「残照」 (Zanshou)

I hope you finished watching the original Utawarerumono before this episode. I finally did.

I Finally Finished Utawarerumono

At the suggestion of several commenters—thank you Aex, Goodwill Wright, Worldwidedepp, and anyone else I missed—I finally got off my butt and finished the original Utawarerumono! If you’d like to hear my final impressions of a ten-year-old series, click the spoiler below. Obviously don’t do this if you haven’t finished the series yourself. Unless you’re not planning to, but then what are you doing here? And why did you watch this episode? So shoo, go finish it. We’ve all slacked enough.

Original Utawarerumono Final Impressions ▼

The World’s Past Revealed

This seems a good point to move my coverage from “Trying to avoid spoilers on the original series” to “Fuck it, let’s spoil away,” because let’s be serious here—Itsuwari no Kamen just did all of that for us. You’ll be missing details if you haven’t seen the original, but the events and characters of Utawarerumono just became vital to the understanding and future of Itsuwari no Kamen, so let’s talk about them.

Even though this episode was all exposition, I enjoyed it because it did something I don’t feel Utawarerumono did very well—it explained what the fuck was going on with this world. I felt like the meshing of science and magic was accomplished much better here, since the magic hardly made an appearance. The whole humans devolving into jellies thing is still weird, and even though the ramifications are accurately horrific—if you don’t know if/when you’ll turn, and see your friends and family melt and then attack you, it’s going to make people a bit paranoid—the unknown reason for it almost makes it less scary. The brain just shuts down in the face of unknowable danger that can strike without warning or reason—which, if your living it, if a fuckin’ nightmare (see humanity’s reaction to the Black Plague, when it kept hitting villages again, and again, and again, and again … and they just got beaten down, accepting death even as they still walked around). But as a viewer, we shut down and disassociate ourselves from the horror, so it doesn’t work as well. Also, I can’t help but think of Yahtzee Croshaw’s Jam, which was good for about two scenes before underwhelming the rest of the way. Mogworld was much better. But I digress.

The curses aside, at least the rest of it finally made sense. The planet was poisoned, people were living in bubbles, the kemonomimi people were lab subjects, and then this disaster strikes and the humans all orbital laser themselves because they’ve been playing too much Command & Conquer or something. That part was odd too, but at least we’re finally getting some answers.

Yamato vs Tusukuru: The Battle For Hakuoro’s Tomb

The more interesting elements are what these reveals entail, and this is the first time in a while that Itsuwari no Kamen is showing signs of breaking out of its predecessor’s shadow, but using its predecessor’s plot to become something more. The revelation that the emperor is Haku’s older brother … well, I got spoiled on that (my fault, I clicked on a spoiler I shouldn’t have), so it wasn’t a surprise, but it does more firmly ensconce Haku in Yamato’s sphere. Which has ramifications on what’s coming.

The emperor wants to save all humans from their gooey fates. Hakuoro, AKA the Iceman, might be the key to accomplishing that. But the people of Tusukuru don’t want to let Stan Lee and his minions muck about with Hakuoro’s grave. It sounds like Yamato and Tusukuru are about to come to a head—and where does that leave Haku? Also, where does it leave us?

I’ve always wondered what would happen if a war story was told from two sides in tandem. A story where neither is exactly right or wrong, and where both sides could be considered the protagonists, so you honestly don’t know which side will win. Itsuwari no Kamen has managed to do something like that. Haku is bound to be split: On the one side is his disdain for war, as well as Kuon, who’s from Tusukuru (and suddenly, having her family stop by a few times has more of an effect than just nostalgia, because it’ll make Haku realize that there are things in Tusukuru that Kuon will not want to lose). He’s also liable to disagree with his aniki that the decoys—the kemonomimi people like Kuon and his friends—are somehow less fulfilling than original humans. On the other side is his only living family, to hope of resurrecting the human race, and all of his other friends in Rurutie, Nekone, Atui, and the others. What side will Haku ultimately take? What decisions will he make, and how will it make the story turn out? And, will we get to see Hakuoro again as well?

