「冥王獣の冥福」 (Meioju no Meifuku)
“Meifuku, the Meioju”
This episode of Yashahime wasn’t too remarkable but gave the three girls a good lead for making the money necessary to place a bounty on the Dream Butterfly. It also gave us an introduction to Konton, the second of the Four Perils the girls have to face.
With how much hype is thrown towards the Four Perils as the guardians of Kirinmaru, Konton should prove to be an intimidating opponent to match the pedigree he’s given. But much like the ill-fated Kyuki, Konton has a difficult time keeping up with the craftiness and ingenuity that the girls have to channel their demon power towards removing his armor.
It’s been easy to accept that Yashahime is still a Saturday morning cartoon where adversity doesn’t hit like a truck, but if there’s one complaint I have about it being skewed towards a younger crowd, it means that villains that should be tough and intimidating end up becoming pushovers by the time the episode comes to a close. It’s understandable if the “monster of the week” format was towards lower-level demons. But when you’re going up against demons that act as the lieutenants for the girls’ final opponent, it diminishes any kind of tension that can be had with any one of the Four Perils and Kirinmaru.
Why bother feeling worried about the girls’ next opponent when two of the Four Perils have already proven to be lacking in quality? Konton may have achieved victory against Meifuku’s father, but his abilities are never on the forefront when you think of him as a character. Instead, we’re supposed to focus on his defining trait of being infatuated with aesthetics and natural beauty. Or at least, that’s the impression I get when every other line out of this guy’s mouth is “How disgraceful,” or “This looks disgraceful.”
While there are some episodes that push the needle for the plot or present a foe that’s proven to be trouble for our protagonists, Episode 09 is lacking in the level of tension or development that past episodes have had. Because of this, it’s tricky to elaborate any further on the episode without direct attention to who Konton is, why he behaves this way, and why it took very little for Towa, Moroha, and Setsuna to have him make a strategic retreat if he’s supposed to be one of the Four Perils.