「雷撃砲」 (Raigeki hou)
Hibari of the wind clan, the god introduced last week, makes a surprise visit to Toushi. For shits and giggles, he drops the information bomb that the spiders are going to attack in exactly 9 days. Hibari’s attitude confirms what was already obvious, that the gods don’t see any sort of responsibility to their worshippers-the earthly affairs are merely a way to pass the time.
Hibari must have been really bored, freely offering up the even juicier tip that Toushi’s dad had Fire Lord potential. If Toushi’s anything like his father (which Yusoichi seems to think so), then this means he also has the potential to become the Fire Lord. While I sort of saw that one coming, to Toushi this was a big bomb drop and will change things immensely going forward. At least change things from his perspective, that is-I have a hunch that Yusoichi knew or at least guessed what his supposed buddy could become and hence why he’s dead-set on keeping Toushi under his wing at all costs. Things certainly aren’t going to be easy-Toushi has to contend with both Yusoichi’s manipulation and Hibari’s interference.
While I for one think the last thing this world-or any world for that matter- needs is to re-invent the bomb, it was fascinating from an anthropological perspective, how the past can be pieced together ad hoc from historical archives. It was strange, to hear weapons that are common knowledge to a 21st century viewer, referred to as “ancient” by characters living in an alternate, distant future. Koushi’s “Hurry up and fire it before the wind changes” is significant-he knows that Hibari, as a wind god, can change it at any moment.
It’s not hard to read the “oh crap” running through Koushi’s head when he’s finally realized he’s leaped into a land mine (or more like, an (anti) aerial one). Even with a lightning cannon, it doesn’t seem like a smart idea to get in on a war between the two, but at this point, Koushi probably can’t back out of it. If he read those research notes, he should’ve been able to infer the inherent dangers of such technologies. Not that he could have refused the research, given that Hinako was the carrot on the stick. While the cannon supposedly doesn’t harm humans, it can do a number on the environment. The question is-what will happen with it after they’ve messed with the gods-that’s where the real danger lies. Once you’ve made a thing like that, you can’t just dispose of it and pretend it never happened.
Things went even more full circle than I thought (I thought the Koushi-Touko connection was the extent of it) with the surprise that the author of the library’s secret book was Akira’s brother. The center of the past, present, and future is the flickering flame. Akira’s brother died because of it, the gods are opposed to the humans hunting it, and the humans now have their sights set on it. It wouldn’t surprise me if it also had something to do with Koushi’s dad’s final journey, especially with the revelation that muku paper is the key to meeting with the flame and he went to Touko’s village specifically for that paper needed to make a request for the flame to the palace. Interestingly, the word for palace used is “jingu”, which refers specifically to a shrine connected to the royal family-a further connection between the ruling clans of this world and divinity.
Akira staked her claim (or at least, Touko staked it for her) as future Fire Lord-between her and Koushi, who will win? Both have the primogeniture, so to speak-Koushi with his father and Akira with her brother. Akira has the benefit of experience while Koushi, the benefit of natural talent with skyfire. Something tells me it’ll end up being Koushi, but we’ll have to wait and see.
This anime is so fascinating, the lore, the story, the ambiance, everything is on the spot… Too bad the animation quality is inconsistent with the rest of the product. But even that doesn´t ruin its outstanding qualities.
Agreed, the animation quality is rather a shame. It is indeed interesting to see them dig into the lore, how they pull some of it from Japanese mythology and add their unique spin to a lot of it.