Tokyo Ravens – 21-22

Dat pout.

Wow. I certainly didn’t expect Tokyo Ravens to go down this route.




No plot armor here.

Last time I expressed my skepticism at the idea of Natsume dying because of the classic plot armor trope. Well, turns out I was dead wrong (no pun intended). In hindsight, I guess I should have seen this coming as Natsume’s death would spur into motion a much more intricate plot. And intricate is certainly the right word to use here, as Tokyo Ravens manages to introduce more and more twists and turns. First up we have Harutora’s internal conflict. As we expect, he feels personally responsible for Natsume’s death and makes it his mission to revive her at all costs. The obvious thing that immediately comes to mind is the Taizan Fukun Ritual, which has already been used several times before in the show to mainly resurrect some bad guys. The big revelation here though, is that the concept of the ritual as previously explained to us is incomplete. It turns out the ritual isn’t just the simple equivalent exchange thing that we’ve seen Suzuka attempt in the first arc. In fact, one might not necessarily need to prepare a sacrifice in order to resurrect someone, and the very idea the Taizan Fukun Ritual merely refers to a branch of sorcery that deals with the manipulation of souls.

The Baddies

Amami returns.

Tokyo Ravens isn’t done just yet though. next we have the revelation that Chief Amami might not be so dead after all. I always thought it was so strange how he was killed off so unceremoniously and even off-screen. Turns out, he’s still around in some way and is out to help Harutora realize the truth behind the Onmyoji Bureau. Now, he has yet to actually show his face and so far his intervention has only come in the form of various familiars. But I’m sure the crafty old man is lurking about somewhere and not just communicating to our hero from beyond the grave somehow (I wouldn’t put it past the show considering it’s recently revealed sorcery to be much more complicated than we thought). Speaking of the Onmyoji Bureau, we also learn yet more about the Kurahashis’ and Soumas’ motives. As we’ve already known, they think they are best friends with Yakou. And this is not entirely bullshit; clearly the Tsuchimikados, Kurahashis, and Soumas worked very closely together to unify and nurture sorcery during Yakou’s time. Appropriately, their main objective is to further the glory of sorcery, which I have absolutely no problems with. But they really need to stop living in the past.

An unlikely collection of badasses.

It’s nice enough that these guys aren’t the kind of bad guys who are “evil” for the sake of plot. However, I still have a hard time taking them too seriously with how hung up they are about Yakou. There is a small attempt on the part of Genji to convince Harutora that they simply desire to put a Tsuchimikado on the throne of the Onmyoji society so that the holy trinity of families can again kick ass and chew bubblegum. But I call bullshit, because no amount of sweet talk can dispell all the shit that they have already done to “awaken” Yakou. And therein lies the problems. Clearly, the Kurahashis and Soumas embrace the “ends justify the means” sort of mindset and are willing to do just about anything to realize their ambitions (or Yakou’s ambitions, as they would have us believe). Not to be cliché, but this kind of thinking is wrong. Just think about all the suffering the main gang and even the students at the Onmyoji academy had to go through thanks to their plotting. Heck, it’s even come down to one of the main characters dying simply because Takiko was impatient about making friends with them. And look where it got her? Now one of her “would-be friends” is dead. I don’t even find it remotely redeeming that she’s supposedly distraught and highly upset about it. What did she think was going to happen if she tried to forcefully awaken Yakou’s soul from within Harutora? He’d grab her hand, tell her thanks, and they would all become friends? Ugh.

Random Weird Stuff

Kyouko’s new powers?

Anyway, a few other interesting things crop up here and there about some of the other characters. Mainly, there’s something weird going on with Kyouko and perhaps Tenma. At this point I’m not sure if the whole warping perception thing was from Tenma himself or if it was merely Kyouko awakening some sort of power. It’s also possible that both are at play and there’s something off about Tenma, which Kyouko herself is just now able to perceive. I don’t know where the show is going with this, but it makes me a bit suspicious about Tenma, considering he never showed up to help the gang bust Harutora out of jail. As for Kyouko, my only guess is that she’s unlocked some sort of clairvoyance ability? It seems to me from the two brief moments we see of her using it that she can now “see” a person’s “aura” from a distance, which wouldn’t be too far out of line from her grandmother’s own powers, I suppose.

