Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon: Episode 32 – “Nanahoshi’s Mini Galaxy”

This is another episode where the title only references something that only takes up a small portion of it, so I’ll go ahead and get this explanation out of the way so we can get on to the “meat” of the actual story. Zero goes to see Nanahoshi, who will grant a wish… for the price of taking someone’s tears and sadness. Even if you don’t have a wish, he’ll take your tears and sadness anyway to provide fuel for an object that he has. When he tries to take Zero’s sadness, he discovers she doesn’t have any. Zero reveals that her Rainbow Pearls can hide her sorrow, and then uses the power of the pearls to bind Nanahoshi. Unfortunately, this is where this part of the story stops, so we have no idea what’s going to happen next. My guess is that Zero is trying to get her hand on Nanahoshi’s object for whatever she’s planning to do.

We see Towa putting on some hand cream, and Akuru, the demon spirit of space-time that Kirinmaru is trying to capture, approaches her. Towa sees him and tries to talk with him, but Riku and Rion approach. It’s quickly revealed that neither Riku nor Rion can see Akuru. Riku and Rion ask to accompany Towa so they can protect her because Zero wants to kill her. Later, as they travel, Riku is trying to keep his distance in order to prevent Kirinmaru from seeing where Towa is. Unfortunately, Kirinmaru finds them anyway, and Riku jumps in to help. Kirinmaru and Rion exchange words. As this is going on, something inside Towa is telling her to run, but she stays and activates her new sword. Just as Towa is about to use the sword, Akuru appears and starts playing around with Towa’s bicycle. Kirinmaru notices that Towa can see something he can’t, and guesses that it’s Akuru. At this point, Kirinmaru puts his sword away, and comments that it makes sense that Towa can see Akuru, since she is part of Sesshomaru’s clan. Kirinmaru launches a final attack before leaving, and Riku’s eyes are damaged as he protects Towa from the attack. Towa feels guilty about what happened, but Riku finds a silver lining… since he can’t see, Kirinmaru won’t be able to use him to track down Towa. Unfortunately, this situation taught Towa a lesson that ties in with what she was told in an earlier episode… sometimes it’s better to run away than to keep standing your ground and fight.

Meanwhile, Setsuna has gone north with the demon slayers for a job. When we first see her, she’s using the same hand cream that Towa was using, and Akuru appears before her. Once again, no one else can see the little demon except for her. My first thought is that for some reason, Akuru is attracted to the smell of the hand cream. But then, when he appears later during the confrontation with Kirinmaru, I realized that the hand cream may not have totally accounted for Akuru’s interest. We’re introduced to three new characters, two of whom Kohaku has known from the past. The character design for one of these characters kept making me think the design was inspired by anime made in the late 1970’s or early 1980’s (this character’s face, especially, made me think of some of the male character designs for the original Space Battleship Yamato anime). The demon slayers, as well as the audience, learn that the village that hired them is wealthy and has a very important treasure that has helped provide their wealth. The demon slayers have been hired because flame bulls are attacking the village and burning things down. When a lone flame bull attacks, I loved how Setsuna proved a couple of naysayers wrong and was able to take it down with one attack. But after this, we learn that the flame bulls are controlled by the local deity, and that the local deity is ordering the bulls to attack. Near the end of the episode, we get a shot of the local deity… and that’s basically where this story ends in the episode.

The title of last week’s episode was “Takechiyo’s Request,” but the storyline with Takechiyo was hardly touched on. I had hoped it would get more focus this time, but once again, outside of the scene of Zero with Nanahoshi, this was the storyline that received the least screen time again. We see Moroha locked into a cell, but she uses a tool from the modern era that she had hidden on her to pick the lock. While crawling around above the ceiling, she comes across Takechiyo’s younger brother, who is leading their people, having a meeting. Moroha sees her bow and arrows are in the room, and also overhears how Takechiyo’s people hate both Kagome and Inuyasha. When a guard bursts into the room to tell them that Moroha has escaped, she realizes she’ll have to try to get her bow and arrows later. The last thing we see of her storyline is being found and an attack is launched by a demon. Moroha uses her rouge to become Beniyasha, but it appears her attack may not work…

There are ultimately three storylines going on at once, with nothing to connect them so far. From the preview I saw for the next episode, it looks like we will continue to be following at least two of the three storylines. It’ll be interesting to see how these storylines progress, and hopefully at some point we’ll find out what exactly Zero is up to.

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