The question extends to us. Between the old protagonists in Tusukuru and the new protagonists in Yamato, who do we vote for? Especially since Yamato’s larger goal here might, er, actually be the right one. My gut is that most viewers will side with Tusukuru, because Yamato is shaping up to be the aggressor, and it certainly still has Vurai, who needs his ass handed to him. But I’m not entirely sure that Tusukuru, who miiiight just be standing in the way of progress (unknowingly), is the side we should be supporting. Even though they seem like the one we should. It’s the old ends vs means argument, and as much as I’d like to say that good ends never justify brutal means, that’s not a black and white question. There’s a lot of gray, and a lot more we need to see before a judgment can be made.

Regardless, this is the first time in a while that Itsuwari no Kamen has a chance to do something interesting. I can’t remember another time when the emperor of the ruthless empire is the kindly big brother of the protagonist, as opposed to being outright evil. This is finally getting interesting. Now run with it, Itsuwari no Kamen. No more screwing around.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – You’d have better finished the original series before watching this one. The plot just got real #utaware s2e17

Random thoughts:

  • I laughed aloud when the two brothers both made sounds like they were throwing up from being sincere. That’s brotherly love for you.

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: Star Wars: The Force Awakens – The Introduction, What Star Wars: The Force Awakens did right, What Star Wars: The Force Awakens did wrong, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens – The Conclusion.




    1. Well, Speculating Time!!!

      You saw Episode 1, when our Haku awaken?
      You saw….
      dam it, i show you an picture
      What do you see know? knowing all this background?

      Do you really just see the Night Sky? Is this Line not strange to you?
      So big Brother also used his Long life Drug on himself?

      Show Spoiler ▼

      Seems like Yamato is about to go aggressive

    2. Open on your own Risk!, this Spoiler will really kill your curiosity for sure
      Show Spoiler ▼

  1. As for your question about important character and Kuon. After watching both seasons you could have guess who is Kuon’s parents but I’ll clear it.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    1. Response to the spoiler (thank you, btw!):
      Show Spoiler ▼

      1. I wrote about it in other comment. Although Utawarerumono was planned as trilogy producers was unsure that even second game (not to mention) anime S2 will be made. So this change wasn’t a problem. But now this decision caused some trouble with plot.

        Adaptation-included plot-hole as TV-tropes calls it.

      2. Fortunately, this one isn’t a big deal. It’s just a slight omission that could lead to a little confusion. It’s not like others that throw an anime-original ending in there, and suddenly you’re screwed out of a sequel because they tied up the loose strings, usually badly

    2. Flashbacks embed as an “Earth History Wikipedia”. Our Haku could read ancient Books of history or Kuon’s parents know the truth that is not written in the Books… Voila! Problem solved

    3. Oh wow really?

      Show Spoiler ▼

      1. Show Spoiler ▼

      2. @Whitetragedy

        Show Spoiler ▼

  2. Oh. Btw. Final game of the trilogy will be called “Futari no Hakuoro” (literary “Two White emperors”). It hints some things. I hope, they’ll adapt it two this Fall or maybe next year.

    1. Supposedly they’re aiming to release the third game about 1.5 to 2 years after the release of the second one. Since that was released in 24th September 2015, that puts the release date of the third game somewhere around March to September 2017.

      So the adaptation is most definitely not coming out this year, but depending on when it releases it may come out next year, possibly alongside or shortly after the game like this anime did (started airing 9 days after the release of the game).

  3. You know what, this Episode here reminds me of an Star Trek Episode. Where an only survivor of an Crash created an “holographic” Village with peoples being born, life and die. They could not leave the Village, because they would vanish in thin air…

    In the end, the Crew (i dunno know not exactly if it was Voyager, DS9 or TNG) repaired the Holographic Projector, upgraded it with more RAM and such, to hold another 100 years (or so), to let these Village Peoples (they do not know their truth) keep living on, for the sake of this only real human survivor

  4. Regarding the orbital laser…

    Considering that the Emperor seemed ignorant about the nature the curse, it’s very possible that he merely assumed that the satellite was fired by humans.

