With Ashura now on his turf, Shinigami-sama gets ready for battle by weilding Maka’s father in scythe form. He’s able to suck up Ashura’s energy blast with his hand, but Ashura is almost equally adept at avoiding his attacks. Ashura eventually takes a break from the fighting to talk about what he thought about back when he was stuck inside the bag made of his own skin. This encompassed life, the universe, and everything, but more specifically, he had noticed the instability in the world and its mysterious contents. He feels that what’s frightening comes from people’s imaginations, and he asserts that imagination is the source of all emotion. Tired of this talk, Shinigami-sama and Maka’s father enter into a resonance of souls and bring out the Kishin Gari, and they manage to cut off Ashura’s right arm. Ashura, however, regenerates it almost instantly, and he comments on how death isn’t what’s frightful, it’s imagining death. For this reason, Ashura claims that he’s stopped imagining.
Black*Star meanwhile knocks down walls inside Baba Yaga’s castle until he reaches Angela, but she responds by kicking him in the crotch. Elsewhere in the castle, Arachne decides not to escape because she’s confident that Ashura will return to her. Back inside Death City, Shinigami-sama continues battling Ashura, all while noting that Ashura was always someone who could not achieve peace of mind unless he crushed his uneasiness one by one. Ashura counters by claiming that rules and order can’t curb uneasiness, but Shinigami-sama knows that madness isn’t the answer either. The two continue to argue ideology as they battle, and what breaks the stalemate is Ashura firing an energy blast at Kid and Azusa. Shinigami-sama uses himself to block this attack, and in the aftermath, Kid finds his father fallen and unresponsive.
Excalibur chooses this time to speak up and question Ashura on what there is in a world of madness. Ashura feels that it’s fine if there’s nothing, as long as there’s no fear, and he disparages the rules and ties of obligation that Shinigami-sama had. When Excalibur asserts that rules are things laid down under every responsibility, Ashura notes that this is why Shinigami-sama lost. Ashura feels that it would be better not to live with any troublesome rules, like being friends or a parent, however he then remembers his relationship with Arachne. Realizing that he has to fix this at once, Ashura returns to Baba Yaga’s castle, and Arachne welcomes him back. Ashura, however, plunges his hand into her chest, pulls out her soul, and eats it.
Well that wasn’t quite what I expected. Certainly seeing Shinigami-sama fight again was nice, and this time he had Maka’s father with him and got to show off some cool moves. I wish they hadn’t thrown quite so much ideology in there to break apart the action though. I’m also a bit disappointed to see Shinigami-sama lose and perhaps even die. It makes sense in the scheme of things since this is a shounen series that Maka, Black*Star、 and Kid – aka. the main three characters – will have to grow and become powerful enough to take down Ashura on their own, but it’s frustrating to see the Shinigami-sama fight end in such a cowardly way. What’s more, having Ashura kill Arachne was pretty anticlimactic. I didn’t expect her to be the final boss, but I didn’t think she’d go quite so easily either.
There’s still three episodes left of this series though, so a lot can still happen in terms of plot twists and stuff. For all we know, Arachne and/or Shinigami-sama might not really be dead. Regardless, next week looks to be focused on Maka and Soul, and there will probably be some more character development for Soul in particular since that’s been lacking compared to how much Maka has gotten.