Tokyo Ravens – 13

Image not related to the rest of the episode.

So close, yet so far. Damnit, Tokyo Ravens. Why do you do this? ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)


Baby Steps

The source of the couple’s troubles.

It’s been a while since the previous episode of Tokyo Ravens aired thanks to a holiday break. So to refresh your memory, last time the gang went on a field trip and Bakatora was all set to discover Hokuto’s true identity as Natsume. The episode ends right on an “aha” moment as the idiotic hero finally makes the connection, so obviously it wasn’t a done deal just yet. But boy does the show know how to hike up the anticipation. It would be oh too easy for the two to come out and settle things directly. So as expected, Bakatora and Natsume lose their chance after a bunch of awkward wishy-washy-ness when Douman decides to make his move and simultaneous assault both the Onmyoji Bureau headquarters and the school. And guess which one he decides to visit personally? Yep, it’s the school. But we all could have seen that coming. After all, why else would the show need to bring up “rumors” that the Raven’s Wing might actually be hidden at the school if it wasn’t going to have the coat actually be there in the end? A little too obvious on the telegraphing if you ask me, but nothing to get up in arms about.

I thought this was an absolutely excellent depiction.

That said, I can’t quite fault the blushing duo for missing their opportunity though. As much as we the audience were probably on the edge of our seats, screaming at them to get it out and over with already (I know I was), I thought their reluctance to bring up such an important matter was very real and understandable. We’re talking about something that will more or less change their relationship dramatically and permanently. It’ll mean acknowledging the fact that each is interested in the other romantically, and have been for a long time despite one not looking in the right direction. The “I’m afraid of changing the status quo” trope may be well used, but it doesn’t make the situation any easier for Bakatora and Natsume. So I say curses, foiled again! You may have gotten out of this one, Tokyo Ravens, but I’ll be damned if the two don’t set things straight by the next couple episodes. And if it turns out Douman manages to find the magical coat and use it to somehow force Natsume to channel her inner Yakou on us, thus putting the Hokuto business on hiatus until the very end of the show… (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

Making a Move

I have to give the show credit; it really knows how to make Douman out to be a sinister force.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s take a step back and take a look at the Tokyo Ravens world in general again. The Onmyoji Bureau is still laughably full of holes, with Atsune free to plant things on students (my guess is the talisman allows Douman to home in on Tenma, so perhaps he knows more than he lets on) and lead the organization astray with his suggestions. Seriously, they need to get their shit together and weed out these moles. It’s so bad that it’s almost like we’re watching some political espionage film. Then we have Douman singlehandedly leading a whole swarm of those Tsuchigumos in two different locations. Now, we’ve previously seen Suzuka use one in conjunction with an Asura type, all the while carrying out the Taizan Fukun ritual. And she’s recognized as a genius. So what does that make Douman? Even if we might not have seen Suzuka’s full talent back then, I think her reaction to seeing the horde on TV suggests he’s something else entirely. Sure, we already knew he was a serious threat (Jin’s leg can attest to that), but the guy seems so powerful it’s a little suspicious. Surely there’s some trick or catch to it. Plus, if he’s such a power player, why is he even interested in Yakou? Does this mean the legendary Onmyoji overshadows even his capabilities? Or perhaps he’s looking to somehow steal Yakou’s powers to further augment his own?

I don’t know how the Divine Generals will fare against all those Tsuchigumos. I’m pretty confident that they’ll be able to hold their own against one Tsuchigumo each, but the Onmyoji are seriously outnumbered here. Not that any of it matters, since the attack on the headquarters is made out to be just a diversion. I also don’t know what to make of that weird senpai, who is now revealed to have a name which doesn’t immediately tell us anything. But she must be super-duper important since the show has taken so many episodes to slowly introduce her now. And then there’s a bunch of cryptic quotes attributed to Yakou, which I also can’t make heads or tails of. Some of it sort of pertains to the situation at hand with Bakatora and Natsume, but I can’t shake the feeling their insertion is hinting at something else more ominous to come. So basically Tokyo Ravens still has me dancing to its tune with its fascinating world and ever many unanswered questions. I just hope some of them start getting answered pretty soon.


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10 Responses to “Tokyo Ravens – 13”

  1. zztop says:

    I was wondering myself what those ‘Lies are the heart of sorcery’ quotes mean to Yakou and the plot.
    Remember the same quote was used back in ep 1.

    Perhaps LN readers can clarify this?

    • Iron Maw says:

      It’s one of themes of the show, you will understand a bit more near the end. But as a clue think about how magic in this series has been used so far? It’s been common element when it has been done for innocent intentions.

  2. zztop says:

    I did some research on the Ashiya Douman name, turns out he’s a rival of legendary onmyouji Abe no Seimei.
    Legends state that Douman would always attempt to shame Seimei, failing each time, of course.

    If the writers are going to use the ‘legendary Douman’ angle, then he’ll easily outrank nearly everyone in power levels.

    • Sumairii says:

      Nice find. Abe no Seimei is definitely the bigger name, and I’ve seen characters with his namesake before. But this is the first time I’ve seen Ashiya Douman in anime, let alone even heard of his name.

      Now I’m wondering if they’ll draw parallels between Yakou and Abe no Seimei… Maybe that’s why Douman wants to bring him back? To have another chance to beat the guy or something? =O

    • Sumairii says:

      I checked out the first episode after you mentioned it, and turns out they directly reference both Abe no Seimei and Ashiya Douman. Of course, I suppose no one would have noticed it back then unless they were reading the LNs.

  3. skylion says:

    Classic bit of storytelling. Get the lovers just this close to one another, then BOOM, all Yomi breaks loose. Glad to see the writers can make that old saw their own.

    I think even Kon saw it all coming….

  4. Iron Maw says:

    Hahaha Douman sure knows how to do things in style huh? The message tact is an oldie but goodie. Confidant bastard.

    I like it. XD

  5. BlackBriar says:

    I know Harutora is from the branch family but how far apart is he and Natsume? It’s clear they have feelings for each other (Bakatora slowly getting there) but if their bloodline is that close, it might look like an incestuous relationship. It could work if they’re too far for family.

    • Iron Maw says:

      They’re both 3rd line cousins, so there is generational gap. Incest shouldn’t be an issue and Japan has no problem with first cousins marrying each other anyway.

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