「帝都への道」 (Teito e no Michi)
“The Road to the Capital”

Battle Bird, attack!

Haku’s Harem Party is Large & Varied

If you told me, at the beginning of the episode, that the star would end up being the non-talking pack-bird Kokopo, I would have said that you had my attention. I wouldn’t have believed you, but an episode with a surprisingly large part for a pack animal is something we don’t often see. Lo and behold, that’s what we got! When Kokopo started out talking, but its mouth wasn’t moving, I assumed it was something like what ended up happening. But then why did the bird blush? It crushing on Haku, feuding with Mororo (who is also crushing on Haku, apparently), and saving the day was not what I expected! It was funny though, so I enjoyed it. Well played, Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen. Well played.

Aside from just the bird, Haku’s harem—er, party (they might be synonymous) is growing quickly. About the only criticism I have of this show is that people (and birds) seem to glom onto Haku too fast. Kuon, Ukon, and even Mororo all made sense, but Kokopo and princess Rurutie (Kakuma Ai) seemed to take a shine to him oddly quick. (And strangely enough, it’s only the princess that bothers me, because c’mon … Kokopo is a bird.) Either way, Haku’s adventuring party is growing fast.

“I see it now.”

I always appreciate when tropes are dodged, since anime as a genre seems so in love with many of them, especially when it comes to anything of an even slightly sexual nature. That’s why I enjoyed everything surrounding the bath scene. Kuon tells Haku not to peek—and he shows absolutely no inclination to do so. Which is uncommon in anime, but that’s how it should be! Peeking is rude and invasive. It’s a violation of the involved women’s right to show their body only to the degree (and to the people) they choose. That should be respected! And Haku does. *slow clap* *throws confetti* *wishes this wasn’t so rare*

Fortunately, and for once, a good deed goes rewarded, because after Kuon chases after the peeper, we get the hilarious, “I see it now” scene! And Kuon didn’t get unjustifiably mad at him! Tropes dodged, and we still got the funny, lightly ecchi shenanigans. A round of applause for Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen. Drinks are on me!

Related, but on the darker side of human sexuality: Rape. It’s to the story’s credit that it didn’t ignore the implications of its setting, and had the bandits treat women as things to be taken, used, and let’s not put too fine a point on it, raped. I’m glad that there was also someone nearby to stop them, both times, but it wouldn’t make much sense if that wasn’t an issue. Hopefully it continues to not be a reality for our heroes.

Ukon’s Master Stroke

Turns out, Ukon isn’t such a bad strategist himself. I actually thought this would be an episode focused on recruiting Nosuri (Yamamoto Nozomi) and her brother Ougi (Sakurai Takahiro), so I’m surprised that didn’t come about. But the ‘ol Trojan Carts is a solid strategy for rooting out some bandits.

Also, hearkening back to my Heavy Object 03 post just yesterday, when the rapey bandit and his fellows came out of the secret passage right next to Haku & co, that’s the kind of convenient storytelling that is good, in that it’s bad for the protagonists. I do think that Ukon should have left a swordsman or two around—they were protecting a princess, after all, and Haku isn’t a hardened warrior. But the whole thing was saved by the absurdity of Kokopo saving the day, and the expected (but still hilarious) gag of Mororo getting knocked the hell out mid-spellcasting. That’s why finger wigglers stand in the back, Mororo.

Looking Ahead – To the Capital!

I really need to start my marathon of the original series (I’ll take “Things Stilts will probably be saying all season and never get to,” for $400 Alex), because this guy looks suspicious. Or perhaps auspicious. He’s set opposite Haku in the OP, and for a time I even thought they were the same guy (minus Haku’s ahoge). So I’ll reiterate: If there’s something I’m missing because I haven’t seen the original yet, mark your dang spoilers! I don’t want to know yet. I’ll get there soon *tsuuuun*

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – It’s princesses, bandits, & expanding harems this week. The star: Kokopo, the pack animal/battle bird. Wait, what? #utawarerumono s2e3

Random thoughts:

  • Another fantastic tail has appeared!
  • “I think friendship between men is a wonderful thing.” And a yaoi shipper? The preview seems to think so. Oh my. In Utawarerumono, all shipping fandoms will be covered.
  • Haku’s harem is large and varied already. A princess, a noble spellcaster, a bird, a Kuon. Definitely go with the Kuon. Not even a contest.

