Hakkenden: Touhou Hakken Ibun 2 – 03-05

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And here I thought having cats stuck on the roof annoying

Beuh, I actually did so many things in RL despite of my holiday. This is not a holiday /sigh/ At least I still managed to catch up with Hakkenden though. With it being more and more awesome, there’s no way I’m missing this out

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Being Kaho // Episode three, a sort-of-important filler, is an episode that focuses on the cute girl named Kaho. Kaho is one of the children who were born on the red-light district, thus the reason why Shino had to fill Sousuke’s role as the children’s teachers. Unlike the other children though, Kaho is born blind, making her more sensitive with her other senses to make up for her lack of vision. And that is what episode three is all about. No, Kaho wasn’t wailing over her visually-impaired condition. She’s totally fine with herself being blind. Ok, not really. Because of the fable named Blue Bird, Kaho starts wondering about her family. What does her mother, who abandoned her, look like? How can he recognize his family members in “heaven” if she doesn’t even know their faces? Of course, Shino answers those questions. Vision is not the only thing that can make one understand and loves each other; the heart does. Kaho has so many things that can make up for her vision, she does not need to worry about recognizing others whatsoever. She has other things that can help her to do that. And if she can’t, there are still her friends who will remain by her side.

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Being Yanahime // Yanahime is like a reflection of the past Shino. She is a shrine maiden whose purpose is to host the other half of the deity Yana. Being the host of a deity, her “duty” is to stay inside the shrine and fulfill the villagers’ wishes. Just like the past Shino, Yanahime longs for freedom, life outside the “cage” she has been living in. Perhaps, that is why Ao picked her. Perhaps when Ao sees the loneliness in Yanahime’s eyes, he remembers the Shino that he knows – the lonely Shino the past Sousuke worships more than anything else. However, this feeling of Yanahime’s was the cause of everything. The loneliness she felt as she spent fourteen years of her life is finally at its climax when her dog died, making her to “ask” Ao for a freedom, thus triggering the tragedy in her village. Feeling overwhelmed because she can’t fulfill the villagers’ wishes, Yana who is residing inside Yanahime kills the villagers to “solve” the stress of Yanahime.

But is she actually alone? No, she’s not. There are her two guardians who actually care for her. Despite of them not feeling anything at first, love and fondness for Yanahime obviously grows inside the two guardians’ hearts. If they don’t care for her, why would they stick around and not sacrifice Yanahime right away? And yet, Yanahime wasn’t able to feel the affection her guardians have for her. She is too caught up in her own emotions that she fails to see and feel the emotions of those who are around her. This is the cause of her depression. She feels alone, more alone than anything else in this world, that she lost meaning to her life. She decided to fulfill everybody’s wishes because that is “her job,” when really, the original purpose of Yana is to fulfill the wish of his host! If Yanahime were a bit more selfish, the tragedy in her village could have been prevented. Well, it’s not like I sympathize with her, but y’know what I mean.

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Yanahime is a lesson for many of us in real world. Sometimes we are too caught up in ourselves, in our emotions, that we forgot to look at our surrounding. Yes, those who are around us might be the reason why we have such negative emotions in our heart, just like the villagers to Yanahime. But let us not forget that there are still people who are there for us. These people are the ones who made our world bright, helping us to stand up when we fall. Just take a moment and remember the people we know. Just like Yanahime, I am sure we will find those who cares for us – and vice versa – in those people.

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Being Ao & Sousuke // The stars of this season, Ao and Sousuke finally meet with each other. More like meeting with their own selves though, because just like what Shino said, both of them are one person. It’s like meeting your long-lost twin brother. Or your lost other half. Despite both of them meeting each other for the first time, it is obvious what kind of feeling Ao and Sousuke have: confusion for Sousuke, hatred for Ao.

Though Sousuke looks calm, I am sure there is a moment of confusion when he sees Ao. After all, he never remembers about dividing himself into half. Not to mention how Shino never tells Sousuke about Ao, of course Sousuke feels confused… Though I’m not full-convinced that Sousuke is confused. Actually, how did he feel when he saw Ao? He has been shown lacking emotion all this time, so I’m not sure now what he is feeling when he saw his other half. But hey, now we know why Sousuke is kind-of emotionless! The existence of Ao must have explained Sousuke the reason why he can’t feel any physical pain or emotional feeling. This also explains why Sousuke has no memory of his younger days. All of them, all the things Sousuke lack, are the things that made Ao. No wonder Ao calls himself the “shadow of Sousuke.”

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Ao might look playful when he sees Sousuke, but his hatred for this other half is obvious when he suggested that both of them should try killing each other. Not that his hatred is without reason. Since Ao has Sousuke’s memories, it should be more than obvious that Ao is the part of Sousuke that “worships” and “love” Shino to the point of obsession. And yet, he can’t even get close to the object of his love and affection. Why? Because Sousuke is there. Sousuke has been taking everything Ao longs for in Shino, making it reasonable for Ao wanting to be the “only” Sousuke in this world. A jealous man can do many things for his “beloved,” after all.

Even though Ao and Sousuke create one person, both of them are people with different personalities and way of thinking. Sousuke wants to protect Shino and his freedom no matter what, while Ao wants to be the one who is beside him, in fact, probably the only one. I can imagine how Sousuke is going to be if both them are joined again, but with their conflicting personalities, Shino will definitely have a hard time uniting the two people.

I don’t get it. I don’t get how Hakkenden is gettting better and better every time a new episode is released. Episode three might be a filler, but it was doing a great job at giving hints of Yanahime arc and Sousuke’s relation to Ao. How? Through Kano! Kano might also be a supporting character, but she was shining like a star in episode three. Everything about Kano was touching, bittersweet, and beautiful. I was crying a river when I watched episode three.

Yanahime arc was also a great side story. Through her the audience was able to get a glimpse of Shino’s life when he was in his village (since Ao said that Yanahime is like Shino). Seeing Shino now… I’d say Shino’s character had a great development. I used to think that Shino was a little bit childish, but seeing how Shino was like through Yanahime… I just realized that Shino is the character who matured the most, compared to the other characters. Anyhow, the meeting of Ao and Sousuke in Yanahime Arc makes me understand Sousuke as a whole more. Here’s my theory: Sousuke is a kind person, but he hates the twisted part of himself that he unconsciously separate the two of them into two different persons. Right now, both of them are fine with themselves. Will this comfort last though? After all, a person cannot be himself if both his good and bad sides aren’t together. Also, it seems that Ao is trying to absorb spirits so that he can be on equal term with Murasame. But why? What is Ao planning? Whatever it is, I am sure it is for the good of Shino. At least, according to Ao.

Preview: Another filler, but it’s ok since the four families are back in the spotlight!

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2 Responses to “Hakkenden: Touhou Hakken Ibun 2 – 03-05”

  1. AllenAndArth says:

    seems like a good anime… i might take up and see…Though i think i’m going to see Hakkenden 1 first

    • anaaga says:

      This is a REALLY good anime, it’s sad how this anime is underrated because of the mangaka’s history with yaoi and the yaoi tendencies of the characters. But if one put that aside, this anime is great

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