“The Final Decision”
Desperately trying to escape from Ritsu, Ki frees Keika from the distance restriction he placed on him and begs his spirit shadow to save himself. Meanwhile, back at the Tanmoku mansion the tension increases as the seal on the evil spirits weakens well before the designated time. With everything on the line Keika makes a decision not to run anymore.
I could probably leave Kimmie to review this herself for the remainder of the season given how much she enjoys talking the show, but this episode reveals a number of things that deserve mention beyond the possible direction of the story that has her so captivated.
One of the major themes that this series has been touting from the beginning is the bond between Ki and Keika. Where earlier episodes attempted to drop hints like compromising positions in bed or a virtual wedding ceremony, it’s in this episode where both are in mortal danger that we see their feelings come through the strongest as they are both willing to face death for the other. Flawed as the storytelling is at times, moments like this go a long way in selling the relationship between these characters.
The other relationship that has been slowly built over the course of this series is the one between Rakugetsu and You Nei (Shisei). Though revealed only through flashbacks, viewers get a sense of how close they were, and how painful it was for Shisei to leave his master’s side. The flashbacks reveal that they do reunite, though to the painful scene of Shisei having to take Rakugetu’s life. It seems like it’s no longer a question of if this will parallel the experience between Ki and Keika, but rather how and when.
The time may be drawing near as in the same episode that Ki reveals that the rope tied into Keika’s hair is what is actually keeping his soul bound to this world, Keika himself destroys it to stop Ritsu from cursing Ki. This appears to allows Rakugetsu to take over Keika’s body (the clue being his purple eyes), and the revelation that Ki “lost this bet”, likely referring to the risk he took in taking Keika as his spirit shadow.
Ending on that cliffhanger, this series, which had no business being so interesting given its shaky start, has once doubtful viewers eagerly awaiting the next episode.
– Some solid drama to sell Ki and Keika’s devotion to one another.
– A few exciting moments help keep the tension throughout as the stakes are raised.
– Several action scenes beg the opportunity to be showcased, but the animation hovers around passable.
– Some odd narrative choices, like Keika’s meeting with In Tetsu, fit poorly.
For all the summary and speculation I had for last week’s episode, not a whole lot was revealed this week. My theory of Ki being fixated on keeping Keika’s soul earth bound was confirmed. It was revealed that the tassel tied around Keika’s hair, prior to the bonding ceremony, would keep Keika’ soul ‘alive’ even if Ki perished. Ki is so determined to keep Keika safe that he found a way for his spirit shadow to live on, even if he doesn’t.
Why is it necessary to keep Keika alive? Well, in our last review, I surmised the You bloodline is playing a vital role in keeping Ragkugetsu’s entity sealed within the sword. As witnessed this episode, once the tassel was cut, Ragkugetsu was able to force himself into Keika’s body. Similarly, evil spirits began escaping the tailsman that sealed them. Does this give weight to my theory? It seems to be leaning in that direction.
To overcome Ragkugetsu’s possession, the answer lies in this same episode. As In Tetsu explained earlier to Keika, swords contain the emotions of their creators. To know how to handle the sword, don’t refuse the emotions tied to them. Though it is yet to be seen what will transpire, I imagine Keika has to find a way to reconnect with You Nei’s emotions to overcome Ragkugetsu and seal his powers once more.
Theories to Ponder:
Ritsu finally divulges the reason behind his bitterness towards Ki. He claims that Ki has murdered “two people very important to me.” The former butler of the Tanmoku estate calls Ritsu his son, but I am beginning to theorize that these may be Ritsu’s parents? With nothing else to support or refute this, it is honestly just a shot in the dark sort of guess.
What is most intriguing is a vision Keika has. After being hit with the Kimei tailsman, Keika has a flash back of a man and woman standing over someone, attempting to resurrect them. Given the hairstyle and clothing, the person lying prone bears a striking resemblance to Keika. Coming from a line of exorcists, could this mean the people in question are Keika’s parents? It doesn’t make much sense in the context of the story, since his parents supposedly died when he was only fourteen. Perhaps the pair are related to Ritsu (maybe his parents) and, through somehow saving Keika’s soul, they lost their lives? If Ki asked this of Ritsu’s parents, and they died fulfilling the request, it would certainly make a strong case for Ritsu to seek revenge.
What if the person being revived is not Keika, but Ki? Given their hairstyles, they could pass for one another. Why Keika might be privy to this vision though, I am not sure. What may support this theory is the fact that Ritsu doesn’t harbor any grudge towards Keika, just Ki. If his loved ones died saving Keika’s soul, wouldn’t he seek revenge on both Keika and Ki? Also, Ritsu discloses, “[Ki] wasn’t suppose to come into this world. He’ll create countless victims. This man is a murderer.” It has already been revealed that Ki isn’t a direct descendant of the Tanmoku family, so who is he? Given the Shito family are spirit masters, did they aid in sealing a spirit inside of Ki? Interesting…
– Despite some negative views regarding execution of this series, the slow reveals keep viewers invested; eager to determine what will transpire.
– Ritsu has established a cause for seeking revenge on Ki, though some elaboration would be appreciated.
– Aside from the growing pile of questions, this series is developing nicely.
This post is part of our seasonal episodic review series. To view all the posts in this series, click the following link: Viewing Party