So yeah, I’m kind of stunned at the recent turn of events. Natsume is dead, friends & co. are busting into the Onmyoji Bureau, and Jin is also doing the same with Douma’s aid of all things. Not to mention, Harutora has come back to his senses thanks to a monologue from Kon of all people (who would have thought) and most likely will have to bust his own way out from Genji’s office. All of this is setting up for so many epic showdowns that I honestly can’t wait to see what happens next week. It’s not so often that I get this excited about a show, so I’ll take this as a sign that Tokyo Ravens is doing a bang-up job. I just hope that Natsume doesn’t stay dead for long, even though I’m aware that resurrecting souls is supposed to be a huge taboo and Harutora might end up regretting it.

Kon helped here, but I kind of wish she were more useful in combat.


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26 Responses to “Tokyo Ravens – 21-22”

  1. Krono says:

    Speaking for myself I cannot really say any of these “plot twists were surprising. It was pretty obvious they could kill Natsume to hasten to plot elements and then just resurrect her with the Taizan Fukun Ritual later. I am surprised that Harutora almost gave in so easily. He had absolutely no reason to trust them since if Yakou takes over his body with the transformation they would not even need to bother. I get he was desperate but that time in the interrogation like room should have given him time to think things over. Though I do have to admit that as soon as he let himself get caught he had no chance of pulling it off without going through them to get to Natsume again.

    I do find it interesting that Kyouko has gained some new power and something is up with Tenma. Either way I’m looking forward to the next episode to see how things develop.

    • Iron Maw says:

      Actually, Harutora said that he didn’t trust them, but he could see no other way out thanks to Shidou successful forcing his hand with “time limit” among his other manipulation tactics.

      • Krono says:

        Yeah which why I added the “though” part. Conceivably if he could have gotten away from the police guys he could have at least attempted it. He may not have known that they were the bad guys, but he could have avoided the situation IF he managed to get away.

    • Iron Maw says:

      Also, Harutora was also supposedly to have gotten his memories back by now as it was expected, but that didn’t happen so they aren’t take any more chances something else could happen.

      Crap my posts are getting caught again,

  2. zztop says:

    Chief Kurahashi’s motivations are the most suspect.
    I believe he is mostly motivated by his own personal ambitions, to use Yakou and Takiko as a means to gain even more power and influence for himself within shamanic society under the guise of the ‘3 great families’.

  3. zztop says:

    Sumairii, there’s an ongoing translation of the Tokyo Ravens LNs down at bakatsuki.

    4 volumes have been fully translated into English, and I hear the plan is to translate all the LNs as they come out.

    • Krono says:

      What volume are we in now? If you do not mind me asking.

      • zztop says:

        I hear the episode is following Ln vol 9 now.

        • BlackBriar says:

          That far into the LNs? And they only yield 24 episodes? The LN must not have a lot of material to work with.

          • zztop says:

            There’s also a vol 10, and vol 11 comes out this April.

            • BlackBriar says:

              Looks like a lot more will be needed if there’s a possibility of a second season because so far, I’m getting cliffhanger vibes.

          • d-LaN says:

            Nah, just that they chop a lot of explanation and “extra” scenes off.

            • BlackBriar says:

              Oh, like what’s being done with Strike the Blood as well apparently.

            • d-LaN says:

              At least STB only has 6 books to work on.

              PS, most LN also have this sort of thing when adapted into anime just that some does it better. The only one I remember averted it is Hataraku Maou-sama because it only adapt 2 books.

  4. skylion says:

    So Kyouko is just going to get vague feelings?