    Show Spoiler ▼

      1. In a flashback near the end of S1 it is shown why humanity was turned in blobs: Show Spoiler ▼

        Seems like the emperor doesn’t know the full story.

  5. Oh. I wonder about one thing. Why the males of new human species sometime have normal although pointed ears while females have furry ones? Don’t remember it being explained in games.

  6. Other people have already mentioned what happened with Kuon’s mother in the first anime, but just to make it crystal clear:

    Show Spoiler ▼

    1. The thing is that

      Show Spoiler ▼

      1. On Kuon’s mother:
        Show Spoiler ▼

      2. It will ease the confusion but they still could have done a better job with it. For now they just totally ignoring anime S1, like saying people: “Play the first game if you want explanation”.

  7. On original Utawarerumono, I fully agree with your impressions there Stilts. Early story and characters were its strong point, last arc was wonky. Or rushed. Magic and science have worked better together anyways.
    Also Kuuya got real creepy but I guess that was the point anyways.

    I don’t think the slime thing was ever meant to make much sense considering it was Show Spoiler ▼

    Kinda same with the satellite, though I didn’t remember that bit before Sarnik pointed it out above.

    The last part doesn’t seem good for the future, that Yamato general / BL author has a scary look on his eyes.
    Incidentally I’m not sure if Oboro looks cool or funny. Maybe both. Took me a while to realize it’s him.

    1. Show Spoiler ▼

  8. While the finale of the original Utawarerumono wasn’t quite as strong as the rest of it, I still enjoyed it. It was mildly jarring, and the nuance of politicking was more interesting than the battles we ended up with, but it was still intriguing and fun.

    If anything, I was ready for the “twist,” simply because that was vogue in anime writing back then. Perfect example was Escaflowne’s ending, which was arguably similar, but not nearly as satisfying. Moreover, the Utawarerumono game added quite a bit of meat onto the storytelling bones.

    Conversely, I found “Tears to Tiara” to be somewhat underwhelming (both the anime and game). While solid outings both, the concepts had been done better by the prior series. Still fun though, and rare enough as far as these things go. Something that all these titles had was pace…moving from one plot beat to another with breathtaking abandon.

    The only other comparison I could make might be the original OVA for Read or Die, where 3 mere episodes has as much story and impact as a full 13-ep season. A videogame analog might be the PS1 classic, Legend of Dragoon…so many progressions in that story, as far as villains and motivations were concerned.

    So it’s hard to compare the newer stuff to it, and a bit unfair, as it doesn’t measure up as favorably, despite the flaws of the older content. Moreover, that’s why the expectations are set so high. I fully expect great things from Itsuwaru no Kamen by the end, but that’s a heck of a standard to live up to!

    1. I loved Tears to Tera probably in part because it used all the base knowledge that Tolken used to write Lord of the Rings but told the story a different way. If your not really into the materials other than the main books you miss the full flesh out of the world and how the fall of Lucifer(known by a different name) and his angels effects the world of Middle Earth.

      Both Tears to Tera and this story hid most of the sex and the large number of women involved compared to the games.

      I find it fascinating how much research and effort goes into a for adults only product in Japan.

  9. I definitely like oboro’s new look. It fits him better, especially since he is now emperor of Tusukuru.

    Plus we finally see all the remaining characters from the original series with exception of Eruru(the flashback doesn’t count since her features are covered in shadow).

    Hopefully we will also get to see Hakuoro in the flesh at some point, even if its only in a flashback.

  10. Regarding who we are supposed to root for: I think it should be pretty clear (at least to people who played the first game) that Tuskuru is in the right here.
    Show Spoiler ▼

    I do agree that the most interesting part at this point is to see which side the various characters will take. Based on what I posted above, I have little doubt that Haku and the harem will end up on Tuskuru’s side, but what is Oshutoru’s going to do?

    Finally, while I have not seen the original anime, I have a feeling that the last arc might have been rushed. At least in the game,
    Show Spoiler ▼

    1. Genjimaru was awesome. ‘Nuff said there. Actually, I could say more, but I’ve been drinkin’ so fuk it.

      And I wouldn’t be so sure about who ends up on Tusukuru’s side. Kuon will probably be on their side, and I can see Haku as well, but Rurutie? Atui? They’re the daughters of some of the key leaders of Yamato. I have a feeling the party is going to get split.

