「謎の影」 (Nazo no kage)
“A Mysterious Shadow”
After all the bravura that accompanied Keiji’s star turn in the last two episodes, it seems like the center of attention has shifted back to the main cast, and the focus this week is none other than Matabei (Kobayashi Yuu) and Hanzou (Gotou Saori). It would be hard for me to overstate just how much I love these two side characters and no question, both Matabei and Hanzou are the perfect supporting players for this show. Let’s put it this way – Sen Hime would not have been able to unleash her inner sadism without her masochist counterpart and if it wasn’t for Hanzou’s enthrallment with BDSM, such an enticing subject would never have been featured as prominently as it has been. Then there’s the fascinating contrast between Yukimura and Matabei that more often than not, brings out the inadvertent laughs. The puerile aura that Yukimura exudes is a fine example of a “jailbait” and such loli complex could hardly be more different than Matabei’s sultry appeal which, of course, emanates an aphrodisiac of a more seasoned variety. Both Matabei and Hanzou are endearing enough to be the leads on their own, but what makes them particularly special is how they shine through even brighter when they serve as complements for the principal cast, and it is such a quality that has earned them a unique presence in this show.
There’s a good chance that both Matabei and Hanzou may finally emerge as a Master Samurai and if it wasn’t already apparent from the updated opening sequence last week, the latest confrontation with the mysterious dark shadow underscored yet again, the forthcoming debut of their alternate personas! It has been made conspicuous from day one that nothing short of a Master Samurai could stand up to the Four Sword Demon, and I suspect their refusal to be mere sitting ducks in the upcoming battle would ultimately instigate an imminent lip lock with Muneakira. But make no mistake about it – while I have no doubt their desire to be of service is part of the inspiration, it’s also indisputable that both Matabei and Hanzou have shown an exquisite sexual urge to ravage Muneakira like a wildcat and no matter how hard they try to resist their primal instincts, those faces of a woman in love do not lie! Speaking of the dark shadow – or rather, the perverted tentacle monster, the advent of the mysterious being should be a godsend for those of you who have a fetish for tentacle erotica and whoever this monster is, he certainly does have a wicked sense of humor. The sight of its tentacles ransacking both Sen Hime and Yukimura must have induced waves of nosebleeds and whether it was intentional or not, the seeming mismatch between the somber tone of his voice and where its lustful set of limbs reach out to had me laughing out loud!
There appears to be a certain connection between the Dark Samurai and the sudden appearance of the enigmatic monster, and while I have no idea what their role in all of this is, I have a certain suspicion the upcoming revelation will shed some light on the origins of the Four Sword Demon. The childlike Houzouin Inshun (Satou Satomi) is probably key to this puzzle and her latest interaction with Juubei showcased a side of the Dark Samurai that we’re unfamiliar with – she’s a good kid at heart who doesn’t appear to be nearly as contentious or combative as her companions. It remains to be seen how her relationship with Juubei will evolve as their impending battle approaches, and while the brief exchange that they shared this week seems amiable enough, everything can change in a blink of an eye if and when the trigger-happy Dark Samurai decides to unleash their carnage. Such an undesirable outcome is obviously not going to sit well with Juubei and I suspect what comes next could very well hinge on this brand new friendship that is slowly brewing in the backdrop.
- Both Matabei and Hanzou want a piece of Muneakira so bad – I’m surprised they haven’t jumped at him yet!
- I’m not going to lie – the presence of Keiji and badass-Juubei is sorely missed. Their return can’t come soon enough!
- First Musashi, and now Inshun – Juubei has sneakily built quite an impressive yuri harem.
- Those pesky pigeons were being so nasty to Sasuke – they’re better off as roast squabs!
- “Whoopsie…” – Inshun might be a loli by physique, but the sheer might of her arms is no fluke.
- Censor-monkey bars – move away Sasuke, you’re blocking my view!
- “Whatcha staring at, Kanatsugu?” – something tells me she’s not impressed!
- “It’s not that I’m mimicking Keiji’s training or anything” – Kanetsugu’s tsundere antics are pretty hilarious!