Kathleen and her mother have the displaced warriors to protect them, but even then, a sudden downpour blocks out the sun and the Gibia attack on mass. Can Sensui and Kenroku fight their way out of this one?
After Sensui treated the group to a stirring shamisen solo to honour the fallen, the group noticed that Kathleen’s mother had disappeared. They’re supposed to stay put and wait for the doctor to return with some transportation, but they can’t just abandon her. Luckily, they find her nearby looking at a small exhibition on famous swords. Bizarrely, Sensui and Kenroku’s weapons are there. Even Yukinojyo Onikura’s club is there. Kathleen’s not the only one to wonder if this is a coincidence.
Unfortunately, they are swarmed by Gibia and have to fight their way out, which isn’t much of a problem now that they all have their trusted weapons. However, once outside a dark cloud has settled overhead, blocking out the sun and allowing the Gibia to attack outside too. The Doctor arrives and they all escape in a campervan. Sensui might have overdone it and is in need of some recovery time. Seems like the perfect time to see the time that Sensui and Kenroku first met…
What did you think?
This series is not doing itself any favours. Firstly we have the Gibia which not only look terrible from a design perspective, but they’re CGI which doesn’t mesh with the rest of the animation. On top of that, the action doesn’t really have much action. It’s mostly still shots with action lines laid over the top. Finally, it’s not done much to make us care about any of the characters. Everything we know about Kathleen has been delivered by her talking to the camera. Sensui just seems to growl and charge at the enemy without any consideration towards strategy. And last but not least, we had the big flashback/history lesson…
What have you learnt?
Flashbacks are a tricky beast. Get them right and they can greatly enhance the story, but if they don’t fit the live story or take up too much time, they can destroy momentum and that’s a hard thing to get back once it’s gone. In this episode, about half of it was dedicated to showing the time that Sensui and Kenroku first met. It was coupled with some history lessons about armies and alliances. None of it had anything to do with the Gibia and what we’re actually watching. We already knew from the brief scene with Sensui’s lord that he was a spineless coward. The fight between Sensui and Kenroku was pretty much a non-event as they just seemed to test each other out. Ultimately, nothing was gained from the half-episode flashback.
Then, there was a moment in the campervan where they were discussing a poem that was all about life being a dream within a dream. This feels a little too much like foreshadowing and with the convenient nature of finding all of their weapons in the exhibition it’s looking like we are dealing with a dream. I hope that’s not the case as the “it was all a dream” ending is my least favourite twist.
Other reviews in the series
- Season One
- Episode 1 – Spirited Away
- Episode 2 – Beyond the Maelstrom
- Episode 3 – The Third Man
- Episode 4 – Danger Zone
- Episode 5 – Evil VS Bushido
- Episode 6 – Desperate Situation
- Episode 7 – Dream Road to Death
- Episode 8 – Letter of Farewell
- Episode 9 – Until It All Burns Out
- Episode 10 – New Allies
- Episode 11 – Illusory Love
- Episode 12 – A Life’s End