      1. But this is based on a tactical RPG. If the second game is anything like the first one, the harem members are your fighting characters, each with specialized functions. For example, the Aruru+Mukkuru pair served as your tank in the first game, and I would thus wager that Rurutie+Kokopo is similarly your tank in the second game. Eruru was your only healer (probably Nekone has that role here?), and so on and so forth.

        I doubt they would take away the tank you painstakingly leveled throughout the game (or any other character filling a crucial tactical role, for that matter) just before the last part when the fights typically get tougher…

      2. @Steelman: That’s a good point. Those who haven’t played the game need to keep in mind the source material and think in game terms. So while I think Stilts has a valid point in terms of the story outside the game, fact remains that unless the anime deviates wildly from the source (which I highly doubt), then the player’s party will be kept intact = the stick by Haku. I would, however, IMO make for an interesting story if the party did find itself split among the two factions.

        That being said, I do think it’s quite possible for Haku to be influenced by Kuon, and I do expect Kuon to side with Tusukuru. Another thing is that I have a feeling Haku is more favorably disposed towards the “decoys” (not a good word IMO – the created animal-ear residents). The emperor just isn’t satisfied with them and longs for “real people”. For Haku, he’s thought of the group (Kuon especially) as his family up until know, and I don’t think that’s changed with the emperor’s revelations. Could be wrong, but that’s my take right now.

      3. Er—but I’ve played JRPGs where some of your members disappear for a while. Maybe not forever, but definitely for a while. Tales of Symphonia did that, if memory serves. Your group stayed LARGELY intact, sure, but not entirely. He may not end up with just Kuon … but you could even get around that (gameplay-wise) by having some of the original Utawarerumono characters fight with him for a while. (How awesome would that be?)

        So you may be right, but not necessarily. Still, it’s a good thing to keep in mind, I suppose.

      4. @Steelman

        Kind of off-topic, but there really are a lot of tactical JRPGs with not just party splits, but with the party members who leave outright showing up again as enemies you have to kill or worse. See: Der Langrisser and Soul Nomad, off the top of my head.

  11. Guess I am one of the few who actually like the last half of the original series? Granted I did watch it when it first came out and it kinda blew my mind. Sure, I’ve seen Scrapped Princess which did a similar twist so Utamono is not original (duh) in that regards.

    S1 spoilers

    Show Spoiler ▼

    I guess the reason why I’m forgiving on the original anime is probably because I’ve played the game. So of course I treat the game as “the real thing”, but the anime was an enjoyable watch and did a great job of bringing the game to life (well, at most points).

    Goodwill Wright
    1. Just wanted to add: I did think of Scrapped Princess when the magic/science stuff started happening. Though I think it was integrated there better? :X I don’t know if that’s accurate, it’s been a long time since I watched Scrapped Princess, and less than a week for finishing Utawarerumono, so I’ve probably forgotten the faults, but still, am I crazy?

      1. Hmm… that’s a really hard call. But I may have to agree. The technology was an integral part of Scrapped Princess story, as it drove the story and the mystery. While Utawarerumono, it’s still done well, however is not what the story is all about. It’s the history, but not the plot.

        Goodwill Wright
    2. Interestingly, most of the people I know that has played the first game are actually quite harsh on the anime. It’s one of the reasons I never got around to finish watching it. They do tend to admit the first parts and OVAs were good though.

      1. VNs are nice and all, and the gameplay of the original game was fun (although harsh if you screw up), but the anime allowed me to see Touka and Karura in all their glory for one. And the final battle, although completely offtrack from the original game, was still done really well in my opinion. Music, animation, buildup, and emotions all rolled into one finale.

        As I’ve said before though, my only gripe was that they left out Yuzuha’s pregnancy. And.. the game’s ending was also really good so I guess that’s kind of a disappointment I didn’t get to see that animated…

        Other than those gripes, I really enjoyed the anime.

