「不死の呪い」 (Fushi no noroi)
“The Curse of Immortality”
The thrill ride continues for Ousama Ranking with another very intense episode. Interestingly we got a rare (was it the first?) bit of voice-over narration in the pre-open. And it was an important infodrop too – Death-Har and his brothers are the sons of Saturn, God of the Underworld and a human mother. Saturn’s downfall (it certainly turned his sons against him) was his obsession with immortality. It was why he married a human in the first place, though it certainly didn’t end the way he wanted.
There’s a lot to unpack with that little revelation, that’s for sure. Ouken certainly seems to have gotten the short end of the stick – no divine powers at all until 25, and then apparently consumed by them. Death-Har got the full spread but ended up kind of a dickhead, which I guess makes Death-Par the Goldilocks child – just enough powers, and the perspective to use them wisely. I can’t think Saturn’s obsession is unrelated to Miranjo and Bosse’s machinations to cheat death. And if only children of Gods can use magic, what does that say about Hilling and Miranjo?
Bojji is at the center of the rest of the episode, and he’s as commanding a presence as he’s been since the start of the series. He and Kage come upon Apeas and offer aid, getting a bit of information in return. Whatever the “great debt” Apeas owes Miranjo is, it’s enough to make him act against what are clearly his own ideals. Hearing that Miranjo just wants some alone time with Bosse certainly doesn’t mitigate her sins at all for me. If anything that seems like an incredibly selfish reason for doing the things she’s done (and is still doing).
One of those things is summoning Ouken to her side – and with Apeas down, she needs his presence to act as her fleshy agent. Zokku is getting a bit full of himself for starters, thinking Miranjo is his to do with as he pleases. Zokku may be able to spit poison gas but he’s smart enough to know he’s no match for Ouken. Unfortunately for him. Bojji’s current agenda is to subdue the remaining crims, and he’s not about to let Zokku run off. He has no problem dealing with him (the poison has no effect) but Ouken is another matter entirely.
Meanwhile Domas and Hakuro finally reach their goal, the gate to the Underworld. And lo and behold, the portal is composed of shadow clan (whether a single one or several I’m not sure). Domas destroys it but the vibe is not a good one, and remembering where this order came from I can’t imagine this is going to end well. Hilling is off to hide in an old guardhouse, but a red-eyed mouse guides her to Apeas (who could clearly use some of her gentle touch).
As for Bojji, he ends up in the facedown that Death-Par warned against – with Ouken. I can’t remember if Death-Par ever had the opportunity to warn Kage to avoid this matchup at all costs, but if he did Kage seems to have completely forgotten about it. But the fact is even if Kage had tried to stop him I’m not sure it would have matted, as Bojji sees himself as the last line of defense against Ouken. Bojji (massive aura and all) manages to land several of what should have been crippling blow son Ouken, but Ouken is unaffected. Bojji is selfless to a fault (literally) and even after Kage convinces him to employ a strategic retreat, he immediately throws himself back in harm’s way rather than let Ouken take out Zokku (who’d just tried to poison Bojji).
Miranjo remains the great mystery in all this. Is the Miranjo with Daida perhaps mirror Miranjo’s daughter – meaning mirror Miranjo pulled the same trick as Bosse in order to prolong her life? And why did Miranjo offer Kage advice to have Bojji save himself – is she being influenced by Daida’s interactions with her alter-ego in… wherever those two are? This is feeling awfully climactic considering we still have six episodes to go, and in terms of the manga we’re nowhere near any sort of a conclusion. I just get the feeling things are going to get worse before they get better…