「機密事項六二三シノノメ」 (Kimitsu Jikō Roku Ni San Shinonome)
“Confidential File 623, Daybreak”
Miss Simplice’s Review
I am ecstatic, although unsurprised, that Sawa is alive. And it had dawned on me that Tsukimori’s poison was not in fact poison. This new runaway path that Sawa and Asahi find themselves on will most likely lead to their return or confrontation with the Shogun, who is after her blue blood. It might even be revealed later down the line that the Shogun is behind her village’s massacre, ordering Janome to do his bidding in the same way he has Jin crushed under his little finger.
Jin is most likely aware that Sawa is still alive. Nana, her blue-eye crow, never left her side and I doubt that a character with his specialties could miss such an open clue. His character is showing more dimension in this episode as well. Right after meeting with the Shogun he takes action in favor of the opposition. Peculiar fellow, I’d say. Slaughtering the doctor that helped Tsukimura heal and minutes later slaughtering the very police he’s meant to be working with.
One of the characters that has surprised me the most in this show however is Tsukimori. I’m intrigued by her character, her background, and why she is so infatuated with the idea of Sawa’s freedom. I’m even more curious about why she needs the blue medicine.
For this episode, I don’t have very much to say as we’re only just heading into the new story arc now that Janome is dead and gone.
If you read my last co-post with Princess Usagi you must have noted that I was leaning towards handing over the entire coverage to them. This is mostly because I was hoping the series would lean towards dark, gory, and include some more action sequences. But as it stands, there’s a subtlety to the series that I am still enjoying. The style is almost poetic. So this is just to say that I’ve yet to make up my mind. I’ll see how this develops instead.
Princess Usagi’s Review
This episode confirmed the viewers’ suspicions that Sawa is not dead. Even though all of this was planned as an escape from Nue, is Kuzuhara really unaware that Sawa is alive? During Sawa’s “burial”, Kuzuhara checked his watch as if he were timing something, and he let Asahi remain at the grave-site by herself rather than forcing her to accompany him. Either he is very considerate in giving her time to grieve alone or he guessed that Asahi will escape with Sawa and is turning a blind eye. If it is the latter, then he must have switched sides against Nue or is playing cat and mouse in letting the pair feel they have gained freedom before snatching it away.
It was symbolic that Asahi reached out with muddied hands to grab Sawa’s clean hands. Asahi “dirtied” her hands by faking Sawa’s death so that Sawa could be reborn as her true self, Sawa Kurasumori, whose hands do not need to be muddied by killing. They successfully escape to a shrine in Iwai province. This is a fictional place-there is no Iwai province in the real world. As such, I have no idea how far from Tokyo the pair have fled. Hopefully far enough to escape Nue’s clutches. I highly doubt that this respite will last long. Nue’s power combined with increasing desperation to keep the shogunate in power means that Nue will soon bein hot pursuit.
The second half of the episode finally brings us back into the show’s historical setting. In spite of the government’s and Nue’s efforts at suppression, tensions are still running high-not just within Japan, but also abroad. The cabinet meets to discuss the issue of an argument with France about mining in Takashima. Takashima was an actual coal mine in Kyushu. It was established during the Meiji era and for a time, produced a lot of coal eventually paving the way for other mines in Kyushu. Japan collaborated with the English and Scottish and not the French on the Takashima mine. However, Japan did work with France in various industries, including a mine on the Japanese mainland.
The British also have a role in this alternate history, with Tsukishiro killing an Englishman. It would make sense for the English to collaborate with Nue to keep theshogunate in power if the shogunate promised a trading deal that would give them a leg up on the French. It is also possible that the English are collaborating with Nueto steal some of the Dragon’s Vein for themselves. Even if the English help to bolster the shogunate, there is still only so much longer the shogunate can hold on before collapsing under mounting pressure from the public.