        Goodwill Wright
  12. Not sure if it even matters now, but I think Kuon knows what Haku is. At about 12:15 that looks like her face, meaning she might’ve been the one to wake him up. Not sure how she got inside, but that does look like Mikoto’s ring in her hair…

    After all that, I’d say Haku just got a solid reason to care a lot more about Anju, and given how important Kuon is to him I’m guessing he’ll end up being a miniature third faction that begs both sides not to fight. Too bad the emperor will never listen, which means no one else can, either.

    1. At first I thought that it could be Mikoto, but you’re right that it’s Kuon. I don’t see any ring, only the button of her coat that she was wearing in the first episode. Considering her past, she probably knows about Haku and the place that he slept for I don’t know how many hundred years.

    2. Haven’t seen the original show/game OR played the game (I’ve just been reading a feckton of spoilers) and I came across the opening for the second game a couple of months ago on youtube. Here it starts off with Kuon walking up to a huge, sci-fi looking structure and it sounds like in the game Show Spoiler ▼

      (and the game opening also looks really cool FYI link )

  13. This episode changed my perspective of what Hakuoro did in the last season. I thought I was satisfied with how he cursed those scientists back then, but now I realized that a lot of people were actually clueless to what happened to Hakuoro and became “cursed” as well.
    Well, Haku’s position on everything after this will be very interesting.
    He needs to pick between helping his brother in getting his old family back, or saving his new family he has created. The emperor’s not gonna care about them though since he view other races as decoys.
    BTW, So Oshutoru is created to resemble Haku, is that correct?

      1. Considering how Haku doesn’t want to notice things right in front of him.. I’m betting even he realizes how they look alike.

        Bah, just realized I’m replying to Stilts. Meh, too late to change this.

        Dorian S.
    1. The assumption in Season 1 was that the curse only affected the Iceman lab scientists. But now that the curse is shown to have covered all humankind, I am interested in how Game 3 will resolve the curse story.

  14. Guess they’ll never tell us Haku’s and his brother’s real names. Not that it matters too much.
    I wonder how the emperor managed to clone his wife (Honoka) without any animal ears/tail, while Anju DOES have those? The twin sisters are probably also Honoka clones? Or wait, are those REAL horns on their heads?
    With his memories restored, hopefully Haku will be a bit more useful now. His brother wants him to join his side, but I can’t see that happening.

  15. “In some ways, I think Itsuwari no Kamen is a victim of the original Utawarerumono’s success”…….YESIR!!

    Idk what this Crap is, i’m just trying to catch/filter sum decent action set pieces.

    BROOKLYN otaku
  16. Some extra game info. It’s 2ndhand, so please correct if there are any mistakes.
    Show Spoiler ▼

    Stilts edit: Hid spoilers.

    1. please hide some of this Infos about the Emperor. This is not mention in the Original Anime at all, but perhaps we will see this in the future episodes, the true intention of the Emperor’s “Invasion”. This can be combined with my Theorie of Haku

  17. More Speculation how S1 and S2 are connected:
    Show Spoiler ▼

  18. Also, this Space Stations are perhaps still in the Orbit. But full with these Curse things. I do not know if they can damage the Station over time, because of their bodies. Well, perhaps we can have here something similar like in “Future Boy Conan”. Where old Scientist could make an Satellite link to the Station to receive Microwaves Energy

    But, looks like our Emperor could rebuild some environment or perhaps there are an left over Satellite Uplink (a Place where you can talk to the Gods!) relics that are still operating. Looks like the Power source are the Sunlight.

    Looks like these Cables on this Big Lamp are made of fiberglass to illuminate the room, and these are real solar panels around. Voila, an underground “Sunlight” reactor room. The only weak point is the surface where the fiberglass connections “sucks” the sunlight in

    But why we need the Space Station at this point? Well, looks like the Emperor wants the lost wisdom. But he also seems quit skilled, he must be at last an DNA Engineer to created these Decoys and modified there appearance. Perhaps he also done more research on other then this “decoys”, for not being lonely

    But, as an side effect. This “one men created clones of himself, because he was lonely” base thinking… Some books of today has similar starting grounds… best example? Adam and Eva

  19. It’s been sometime since I played the game, but I feel this episode did expand the story a lot. I always thought those slimes were confined to that specific lab. Never knew it became a world wide epidemic. (Might have remembered wrong, cause it was way past midnight back then) Seeing the demi-humans actually build a civilization was actually nice too. Got serious Age of Empires vibes on that.

