「夢ひらきの罠」 (Yume Hiraki no Wana)
“The Dream Gazing Trap”
In this episode of Yashahime, the story finds a way to quickly eliminate Kyuki, one of Kirinmaru’s main officers in charge of eliminating Sesshomaru and Inuyasha’s children. But in the midst of her attack, memories awaken in them revolving around the experiences of Inuyasha, Kagome, and Miroku.
The mini-flashbacks we get of the InuYasha cast got plenty of fanfare in this episode with small hints that gave us a little more info to explain what happened with the old vanguard. Miroku’s mysterious appearance mainly served to add to Takechiyo’s backstory and give some background on the tanuki’s upbringing. Might not be the juiciest detail, but it also serves to give Miroku more significance in the overarching plot as he’s pretty much doing all of this as a wandering monk without Sango or his children beside him.
In another dark twist of fate, a vision is shown where we see the circumstances that led Inuyasha and Kagome to give up Moroha for her own safety. This time, it all ties into Sesshomaru’s descent as he joins Kirinmaru in picking a fight with their family. But while it isn’t set in stone what Sesshomaru’s motives were, it does lend itself to the idea that he flipped in such a way that he had to fight Inuyasha once again. The vision of Rin is likely where his main motives lay, but this episode shows us this to link the Dream Butterfly with both Rin’s endless slumber and Setsuna’s inability to sleep.
It was underwhelming to see Kyuki go down at an even faster pace than the owl demon or some of the other foes that Towa, Setsuna, and Moroha have faced along the way. It was funny to see Moroha instantly fall for Kyuki’s prank by putting on the Beniyasha lip balm right around the time she sapped everyone’s demon energy, but I figured she’d be a higher ranking officer since she has a direct line with Kirinmaru. But even if she gave the girls a hard time, all they had to do was find a workaround that let the girls use their demon energy to catch her off her game. By the time they figured out Moroha could just fire off an Iron Reaver Soul Stealer at Towa and have her absorb the energy for her blade, it felt like that was all they needed to topple Kyuki.
In fact, it seems like the show is busy positioning Riku as a more intimidating antagonist that Kyuki since he made it his own personal goal to go against both the exorcists and Kirinmaru by trying to steal the pearls to use for his own self-interest. He also melted Kyuki’s face in a brutal kill that was pretty surprising to see in all of its glory.
It did bother me though that Towa would forget the ordeal that Riku put her through by giving her a stolen sword that got her arrested at an instant. She got put in handcuffs and almost broke the fabric of time and space by having her Japanese history book confiscated by feudal era demons. And even after all of this, she greets Riku with a nice, hearty “HEY THERE!” as if he wasn’t the reason she got busted in the first place. She doesn’t have to lay the hammer down on him, but a “you have some explaining to do” would have sufficed.
But because of his unchecked transgressions, he’s further ingraining himself within the girl group and will definitely find new, exciting ways to place them in harm’s way so that he can take the pearls. Whether we get anything substantial about everyone’s parents in the next episode might be a stretch, but I can imagine the first phases of Riku’s plan coming to fruition next time.
Before I finish up, I’d like to dedicate this week’s post to Kirby Morrow, who passed away on the 18th. He was the English voice actor that gave Miroku a calm, disarming voice that managed to make such a perverted character sound like a thoughtful and respectable gentleman. As the series progressed, Morrow’s voice helped make Miroku’s evolution as a character all the more fulfilling once the stakes rose high enough to give him a reason to fight harder for Sango. In a cruel twist of fate, this means two of the original voice actors for Miroku are gone with Tsujitani Koji having passed in 2018. Morrow also voiced Trowa Barton from Gundam Wing, Teru Mikami from Death Note, and Goku from the Ocean dub of Dragon Ball Z. He was set to reprise Miroku for the entirety of Yashahime and was able to record for Episode 01 before his passing. May he rest with ease.