This week we’re actually taking a break from the typical events of the Ministry of Spirit Affairs (i.e. fighting off demons/devious spirits) to delve a little deeper into the world of Zakuro, Susukihotaru, Bonbori and Hozuki. We start off seeing Amegaki in Hanadate’s office, dropping off his report on the Black Widow they had dealt with in the previous episode. Hanadate apologizes for what happened that night and asks Amegaki to deliver a small package to Zakuro to express his apology. Agreeing, Amegaki returns home to find Zakuro sitting on the patio by herself, staring at a small trinket in her hand. He greets her, but is given the cold shoulder. Unsure of what to do, he tells her that he has a gift from Hanadate and that seems to cheer Zakuro right up. She squeals in delight and snatches the bag of goodies from Amegaki’s hand, wondering out loud what it could be.
Everyone gathers for tea and Amegaki gives everyone some of the treat Hanadate had sent along with him. What is this special treat? Cookies! 😀 Since Zakuro has never seen cookies before, she mutters about it being just another Jesuit treat and doesn’t think she’ll enjoy it. After some prodding from Amegaki, she tries it and finds that she really enjoys it! Susukihotaru really enjoys her’s as well, so Riken gives her his share, telling her that he enjoys watching her eat. Zakuro teases her about this for a moment before asking where the rest of their group is at. We then see Ganryuu walking along the pathways outside, Bonbori and Hozuki hot on his heels. He stops his progress and yells at them to quit following him. After some protesting from the girls, he turns to face them, only to bow and apologize, saying that his inexperience in their last battle caused them to become injured. The girls then tell him a story of how they first met Susukihotaru and Zakuro.
It turns out, the twins originally resided in a cave far on the outskirts of a small village. A woman would come visit every now and then, giving them small amounts of food and clothing. She would also tell the girls to stay in the cave during the day and to never run into a human. The girls did as she said until one day the woman stopped visiting and they began looking for her in the forests at night until one day a human found their small cave. He chased them from the cave, declaring that he would kill them because they were the reason that his wife was killed (I’m assuming that the woman was their mother.) As they ran, they felt guilty for not obeying the woman: not only had they run into a human, but they had left the cave during the day. Just as they thought the man would kill them, they found themselves on Kushimatsu’s back headed towards the Ministry.
Ganryuu is upset about their tale and tells them that it’s not worth putting themselves in danger for others, but the girls tell him that they love him and don’t want to lose another person they love. It was such a touching moment between them, and I’m glad that Ganryuu really cares about the girls. Susukihotaru are teaching the children to read and write and we get another flashback, this time to when Hozuki and Bonbori are learning how to read. She asks them where Zakuro is and the girls tell her that she’s probably outside somewhere. Taking Mamezo – who is also young and simply repeating everything the girls say – Susukihotaru finds Zakuro standing on the edge of the forest, seeming to stare at something. Susukihotaru calls out to Zakuro before grabbing her hand to stop her from venturing into the forest. The girls head back to the Ministry, but Susukihotaru feels that there’s something wrong with Zakuro.
Susukihotaru finds Amegaki playing with the children after their lesson is over and sits beside him. He mentions that something seems off with Zakuro, almost like she’s trying too hard to act like she’s happy. Susukihotaru smiles and tells him that he must be in-tune with her; Amegaki becomes flustered and says that she’s just easy to read. She then tells him about how when the girls first met Zakuro, they were a little scared of her, but they soon became close friends. However, Zakuro always makes the girls stronger by being near them and they want nothing more than to do something for her in return. We then find Zakuro entering Kushimatsu’s office intent on asking about her mother. She asks why the Black Widow knew about her mother if she was just a human, but then she brings up an interesting point: why was Kushimatsu serving her mother? Interesting… Regardless, Kushimatsu tells Zakuro that she’s unable to tell her anything at that point, so Zakuro storms out of the office and heads to her room.
Not even two seconds after reaching her room, Zakuro has Amegaki outside her door, asking her to let him into her room. Embarrassed, Zakuro initially tells him no until the children appear in tears. We then find out that their kite got stuck in the tree outside Zakuro’s room and they needed access to her balcony to try and remove it. Unimpressed with Amegaki’s efforts (and the fact that he’s also afraid of heights) Zakuro decides to take matters into her own hands. Climbing the tree, she retrieves the kite but then hears her mother’s warning of persimmon trees again. As if she’s in a trance, she continues to climb the tree only to slip and fall. Amegaki catches her and everything seems to be okay. Zakuro confesses that the small trinket she has is the last memory she has of her mother and Amegaki offers to fix the chain for her. She goes on to say that now that her mother has been brought up, she’s been given the opportunity to learn more about her mother and she’s somewhat excited about it. After fixing the chain, Amegaki puts the necklace on Zakuro for her, resulting in yet another tender moment between then two.
Opinions: Even though this wasn’t an action-packed episode like normal, I enjoyed the break and the opportunity to get a little bit more info on the girls and their pasts. Bonbori and Hozuki had such a tragic past and the fact that they’ve been able to move on and learn from it is admirable. It was a heart-wrenching, yet heart-warming episode (if that makes any sense) and I’m definitely starting to get curious about Zakuro’s mom. If Kushimatsu was serving her mom, then she couldn’t have been a mere human. Right?
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