As Maka continues to make her way towards the shrine, the newly revived Ashura gets himself adjusted into his skin. After opening his eyes and seeing Eruka in front of him, he terrorizes her with a scream before moving on. Black*Star wants Tsubaki to enter youtou (phantom blade) mode, and when she refuses because of his injuries, he decides to take on Ashura without her. He attempts to use his Big Wave attack, but Ashura isn’t fazed at all and knocks him out with a single flick of the hand. He knocks out Kid in a similar fashion by stretching out his skin like a rubber band and hitting Kid’s head with it. Ashura follows that up by using his skin as a wrapping and covering himself with it, effectively creating himself a set of clothes. He then jumps through the ceiling of the shrine and towards the surface. Maka arrives at this moment and manages to catch him by grabbing onto his skin, but when Ashura emerges above ground in the middle of Death City, she gets thrown off. Soul has to change back into his human form so that he can cushion her fall, and he can only watch everything that happens afterwards because Maka loses consciousness.
Although Ashura has escaped, Shinigami-sama’s seal is still active and tries to restrain him, but he’s already too powerful. Fortunately, Shinigami-sama himself arrives on the scene because Free’s magic wore off. Ashura recognizes his old foe and comments on the changed mask, so Shinigami-sama explains that the old mask scared children. The battle between them begins after Shinigami-sama tells Ashura to die again, however neither a Shinigami Chop nor a blast wave attack have any lasting effect on Ashura. He counterattacks with two giant beams of energy, and although Shinigami-sama is able to defend himself, deflecting the beams causes much destruction to the city. Shinigami-sama then tries to meet Ashura head on, and after Ashura knocks him away, Shinigami-sama uses an ability that keeps Ashura pinned down. Ashura is able to call up enough power to dispel it though, and Shinigami-sama subsequently wonders if he can do this without Death Scythe. When Ashura counterattacks again with an attack called Vajra, he succeeds in piercing through Shinigami-sama’s defenses and destroys part of the mask. The end of the battle comes after Ashura takes advantage of the limitations of Shinigami-sama’s range in order to escape the area completely.
In the aftermath, Shinigami-sama has Sid prioritize the safety of everyone who went underground, but he also wants Side to send out word to all Death Scythes to gather at Death City. Free, Eruka, and Mizune all escape, and though they think Medusa is dead, she’s actually got enough left in her to grab onto Stein and bite down on his shoulder. He manages to get her off of him, and after hearing her say that she loves him, he stabs her to finish her off. Stein believes that the two of them are similar in that it’s not possible for them to understand love. The following day, the residents of the city start to rebuild, but unbeknownst to everyone, a snake slithers out of a drainage pipe.
Well that was one helluva episode. It didn’t quite end how I thought it would (I thought Shinigami-sama would be able to contain Ashura), so it ended up feeling a little depressing because all the good guys other than Stein lost their battles, but it was still a lot of fun to watch. Seeing Shinigami-sama get to do some actual fighting was a treat, and now I’m curious about what he could do if he had a weapon with him. The music was also a strong point, and the parts during the climax of the battle reminded me a lot of the Xenosaga soundtrack.
I assume this episode is the end of this very long arc and next week will start the new one. Both Ashura and (presumably) Medusa are still at large, and it looks like from the preview that some new allies will be introduced to help out. Next week would be the perfect time as well to start a new OP and ED – the official website has revealed the new OP to be by the brilliant green‘s Tommy heavenly6 and the new ED by SOUL’d OUT‘s Diggy-MO’ – though maybe they’ll wait a few weeks until the new season officially starts in October.