Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon: Episode 5 – “Jakotsumaru of the Red Bone Palace”

The episode opens with the ending of the previous episode, where Setsuna, Moroha, and Towa return to the Feudal Era. This is followed by revealing the antagonist of this episode, a young man named Jakotsumaru, who is stealing bones in order to resurrect his father, the demon beast Tokotsu.

Moroha goes to sell the demon corpses she collected recently, and the buyer isn’t giving her as much as she was expecting. We also learn through conversation that Moroha owes the buyer a debt of some kind. Also in this scene, we get the return of a character from the original Inuyasha anime: Myoga the flea. He serves as an exposition device for the three main characters and for the audience. But it was great to see another familiar face from the original series, and his mannerisms were exactly as I remembered them from the original series. We learn here that Moroha brought in the headless corpse of Tokotsu, and now the buyer wants her to bring him the head. She accepts this. After she leaves, though, the buyer summons his transforming racoon demon(?), Takechiyo, to keep an eye on Moroha. Takechiyo is the racoon-like character we were seeing in the initial promotional image for the series. By the end of the episode, we see that Takechiyo is going to be this series’ version of Shippo.

Meanwhile, Towa tags along with Setsuna and the demon slayers when they’re called on by a village because of corpses being found that no longer have their bones. They are asked to take on the job of finding the demon responsible, and Setsuna and Towa are given the task. It’s at this point that the three main characters’ stories converge together. Through exposition provided by Myoga, we learn that Tokotsu is one of the four pillars of Beast King Kirinmaru, and the girls realize that by taking on Tokotsu, they will end up starting to fulfill the wish of the spirit of the Tree of Ages.

We get a some development for Moroha here. We learn that she doesn’t remember killing Tokotsu, and that she woke up next to his headless corpse and took the red pearl from him. I definitely had an “ah-ha!” moment when I saw this revelation about the red pearl, and then was left wondering how Towa and Setsuna got their respective pearls and who they belonged to. Gifts bestowed to them by Sesshomaru when he took them from the village, perhaps? I suspect that this particular question will likely be answered at some point later in the series.

When we get to the confrontation with Tokotsu’s head, which has been revived by Jakotsumaru, we learn something else about Moroha. She has rouge that belonged to Izayoi, the wife of the Dog Demon. When she puts it on, her powers multiply immensely… but, sadly, they only last a short time. But during that time, we got to see Moroha utilize a couple of her father’s signature moves. As a fan of the original series, seeing those moves brought about a sense of nostalgia.

Moroha isn’t able to finish the job, and Setsuna and Towa team together to take down Tokotsu. Setsuna reveals something about words she heard from a traveling monk, and the brief image we get from a flashback seems to indicate that this monk was Miroku.

Overall, this episode was meant to help develop Moroha more as a character, as well as to start dropping hints about the rainbow pearls and the potential fate of one of the original characters. So it continues: as questions are answered (or kind of answered), the answers raise more questions. As I said last week, though, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing as long as there aren’t any major loose ends by the end of the series. It sounds like Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon is scheduled to run for 24 episodes, so there’s still time for questions to be answered.

Oh, and I also hope that at some point, we’ll get an episode that gives a little more development to Setsuna, or at least some flashbacks of her life after she and Towa were separated in the forest fire.

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