Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon: Episode 14 – “The One Behind the Forest Fire”

This episode sees Jyubei summoning Moroha, Towa, and Setsuna for a bounty. When they get to Jyubei’s place, they find Riku and a woman named Tamano. It turns out Tamano was kidnapped by Homura, and evil mountain god, and taken to his mansion. Homura is a possessive and jealous god, and would burn anyone who even laid eyes on Tamano. He locked her up in a cell, but she used chopsticks to pick the lock and escape. She was found by Riku and brought to Jyubei’s place. Since Homura is so jealous, Riku knows he’s in danger if Homura discovers Tamano is with him. When Moroha is told that the bounty on his head will wipe her debt clean, she, of course, eagerly accepts. The other two reluctantly go along.

I should also point out that before making it to Jyubei’s place, Towa’s cell phone falls out of her pocket. Apparently, while Moroha and Setsuna were in modern-day Japan, they hadn’t noticed Towa using it because they react to it as something they’ve never seen before. Towa admits that even though she can’t do anything with it in feudal Japan, she still clings to it. Later in the episode, Towa equates her addiction to her cell phone with Homura’s obsession with Tamano. I’m not quite sure I would have gone that far, since I think Homura’s obsession with Tamano is much worse, but OK…

If it wasn’t for the title, you wouldn’t necessarily think this would be an important episode. But with the title, and seeing that Homura breathes fire, it’s clear that he’s the one being referenced in the title. We get to see a brief flashback of Homura being asked by an unknown demon to burn down the forest, and Sesshomaru is there and is addressed. This brief flashback puts Sesshomaru in a bad light, but I have a feeling there’s more here than what we’re seeing.

When Moroha charges in to Homura’s mansion and the other two are forced to follow and confront Homura, he realizes who Towa and Setsuna are. He’s shocked to see them, because he thought they were dead. Homura panics, because if the people who hired him to burn down the forest find out the twins are still alive, he’s going to be in big trouble. After blurting out his involvement with the fire, Towa becomes VERY angry, and we get to see a facial expression out of her that we’ve never seen before. Wow. But it makes sense, though. Because of Homura, she and Setsuna were separated for 10 years.

But we get an interesting twist, though. While it would have been poetic justice for the twins to take Homura down, it was actually the arrival of Tamano and Riku, and the actions they take, that ultimately bring Homura down. Homura’s meltdown (pardon the pun) really made me think of a certain figure who’s been making a lot of headlines at the time of this writing, and how they behave when they don’t get their way… except for the fact that the real-life person doesn’t spontaneously burst into flames.

From seeing the preview, though, it appears that this episode is a lead-in to next week’s episode. From the preview, it appears it’s going to be a backstory episode that should answer several of the lingering questions that have existed in the series up to this point. I’m looking forward to seeing next week’s episode, and hopefully it will provide enough answers to reward the viewers who have put in the time up to this point to follow this series.

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