    Now, a bit about Haku’s family. Could Uruuru and Saraana actually be Haku’s nieces? Honoka is a copy of the Emperor’s wife. Considering his mental state and reason for creating her, I’m guessing he tested her thoroughly. Seeing his nieces clinging to him like that is strangely different from seeing two random girls cling to him in the same way.

    Hearing Kuon’s song somehow makes tears swell in my eyes.

    1. @theirs: Regarding Uruuru and Saraana, I have the same question. For one thing, neither one of them have animal ears or a tail. I’m assuming Honoko is their natural mother as well (i.e. the emperor didn’t make them like he did Anju).

    2. Er—are the daughters of the quasi-clone of your older brother’s dead wife related to you? (And they might have animal features—those horns might be real. The emperor only mentions himself and Haku as real humans.) I mean, maaaaybe, but also maybe not. Also, we don’t know if the emperor is their father, and I’d kinda doubt it—dude would have been mad old when he sired them, and even if he increased longevity, he apparently didn’t extend youth, so some of those ways in which the human body breaks down are probably still happening. They’re just happening much, muuuuch slower.

  20. Mindblowing revelations, only if you haven’t watched the first series.

    While I kinda guessed the Emperor was a researcher who survived being turned into slime by Iceman (and out of loneliness started to play a real life version of Sid Meier’s Civilization with the animal-eared people as a result) as well as the masks bestowed upon the Eight Pillars as a product of their Iceman research, totally didn’t expect him to be Haku’s brother. This would explain why Honoka and Anju are so close to the Emperor even though they are non-humans, them being clones of his wife and daughter.

    That scene at the end with Tuskuru sure is intriguing (besides Oboro looking absolutely badass with a new goatee). It’s as though the Emperor is. planning on taking out his revenge on Iceman/Hakuoro for destroying his family (as well as mankind) by going to war with Hakuoro’s country.

  21. has anyone noticed that this is the first episode that kuon and haku have had an actual conversation with each other alone most of the time he’s with ukon. this show tried to be like trigun in that it tried to do the first half comedy second half drama except where as trigun’s comedic first half delivered saucily with laughs the first have of utawarerumono certain episodes paled in comparison. the emperor is kind of a jerk I mean he creates humanoid like beings lets them build of world of their own and after x amount of years decides they’re not worthy to live and now tries to bring regular humans back despite the fact that he seems pretty settled in that world anyway not mention dragging his long lost brother into this mess. seems kind of selfish to me. this episode definitively scoring haku x kuon romantic points.

    1. I can think of multiple times Haku and Kuon have had conversations with just them. That one time they were arguing (flirting) in the hallway of their inn, for one. Or before they met Karura. Or all the times it was assumed (but not shown) that they had conversations with just them, when they lived together before collecting so many friends. Or several other times in recent episodes.

  22. Well that was a change of pace, particularly compared to the 1st cour. A lot of infodump though I wouldn’t say the presentation was bad. It was necessary – not only for filling in some gaps/world-building, but also to move the plot to its final stage, as Stilts puts it, “The Battle For Hakuoro’s Tomb”. In terms of the story, I agee that things are finally getting interesting. As Stilts and others note, there’s a lot which could be done here regarding Haku. Which “family” does he choose? His brother or his new family because this seems to be setting up as one against the other. I would think Kuon would fall on the Tusukuru side of things, and if so, how much will that influence Haku? As for which side the rest of the group picks, initially I thought there might be some split (incl. if the twins would go against mom & the emperor), but SteelmanOne’s post above brings in a very good point IMO about this being a game adaptation, and the game most likely would have the party stick together. Thinking about the almost certain conflict to be, Tusukuru may have some hero types, but it’s hard to imagine it winning against all the mask wearers in Yamato. I guess we’ll see how it plays out, but I hope it’s not a curb-stomp.

