Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon - The Second Act
by Rebecca Silverman,
How would you rate episode 10 of
Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon - The Second Act (TV 2) ?
Community score: 3.8
I think what's so frustrating about Yashahime is that it's so horribly inconsistent. Or maybe it's consistently inconsistent, though that's not the kind of consistency I'm looking for in my anime. In any event, this season has been a model of that problem: we'll get one episode that does a good job with telling the story and developing the characters and/or plot while delving into themes of world folklore, and then the next two will be jumbled messes as it tries to keep up with too many characters at the same time while throwing in a plot point or two. This week's episode, the first of what I presume to be a two-parter, is very much the latter scenario. We get some Towa, some Setsuna, some Moroha, and, just to mix things up a bit, some Inu Yasha and Kagome with bonus Sango and Miroku.
Ostensibly the Moroha/past characters storyline are one and the same. After Moroha's spectacular failure to subdue the Full Moon Tanuki, Takechiyo and his guardian recount the way that Kagome sealed the monster years ago, and how the current evil tanuki managed to free him and take over the tanuki clan. This flashback may actually be important, since it was Moroha's mother who did the bulk of the work in sealing the demon away, and Moroha does have some of her mother's capabilities. In fact, she's an almost perfect mix of both of her parents, which is something I especially like about the character; whether she can use that to come out on top in this fight remains to be seen. But the girl built a hang glider on her own (and got the “Ator Flies and So Does My Heart” song from the MST3K Cave Dwellers episode stuck in my head), so she may be able to pull it off – if anything's going to get her in trouble, it's likely to be her impulse control.
I suppose that's better than the grudge Zero is hauling around with her, though. Yes, Zero's part of this overcrowded episode too, and unlike the twins, she's very good at keeping track of the phases of the moon. She's been waiting for the night of the new moon to come so that she could get her claws on Towa, and since Towa didn't realize what night it was until her hair darkened and grew, that means that she's woefully underprepared for Zero's attack. (Setsuna has a bit more of an excuse, since she previously did not turn fully human thanks to those butterflies.) Grudges are definitely one of those things that I don't think we need to pay forward, but Zero is clearly of a different opinion, and snatching up Towa seems like a major part of her plans. It is sweet that Towa keeps Rion out of her clutches by essentially sacrificing her chance to escape, but it also maybe wasn't her brightest move.
Meanwhile, Setsuna is human and not liking the experience much. Because we can't have just one storyline that takes a breather, she's being hunted by a snow monster and his inexplicably cawing wormlike minions. She is surrounded by demon hunters, so even if the poor girl is freezing cold and dragging around more hair than anyone strictly needs, she may still be reasonably protected. I wish we'd gotten a bit more about her feelings (besides “cold” and “tired”) during this period, because it is a fairly new experience for her and it's one that could help her to understand her sister better, but that's sadly not to be. Rather we're simply reminded that it's Towa we should be worried about, assuming we can drum up any of that emotion after an episode that jumps around more than a grasshopper being chased by an enthusiastic bug-catching toddler. There's still potential here for at least two of the three plot threads (still not sure about Moroha and the raccoon dogs), but if the series wants to make good on it, it needs to devote itself to one at a time – or at least just two.
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