「金と銀の虹色真珠」 (Kin to Gin no Niji-iro Shinju)
“The Gold and Silver Rainbow Pearls”
We continue the monster-of-the-week trend with this week’s Yashahime, but in a welcome twist-of-fate, it has a sense of purpose in the narrative. By having to face off against two volatile demon brothers attached to the hip at birth, it gives Setsuna and Towa a chance to use their feud and reconciliation as a means of remembering their childhood.
At first, I was wary of the episode’s antagonists not being involved directly with Kirinmaru, but the demons in this episode were pretty unique. It had the morbid details about how Kinka and Ginka were demons born attached to each other and one sibling was meant to kill and eat the other by the time they came of age. But because they were both the strongest demons in their village, they would always come to a stalemate when they tried to kill each other.
It took the Joka (Baby!) wanting to absorb one of them for both of the brothers to snap out of their desire to murder, but by that time, Ginka was mortally wounded and Kinka would be soon to join him. Even though it was too late by the time they had a change of heart, it was just enough time to have Towa and Setsuna think back to what it means to be a sibling.
For an episode that didn’t have a villain that tied too closely to the overarching plot, it was a pleasant surprise that it still managed to turn the needle by having Kinka and Ginka remind Towa and Setsuna of their sibling relationship. Initially, I thought it was just going to be a heavy-handed opportunity to reinforce that Towa has a one-sided love for her sister. But, I was floored when they actually awakened the missing parts of Setsuna’s memory about her separation from Towa. I’m glad they gave Setsuna a vague impression that her sister was Towa and didn’t end it right then and there with her being unsure of who she was. It gives us more time to check out how Setsuna is going to piece together her memories with the general idea that she was in-fact Towa’s sister.
It’s tragic that both Kinka and Ginka turned out to die by the end of the episode, but the tone shift at the end was a little odd when Moroha showed up to try to shovel their ashes into a bag in a desperate attempt to sell the brothers who were just crying over each a few seconds before they died. Still, I supposed they wanted to keep her as far away as possible so that Towa and Setsuna could have their moment to shine together as siblings, and that Setsuna can have a moment to reminisce about the possibility of Towa being her sister.