    Speaking of curb-stomps, one issue I had with this episode is how things played out between Haku and the emperor during their initial conversation about the “war” vs. the barbarians. I get the whole “strike fear in to the hearts of your enemies” as a deterrent. Problem is that Vurai also indiscriminately killed what I consider a lot of innocent Yamato civilians. Isn’t that what troubled Haku the most – to the point he had some PTSD? His PTSD flashback was about the kid he failed to save dying. Yet, Vurai’s actions get completely brushed aside. :/ To me the events make the emperor’s claim of “protecting the people” ring hollow. Didn’t protect the civilians in that one town. Instead, a “kill ’em all and let God separate them” approach taken. I’m not sure whether there’s more to that event later (some confrontation between Haku and Vurai), or it’s over and done – filed under “war is horrific”.

    Infodump notwithstanding, I have to grade this as one of the better episodes in a while. Again, necessary and given how it plays out as the “big reveal”, I’m not sure the info could have been parsed out over several episodes to lessen the exposition. Also credit for attention to detail because while watching, it was pretty clear that Honoka (think that’s right – emperor’s blonde assistant) and Anju (Yamato princess/heir) looked an awful lot like the emperor’s wife and child. So I’m glad that was explained rather than leaving questions. Fairly minor detail, but I do wonder a bit about the twins father since they don’t have animal ears or a tail either.

    Six remaining episodes should be enough time to complete everything without rushing. The potential is here, Utawarerumono – Itsuwari no Kamen just needs to execute. A strong finish will do a lot to make up for a lackluster first cour.

    1. Agree, Haku’s reluctance disappointed me. He didn’t mention the massacre of innocent ppl. If more Yamato ppl were to learn about Vurai’s crimes, then it could cause problems to the emperor. It doesn’t make any sense to ignore it.
      The twins could also just be another clone experiment, combining Honoka’s genes with others.

    2. @daikama

      One thing to consider, on how they brushed past the whole Vurai thing: There were bigger fish to fry. Everything else that came after is WAY bigger than Vurai’s actions, though that’s not to say that they’re a small issue. Another thing: It has become clear that the emperor doesn’t see all the “decoys” as real people, so it’s not surprising that their deaths wouldn’t bother him as much. He just wants to keep the system that is Yamato going so he can use it for his ultimate goal of resurrecting humanity.

      I still hope that whole plot thread doesn’t get dropped. It’s a lil important, to say the least.

  23. I haven’t watched the first anime (I tried watching the anime but couldn’t get past the first few minutes out of boredom) nor played the game it’s based off of but I wasn’t too surprised by these revelations because I read the Wikipedia article in preparation for Itsuwari no Kamen.

    That said I don’t think either side is exactly right. The Emporer is trying to find a way to break the curse but his reasons for that are pretty selfish and he’s ignoring that part of the key to doing so is on what is presumably a sacred grounds of sorts. Not only that but he doesn’t seem to know of the full story and as such is messing about with things he doesn’t know.

    Meanwhile the people of Tsukuru seem to be more aware of what went down in the past and the grave with the information Yamato needs appears to be a sacred ground of sorts to them but they’re standing in the way of fixing the problems of the past. At the same time though solving the problems of the past isn’t really their job, especially when there are only two living humans left and for all intents and purposes the ‘decoys’ are the new humanity and seem to be doing fine.

    I’m not sure what’s going to happen but I’m excited to see how things play out. Hopefully Haku will find a way of sorting things out tha benefits both sides though before that I expect he’s going to either side with his family in Yamato or strike out on his own. Either way I’m expecting something good and looking forward to more.

  24. Considering what Hakuoro went through because of those scientists and there attempts at returning to the earths surface, I doubt that he would ever help change any of them back to normal. So even if Mito mananged to gain entry to Hakuoro’s resting place he probably wouldn’t succeed, in fact its likely he would end up joining them for trying to disturb him.

    Urutori said it herself, they are not going to bother him and everyone else should simply leave him in peace, as he earned it.

    1. To be fair, poor guy lost his family. Sure, he’s relieved to see his brother alive and well, but nothing can replace his wife and child.