My first novel, Wage Slave Rebellion, is available now. (More info—now in paperback!) Sign up for my email list for a FREE sequel novella. Over at stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: The best content is in email, My morning routine, True Ends, and Rejection, the secret place, & fundamentals




  1. Is it me or does this year have some of the greatest and/or cutest animals in anime with Ao from Akatsuki no Yona, Hamsuke from Overlord, the bears from Yuri Kuma if you want to include them and now this bird? That thing was adorable and badass at the same time 😀

  2. I really need to start my marathon of the original series (I’ll take “Things Stilts will probably be saying all season and never get to,” for $400 Alex), because this guy looks suspicious. Or perhaps auspicious. He’s set opposite Haku in the OP, and for a time I even thought they were the same guy (minus Haku’s ahoge). So I’ll reiterate: If there’s something I’m missing because I haven’t seen the original yet, mark your dang spoilers! I don’t want to know yet. I’ll get there soon *tsuuuun*

    I’m normally with you, Stilts, but there are certain things that need to fall under a statute of limitations. Such as things you will see within the first five minutes of the first episode of the previous series, which will after that be onscreen for pretty much the entire rest of the previous series, and which serves as the single most obvious and well-known identifying character trait of the main character of the previous series.

    Just… look at a picture of the previous series. Go to MAL, or ANN, or anywhere that has a picture of the characters that includes the main chracter, so we can at least talk about the ONE thing that everybody knows about this series, even if they know nothing else about it whatsoever.

    1. PS: There of course are additional details about that “identifying character trait” which are tied into the later story, and those absolutely belong under spoiler tags. But the fact that it exists, and who had it? You kind of should have known that already, even if you didn’t watch the first series. It would be unreasonable to demand that that be under spoiler tags, because everyone who does know it is going to comment on it.

  3. Of the three episodes so far, this was the weakest one IMO (Ep. 01 being the best) which isn’t a good trend. Better than some other shows this week I’m trying out, but I really want this show to work – consistently “good” with no qualifiers. This episode to me doesn’t measure up to that standard. There were some things I liked, particularly as Stilts notes, the bath scene. That’s a good way to do an ecchi scene – no invasion of privacy (regardless of sex), and no violent retribution trope by Kuon when Haku saw her naked (not his fault). Instead we get a funny, deadpan snarky line and a deliciously embarrassed Kuon. Kudos to the show indeed for that, and Kuon continues to easily be the best part of this show. Really like her.

    On the downside, Mororo’s comedy still isn’t working for me which is pretty much all his character is there for thus far. :/ It also messed up the tone/atmosphere a bit with his “spell casting” at the end. Took away what little tension was there when the bandits showed up again. Well, that and the whole “Lets just sit there while this hidden door loudly and slowly opens up behind us. Not like we just got attacked by bandits or anything”. Actually, I’d say the same for Kokopo saving the day. Some might find it funny, but I found it misplaced and rather silly (I do agree that Ukon screwed by not leaving some competent body guards to protect hime – no, Kokopo doesn’t count). Show’s struggling a bit with integrating “comedy” & “serious” IMO. I assume I’m supposed to take the bandits seriously given the “darker themes” insinuated earlier. As for Kokopo and the princess crushing on Haku, not sure what to think about the former, but I do agree with Stilts that it was too quick/power of protagonist in the latter’s case.

    So not the strongest episode thus far and a bit disappointing. Let’s see what next week brings.

    1. I just think your expectations are placed in all the wrong places. You expect this series to be serious when obviously it’s not trying to be (yet). Only real serious point is the implied rape (although more just female entertainment which is very appropriate considering settting and context) and we should just be glad the issue was brushed over for now.

