Secrets are revealed, and armor is pitted against armor. This is the level the series should have reached sooner.
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Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the chopsticks found, the time has come for the secret behind the Spring Cherry Blossom to be revealed. The priestess is secretly a member of Wasp, a group of female agents with exceptional skills and weaponry. Her job and Sakura’s was to protect Koharu, a task they fail in as Magoichi is revealed to feel no pain. This allows him to subdue the priestess and abscond with Koharu.
Why is Koharu so important? It turns out that thirty years ago Jirokichi attempted to burgle the Edo palace treasury. However, he met the Iesada heir to the Tokugawa shogunate and became his lifelong friend. Koharu is actually Haru, the daughter of Iesada and last of the Tokugawa line. Jirokichi was tasked with protecting her from the very assassins who have kidnapped her while Roman was off getting his groove back.
A showdown between Roman and Magoichi ensues and reveals one more secret about Magoichi. He also possesses armor like Roman. Yet, it is Roman’s passion that defeats Magoichi and gives him his first taste of pain. Unfortunately, Okuni was one step ahead and dispatched Magoichi’s superior, steals Koharu, and delivers her to the foreigners, specifically Admiral Perry.
What strikes me most about this episode is the balance of action and exposition achieved. We are given a lot of backstory, but it does not detract from the pace of the story. Rather, it gives it a sense of urgency and importance. We finally have a reason to care about this Spring Cherry Blossom everyone has been chasing. Having the last heir of the Tokugawa shogunate would be an invaluable tool to control the country. Now layer on that the heir has become Roman’s beloved sister, and you have characters and a story worth following.
It is a bit baffling why Roman floundered so early on, when it had an intriguing story to tell. The past few episodes have built up some great backstory that culminated in the big reveal this episode of what the Spring Cherry Blossom really is. While we do not know what the end goal for possessing it is, I have more confidence that the series can build on the momentum it has generated and finish strong. Great balance of action and exposition moved the story along and once again made me look forward to see what happens next.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
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