I find it frustrating that we don’t get to see much of Yusoichi’s possessiveness in action, we only hear about it from the lips of Kira. “Show don’t tell” always goes down better. Unfortunately, a lot of the plot development here is driven by word of mouth.
Kira inhabits this world of grey, naïvely believing that while her parents do bad things, she’ll stick by them because they’re not bad people. Then again, naivete is only natural for a child Kira’s age, she hasn’t seen enough of the world to make her doubt her parents. She also strikes me as being a “sunbeam amongst the clouds” character who believes the best of everybody- a much needed ray of hope on the ever darkening horizon.
Skyfire (aka lightning) is clearly the ultimate weapon. More precisely from the sketches, skyfires are bombs. Koushi is under the impression that this will make the humans’ lives better, freeing them from the gods. As for Yusoichi, he’s only interested in using it to make his life better. I highly doubt that either will prove true. After driving out the gods, that’s when humans will start using it on each other, recreating wars on the national and international level.
The scene pouring over old sketches of bombs was discomfiting, given all the terrible things done with “skyfire” across history. I feel bad for Koushi who researches this all in good faith, with little clue of what he’s actually stepping into. I can only imagine the guilt he’ll feel after the fact upon witnessing the ensuing mass destruction. I was actually surprised that Roroku agreed to join up with Yusoichi, given that he’s a lone wolf unlike Yusoichi’s hirelings.
We get some intel on the mysterious Hibana, from Akari of all people. A few episodes ago, Hikoushi ruminated that she smelled like Asafuyou, though they never explained what it was or why it was significant. In conversation, Akari lets it drop that she used to work with factory employees who smelled of a hallucinatory drug called Asafuyou. This says something about Mrs. Hibana’s humble origins, which Kira confirmed with her assertion that her parents worked hard to climb up fortune’s ladder. Akari also hints with her “don’t trust strangers with candy” that the factory labor may have been forced. Is there a chance that Akari and Hibana knew each other from their factory days? As for the Asafuyou drug-that she still smells of it suggests she hasn’t kicked her drug habit, explaining why she remains in her room.
I had been wondering why the kindly couple in the capital would take in random strangers. That they are Shouzou’s parents answers that. In thanks to the new lease on life Shouzou gave her, Kaho declares she will marry him to continue as his nursemaid. This wasn’t terribly surprising-the way she’s been tending to him, I couldn’t help but think some sort of feelings were growing in Kaho. It is rather presumptuous of her, however, to decide that on her own. It takes two to tango, and we’ll need to wait for Shouzou to wake up and agree or not for himself to joining this dance (and I thought he had his eye on Akari?).
Akari and Touko aren’t the only ones with companions. Apparently, Kun can use bugs as his eyes when in a trance-like state. Horrifyingly CGI’d insects at that. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there seemed something almost foreboding in Akari’s exit accompanied only by Temari, having refused Kanata’s aid. As if this were a key (final?) point in her narrative. That coupled with the rumors about the spiders leads to some unpleasant foreshadowing for Akari.
In an unexpected encounter with the deities’ spy (or more specifically, shinobi (ninja) in the Japanese dialogue), Hikoushi and Touko finally run into each other. Hikoushi took the news of his father’s death super calmly. Yeah, he wouldn’t begrudge a girl her life and he did despise his father for supposedly abandoning him, but still, I think it’d be natural to be shocked and upset at the news.
The dots are finally connecting as Hikoushi leads Touko in pursuit of the Treefolk in the forbidden quarters in exchange for intel on the spiders’ fire. Why the forbidden quarters are, well, forbidden is still a mystery-is it sacred ground, much like the forest was? I see history being repeated here-like father, like son. Hopefully, Hikoushi will have a better outcome than Haijuu did.