This review will contain spoilers – so if you haven’t watched this episode and the previous three, you have been warned.
So we begin where we left off with the end of the last episode. Asahi is kid-napped by Janome (who was in disguise), and Makoto is on Janome’s side. Sawa finds Asahi’s shoe, which holds, presumably, a ransom note, while Hanakaze does a little obscure lollygagging.
Janome is puzzled as to why Sawa wants to save Asahi, as members of Nue are not known for this kind of empathy. The ‘kind that rescues enemies and submits to other enemies for their sake. Janome then suggests that this makes them both similar and then brings up how Kuzuhara might snooker that with his desire to make Sawa into a cold-blooded killer to achieve her goal of revenge.
Kuzuhara and Sawa then confront each other, where Kuzuhara brings her up to speed – that Makoto was the one who gave up her hideout and the one who murdered the Cleaner in the graveyard. Kuzuhara then clarifies that he wouldn’t let Sawa go after Janome and Makoto alone while also presenting her with the dilemma. That her quest for revenge and her desire to save Asahi are, in fact, two different roads. She needs to choose. And if she chooses Asahi, Kuzuhara would pick to end her right there and then. They end up with a realistic charge, where Kuzuhara wins but breaks his word by only stunning her. Before letting her know that if she can’t beat him there and then, how was she going to deal with a hostage situation? While driving off with her unconscious in the backseat – Kuzuhara’s car gets ambushed by Makoto, who captures Sawa before telling Kuzuhara to plan the rest of his life carefully as She and Sawa go to “The Heretic”.
We get a flashback of Sawa’s life as a young girl with her brother Takeru. ‘Planting seeds to be eaten by crows. Her brother tells her about the Crows and how they are friends. Reminding me of a video I saw once about their loyalty and intelligence. ‘Turns out Crows can pay humans back in different ways. We then get a big spotlight on Sawa waking up and greeted by her albino Crow. She calls the Crow “Nana” – whether the bird is called “Seven” or “South Africa” is, perhaps, up for debate. She’s in Janome’s lair. He plays the organ, and more lights come on. ‘Revealing that Asahi is wrapped up by what look like the giant Pythons in the show’s opening.
In a rather unusual case: Sawa complies with Janome and Makoto. Who strap her to a chair with a birdcage (For Nana) and extracts her blue blood. Why such as set-up is there… ‘We might never know. Janome then shows that he worships Sawa’s Clan and has Takeru on display like a Catholic Crucifix. Then we see that the Python’s are full of blue blood, Makoto decides to kill them, seems to lose an arm, breaks Sawa and Nana’s ‘chains’, admits to wanting freedom, Janome consumes the blue blood, transforms – – ‘Dear goodness, what on earth is going on? Makoto sends a signal, which Kuzuhara and Hanakaze are looking for in a castle. Janome now looks like a Snake Man from He-Man and says the formula is how he wanted it to be. Sawa transforms into the ‘Sorceress of Castle Grayskull’ again – I’m amazed that I can make two He-Man references in this show at this point. They fight.
Here we find out a few things: We get the cliche of the villain telling the hero “We are very alike”, we see Makoto causing an explosion and then escaping like Batman, and of course…it looks like Sawa’s brother is alive. Then we get a hint of the show’s opening by seeing Sawa slice a giant snake in half and then – – killing Janome. Leading to a new haiku:
“Upon fulfilment of a long-held dream. What fills the mind? Is this moment ‘truly all there is?” Something I think we can all relate ‘to.
So with Sawa having defeated Janome, this story could end right here, as she meets with her brother. However…’ this is ‘no Disney movie. As her brother reveals to her, “As long as one of us lives, this vengeance won’t end.” She wants to die with her brother. But clearly, Asahi will be keeping her around for another day.
It’s true – this show could end here with some tweaking. But there are too many loose ends. Will Asahi become strong enough to kill Sawa? Would Sawa become the last of her clan? Will her brother be alive in the next episode? What of the Blue-Blooded woman in the ‘nip who acquired the Tokyo Roster for Janome in Episode One? What about Kuzuhara and whether he is the final boss? What about Makoto and whether she is the final boss? What about Hanakaze and whether she is the final boss? Will Yoshinobu Tokugawa be overthrown, and is he the final boss? There are questions-a-plenty. I will say that this is probably the weakest episode of the show so far if I’m honest. It may close a chapter and then lead to the next stage. But I found myself having face and heel turns shoved down my throat like too much dry pasta. ‘Looking forward to episode five – Not for any other reason other than how ‘game of thrones’ Nue has become in terms of everybody’s standing with each other. For now, nobody is truly safe. See you later.