Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon: Episode 8 – “The Dream Gazing Trap”

There’s a bit to unpack in this episode, so here we go…

Towa, Setsuna, and Moroha are pursuing Yotsume after he flees from the deputy shogun’s estate. Moroha and Setsuna are able to keep up, but Towa is lagging behind. Towa bribes Takechiyo with food from the present day to get him to agree to give her a ride. Yes, Takechiyo is definitely meant to be this series’ version of Shippo.

Yotsume, meanwhile, manages to make it to the lair of Kyuki, one of the Four Perils. She gives him a rainbow pearl that gives him the ability to use the Dream Gazing spell. He uses it on all of the characters, although it has no effect on Setsuna since she can’t sleep. But, the effect on the others allows them to see someone else’s dream… and this is where a bit of the unpacking takes place.

Moroha sees Takechiyo’s dream, which shows a monk (who looks an awful lot like Miroku) leaving him with Jyubei, the corpse dealer that Moroha does work for. Takechiyo sees Moroha’s dream. In it, we see Moroha being held as a baby by Kagome. Kagome gives Moroha the rouge that belonged to Inuyasha’s mother, and then Kagome has Hachi take her away as shadowy figures of Sesshomaru and Kirinmaru approach. Unfortunately, we don’t know what happens past this point, because this is where the vision ends. Towa sees a vision in which she witnesses the Dream Butterfly taking Setsuna’s dream and going to the Tree of Ages. In the vision, she also sees Rin in suspended animation inside the tree. It’s hinted that this isn’t Setsuna’s dream, but is instead a vision being presented to Towa by the Tree of Ages itself.

Like I said, there’s a lot to unpack here. Here, we get yet another hint that Miroku was traveling the countryside and helping someone out. When it comes to Takechiyo, all we hear Jyubei do is ask if he’s leaving the young lord with him. So, it appears Takechiyo is a lord of some kind. Hopefully more backstory will be revealed later for Takechiyo so we can better understand what happened here. There’s also a reference to Hachi here, so perhaps Takechiyo has some kind of connection with Hachi? Jyubei mentions that if Takechiyo stays there, he’ll have to be put to work, and he can’t treat him like he did before. There seems to be some kind of connection that Jyubei has with Takechiyo’s people, and hopefully this will be another one of the mysteries resolved by the end of the series.

Now we get a strong hint as to why Moroha has no knowledge of her parents. We see that Kagome tearfully sends Moroha away, but we don’t see where Hachi takes Moroha. And there’s also the question of what exactly happened here. Were Inuyasha and Kagome fighting Sesshomaru and Kirinmaru, or were they gathering to defeat some other foe? Again, while this dream kind of gives an answer to one of the questions that the audience has had about Moroha, it’s opened up even more questions.

Towa’s vision… I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that the spirit of the Tree of Ages had something to do with the Dream Butterfly taking Setsuna’s dreams. And seeing that butterfly going to the Tree of Ages and hovering around the Rin that’s in suspended animation, I’m starting to think that Rin could very well be the twins’ mother. I especially felt that the dialogue that the Tree of Ages had at that point pointed things in that direction. Of course, we’re still left with the question of how Rin came to be in this state to begin with.

And during all of this, we see Riku return. For those who don’t remember, he was the “pirate” that Towa met in the previous episode. With a meeting he has with Jyubei, we learn there’s more to this guy than meets the eye. It turns out he’s the one making the requests to Jyubei to eliminate the Four Perils. But let’s just say that Riku isn’t exactly a good guy here. He wants the Rainbow Pearls for himself, which includes the ones in the possession of Moroha, Setsuna, and Towa. He’s an antagonist, but not in the same way as the Four Perils or the spirit of the Tree of Ages. But he’s going to try to charm our three main characters while at the same time plotting ways to stab them in the back when the time comes.

Back with our protagonists, they manage to defeat Yotsume, but they are now forced to deal with Kyuki. Unfortunately, her rainbow pearl also has the ability to absorb demon energy. While hope seems lost, Moroha realizes that Towa has a useful ability that the other two girls don’t have, and we see the struggle that Towa goes through in order to make this work.

I’m not going to go into any more detail because I’ll be treading into territory where I’d be spoiling how the ending goes. But let’s just say Towa is important, and we also get to see a little more of Riku.

Here, we have another episode where questions are starting to be somewhat answered, but the answers are raising even more questions. Fortunately, this is only the eighth episode, so there’s still time for these new questions, as well as the older questions, to be answered. I know I’ve said this before, but I’m hoping that there aren’t any major loose ends by the time we reach the final episode.

Speaking of this being the eighth episode, is anyone else getting annoyed by the fact that every episode is still giving us text at the beginning to identify our three main protagonists? If anyone watching the series still needs these identifications for these characters, then it seems like there’s a problem with the anime’s production team not establishing the protagonists well enough for the audience to remember who is who. The first two or three episodes I could understand, but Episode 8?

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