Hoo boy, is there a lot to unpack here.
Just when it looks like Zero is going to start using her demon powers after destroying the Tenseiga, Kirinmaru suddenly appears. He uses his power to take the Rainbow Pearls and send them flying across the land. Hmmm… this reminds me a lot of the Shikon Jewel shards. Zero renounces her relationship to Kirinmaru and flees to go searching for the Rainbow Pearls. After she leaves, Riku does something surprising… he literally backstabs Kirinmaru and goes after Zero to help her find the pearls. Now, I’m confused. Yes, Riku isn’t the most trustworthy of characters, but previous to this scene he seemed to be very devoted to Kirinmaru. Yes, he also served Zero, but he seemed to owe a great debt to Kirinmaru. So what changed? I just didn’t understand his motivation as a character here.
Sesshomaru leaves, and the story turns into a battle between the three main characters and Kirinmaru. Meanwhile, at the Tree of Ages, Jaken notices Rin shed a tear and is concerned. He leaves and finds Totosai, who is on his way to the battlefield. Totosai says he’s heading there to see the birth of a “new blade,” but they’ll probably be too late when they get there.
During the fight with Kirinmaru, the girls try their hardest, but their current skills don’t seem to be a match for Kirinmaru. At one point, we get a surprising development. At the risk of providing a spoiler, I will say that Setsuna is killed by Kirinmaru. Normally, I wouldn’t give something like this away, but because of how integral this is to the rest of the plot of the episode, this spoiler can’t be avoided. But Setsuna’s death powers up Towa. Moroha, who has used her rouge to become Beniyasha, also comes to avenge Setsuna’s death. Because of being at the site where their grandfather died, both of their powers level up drastically. For some reason, this major battle between Towa, Moroha, and Kirinmaru suddenly takes place in space (???). My guess is that it’s to make the fight feel more epic or something, but it really doesn’t make any sense. I should also mention that right as Setsuna dies, the dream butterfly appears and it’s hinted that her dreams and memories are restored right before she dies.
Even with these enhanced powers, the two remaining main characters still can’t defeat Kirinmaru. Kirinmaru has taken some damage, especially from the girls’ new and enhanced powers, but he still lives. Kirinmaru leaves them, saying he’ll fight them another day.
Right at the end of the episode, Sesshomaru appears in front of Towa. He actually addresses her by name, hands her a blade and tells her to use it. We don’t see Towa use it by the end of the episode, but the impression seems to be given that he’s handing her the Tenseiga. But if he is, then how did it get repaired so quickly? At least it was nice to finally see Sesshomaru acting like a caring father after all this time.
Even if the screen at the end hadn’t said that another season of Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon is in production, you would have figured out that there had to be more. We have both Zero and Kirinmaru out there, waiting to take on the main characters again. You have the lingering question of Setsuna’s fate, as well as what is going to happen to Rin. And we can’t forget about the comet that was hinted at previously.
While parts of this episode felt epic, I also thought that a lot of the episode felt rushed. Looking back at this season as a whole, I have to say that there’s been a pacing problem. And then you add in some of the problematic elements that appeared in some of the later episodes, and this gives the upcoming second season a shakier foundation to build off of.
In the end, the final episode of this season had some surprises up its sleeve and left the viewer with quite the cliffhanger. But like I said earlier, these fight scenes and revelations might have had more impact if they hadn’t felt rushed. But considering the quality of the rest of the season, the weaknesses of the writing in this episode shouldn’t be terribly surprising.
Will I watch the next season of Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon? Yes, simply because I’m a completionist and want to be able to judge the story by the whole work. However, I’ll be going into the next season with much lowered expectations.
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