The Gyuuki arc finally completed, Nurarihyon seems to be moving on to what the manga readers tell us is the meat of the story. And the first episode in that progression centers around a character who we’ve mostly seen in abstract so far, Kana.
The premise of the ep itself – a mirror demon Kana appears to have unwittingly bonded herself to as a six-year-old – was rather thin. At the age of 13 a youkai is considered an adult, and apparently anyone who looks into this demon’s mirror is fated to be killed on that birthday. Naturally, it’s up to the Scooby Gang to rescue her – or at least, blunder their way through the attempt. While Yura was nominally competent, trying to train the other girls in youkai-related self-defense, the group was generally ineffectual when the mirror youkai made its move. Rikuo was the one who tracked Kana down in the boys restroom, leaving it to Night Rikuo to come to the rescue.
And that was the meat of the episode – Kana and Youkai Rikuo development. Kana insists on knowing more about him, and he takes him to the local youkai restaurant – the operation of which he’s apparently turned over to the Bakaneko clan. In a rather amusing scene Kana tries to take it all in, before passing out from the knockout catnip cocktail Rikuo ordered for the purpose. The next day, Rikuo – human Rikuo – frets over what happened, as does Tsurara (as Rikuo was out all night). He frets even more when Kana appears to have put two and two together, but it turns out she added it up to five – she thinks the two Rikuos are friends and, clearly smitten with the youkai version, pumps the human version for information about him. The episode closes with a teaser of a new youkai clan, apparently getting ready to invade the Nura territory from the West.
All in all that was pretty entertaining, solid but not spectacular – as most of this series has been so far. I did have a Cross Game “This is getting complicated” moment when Kana was asking boy Rikuo about demon Rikuo – lots of potential for humor and angst there, though I wonder how long that mangaka will mine that misunderstanding for. Frankly, if such a thing were possible (I suppose it isn’t) I’d say Night Rikuo could have her – as I want Day Rikuo to end up with kawaii Yuki-onna…