「神眠りし國の使者」 (Kami Nemurishi Kuni no Shisha)
“Messengers from the Land Where Gods Sleep”
One part nostalgia trip, one part zany family sitcom, and a dash of romcom. Shake gently and serve.
Nostalgia Trip + Family Sitcom
In the Karura and Touka episode, I asked the question: Does this still work if you haven’t seen the original? I concluded that it did, albeit obviously not as well as if you knew who Karura and Touka were going in. The same question applies here. If you don’t already know who Aruruu (Sawashiro Miyuki) and Kamyu (Kugimiya Rie)—and Mukuru (Shimoyama Yoshimitsu)—are, does it work?
Not as well as the Karura/Touka episode, to be honest. The majority of the episode was all silly antics and nostalgia bait, but from the lense of the Itsuwari-no-Kamen-only viewer, what are we learning here? That Kuon has two overprotective sisters. Compared to what the Karura/Touka episode told us about Kuon, the payoff was a lot fluffier, so it leans more on nostalgia to deliver its full effect.
I’m not complaining here. As someone who has seen (enough of) the original series to know who Aruruu and Kamyu are, and to supremely enjoy seeing them torment Kuon with love, I loved this episode. The comedy was great, I loved seeing Aruruu grown up, etc. I even liked the Mukuru x Kokopo friendship, and the symbolic passing-of-the-torch it implied—sure, a white tiger is still cooler than a big-ass bird, but I don’t hate Kokopo by any means—but this all advanced the story (such that it still doesn’t really exist) very little. “Tsukuru isn’t a threat” and “Kuon gets permission to stay a while longer” are about the extent of it, and both of those could have easily been left out without loss to the story.
I enjoyed the episode a ton, like I said. But I think viewers who haven’t seen the original are missing out more on this one than they did with Karura and Touka’s episode.
Romantic Comedy Inching Forward
I am perfectly happy for Itsuwari no Kamen to play romcom while it’s inching toward having a plot. Once again we saw hints of how close Haku and Kuon were, especially when she was yelling a him for not saving her, and for misunderstanding her silent gluttonous requests. It shows how close they are that they can argue like that, and without malice to boot—though that’s an offshoot of Haku’s laid back personality as much as anything. I could it especially poignant that Atui sees them, and instead of intruding, she continues on her way. She knows what’s up.
Combined with how Haku knew all of Kuon’s favorite places (including the one she didn’t know she would be in), the one thing that Itsuwari no Kamen is undoubtedly doing well is slowly developing Kuon and Haku’s relationship, to whatever end. They’re close, as is befitting of how their relationship has progressed so far, and now Kuon is clearly … well, the only way I can think to say it is that Kuon is training Haku. I don’t like implying that Haku is “whipped,” like women are overbearing by nature or some such nonsense, but it does feel like Kuon is trying to get Haku to understand her, so they’ll fit together (even if it’s just as friends!) better. She’s trying to get him to understand her, to have her back, and with a person as laid back as Haku, that’s going to seem a bit like she’s training a lazy dog. Which is amusing, because he’s the only one without animal ears.
Looking Ahead – More RomCom Antics
Like I said, if Itsuwari no Kamen wants to keep playing romcom while it gets to the plot, I’m fine with it. The princess loving Oshutoru is—well, she’s still young, so it’s not like I believe her, but I do see the comedic potential of the proceedings! Can’t wait to see how the others try to train her to win Oshutoru’s heart, ufufu~
Original Utawarerumono Marathon Update (through episode thirteen): No change. I suck
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – One part nostalgia trip, one part zany family sitcom, and a dash of romcom. Shake gently and serve #utawarerumono s2e9
- Mukuru & Kokopo’s friendship was great, but since when do tigers and birds eat the same things? (Also, take off Kokopo’s saddle when she’s not using it, jeez)
- Kiuru might be the cutest in the cast, at least reaction-wise. Nekone a close second in the reaction game.
- Looks like Aruruu is more interested in yaoi than Kamyu. Danger, danger!
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