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Episode 16: Karma

 

Review by Brian Shea

February 11, 2011

 

Summary

 

Monks chant at the capital for there to be prosperity and for them to be protected from the oni (demon). The Watanabe Clan heads towards the capital, with the 2 Kugai covered in paper. A messenger reports to Einyo, the Empress and Captain of the Guard that the Watanabe clan will be there the next day. The Captain of the Guard says he'll lay down his life to protect the court. However, at that moment they realize that the Watanabe clan has already arrived. Tsuna heads forward with the 2 Kugai, ordering everyone else to rest and set up camp. Miharu thinks of dread and suffering as she walks forward in her Kugai. Those in the court become scared of the Kugai, which they call oni. The Captain of the Guard rides forward with several men. He asks why the Watanabe, who have served the Court are now marching forward with the Kugai, asking if it is a rebellion. Tsuna states that they helped forge this nation and shouldn't be criticized for having the Kugai accompany them. He tells the Captain of the Guard to tell the Emperor that if they seek the Kugai, the Watanabe clan will have to resort to force. One of the Captain's men fires an arrow at one of the Kugai as it walks away, but it bounces off harmlessly. Tsuna tells Yushiro and Miharu to look around at the capital at the sick and dying, saying it is the true nature of the capital governed by the Emperor. He claims that they are fighting against the corruption that threatens their entire nation. Einyo and the Empress discuss the Kugai. Einyo thinks that they will attack the palace during the night and that their arrival during the day was to strike fear in those in the capital. Mitomi asks Tsuna if he meant it when he said they fight to preserve their way of life. He says yes. She says she will willingly fight for him if that is why they are fighting, but if it is truly to satisfy his ambitions, she'll refuse. He says for now they will be fighting to show their strength. She talks about the ceremony of the Gasaraki, and that it will take the life of a Kai. Tsuna however says he has heard a story of a Kai that is able to vanquish the Gasaraki that will appear one day and survive, giving birth to a Kugai. He thinks Yushiro may be this "Supreme Kai."

 

Miharu talks to Yushiro about those they saw dead in the capital and wonders if they were resigned to their demise as being their fate. In a flashback, Einyo tells the Captain of the Guard of the Toribeno Grave, the only place where they will be able to stand up to the Kugai due to its spiritual power. He also claims no one will mind if that area is ravaged. Einyo believes the Grave is a place where the Nada will answer those who call. Miharu tells Yushiro that taking part is her fate. Yushiro thinks it is disheartening to be fated to sow destruction and thinks fate is not carved in stone. Miharu tells him she no longer feels alone. She says she always felt alone, looking up to her older brother, but now realizes she was simply looking up to his back and that she has dedicated herself to being a Kai ever since. Knowing that she's no longer alone she will feel bliss in her servitude even if she brings pestilence upon others. Tsuna orders his followers to depart. His troops and the two Kugai depart their camp and are met by the Captain of the Guard and his men. The 2 Kugai guard Tsuna from the enemy's arrows and chase them away. The capital's catapults pose no match to the Kugai and they kill many men. Tsuna realizes that they are being led away from the capital but doesn't mind it. Mitomi orders others to torch the capital which they do with flaming arrows. The Emperor's troops attack the Kugais with battering rams but are easily guarded and killed. Miharu's heart beats heavy as she looks at all the dead and wounded; Yushiro does the same. Einyo, watching from above calls for the oni god, the terror, to descend upon the land. A pillar of light appears from the sky, and circular imprints are made into the ground. Yushiro realizes it is the fire of the Gasaraki. Einyo says it is a divine inferno that laid 400 vessels to waste in the Battle of Salsu River, which Yushiro can remember. Yushiro thinks of all who perished during that battle and says that this must be stopped. He shouts "Nada" and exits his Kugai. Einyo calls Yushiro the one. Tsuna demands to know why he stopped and orders Yushiro to continue, shooting him in the legs with arrows. Miharu stabs Tsuna through the back with her Kugai's weapon, killing him. Mitomi says their cause for fighting is no more and that they must retreat. The narrative returns to the present day. The old man says a millennium ago they cast aside the Kugai. Yushiro says it had to be done or they would have led themselves to their own demise. Having witnessed herself murdering her older brother, Miharu is silent and appears catatonic.

 

Commentary

 

Another strong episode continuing the narrative style of the previous one. The Watanabe clan's rebellion comes to a head but ends when Yushiro refuses to let the Gasaraki cause anymore deaths. The events that occur harken back to the first episode of the show, with Yushiro being able to stop events from occurring both times, to Kazukiyo/Tsuna's objection. While this narrative style ends fairly abruptly, the end result is that things do, at least for the time being make a lot more sense than they did before. In a show that so complex and confusing at times, it was greatly appreciated. As the episode ends Miharu appears to be greatly affected, which is at least somewhat surprising in that she always seemed to be more familiar with her past life than Yushiro ever was.

 

Overall Rating

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4.5 out of 5 stars
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Gasaraki Episode 16 Gasaraki Episode 16

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