      I think it’s doing comedy v seriousness just fine, and this is coming from someone who didn’t even grin, let alone chuckle throughout this entire episode. But I accept that’s just me as someone who has a very hard time smiling. But to Utawarerumono’s favor, it didn’t seem out of place or misplaced at the least. Unlike a lot of other animes.

      Don’t get me wrong, I was thoroughly entertained.

      Overall, you’re right that it’s not the strongest episode, but I wouldn’t call it disappointing if we are comparing it to itself, or it’s predecessor.

      Goodwill Wright
      1. @Goodwill Wright: That’s incorrect. I don’t expect this adaptation to be all “serious”. I think it’s pretty clear that it’s not. Hard to miss that even before this episode. To be clear, I neither expect this to be “all serious” nor even want that. I like comedy SoL just fine – watched plenty of shows for that sort of stuff. Again, I enjoyed Ep. 01 quite a bit and that wasn’t “serious”. My expectations for the show are a blend of both comedy/SoL and “serious”. It’s not as as sugary-sweet light hearted as say Dog Days. At least I don’t think so. Last episode we did have one guy (I think he might have even had a bit of dialog) get decapitated by a giant centipede – point driven home with a short “funeral”/remembrance scene at the end.

        However, I do think this episode failed to properly insert pure comedy at the end given what happened. Was it terrible? No, and yes, there are worse examples, but is that the benchmark to be applied? “It could be worse”? I did expect better than what we got even if just based upon the two previous episodes. Granted JMO, but that’s what it is. I recently re-watched the original series. It had it’s light hearted moments of levity as well. Not as much, but they were there (I think this adaptation so far has a noticeably less serious tone overall). Compared to Ep. 03, I think the original series did a better job with comedy integration and execution. Same goes with this season’s Ep. 01. JMO, but I don’t think Ep. 03 measured up to the original or this season’s previous episodes.

        And that’s a little disappointing (not like I’m dropping the show). Comedy is subjective, etc., but I can’t say I was “thoroughly entertained” like you. That’s also disappointing for me… and frustrating. Like I wrote, I honestly do want this show to turn out well, and something I thoroughly enjoy week after week. If there’s something “wrong” with my expectations, perhaps they are too high. Episode 1 IMO was a strong start. Episode 3, not so much.

    2. Would have liked the open secret door better if a few solders were there and either leaning on the door thus taken out or to far out to get back quickly. To far out would result from it is a good way to guard as your out on known possible routes in so as to warn the people your protecting if a superior force comes that way. In this scene three guards one each down the three roads a bit and maybe a forth out in woods opposite.

  4. Liked it but yes not quite as much. Still one of the best anime I’ve seen lately. But I’m a fan of the first series so maybe biased.

    Don’t teach the kids the nudity taboo and get them used to seeing the other sex naked no need to peep or get embarrassed.

    I normally don’t have a problem with peeping in many anime because it is immature people in school doing it. And if you teach the subject of the peeping right they are mad but not traumatized by it. It is presented as something that is wrong to do and the peepers are painfully punished so I see no major harm in showing something that immature people do. It is interning that we are culturally shifting to a view the the most conservative nudity taboo is the one the must be protected.

    And even conservative nudity prohibitions can be taught right. One group that showed no emotional damage from being tortured and raped was catholic nuns in South America. To them only nudity you volunteer to do is shameful, the only staining you can do of your body is a willing act by you, and forgiving the perpetrators allows release of negative feeling.

  5. Is Kokopo suppose to be the equivalent replacement for Mukkuru? Going from an awesome giant white tiger to a giant pigeon seems kind of a stretch…

    The next episode scenes are quite interesting too.

  6. Finally a male MC that doesnt peek at bathing females, and a female character that doesnt start throwing things on him/hitting him/fly-kicking him/nuking him with magic when she runs into him while naked with no fault of his own…

  7. The bath scene was perfection, period. Although the turning of the peeping trope on its head was more than enough for the humour, Haku’s deadpan (and the tail actions :P) just perfected the scene; haven’t laughed that hard at a common trope in a good while. Don’t even get me started on that chocobo bird too, Kokopo was the episode winner hands down.

