「敵もさる者ひっかく者」 (Teki mo Saru Mono Hikkaku Mono)
“The Enemy, a Noble Primate”

Shuryuu must’ve directed this episode because nobody died! Well, not counting war flashbacks. But it does partially clear up the air for the idea that the person in the preview and episode title will not live to see the next episode. I say “partially” because we’re not out of the woods just yet on the order of elimination with the ED cast. The episode ends on a tag team match between Team Pacifist and Team Zombie. While Usagi’s odds are looking good up against a team who’s biggest strengths appear to be less physical, Shuryuu has some nifty combat capabilities outside of her ability to bring about peace, and Nezumi is still keeping his powers up his sleeve. Knowing this, it might not be as huge of a one-sided blowout victory for Usagi like the Ushii vs. Niwatori fight if Shuyuu and Nezumi are more powerful in their abilities than they seem.

One thing I am confused about is the extent of Usagi’s abilities. They show him possessing Niwatori’s birds that Inoushishi shot down, but also mimic her same ability by being able to spot Shuryuu and Nezumi in the tunnel. It bothers me because we know from the last episode that her birds can pick a person apart until they’re bones, so if Niwatori summoned the birds to pick her apart, there’d be nothing left to possess, and there wouldn’t be a way for Usagi to take on her powers with just bones to zombify. It’s a nitpick, but it was just something that confused me given how Niwatori wouldn’t really have anything left to possess once Usagi made his way downtown.

On a more important note, this was the episode where we learned about Shuryuu’s background as an expert mediator who is still plagued with the horrors of failure on the battlefield where even her negotiation skills are unable to stop militias from forming and bringing about more death and destruction. Learning about her past clarifies a lot about her personal reasons why she is obsessed with pacifism, and why she’s willing to place herself on the line to bring about change that could end conflict. We also see some of her combative capabilities so we understand that even through her peaceful personality, she can still pack a good punch. It also explains why Inoushishi had a deep seated hatred for her given her attempts to stop the wars she happened to spearhead. Seems the ulterior motive that the Boar speculated was merely to kill the fun by ending the conflict in her face as comeuppance for sparking another war after brokering a successful cease-fire.

One person I feel really bad for is her long-term boyfriend or husband, who she bid farewell as she enters herself into the Zodiac War. He knew that she was going to leave for it eventually, but way the scene unfolded with him silently staring at the farewell note she left with him is a gigantic death flag on her end. With the gravity of the situation in mind, I can see the story being incredibly cruel and make it so that she isn’t going to return home to see him again. At that point, you can only expect the worst now that they’ve given her a significant other, awaiting her return only to highly likely get some bad news.

Her beliefs are complimented further by the polar opposite ideas that Nezumi offers as counterpoints to her. Rather than being entirely on-board with her pacifist campaign, he seems to have joined her either out of curiosity or convenience as his own ideology steers towards having no faith in the people he tries to protect. There are many times where the tension racks up as Shuryuu takes offense to some of the more nihilistic ideas that Nezumi harbors about not seeing people, especially the Zodiac Wars participants, as people worth saving.

Additionally, she takes it personally when Nezumi says that she most likely got Niwatori killed after crushing her ruthless demeanor. Shuryuu does have the emotional maturity to try and talk rationally about her views and perspective on the formation of her pacifist background, but she does still see him as a kid who doesn’t have the maturity to come up with anything more complex than the nihilistic ideas your standard high schooler would have, and claims he doesn’t have the true qualities of a warrior because of his disregard for human life. I am wondering if any of her ideas will get through to Nezumi given that he still joined up with her despite not sharing her interest in stopping the tournament, or what plans Shuryuu and Nezumi have in mind for getting out of the sticky situation they’re caught in. Shuryuu says she has multiple plans in motion, so only time will tell how each of those plans go, and if any one of them involves her making it out of the tournament. Before then, however, we’ll have to see what the Ram’s been up to.



  1. I’m so confused. Should have watched this episode more closely but… Monkey made the soldiers and their families from each side of the war form a new country that was once no man’s land, and that’s how the peace was kept? Da faq?

    Little Tangerine
    1. Probably that happened not too long after she had completed her training? Her reaction to the news would imply that she had yet to experience setbacks to her effort to bring about peace, thus her worldview was more naieve and idealistic.

