Hotarubi runs through the rain, Zaemon follows and flings a blade at her. She’s wounded but still able to run. She yanks the blade out of herself. Her vision blurs as she sees images of Zaemon, and her hatred of him grows for taking Yashamaru away. She bandages herself then carries on.
Elsewhere, the Iga have taken shelter for the night in a small house. Oboro sits apart from her clansmembers as they discuss the situation. Her thoughts turn to the time she spent with Gennosuke and she weeps over those memories.
At that time she confessed to him that she was worried their marriage would bring him trouble and that was the last thing she wanted to do. She wanted to be certain of his feelings for her so she could know that this was what he really wanted.
Gennosuke responds by saying, “Your eyes.. when those eyes gaze at me, it makes me glad we met.”
AGGHH!! *Ren melts into small puddle*
They both confess that they’re not good at talking about their feelings, then the conversation turns to the changing seasons. Though they speak happily of it and are most likely looking ahead to a new season of life together, I wonder if really it’s forshadowing of the impending end of their relationship.
Zaemon continues to pursues what he thinks is Hotarubi, but is really just a swarm of butterflies posing as a decoy. He flings another blade but succeeds only in impaling a single butterfly to a tree trunk. He watches it flutter for a few seconds before dying and remembers Hotarubi’s tears of relief when she thought he was Yashamaru.
Hotarubi stumbles on, becoming weaker probably from a combination of exhaustion and blood loss. The music in this scene was haunting and beautiful and fit the mood perfectly. I was practically screaming at this point, “Don’t let her die! She’s my favourite!”
Anyway.. Zaemon, realizing he’s been duped, has returned to the camp and sees Nenki dead and Gennosuke with his eyes sealed. He rips Nenki’s body to the ground then pulls him up by the hair, giving him a look of utter digust.
Back to the Iga – only Tenzen and Koshiro are awake. Koshiro is by a stream outside trying to use his technique, but nothing really happens. Reflecting on his brief battle with Gennosuke, he believes that had it not been for Oboro’s interference he would have been killed, and he wonders if Gennosuke is really a man or a demon. He shudders, then jumps when he hears a noise.
His panic grows as he tries to figure out which of the Kouga might be attacking him. He whips around and pulls out a scythe and only narrowly avoids killing Akeginu. In a fit of self loathing and utter frustration at his own helplessness he throws himself backwards and lands in the stream. Akeginu holds him in her arms in an attempt to comfort him.
The next morning we see Hotarubi lying on the ground, still bleeding. She remembers the day when Yashamaru told her he was chosen to go to Sunpu. He promises to bring her back a souvenir and asks her what she would like. All of his suggestions are rather girlish and she thinks they dont really suit a ninja girl like her. What follows is a very touching scene between the two of them. Yashamaru teases her and she goes bright red. Then he takes her hand and presses it to his cheek, glad of the time of peace that they can spend together.
Man that made my heart ache for the both of them. For Hotarubi especially since she is the one left behind.
These memories only serve to strengthen Hotarubi’s resolve to get revenge and she forces herself to keep going.
We’re taken back to Koshiro and Akeginu, who are now sitting apart from each other and looking rather awkward. Akeginu asks for his opinion on Oboro, especially on what he thinks now that she and Gennosuke are separated. Before he can answer she gives her own thoughts, stating that though she believes Oboro needs to help them kill Gennosuke she can also understand the position that Oboro is in. (Sooo what…Akeginu has feelings for Koshiro, but he has feelings for Oboro, who has feelings for Gennosuke? Yikes @_@)
Koshiro responds by saying he doesn’t know if Oboro will ever be able to forget Gennosuke. He wanted to be the one to see her through things, good and bad, but the only one who brought that special light to her face was Gennosuke.
With her head down Akeginu goes back inside. Oboro hears her come in and asks her why she’s all wet, but Akeginu just tells her to get some sleep. Oboro is fearful and worried that she will lose more people and begs Akeginu not to go anywhere.
Oboro calls out for Gennosuke in her mind, as he calls out for her.
Hotarubi has reached a chasm with a broken bridge and a man resembling Nenki seems to have caught up with her. It’s obviously Zaemon. I wonder if she’ll fall for the same thing twice, but I highly doubt it.
An absolutely amazing episode in my mind with some really great character development. I loved seeing the memories of the various couples. It makes all of the ninjas more than just deadly assasins, but actual people with feelings, real motivations, and pasts.
The next episode will feature a showdown between Hotarubi and Zaemon no doubt. She better win. I want her to get revenge, and I just plain don’t want her to die because I love her character.