「夢の胡蝶」 (Yume no Kochou)
Hanyou no Yashahime’s third episode aims to explain many of the questions that have surfaced about the upbringing and reunion of Towa and Setsuna. It does a good enough job establishing how things have fared for the sisters while also establishing Moroha as a much-needed mediator between the two.
Before I dive into the new developments with our three leads, I’d like to give a shout-out to the Higurashi’s for their approach towards the supernatural. Knowing how much nonsense they had to deal with by having Kagome go off with Inuyasha, it doesn’t phase them that Towa would end up luring in demons and demon hunters. They were also quick to tell that Moroha was their daughter with her resemblance to Kagome and had more incentive to want to take Moroha in while they sort things out between here and the feudal era.
My current obsession at the moment is the relationship between Souta and his wife Moe. Souta must have told her so many stories about demons and his crazy sister that Moe is merely tickled by the happenstance that caused Towa, Moroha, and Setsuna to now temporarily live with them. Moe is ride-or-die on all of this because she knew that the Kikuichimonji was on loan from the museum and decided to keep it for the time being to avoid the news that it got jacked up. And she shows barely any reaction when she talks about how much of a troublemaker that Towa has been to the point that she’s been getting kicked out of schools for some time now. There was also the moment where she took the liberty of shielding Souta’s eyes from Moroha after she took a shower, and perked up immediately after Souta told her that his mom believes that Moroha is their niece. It’s such a fun family dynamic where they are all unbothered by the demons, but I know full well it won’t last because it’s not their story.
Instead, the story is looking to center around Setsuna since she has more issues going on with her than the other two girls. After her run-in with the Dream Butterfly at a young age, she lost her ability to fall asleep and her memories of her sister. While the first one might explain why she’s cranky, the second one is the main reason why she automatically resorts to being abrasive to Towa and would rather kill her where she stands than rejoice at the prospect of a reunion. It gives more of an opportunity for Towa to develop though since Setsuna’s ordeals play into the guilt she has about losing her sister in the woods, but it also makes Setsuna a static character. I’d imagine there would be chances for her to develop, but for the time being, she comes off as stubborn and careless of those around her. As a result of everything she’s endured up to this point, she fortifies the walls that she puts up around her and treats the loss of her memories and ability to sleep as a blessing for herself.
It’s because of this that I’m thankful that Moroha is there to balance out the mood between Towa’s overwhelming guilt and Setsuna’s callous demeanor. Moroha offers levity to a number of scenes that would have otherwise been bogged down by some of the angst that comes from two of Sesshomaru’s children hashing out why he possibly went the Heihachi Mishima route of abandoning his kids to build character. At the same time, she’s surprisingly a voice-of-reason for the group by talking Setsuna down from taking on any of the ballsy decisions she might want to make and quickly hitting it off with Towa once she realized she was Sesshomaru’s daughter. I’m a big fan of how this dynamic will turn out, especially if Moroha isn’t just at the mercy of being pushed around by Towa or Setsuna.