      1. She mentioned herself that this was one of the more common endings of her mediations.

        Note that she’s mentioned that she advocates for ceasefires, after which the parties should sort out their differences themselves. She likely stays out of any aftermath, to avoid becoming the sole reason for the peace, to crumble once again when she leaves to solve another conflict.

        The result? Her efforts are forgotten and more blood is shed.

    2. I think maybe the strategy was basically her taking away the tools each side was using (the soldiers) and rendering them useless (by having them re-establish their country instead of fighting), so that the two warring sides had nothing to fight with, the idea being you can’t fight if you don’t have things to fight with. Of course the ‘things’ here are people so that’s probably why it didn’t work out so great, but I think that’s the general idea.

      Bear in mind I am speculating wildly. I found that bit confusing too.

    3. The idea was that Sharyu appealed to a lot of soldiers on both sides who not only were exhausted from the constant fighting, but also just so happened to be descended from the people who originally owned and ran that land being fought over when it used to be its own country that had long since gone under. So, as mentioned, by doing so, both sides of the conflict would be losing too many soldiers (deserters on top of those already killed) to be able to keep their conflict going, thus forcing them to agree to a ceasefire or risk their own countries going under too.

      Sadly, all that did was stop the fighting between those two countries, but there was nothing that ever said they couldn’t join forces with each other and then attack that newly re-established country while justifying their attack by labeling that country as a “threat” to them.

      Hence, Sharyu achieved peace, but “not the peace she was looking for”, where ALL the fighting ceased.

      Not to turn this into a huge debate on the issue, but the flashback to her ceasefire negotiating between the countries (which was apparently anime-original from what I’ve seen others say) also feels a bit like Israel and the Arab states / Palestinians with their dual claims of ancestral “rights” over similar land in the Middle East that they have clashed over several times before (the Golan Heights, the Sinai, Jerusalem, etc.)

  2. I was wondering about the birds too, but as far as I understand the birds that Usagi zombified might be the ones that zombie-Ino killed while in the process of being….well, re-killed, so maybe it’s like an indirect control-Ino is his, Ino killed the birds, so now the birds are his to control too. Not that that explains why and how he was able to use Niwatori’s talent, but I hope that makes some sort of sense??

    I like how we’re already getting a two-parter episode though we’re only in the first half of the series. Usually in series where there’s a one-arc-an-episode thing going on, the two-parters only occur near the end, in maybe like episode 10 or so, at least from my experience. It’s nice that this is different, it makes it seem that things won’t be as predictable as a lot of people seem to think this’ll end up being.

    I liked Nezumi’s and Sharyu’s dynamic more in this episode, especially considering we get a lot more of their mindsets throughout it all, even if the ep is from Sharyu’s view. They balance out well, even with such drastic differences, and you can imagine in a different life they might have been friends, or perhaps she might have ended up a mentor to him, or something. Well, I can imagine it, certainly. Even with a show like this I can get all sentimental and fuzzy and I don’t know if that’s good or bad. But anyway, their dynamic and whatever sort of alliance they have as they stand now is very interesting to me generally, and seeing how that’ll develop before one of them dies is one of the main things I’m liking about this show…..though given this is my favourite of the season that probably doesn’t say much.

    On a random side note, it’s really strange that Nezumi is even in this tournament at all. I mean, if he’s a high schooler, he’s between the ages of 15 and 18, and since the Juuni Taisen occurs every twelve years, that means he was between the ages of 3 and 6 when he was selected for this one and that just’s….really weird to me?? Everyone else in the cast is an adult, and even with wildly differing ages I suspect they were all adults or very close to it when they were selected, so Nezumi is already wildly different in that respect. It just makes him more mysterious than he already is.

    1. Is everyone born in their zodiac year? I love the age-guessing game:

      Rat: teen boy, so 1996 or 2008 (if this event occurred in the future)
      Ox: 1985 or 1997
      Tiger: 1984 or 1998
      Usagi-chan: young man or man, 1987 or 1999
      Dragon: most likely 1988
      Snake: most likely 1989
      Horse: 1978 or 1990 (bulky men tend to look older than they are, so can’t tell)
      Ram: senior man, most likely 1943 or 1955 (or 1931, if he’s realllly ancient)
      Monkey: likely 1992
      Rooster: likely 1993
      Doggo: likely 1982
      Boar: likely 1983 or 1995 (probably not the latter)

      Little Tangerine
  3. https://randomc.net/image/Juuni%20Taisen/Juuni%20Taisen%20-%2004%20-%20Large%2025.jpg

    ….sorry, were you saying something? lol

    And I’ll just put up what I did before now that it doesn’t need to be hidden by spoilers (I think).

