“The Hidden Village for Half Demons”
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):
Just before sunrise, Setsuna is progressing with her daily patrol on Kirara, however, this day is different since her sister insisted on accompanying this day, with the demon slayer brusque as always in the rebukes to the friendly chatter from Towa. Unfamiliar with the foggy valley which they are quickly descending into, the modern teen curiously asks why they are in this isolated area with nothing to protect, to which the brunette tells her this is the way it should be, with nothing to arouse suspicion. After sitting upon a boulder Setsuna tells her sibling this place holds the earliest memories after that forest fire, and it was here where she lived, to which Towa assumes the four-year-old was alone only to be reassured she survived with Miss Shiori and the other children in the hidden village for half-demons. It is then when she recalls sitting in the rubble left behind by the disaster, to be then rescued by A-Un and a secretive Jaken who prompted her to get onto the beast, and then being taken to this mountain with a package and told to survive and live. After walking forward and hitting a barrier, she is greeted by two children guards and told that neither demons nor humans are welcomed here, and while they attempt to question the silent girl, the leader of the town Miss Shiori warmly greets and opens the wrapping to find a sum of gold and the cryptic message to take care of this girl.
As she is welcomed into the village inhabited by half-demon children, the young Setsuna learns Miss Shiori established this village by creating it a barrier around the area, with the once wary sentries now introducing themselves as Futa and Raita, wondering if she knew where her parents were, only to tell the young girl theirs’ were murdered by humans and demons respectively. She became comfortable in this sheltered place quickly, and like the others they lived by gathering food in the day and staying hidden at night, with the peaceful existence only interrupted by occasional packages addressed to her from the mysterious benefactor, the first being a tanto. It is with that weapon when she began training herself, following the puzzling clues which followed to become stronger, all in an effort to protect themselves from the demons who tried to breach the barrier, leaving them no other choice than to defend their home. Although she worked well with Futa and Raita to kill the invaders, Miss Shiori always had a sad look on her face during these encounters, knowing while they had to protect the village, at the same time it was unavoidable to kill others in order to be safe, all while wishing there was another way to live.
This episode is a welcome departure from the repetitive sequence of hunting demons to pay off Moroha’s debt or to be taunted by one of the Four Perils while Towa tries to find their next clue to finding the Dream Butterfly, especially since we finally learn what happened to the stoic Setsuna after being separated from her sister. Of course, it is not unexpected that Sesshomaru would have nothing directly to do with his daughter, but the opposing change was to see Jaken act as the proxy in seeing to her well-being, since he had so much trouble dealing with Ren the original series. But of course, the best part was witnessing this self-reliant girl training herself and become stronger, even as we knew the studio could not avoid slipping in another familiar enemy from Inuyasha in the form of moth demons, like Gatenmaru and Menomaru to be her final test. Although this misstep was not unexpected, to watch the history of Setsuna is well worth the tedium to show how she survived, all while hinting there may be a softer side to the cold exterior she shows everyone else.
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