「八坂祭の白雪姫」 (Yasaka sai no shirayukihime)
“Snow White of the Yasaka Festival”
Kidnappings, explosions, manly men, and money: we got it all this week. Mostly a buildup to the coming finale, MnR this episode primarily laid the groundwork for next week’s climax by actually giving Gasou a purpose and setting Masamune up for a “showdown” with the cruel princess.
While Gasou’s revelations here finally help give him a reason for existing, I seriously doubt the dubious will be swayed on his presence if money is the extent of his mission. It’s the sort of objective that screams contrived, the thing you pull out of the dark place when you cannot—or will not—think of any better reason. To be fair, however, I can see an inkling of why Gasou in spirit might be necessary for the plot. Given Yoshino’s more effective kidnapping strategy and Aki’s current state of nostalgic bliss, once Gasou returns from his storage locker adventures, he will have some serious explaining to do. Aki will certainly harangue him on why he’s repeating the unknown disappearance from childhood, and Gasou, completely ignorant on the event, will probably mess up and confess his lies. This makes for a good setup for Masamune to (re)enter the picture and reclaim the affections of Aki, all the while potentially clearing up the mysteries swirling around the first Aki rejection. I still believe the story could have accomplished the same without Gasou, but at least he serves a tangible purpose.
Part of what also keeps this current arc above water for me are those aforementioned mysteries. The big one remains Gasou, but ironically not for what you might think. Several scenes this episode—particularly the side shot ones—had Gasou looking feminine to me, and there was also that room Gasou attempted using for changing. Considering even our rootin’ tootin’ manly man Kojuurou knows where he is and isn’t allowed, I cannot help thinking these are deliberate hints. Yeah it could all be circumstantial (i.e. the usual accidental peeping), but such “mistakes” are usually reserved for the main character. Certainly would not be above MnR to throw a ridiculous curveball like that, especially if it lets Aki rebound that much harder back towards Masamune. The other funny one for me was Kojuurou himself, who bless
her his little heart has found love’s butterflies in Neko. I’m really hoping this small point is played up in the future, if just to see how far down the hole of hilarity Kojuurou must travel to discover his inner lumberjack. So long as he’s not professing bodily health from the rooftops, I think he’ll be fine. Fubuta sure won’t be, but sacrifices must be made.
With the plays still on, one prince missing and another ready and raring, MnR is all set for the big finale. Will Masamune finally kiss the princess? Will Gasou reveal all? Will Aki’s padding become public knowledge? Plenty of secrets left to tell, and it’s anyone’s guess how it will all end. No matter my recent gripes with MnR’s development, I’m quite interested seeing how this little tale of revenge ends.