「お助けに参る」 (Otasuke ni Mairu)
“I’ve Come to Rescue You”
After deciding to save Matsu on his own last time and making good on it here, Masa has all of a sudden become a samurai beaming with confidence. However, the one thing that everyone can probably live without is his tendency to say whatever’s on his mind, especially now that they’ve learned Yagi is the chief of the local Kitamachi police. The surprising thing is that he helped Masa get the bodyguard job so that he can rescue Matsu from Otsu-ya and retrieved the wooden passes that were stolen as well. Of course, that still doesn’t change the fact that he’s someone the House of the Five Leaves should be wary of, which is why I can understand both Matsu and Yaichi’s concern with Masa letting his tongue slip in front of him (much like he has already). Matsu clearly couldn’t get too upset with Masa now that he feels indebted to him, but Yaichi has every reason to tell him to stay away from Yagi from now on. One being the arrival of Jin, whom we saw kidnap Seinoshin back in episode three. He’s back in Edo now and questioning Tokujirou about who sold out the Bakuro gang in the past.
It was brief, but my speculation ran rampant upon learning that Jin is a member of the Bakuro gang. With the way he addressed Tokujirou as a good friend of Saint Souji, a.k.a. Elder, I’m inclined to believe what I suspected originally — Toku-san is the infamous Onigumo (“Demon Spider”) co-leader. This in turn would point the finger at Yaichi being responsible for selling Jin and the rest of the Bakuro gang out, since Souji was quick to realize who he is and warn him that they would be getting released soon. The only thing that I can’t quite place my finger on is why Yaichi/Seinoshin would do that, given how Jin originally spared his life even when he was hired to kill him and make it look like a kidnapping. Judging from the preview, I gather we’ll find out soon enough though. Yagi will probably be getting more of a prominent role too, since he was Seinoshin’s former shogunate retainer after all. For now, I’m curious as to who Yaichi has decided their next kidnapping target will be. It almost sounded like he was talking about kidnapping Yagi, but I have my doubts about that since he isn’t a shady target they could bank on no one reporting. As such, I assume Yaichi merely told Masa they have another target and to stay away from Yagi from now on.
Other than that, learning that Matsu’s child and her mother are living with another man now was kind of sad to hear. I do have a new opinion of Matsu though, after learning that he’s paying back Kiku-ya’s owner with his earnings in metallic ornament crafting and only using his Five Leaves money to go drinking before donating the rest. Clearly not in it for the money, his only reason for staying with the gang is to repay Yaichi for helping him before. Last but not least there was the introduction of Masa’s younger sister Sachi (Yamagata Satomi), who’s come all the way to Edo because she’s being forced into an arranged marriage. I’m still not sure what her role in all this will be just yet, but I did get a good laugh out of how she’s grown attached to Otake after thinking that she was going out with her brother. She was pretty cute to watch, especially when Masa was scolding her and telling her to go back home, and looked like another Okinu with how happy she was about receiving the hairpin Masa got from Matsu. Anyway, all the seemingly unrelated characters are finally getting pulled into one story now with Yaichi at the center of it all, so I’m really looking forward to the final three episodes.