Kon: Master why have you forsaken me?!
The Yakou fanclub is still after Natsume, the plot and romance thickens, and Touji is looking as suspicious as ever. What else is new?
Pretty Dumb for a Cult
Am I creeping you out yet?
As you may recall, we’ve heard that Yakou has a fanclub in the form of a cult that takes every opportunity to harrass Natsume. To solidify our negative view of these fanatics, this episode throws us in the middle of one of their plots. That instructor from last episode whom I was suspicious of is revealed to be a magic investigator. Then it is further revealed that he is actually a Yakou fanboy who wants to become Natsume’s familiar. To that end he tries to kill Natsume’s friends. Yeah. I don’t know about you, but that’s just stupid. The cult was made out to be pretty serious business, and I had taken them as such. But now that I’ve seen what one of their members is like, I can’t decide if they’re a serious threat any more. These guys may have infiltrated the Onmyoji Bureau, but if all they can do is kidnap Natsume and threaten her friends, they start looking like the Team Rocket of Tokyo Ravens. Sure, the guy here almost got our heroine to consent to his being her familiar (just look at how ridiculous that statement is), but not for a single moment did I feel that the situation was really that urgent.
He actually looks reliable!
Since the Yakou cult is so stupid, let’s forget about it for a moment and instead focus on Harutora. That’s right, he’s graduated from Bakatora in my book thanks to his display here. First there’s the showdown with Kyouko. Harutora may have lost, but I’m thinking the kendo sword exploding was probably an indication that his spiritual power was too much for it to handle or something. So really Kyouko got lucky. Then we have his fitting in with and making friends with the class in spite of the initial awkwardness (no thanks to Kyouko). That’s something that I’m sure will be important for the aloof Natsume down the road as she makes more friends of her own. Finally, we have our hero leading the charge to save Natsume from the clutches of crazy fanboys. And this time he’s actually pretty useful. We don’t see too much in the way of offense from him (the closest thing is his cracking the oni’s mask), but Harutora certainly proved himself able to stand against magical attacks beyond mock battles and organize (to a certain extent) a counterattack. For that, I give him brownie points. So at this point I am very pleased with the growth that we’ve been seeing from the guy. It’s just enough to make him useful, yet not too overwhelming that he’s suddenly become OP overnight.
It’s tough being mysterious.
Moving on, we have Touji. Two things to note here. In a previous episode, he mentioned he got his powers from a spiritual disaster. This episode, he refers to Kakugyouki, one of Yakou’s familiars, in an almost nostalgic manner. There’s only one notable spiritual disaster that we the audience know of at this point: the Taizan Fukun Ritual. Combine this with Touji speaking of Kakugyouki with seeming familiarity, and I think you can see what we’re being led to believe. It’s not too much of a stretch to speculate that the mysterious lad might have been alive during Yakou’s time. And if we’re feeling bold, it might even be possible that he actually served Yakou in one way or another (like maybe as a familiar). This would explain his knowledge on just about anything onmyoji. Although we do see here that he apparently is in the dark about the Yakou fanclub. But a bunch of idiots salivating over the thought of his former acquaintance or perhaps master is probably beneath his notice.
Spice Things Up
In spite of everything, Tokyo Ravens must be getting pretty boring though. Because the show saw fit to introduce some curveballs into the romance. Remember how Kyouko was being a royal pain last time? Turns out she’s just frustrated because Natsume is ignoring her. And actually she likes Natsume and wants to get together with “him”. Why? Because supposedly the two met when they were younger and made some sort of promise. Come on Tokyo Ravens, just go ahead and say it; you know you want to. That promise was probably to get married or something. Actually, now that I think about it, it’s also possible the promise was for her to become Natsume’s familiar. Sound familiar? See what I did there? But you know what, that’s all for nothing. Because later on when she’s gushing about Natsume to Harutora, our hero has this brief vision of a young Kyouko. And to maximize drama, I foresee this meaning the Tsuchimikado whom Kyouko met in her youth is actually none other than Harutora. Though I don’t see how anyone could mistake Harutora for Natsume or vice versa, The two look nothing alike.
As before, I’m really enjoying Tokyo Ravens right now. I will say that the battle with the fake Kakugyouki felt a bit too much like a contrived development purely to demonstrate Harutora’s growth and Natsume’s acceptance of friends. But why get worked up about that? I personally think it’s very well that Natsume is starting to open up to others. This will be a good opportunity for her to grow as a person, and hopefully grow out of the Yakou mold that others are trying to force her into. Remember how Yakou was also alone and just wanted to have friends? If Natsume can avoid this, I’d say she’s on her way to becoming her own person and accomplishing what the great onmyoji could not, reincarnation or not.