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Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon Episode #04 Anime Review

4 min read
Ⓒ Rumiko Takahashi / Shogakukan, Yomiuri TV, Sunrise 2020

“The Gateway to the Past”

What They Say:

Set in feudal Japan, half-demon twins Towa and Setsuna are separated from each other during a forest fire. While desperately searching for her younger sister, Towa wanders into a mysterious tunnel that sends her into present-day Japan, where she is found by Kagome Higurashi’s brother, Sota, and his family. Ten years later, the tunnel that connects the two eras had reopened, allowing Towa to be reunited with Setsuna, who is now a demon slayer working for Kohaku. But to Towa’s shock, Setsuna appears to have lost all memories of her older sister.

Content (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):

Moroha is adapting well to the modern era as she practices tai chi with the elderly at Higurashi Temple, all impressed by her skill and flexibility for someone so young, however she quickly points out being older than any of them since she is from a different time, which they pass off as a joke. However as Grandpa rewards his great-granddaughter with a lucky kappa foot for fitting in so well, the demon hunter spots something burrowing nearby as the creature makes its way toward the Tree of Ages, glad to see it finally making its move. But as her cousin makes plans, Towa daydreams at school but has resolved herself to return to the Feudal Era since she infers her memories of the forest fire are from that time, now determined to help her sister Setsuna regain her memories. And yet that same sibling is learning a new skill as Moe teaches her how to play the violin, and after they are finished the woman is amazed by her ability to perform so masterfully, calling her niece a prodigy of the instrument. While Setsu becomes embarrassed, Mei interrupts and informs them Moroha has found a way home, to which they find her hefting a giant overstuffed backpack and tells how she interrogated the demon Root Head which had integrated itself with the Tree of Ages, saying the creature is willing to negotiate to reopen the Rainbow Corridor.

However as the trio prepare to return to Higurashi that evening, Towa finds Papa Sota reminiscing at his old family home, looking through a photo album in his sister’s room as she asks who is the pretty girl in the pictures, only to be told of how Kagome also got into trouble as she traveled between here and the Feudal Era. And yet as he quickly determines his adoptive daughter wishes to go with her kin, Towa cannot but apologize for all the troubles she has caused and willingly tears up, finally calling him Dad. With everyone assembled, it is only then when a resolute Mei makes her three sisters promise they will come back, with her elder sister acquiescing and saying they will return after they reclaim Setsuna’s dreams. Moroha then proclaims before the Tree of Ages to Root Head that if it allows them to return to the past, they will give him their Rainbow Pearls filled with demon power, causing everything to be forcefully pulled in including the giant backpack and violin, forcing their owners to jump in to retrieve these precious treasures. However, after emerging from the tunnel of light, they find themselves someplace unfamiliar, only to be confronted by an imposing woman wearing a priestess’ garments and addressing them as the Half-Demon Princesses.

In Summary:

While this episode is powerfully moving and tearful as we bid goodbye to the modern and Papa Sota, its revelations still leave a lasting impression even after the credits play, allowing us to look forward to a new adventure. However, it is the overly abundant nods to the nostalgia that bogs down the story and makes it almost impossible for new viewers to fully understand what is happening without having seen Inuyasha: Moroha getting a kappa foot and having the same reaction as her mother. Setsuna playing a familiar theme, a backpack that looks like Kagome’s, the Tree of Ages becoming a time corridor with a familiar priestess and the list goes on. Hopefully, this will be the last of these set story elements, and yet due to the pre-established foundation, it seems very unlikely.

Grade: A-

Streamed By: Crunchyroll