I like the turn this series is taking with the last few episodes. The pacing has always been pretty good, but there seems to be less dead weight at the moment – the various threads are starting to tie together nicely and there don’t seem to be any wasted scenes.
According to the manga readers, the Supernatural Squad were starting to disappear from the story by now. If that means the anime writing staff are writing this arc largely as original material, they’re doing a great job – the scenes with the gang have been some of the best these last few episodes. It was Shima’s time in the sun this week – he was a fidgety presence all over the ep with his soccer ball, but that was nice foreshadowing – as this “Giant Killing” skills ended up saving the day (and Kiyotsugu’s butt) when he was about to be cursed by one of the Shikoku demons. Turns out the bad guys are systematically destroying shrines with the apparent intent of attacking the Nura Clan from beneath – or so Rikuo believes. Meanwhile, Grandpa and Natto Kozu have found the leader of she Shikoku Clan, who seem to be on pretty good terms.
There were several interesting moments here – Kiyotsugu’s laugh, for starters. I was also interested in Yura’s reaction when she thought Rikuo and Yuki-onna were kissing (they weren’t, alas) – she seemed mostly concerned with Kana’s interests, which leads one to believe that Yura isn’t going to throw her hat into the ring. Yuki-onna, OTOH, is fully pot-committed with Rikuo – she’s ready to take on all comers. That appears to include Kejoro, who seems to have staked her claim – guess she likes younger men, especially judging by the PV. This led to the best line of the episode, Yuki-onna’s “Please don’t be reckless – you’re not so young anymore.”