    • Iron Maw says:

      Kyouko looks to be getting more than just a feeling, in both scenes where she has acted strangely (like as if getting a headache) you can “stars” in her eyes. It looks Kyouko developing the same foresight ability as her grandmother and Yasuzumi. It maybe the same reason why told Touji and Suzuka to hold they advance to the Agency.

  5. Highway says:

    While I don’t mind Aki Toyosaki having a speech, having Kon be the conscience of the show felt really super convenient and pretty far out of character. She just hasn’t had any serious credibility chops from the beginning of the show, been a much more comedic character. It was more like “This is the one character we can get in the same room as Harutora, so she has to have the speech.”

    • skylion says:

      Kon has had a few moments here and there to express the situation, but lately has been interrupted. So, yeah, it felt a bit to convenient, but it didn’t feel to force by my account.

    • Iron Maw says:

      Kon’s comic relief and serious moments are better balanced in LN, but I don’t think her speech was forced.

      She always been serious about her role as Harutora’s Shikigami and this scene just how much she is willing to do for his well being.

  6. BlackBriar says:

    It’s not every day you see an ever present character go without plot armor of any kind. The fact Natsume actually died is still difficult to wrap around my mind because such a possibility was never considered at all.

    So the Taizan Fukun Ritual has various options in its use. But if such is the case depending on what method the user has in mind, doesn’t that mean there are also unfathomable amounts of consequences if it’s not performed correctly? Suzuka tried her version at one of the Tsuchimikado altars and got screwed for her trouble.

    Hopefully while the story keeps rolling, there’ll be some clarification, specifically the bitter antagonism between Jin and Reiji. The latter was pretty much in ecstasy that he got a chance to take him out.

    There is a small attempt on the part of Genji to convince Harutora that they simply desire to put a Tsuchimikado on the throne of the Onmyoji society so that the holy trinity of families can again kick ass and chew bubblegum. But I call bullshit, because no amount of sweet talk can dispell all the shit that they have already done to “awaken” Yakou.

    I agree. Even if he does what he says, he’ll most likely use Harutora as a public meat shield in case of any upcoming problems while he moves behind the scenes. The true seat of power is always behind the throne.

    Kudos to Kon for snapping Harutora out of his emo state. It’s late but she made a huge impact. He was so consumed by his own emotions that he couldn’t think clearly and might have done something irreversible. For a moment, it was like walking a path to become Darth Vader.

  7. d-LaN says:

    So….. Is Kon not going to do the next episode previews in the remaining episode? 🙁 That and Mahou Sensou next episode preview is good stuff.

    • Krono says:

      Mahou Sensou is actually one of those shows that has become something I watch just because I hope they pull things together only to find more things that do not make sense happening. Like the most recent episode where the main character acted like he had no idea how to use his strike vision during training.

      I do hope to see more of Kon at the end of the episodes considering how entertaining they usually are.

  8. Krono says:

    @zztop That’s what I thought from looking at the volumes in the link. I have to agree with BlackBriar. Sword Art Online was able to get half its season out of the first volume and the rest out of the two Fairy Dance arc volumes. I have not read many light novels besides Sword Art Online but that leads me to believe there was either not a lot of content in the Tokyo Ravens LN or not much of it was deemed worth putting in this season.

    Though that could just be because the LN is like one continuous story and they are trying to fit everything in? I am curious exactly how much they have cut out because I feel 9 volumes should yield more episodes. Unless it is like Lord of the Rings where everything is described in painstaking detail.

    Hopefully this post shows up this time.

    • Iron Maw says:

      The anime is only a condensed version of the LN that’s all. Any studio could have adapted any LN which similar number books, because they are not obligated to follow the source strictly.

      8-bit just wanted to end the show on 9th volume so they crammed and shorten most of the material and leaving the general ideas and main plot points.

      The pages ranges typical 340-450 which is about the average length of any LN. They aren’t short at all.

    • d-LaN says:

      Actually, the first half of SAO consist of various short stories (some that are taken frm Vol 2 & 8) along with the first volume.

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