“What I Can Do to Protect You”
Keika realizes he has been entrusted by Ki with information that could be used to harm him, but is on the fence about his loyalty to Ki regardless. Still rebelling against the Tanmoku family, Ritsu’s challenge puts Keika in danger, but reveals a potentially dangerous power hidden inside him.
In continuing the group’s retreat to Mount Ura this week, the show maintains its attempts to pack a lot of info into an episode that was still light in terms of actual events. The episode also hints more strongly at the possible romantic link between Ki and Keika. A visit to MAL confirms that this is indeed meant to be a Shounen Ai series, so it’s no real surprise that it’s turning out this way. Still, there seems to be more to their connection than the obvious BL pandering.
To start, there is a shared sense of vulnerability between the spirit shadow and its master. Keika’s ongoing existence is linked to Ki’s, and he will cease to be if Ki is ever killed. Conversely, the moment the two of them formed their pact they became aware of all the important moments in each others’s lives. For Ki, one of the most important pieces of information is his birth date, which can be used against him if it were to ever be found out by an enemy. Ki and Keika must establish a trust in order to preserve themselves and each other. The question then arises as to why Ki selected Keika, given that he’s something of a bumbling moron. The answer lies somewhere within the vague images and copious exposition prevalent in this episode.
In setting up the story for this week, Keika’s early morning ‘talk’ with Ki leads to his chance encounter with the butler after getting ejected by Shiyou. The butler, revealed to be Ritsu’s (obvious angry family member from last week) father, explains the significance of the Rakugetsu sword (named after its first owner) he’s transporting in a moment of obvious forshadowing. This transtions into the fastest Chekov’s Gun resolution I’ve seen in a while when Ritsu challenges Keika and demands to know (what else?) Ki’s birth date.
Keika’s fight with Ritsu showcases a number of things that could be important later: His family’s control over spirits, their tradition as servants, and the ways to prevent a soul from being reborn, though sorting through them to decipher which ones are critical isn’t an easy task at this point. What is most telling, however, are the moments in which Keika has several visions of the first Youmeishi. Their is a strong possibility that Keika is the reborn form of Tanmoku Rakugetsu, or at least spiritually connected to him somehow. This raises a great many possibilities for the story in addition to the fracturing loyalties within the Tanmoku family following Ritsu’s actions.
– Keika gets some more involvement and is hinted to have a deeper connection to Ki
– The show is setting up for the rest of the cast to become more relevant
– Exposition heavy style leaves little room to build stories/characters
– Things still happen too quickly to fully absorb their significance
Last week I raved that the purpose of the episode was to provide an intriguing apocalyptic story hidden amid the humorous moments. This week, the purpose seemed centered around reminding viewers that Spiritpact is intended to be a yaoi series.
All jokes aside, some questions I had after last week’s episode did end up getting answered. Viewers now know that Ritsu is the son of the Tanmoku family butler. Also, the family butler is Jiun’s (Ki’s Aunt) brother. So this means that Ritsu is Ki’s cousin. Did you get all that? Good, moving on…
Keika still seems conflicted about his role as a spirit shadow. He vows to take away Ki’s spirit powers, recover his life, and be reborn. This way, Keika claims, he can invest in stock and spend his life with someone he loves. So while the yaoi message is plainly visible to viewers, it is a bit too ambiguous for Keika to notice.
Speaking of Keika, there is something sinister lurking beneath his humorous, lax nature. Viewers learn that a treasured sword has been passed down through the Tanmoku family line. This sword was once owned (and named) for the first Youmeishi, Tanmoku Rakugetsu. The purpose of this sword is to exterminate evil spirits from the world. Ritsu is surprised when Kekia is able to handle the sword, even going as far to say “What are you?!?”
I am wondering the exact same thing; what is Keika? Several times this episode, Keika has blackout moments where he glimpses the first Youmeishi, Rakugetsu. During one of his last ‘visions,’ Keika seems to have taken on the role of Rakugetsu himself. After this vision fades, he is able to pick up Rakugetsu’s sword, prompting Ritsu to ask the question above.
Now, the reason I refer to this is sinister is because of the words Keika utters in this trancelike state. Keika utters to Ritsu during a battle between them, “I want more power, I want to become stronger. I’ll kill you to become stronger.” Similarly, Keika threatens earlier to steal Ki’s powers from him. At the time, it seemed like a empty warning, but in hindsight, it is something far deeper. Even more terrifying is that Keika is seemingly confused after coming out of these trances; not recalling what he said or did during them.
Despite the eyerolling humor, there is something about this series. I have no utter idea where it is headed and I’m utterly intrigued to find out. For viewers willing to take time to uncover the mystery of SpiritPact, it truly is worthwhile to invest in.
– Intriguing mystery beneath the humorous moments.
– Learned more about the supporting cast this episode.
– Kekia has a darker side that he doesn’t even understand.
– Tense moments still fail to seem serious, given the heavy amount of humor.
This post is part of our seasonal episodic review series. To view all the posts in this series, click the following link: Viewing Party
Leave a Reply