Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon: Episode 10 – “The Gold and Silver Rainbow Pearls”

This episode focuses on a set of demon brothers named Kinka and Ginka. In their culture, the siblings battle it out as children and the victor absorbs the other to become a stronger demon. However, these brothers have been unable to best each other, and are still waging their battle years later. Unfortunately, their fights wreak havoc on the land, destroying homes, people, animals, etc. A bounty has been placed on their heads, and Jyubei sends Moroha, Setsuna, and Towa on a mission to kill them and collect the bounty.

The three girls find the brothers, and it’s interesting to watch Towa using her modern day ideas in action. Instead of simply leaping into action, she starts asking questions of the brothers as they’re fighting. Luckily for her, they stop long enough to answer a question, although sometimes one of the brothers will try to use the opening that’s created when the other stops to talk to Towa. Let’s be honest, this was more of a narrative device to convey important information than it was to truly showcase how Towa reacts to these demon situations differently than those who were raised and nurtured in the feudal era. Although this gets some information across, I’m not entirely sure that these brothers so set on bloodlust would have truly kept stopping to provide this information.

But, when Towa and Setsuna prepare to fight the brothers, the demons realize that they each possess a Rainbow Pearl. According to legend, the Rainbow Pearls are supposed to enhance the strength of the demons from the brothers’ clan. The brothers make a temporary truce so they can possess the two girls and take their Rainbow Pearls. The plan works, and the brothers go to see Lady Joka, the leader of the brothers’ demon clan. They want to be rewarded for stealing the Rainbow Pearls… and she rewards them by trying to take their demon power. Joka goes after the younger brother, and the older brother wants to protect him at first due to not wanting anyone but him to take his younger brother’s power. But as the fight goes on, it seems to go deeper than that.

When Towa and Setsuna come upon this scene of the older brother trying to save the younger brother, it reminds Towa of what happened in the forest fire. We also see that this battle starts stirring some fuzzy memories in Setsuna. At first, she sees fuzzy images of someone trying to save her from the forest fire, but doesn’t know who it is. It’s only a little later when she hears a voice that she seems to realize who it was. But what I’m curious to know is… did Setsuna start having these fuzzy memories on her own while seeing the older demon brother trying to save the younger one, or are these images something that the spirit of the Tree of Ages is allowing her to see? Seeing how manipulative the spirit of the Tree of Ages is, it wouldn’t surprise me if it was the latter rather than the former.

In the battle with Joka, Setsuna really gets to show her abilities, especially after getting some help from the older demon brother. And in the aftermath, we get to see the older demon brother finally making some realizations before the ending of the episode.

This episode had a strong focus on sibling rivalry and sibling connections. Which is probably why Moroha was left behind when Setsuna and Towa went after the demon brothers in order to get their Rainbow Pearls back. Yes, this lent itself to a humorous conclusion to the episode, but for storytelling purposes, Moroha really wouldn’t have served a purpose in a battle that was ultimately focused on siblings. I kind of felt bad for Moroha when she was left behind, but I can understand that if Moroha had come along, she would have just been standing there and doing nothing during the fight. For the writers, they got more mileage from her being left behind and then finally catching up when the battle is over.

I have to admit that when the episode started, I thought this wasn’t going to be an important episode. However, by the end, I realized that this one was meant to focus on Towa and Setsuna, especially Setsuna. Seeing Setsuna start to have some fuzzy memories has to be important to the overarching story. Will Setsuna have more of these fuzzy memories in the future?

Although, I have to say that the preview for the next episode makes it feel like it might be a potential throwaway. And it doesn’t help that the boy featured in the preview bears a very striking resemblance to the young Kohaku from the original Inuyasha series.

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