      And, it’s questionable how many of the “decoys” are catgirls. I mean, they may have cat tails… but those ears…

      Goodwill Wright
  25. Nice to see some more of what happened to humans, didn’t expect the curse to affect all of humanity like that.
    A few episodes back I thought Tuskuru might join Haku as allies, but it seems like it’s gonna be the other way around, with him aiding Tuskuru. I’d expect Haku and his “family” to join with Kuon’s family against his last remaining “real” family.
    It’s not impossible for the party to split, even in the game. There were missions in the first game where some members weren’t available at times, and it wouldn’t shock me if there was a temporary split as long as they (mostly) end up on the same side by the end.

  26. i guess that explain why the curse back in episode 1 and 2 didnt attack Haku. it is probably hinted it is previously Anju or Honoka (which mention in by the emperor). it “seem” somehow trying to reach to haku

    1. That was my first thought as well but I rewatched the first episode and I don’t think either of those two would call him ‘Umakeko”, whatever that’s supposed to mean.

  27. that was a WHAM! episode if i ever saw one…
    not fantasy, not medieval but rather postapocalyptic setting where animal-featured folk are actually product of genetical experiments, and true humans are all but a legend…
    Knowing Haku, he will probably try to protect those close to hi, his surrogate family. Woe betide those who would try to hurt Kuon and rest of his merry band!

  28. I hadn’t actually watched the original Utawarerumono and I’ve been enjoying this series quite a lot so far. As much of an anime fan as I am, I’m weirdly not all that into the ones that take place in olden times, personally I find anime is best when it’s riffing on stuff that stemmed from other cultures because they seem to have a real knack for that.

    I dunno, the characters are all just really endearing, the score is great and it’s not really all that hard to follow the plot. This episode was excellent and well-done, I don’t see how you need to watch the original to understand what’s going on here. The world is basically built on a modern dystopia, despite being such a change in themes, I think that’s exactly what this anime needed. The slice of life elements are so great that even if it did end up being a “meh, just another imperial Japanesque anime” it’d still be great. But the fact that they meshed the sci-fi themes into it so well and drove it into something more just makes it so much better.

    This is a great anime, I’m glad I picked it up despite not watching the original.

    I may watch the original however, were the slice of life elements as strong or was it just a drama series?

    1. The original Utawarerumono certainly had plenty of fluffy moments, and usually had a slice-of-life episode or two between most arcs. It does have a more solid drama backbone than Itsuwari no Kamen has shown so far. I liked the original better (once again, so far—Itsuwari no Kamen still has time to turn the tables), so I suggest it.

    2. The first season was more … dramatic, I guess? There are some SoLs, but the focus was more on empire building and investigating the MC’s past. The SoLs were super funny though. (recommend watching the first season OVAs, haha.)
      It’s kind of different from Haku, who wasn’t really looking for his past since he was too lazy I guess.
      I kind of understand that the storytelling of Itsuwari no Kamen would be a lot different from the first one, but I wish they would compressed some of the SoLs episodes and exchange it to building Haku’s position and relationships in Yamato.
      For example, I’ve never played the game, but I’ve heard about the bandit gameplay where Haku was able to display his strategic abilities to the world. That would have been a good buildup, too bad they didn’t do it.

  29. Finally it moved from stagnation. Better late than never.
    Aparto from siding onesidedly for Tuskuru, I think there’ll be a lot of problems with Yamato. The 8 generals don’t look like a band of the same bunch, just the polar opposite of Tuskuru’s folk.
    Then, Karula and Touka are already in the right place, and are waiting in hiding.
    Also that Vurai guy doesn’t seem so reliable and is not friendly with the others. I guess that if they go at war, Vurai could do something nasty and even revolt.
    I think the last battle will have him as the final boss, with all of the others (yamato’s good guys + tuskuru) united again the masks threat.
    I didn’t play the game, so this is just my speculation.

  30. Seriously hoping the Haku sides with the creations and doesn’t go down the path of recreating the human race.

    I f you remember in the fist series it was the Ice Man that turned the human race into to blobs. after the scientist asked for eternal life.

    But your probably right about the Virai the Strong arm though.


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