I dunno about you, but this episode of Tokyo Ravens was particularly lackluster to me. Perhaps it was due to the fact that it was mostly pure exposition.
Big Bad Ogre Man
So serious half of his shades became glasses.
To start off we have Reiji’s return. And he spends it being stuck-up as usual and interrogating Bakatora about Jin’s showdown with Douman. I’m not sure why he was so keen on gleaning info on Jin aside from plotting to get the guy back for basically humiliating him when they last met. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. Instead, it felt more like what we were supposed to take away from the exchange is that there’s still more to Jin than meets the eye. Which is fair enough, because while we’ve learned a lot about him from the battle and his hospital stay, there’s still so much we don’t know. For example, how and where did he learn such obscure and ancient spells that even Douman couldn’t counter? I’m even beginning to wonder if there’s some direct connection between him and Yakou, as unlikely as it may be. But enough about Jin. In spite of his general attitude, Reiji isn’t all too bad though. In between talking smack at poor Bakatora, he does encourage the idiot hero to keep working at becoming an exorcist. So I suppose in a roundabout way he’s not a complete asshole (if we ignore the part about promising to beat Bakatora’s ass over and over again). He just needs to work on learning some general manners and etiquette.
Battle of Words
Chief Amami: smooth talking his way to victory.
The next big thing is, of course, the battle between Atsune and Chief Amami. I wish I could say it was as spectacular as the oft-mentioned Jin-Douman showdown. But it just wasn’t. To be fair, that’s a direct consequence of the nature of the battles, but knowing this doesn’t make it any more exciting. Basically, it was a bunch of deception (looks like it’ll be a recurring theme), as Chief Amami is revealed to be highly skilled at the ability. I might even say the events of the battle were akin to some sort of genjitsu from Naruto, but mentioning that name is taboo so let’s forget about that. So really all that happens is Atsune pulls out some hotshot familiars (these are interestingly the only ones capable of casting spells themselves) but it was all for naught because Amami had his mind in the palm of his hand from the very beginning. I guess the lesson to learn is no matter how strong a familiar may be, the outcome of the battle comes down to their wielder’s own abilities. Which is something I’m sure we all could have foreseen by ourselves.
I rather like how the Twin-Horned Syndicate is now portrayed as having lost sight of its original purpose. This is to be expected, as so far most of the Yakou fanatics have been just that: fanatics. Some sort of crazed cultists without any real vision or purpose beyond excessively admiring their own delusions of Yakou’s grandeur. If what Atsune would have us believe is true, he is the only remaining member who retains a truly clear sense of purpose. And that purpose is apparently to make one of Yakou’s two desires come true (try not to roll your eyes as much as I did). Unfortunately, while the purpose of the Onmyoji School Yakou left behind is quite clear (to nurture new Onmyoji), we are still in the dark as to what his second desire that the Twin-Horned Syndicate champions might be. Oh, and about that twist at the end; I have no idea. At least Takiko repeatedly stating that she is a “fellow student” in the previous episode now makes more sense.