Weekly Digest 08/07/13 – Mushibugyou, Kingdom

Mushibugyou - 18-10 Mushibugyou - 18-15 Kingdom 2 - 09 -14 Kingdom 2 - 09 -20

Both these shows were playing emotional hardball this week.

Mushibugyou – 18

Mushibugyou - 18-1 Mushibugyou - 18-2 Mushibugyou - 18-3
Mushibugyou - 18-4 Mushibugyou - 18-5 Mushibugyou - 18-6
Mushibugyou - 18-7 Mushibugyou - 18-8 Mushibugyou - 18-9
Mushibugyou - 18-11 Mushibugyou - 18-12 Mushibugyou - 18-13
Mushibugyou - 18-14 Mushibugyou - 18-16 Mushibugyou - 18-17
Mushibugyou - 18-18 Mushibugyou - 18-19 Mushibugyou - 18-20
Mushibugyou - 18-21 Mushibugyou - 18-22 Mushibugyou - 18-23

You know the drill with Mushibugyou by now.  Great straight-ahead shounen, solid action, a little innocent sex and some comedy, and one of the more well-constructed plots of the Summer.  And as usual, the meatiest moments are generated from the relationship between Jinbei and Kuroageaha, which is still one of the more charming in recent anime.

I couldn’t help but notice that Sanada plans to name his new ship “Black Butterfly” and think of Kuroageha, whose true involvement with the insect royalty of Osaka is still a bit of a mystery.  What’s no mystery are Sanada’s intentions – he plans to kill everyone on Kishuu for their failure to find and hand over Jinbei, Oooka and Kuroageha.  Whether the arrival on the scene of the rest of the Insect Magistrate’s troops will be enough to prevent that remains to be seen, but it’s already too late for the craftsmen and soldiers, who’re the first to face their fate.

Meanwhile, Kuroageaha declares her feelings for Jinbei in by far the most direct fashion yet, even as she insists on continuing to hide her identity from him.  Asking him for a moonlight stroll and holding his hand to marvel at how warm it is would be clues enough for a normal guy (thus, not for Jinbei) though it’s clear she holds little hope for any long-term happiness.  Hibachi has certainly noticed what’s going on – as has Tenma, for that matter – but their feelings certainly aren’t too consequential in the lager scheme of things.  If there’s going to be overt romance in this season of Mushibugyou, it seems pretty obvious who the participants will be.

Kingdom 2 – 09

Kingdom 2 - 09 -1 Kingdom 2 - 09 -2 Kingdom 2 - 09 -3
Kingdom 2 - 09 -4 Kingdom 2 - 09 -5 Kingdom 2 - 09 -6
Kingdom 2 - 09 -7 Kingdom 2 - 09 -8 Kingdom 2 - 09 -9
Kingdom 2 - 09 -10 Kingdom 2 - 09 -11 Kingdom 2 - 09 -12
Kingdom 2 - 09 -13 Kingdom 2 - 09 -15 Kingdom 2 - 09 -16
Kingdom 2 - 09 -17 Kingdom 2 - 09 -18 Kingdom 2 - 09 -19

As I said last week, this ending has been telegraphed for quite a while, so there really wasn’t much here to surprise.  Knowing it was coming dulls the impact a bit, but it was still very nicely done.  A classic Kingdom GAR death for all concerned, with only the aftermath and Zheng’s psyche to deal with next week.

Zi Xia was a very nice addition to the drama, and I was sorry to see her go even if I was prepared for it.  I can’t see how Zheng wouldn’t blame himself for her death at least a little, but it seems as if he dedicated himself to making something out of the life she gave him.  Of such things are kingdoms won and lost, I suppose, and I think Zi hit on the salient point in noting that Zheng would be an exceptional King, because few kings will ever have gone through what he did.  It’s the same reason Chagum is likely to make an exceptional Mikado one day.

I certainly think this is the longest Kingdom has ever left Xin’s story, but it looks as if it comes back into focus next week. The many faces and many fronts in this battle to unify China have been well-established now, and I think we’re getting to the stage where they’re finally going to start to be drawn together.



  1. M

    "Meanwhile, Kuroageaha … insists on continuing to hide her identity from him."

    Bascially this. That shit is getting old. 'Tsundere 4 Jinbei' Hibachi didn't help. Why does a solid show always have to be railroaded by needless love rivalry or "innocent sex" as you put it. This isn't one of your highschool romance fantasies, reel it in please…

  2. G

    Both of these series are coming along well. I think Sanada planned on killing the townspeople all along and using them for food for his insects, he just used this for an excuse.

    Dunno if you are still watching Symphogear but there was a pretty shocking development this week. Hibiki gonna have a hard time doing certain things now.

  3. R

    This ends the backstory of Zheng. While it's packed with the Kingdom's version of dramatic and emotional moments, it does give context to Zheng as a character — his emotionless demeanour and resolve to become the emperor — and pave ways to the story ahead. Zi Xia is very likable, but she comes and goes too fast. Even though we anticipated her death, my heartstrings were tugged the moment that she died — and when both Ya Men and Jiang Zhang sacrificed themselves. These moments got me to think… Ya Men, Jiang Zhang, and Zi Xia were orphans who felt lucky to be saved and to live one more day everyday. They set the purpose of their lives early. For Ya Men and Jiang Zhang, it's to protect Zi Xia, and for Zi Xia, it's to pay it forward. I don't think I have this clear of a purpose for myself living in a peaceful world, but I guess I can set stages of my life and take one step at a time…

  4. e

    And so she's gone T_T. In spite of such a comparatively short screentime Zi Xia did make an impact… and while I wish Zheng's 'awakening' could have taken longer than what – a few hours? – to happen (it does strain the suspension of disbelief a bit that a child abused to such an extent could heal overnight) I agree that sometimes even a brief meeting can change the tide of one's life. And hugs are awesome :,) – back to present Zheng: bedroom maiden that's some hugging potential there! *hint hint* – .

    Loved the bgm as Zi Xia reminished about her father's last moments and his legacy while she's still riding the carriage.

    So far Kingdom has managed to nail the death scenes: Piao, Ping's brother, Wang Qi, and now Zi Xia. And it did it the old school way, with poignant speeches. My hearrrrrrrrrt.

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