「加減がねぇ」 (Kagen ga ne-)
“She Doesn’t Hold Back”
Due to the emphasis on character interactions in lieu of action in this series, I’m not surprised by the lack of discussion it’s generating; however, I personally enjoy watching Masa slowly unravel the mystery behind Yaichi’s past. This week we also learn how Matsu joined the House of Five Leaves after Yaichi
and Otake helped hide him when he was a wounded thief on the run. While Matsu’s past was already revealed last time, this flashback did reiterate how Yaichi will go to some lengths to help complete strangers out of the blue and not even care to ask for an explanation afterward.
With no one really knowing about Yaichi’s situation, Masa’s addition to the group is interesting to watch, as he’s naturally curious and has already realized that the leader of the Five Leaves isn’t in this kidnapping scheme for the money. Seeing as Yaichi didn’t like how Masa picked up on that, nor seems to want anyone prying into his past, that was evidently a first step in trying to get him to talk about his own kidnapping when he was younger. Clearly, Yaichi still isn’t quite willing to talk about it though, plus Masa’s too scared to bluntly ask about it, so it’s looking more and more like that will be the focal point of this series. As such, it appears all the kidnappings we’ve seen and will continue to see only serve to raise more questions about Yaichi and the Five Leaves.
If that is indeed the case, it may feel unusual not having a clear antagonist nor a real conflict, but as with Ono Natsume’s other works, I find she likes to focus on the more subtle aspects of human interactions and the problems that may arise from them. Given the somewhat uneventful nature of that route, I take enjoyment from seeing Masa’s timid run-in with the girls at the Katsura brothel after he started working as its bodyguard, as well as him starving himself out of guilt over spending the money he deems tainted. From that, I gather Masa will never be completely okay with being an accomplice to kidnappings. The preview suggests as much too, with next week involving a kidnapping targeting a shogunate retainer’s household for mistreating Okinu and firing her as their servant.