「老いたコヨーテと星降る庭」 (Oita Koyoute to Hoshi Furu Niwa)
“Old Coyote and the Garden of Falling Stars”
Similar to when Kohaku’s introductory arc wrapped up, Azazel’s arc has been proceeded by a relaxing, slowly paced episode that outshines every episode before it in terms of detailed and vibrant scenery, a wider variety of Another than ever seen before, and a general sense that Mayonaka no Occult Koumuin has finally stopped rushing through its material and embraced the melancholic, meandering atmosphere it does so well. With a side of humor, of course.
Following the rescue of Kyoichi’s older sister, the Nocturnal Division has been hard at work with helping her reassert herself into human society with the documents she’ll need to either be someone new and seventeen or herself, but at the age she would naturally have been had Azazel not pulled her out of time. Izumi was kind enough to help her shop for a new wardrobe, something she probably sorely needed after wearing the same outfit for over a decade, but though she holds herself together well, Izumi has only recently learned that Another are real and Arata’s job thrusts him into conflicts with them on the daily. She’s worried about him, which seems to be a general theme. Given that Azazel kidnapped his childhood friend and his coworker’s sister, the fact that Arata can still sympathize as much as he does is both admirable and a little concerning. There really is no other way to describe going on a midnight stroll with a god of disaster who offered your friend’s life to a fallen angel, and ironically every Another shown seems to recognize the danger Arata is in better than he does.
Tanuki rifle through trash in a panic, Kappa poke out their heads to watch Huehuecoyotl dance and frolic in their stream, Red and Blue oni look on dubiously, and lanterns attached to disembodied hands light up mysteriously where they walk. If Another are so frightened of Huehuecoyotl, then Arata’s attitude is definitely worrisome, yet it’s undeniable that he and Kohaku share a connection. Apparently, Seimei wasn’t the most creative when it came to naming his otherworldly companions – dubbing his black crow guide ‘Black’ for instance – but even so, the names he bestowed clearly mean something to them, as shown by how touched Kohaku was when he asked Arata for a new name and Arata gently insisted that Seimei’s appellation suited him best.
Undoubtedly, Arata is a kind soul. Whether it be because he knew Kohaku in another life or not, he trusts when he shouldn’t, and that belief which earned Seimei so many friends in the Heian era may reward him, as well. If it doesn’t get him killed, that is. For now, though, it seems the price of his casual interactions with disaster gods is the expensive ticket he had to pay for a taxi ride home after Kohaku took him to see Seimei’s garden, followed by a day of writing reports thanks to the panicked Another their stroll left in its wake.