    Personally I am loving the leisurely pace so far, these three episodes have been a treat for setting and character building. Nothing serious or significant (especially this episode), but plenty entertaining for half an hour. Really interested to see how the main plot unfolds though, we cannot be far off from the first steps in that direction now.

    1. Agreed on both points, especially the pacing. I’m enjoying the leisurely pace that two-cour allows it. That’s just too short for most stories, so I’m glad we get longer to get used to these characters before the plot spins up in earnest.

      1. In all honesty, I think the pacing may be too fast! I know you don’t want any spoilers so I’ll keep it super vague…

        By this point in the first series we were still very much nestled in the ‘little village’ getting to know our main characters.

        While the sequel is by no means setting a break neck speed… it really feels like we aren’t getting to know Kuon as well as we did Eruru and Aruru.

  8. Interesting that the masked guy Ushutoru, the title character of the show, is uncredited, meaning we don’t know who voiced him.

    But Ushutoru says he’s the Captain of the Imperial Guard of the Right (右近衛大将 Ukonoe Taishou). While Ukon’s name, if written in kanji, would have been 右近, the first two characters of said military title. Yes, I know Ukon has a goatee so that more of less crosses him out, but he’s most likely connected to Ushutoru in some way.

    1. would it not be the different Eye-color here, i would say something about Brothers. If i use the wisdom of the Original Anime, but seems like it is not that easy

      Show Spoiler ▼

      1. Read spoiler at own peril, you will regret reading this:
        Show Spoiler ▼

  9. That shot of the capital was pretty interesting, what with its giant Mesoamerican pyramid and all. Makes me wonder what kind of culture we will see there (though it does seem to have Japanese-style buildings).

    The peeping scene was funny too, and I’m glad as well it didn’t play out like the usual cliché (cause I’m kinda tired of that one). Love that Haku’s so nonplussed about it, he can’t even be arsed to feel embarrassed. And I suppose it is karmic payback for Kuon peeking at him earlier.

  10. I also loved the bath scene.

    It does seem like Kokopo’s species can function as a bodyguard, considering Kuon knew what it was capable of before it rampaged. I am curious if Kokopo was more interested in protecting Haku or Rurutie, since it didn’t snap until Haku got spit on.

  11. I do think that Ukon should have left a swordsman or two around—they were protecting a princess, after all, and Haku isn’t a hardened warrior.

    Yeah no idea why he expected Haku to protect them when they know he’s no warrior.

    Curious where the story is going to go though

    Rick Anime
    1. In retrospect, maybe he was expecting Kokopo to do the guarding, as it ended up doing. Even so, 2-3 guards + a rampaging bird would have been better than a rampaging bird alone.

      Either way, the story has been good so far, so I’ll ignore a wobbly bit once every few episodes. Not a big issue, just a bit puzzling.

    1. Samu? Stilts is blogging this show. As for the spoiler issue, while it may or may not apply to this season, not everyone has watched the original series so no need to spoil that for them if they want to go back and watch it (or watch it while watching this one as in Stilts’ case).

    2. Do Samu and I really have that similar of writing styles? Not that that’d bother me, Samucchi does good work, but I wouldn’t have pegged it myself. Or at the very least, he should write like ME. I’m the sempai after all *huff*

  12. KUon is clearly stealing the show. She’s way better main MC girl then Eruru so far IMO. And I guess the bird is suppose to be the tiger from the previous series but more cute mascot (role wise)

      1. That said, you should totally watch the first series. I’ve been watching anime for 20+ years and the original is easily in my top 10 of all time. Yes I really do think it’s that good.

  13. I don’t see kuon peeping Haku as being a pervert I see that as her being curious about the physicality of men and getting an eye full was too much for her hopefully that incident in episode 1 won’t become a running gag.

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