s much too early to make that presumption.
As for blogging, I’m still trying to get an idea of how much detail people want to see in Nabari summaries. I can continue summarizing as above (i.e. detailed conversation info) or I can leave out the specifics and provide a broader overview of what happens each episode. Granted, I usually have to double-check some of the ninja terminology (names, techniques, etc.) and Nabari is one of the more plot-driven series I’m covering, so I don’t mind spending the time to do the above; however, I’d like to hear what you, as the readers, prefer. If people don’t care for the details (or if I don’t even have any readers T_T), I can switch to the “Episode at a Glance” style I’m using in most of my other posts. Thoughts? Please leave a comment if you can.
P.S. My coverage of Sunday shows are later than usual because I was busy marathoning Densha Otoko. D: For those who haven’t seen that drama, I strongly recommend it whether you can relate or not. Omni covered the series when it aired a few years ago, so feel free to check out his posts as well.
– 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)
– Yamase Masami (山背 正実) / Kusano Tooru (草野 徹)
– 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)
– Shiratama (シラタマ) / Shindou Kei (真堂 圭)
– Shimizu Raikou (清水 雷光) / Suwabe Junichi (諏訪部 順一)
– Shimizu Kourin (清水 光輪) / Tsuda Shouko (津田 匠子)
– Juuji’s mother (十字の母) / Dodo Asako (百々 麻子)
– Grandmother (祖母) / Takizawa Kumiko (滝沢 久美子)