Natsume: Wait, you mean it’s not as long as this sword?! Bakatora: It’s only about this long…
Tokyo Ravens is as frenetic as ever. But now that we’ve gotten the opening act out of the way, perhaps things will slow down a bit when we get bogged down in Onmyoji School. No doubt Bakatora will have a hard time adapting, given he’s never been able to see spiritual energy before.
Prodigal Child Defeated
The fruit of her efforts.
To save a regurgitation on the events of this episode, let’s just say Suzuka is defeated. And looking back at the battle, I don’t know if she’s really displayed anything befitting of her title of Divine General. It feels like all this time, she’s only had the overwhelming advantage due to her two very powerful automatons, which are production models and not her own creations. Is it simply her ability to control them that makes her impressive? Because other than that, she’s shown us nothing else fancy. Granted, she’s able to almost carry out the Taizan Fukun Ritual and she also created a ridiculous number of charms using her own blood. But the former apparently follows a cookie-cutter format with chant and location set, and she was only able to do it by stealing Natsume’s powers. And the latter I’m sure anyone with enough will-power could do, plus it was all meaningless before Bakatora’s own righteous will-power. So all in all, either this supposed child prodigy got shafted in her appearance here, or she’s not that big of a deal in the end. Which only makes the onmyoji police look even more pathetic.
I love its childish curiousness even in the heat of battle.
Just when we thought we’d seen the last of Hokuto, she appears again! Well actually it’s a different Hokuto this time in name, which turns out to be the Tsuchimikado family’s trump card guardian dragon. The moment Natsume uttered the name “Hokuto”, I was prepared for something ridiculous like a giant Hokuto appearing and catching Bakatora. But a dragon is fine too. Basically this new Hokuto is some sort of rare beast that’s super powerful and of course super hard to control. It just does what it wants once it’s summoned by Natsume, but luckily it at least turns on Suzuka’s automatons when they stupidly provoke it. No doubt having a dragon around will come in handy for future battles, so I’m sure we’ll see some training arc soon enough (especially with Bakatora enrolling in Onmyoji School) where Natsume and Bakatora eventually gain the respect of the dragon and it finally heeds their orders explicitly.
A scene from the past.
But dragons aside, we actually do meet the Hokuto we know and love again. It’s not so subtle, but I’m glad things turned out this way in the end. So at the end of episode 2, Natsume drops a “Bakatora”, which raised a few eyebrows. And after the questionably anticlimactic confrontation with Suzuka (our heroes win by throwing a box at the connection to the other realm and casting some pentagram spell), she appraises the shikigami that used to be Hokuto and makes some suspiciously detailed remarks. Then come the end of the episode, she receives Bakatora as he arrives at Tokyo and lo and behold she starts talking like Hokuto (using boku and Bakatora again). She uses the excuse that it’s just family tradition to speak masculinely, but at this point she’s not fooling anyone. Except for Bakatora, of course.
You expect too much of this guy, Natsume.
Anyway, point is Natsume was Hokuto all along. Which makes a lot of sense seeing as the latter kept trying to convince Bakatora to become an onmyoji, which would only lead him back to Natsume. So when you think about it, Natsume was basically plotting to get her man back to her in a very sneaky way. What a girl. Plus, now we also realize that the usually reserved onmyoji actually has a rather spunky side to her. Which I’m completely fine with.
All things considered, Tokyo Ravens continues to do a great job. The CG here, which there was plenty of, is again top-notch. But I’m not going to beat that dead horse. There are definitely a few potential inconsistences when you look back on things, such as how Natsume was able to manipulate Hokuto into saving Bakatora when she had her powers stolen at the restaurant, but let’s not sweat it. That stuff can easily be explained away with MAGIC, quite literally. Regardless, the plot is moving ahead nicely, with Bakatora finally going to Onmyoji School and the brief vision he has of Yakou and someone who looks to be the legendary onmyoji’s familiar. I’m getting some gender-reversed NatsumexBakatora vibes here. Touji is also revealed to have spiritual powers due to being in a spiritual disaster. But honestly do we believe Touji’s words? That guy is more suspicious than a cat with a feather in its mouth. But hopefully we’ll hear what his real story is soon enough.