    “Misaki was given life on a sacred mountain, where three moutain hermits – Mizaru, the Unseeing Water Monkey; Iwazaru, the Unspeaking Rock Monkey; and Kikazaru, the Unhearing Vapor Monkey – taught her the fundamentals of combat. With the aid of her mountain magic, which gives her the power to manipulate liquids, solids, and gases, she has the potential for being an incredibly superior warrior, but she has never used her mystical techniques to harm another person.

    As a pacifist and a warrior, she has chosen a life of contradiction, and through her actions she has brought peaceful resolutions to 314 wars and 229 internal conflicts

    Her private life is one of normalcy. She makes pastries as a hobby, and the desserts she creates are so delicious they often tempt her into overeating. She lives with her boyfriend of five years and is starting to think about marriage.”

    …and that’s how she was able to so easily bisect a thick boulder. She was able to control the rock’s state to turn where she “cut” into sand.

    1. To quote Nakamura’s own Last Samurai, “I see you’re a man of culture as well”

      I peeked at the spoiler last week out of curiosity, but it compliments the episode well to have a detailed description of her monk training, home life, and abilities. It couldn’t tell if her own strength could bisect the rock, but it’s cool how that’s how her power works. Incorporating that kind of power into life as a mediator would be interesting to delve into more.

  4. I am so sick of Nietzsche like people claiming they know so much of the world when they had not truly begin to understand just how wide the world is. MEANINGLESS?! YOU DEFINE YOURSELF AND THE WORLD – THAT IS NOT MEANINGLESS!

    Instead of trapping yourself in your damn mind maybe people should just fucking rise already!

    In that sense I respect, I respect Shuryuu. Even if you fail – is it not better than not to try at all?

    1. Nezumi’s ideas can be grating, but Shuryuu makes it clear that she understands that his experience with people is rooted in a young, inexperienced perspective on the world, and that his concept of no one being worth saving doesn’t have any solid foundation to it when it comes off like he is shrugging off everything out of convenience.

      He dislikes peace yet is fine with joining the pacifist team. He thinks people aren’t worth saving, but calls Shuryuu out for likely getting Niwatori killed. He doesn’t look like he’s pinned down a proper ethos to his ideology, and Shuryuu caught onto the premise that he’s still trying to figure out what his stance should be based on his intuition.

      It could also be because of the one theory people have online about Nezumi winning every time only to wish for the tournament to continue restarting. But that’s speculation at the moment.

  5. About the zombie-birds, my take is that they were indirectly controlled by Usagi because Inou killed them. And he doesn’t possess Niwatori’s vision ability since all we saw this episode was the zombie birds come to attack Misaki and Nezumi

    1. I wasn’t sure whether they knew their location before, and just used the birds Ino shot to flush them out rather than use Niwatori’s powers. I thought that he used her powers because the bird’s eye was beaming, and it’d make sense for him to scout out the location, but using the birds to just charge through the sewer makes sense too.

    1. Awesome, looks like it’d be a fun read, though it is odd to see Ino and Shuryuu chatting on decent enough terms. Nakamura’s artstyle looks great on the characters. I wonder how the anime would’ve looked if the art resembled it more

    1. Saori did a great job at making her endearing to follow, and even with a vague idea of what her plan is, made her very sympathetic with her optimistic pleas for peace and understanding. Wishing the best for her character, but the odds are slim on her finding a way unless they pull off a twist by the end.

    1. I think they’re the three wise monkeys(or is it evil monkeys? I can never remember)-you know, See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil. Which just makes it even weirder, to be honest. But yep, ‘what the actual…’ is pretty much the appropriate response to that. 🙂

    2. Eh, considering we got necromantism, literally infinite ammo, magically controlling birds and seeing through their eyes, and so on, I’d say talking monkeys are pretty tame by comparison, lol.


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