Once again, we’re taking a break from spirit destroying for some much needed comedic relief, courtesy of Amegaki.  We start this week off with Amegaki playing with Sakura and Zakuro watching him (do I see a bit of longing in her eyes?) and Susukihotaru bringing sweet buns from the market to share with everyone.  After a small insult to Zakuro delivered by Amegaki about how she makes other spirits look cute and innocent by comparison, Zakuro storms off only to realize she never snagged a sweet bun.  As she rounds the corner, she sees Mistuogi (one of the raccoon women for those of you who don’t remember) with a young woman in traditional clothing who looks very dejected.  Curious, Zakuro asks what the girl is doing there and Mitsuogi tells her that she’s looking for “the blond one.”  As luck would have it, Amegaki rounds the corner – likely in search of Zakuro to apologize – and is jumped by the young woman as she shouts “young master Kei!”

While sitting down with the young woman, Amegaki finds that his father has sent her to retrieve him because he never visits when he’s requested to do so.  Tae, the young woman, pleads with him to come home, even if it’s for a short while and Amegaki suddenly drags Zakuro out into the hallway.  He then proceeds to beg her to come with.  Zakuro, still a bit upset that Amegaki had told Tae that she was his assistant instead of his partner tells him to hold on and quickly runs to her room, returning with a slip of paper filled with items and treats she wants.  After signing the paper, she tells him that every time he insults or upsets her, he’ll have to sign another slip and purchase the items for her.  Amegaki starts laughing, a bit nervously I might add, and tells her to hand him another slip because he’ll have to ask her to hide her ears.

Understandably, Zakuro is pretty upset about this newest development but grudgingly goes with Amegaki to his childhood home.  On the carriage ride there, Amegaki asks Tae to keep the fact that Zakuro is half-spirit a secret from his parents.  Soon enough, they arrive at the Amegaki house and Zakuro is awed to find how big it really is; she refers to it as a “Jesuit castle.”  A young girl then runs out of the entryway and throws herself into Amegaki’s arms.  It turns out that this is his little sister and she seems sweet and polite, quite the opposite from what I was thinking she’d be.  I thought she’d be the typical brat who gets what she wants when she wants it and has a brother complex.  Thank God I was wrong!

Once in Amegaki’s study, Zakuro decides to let her hair down so that her ears will have a chance to recooperate from being bound for so long.  A knock on the door sends Amegaki panicking, so what’s the first thing he does?  He pulls Zakuro into his arms in an attempt to hide her ears!  Tae walks in on their adorable moment and visibly disheartened by the sight, she tells him that his father is looking for him.  As he leaves the room, Tae approaches Zakuro and asks what her relationship with Amegaki is.  Surprised by her question, Zakuro doesn’t understand, so Tae flat-out asks if she’s dating Amegaki because they seemed rather intimate when she entered the room.  Of course, Zakuro denies it, but I think she’s secretly a bit upset too.  Anywho, several hours later Amegaki returns to find Zakuro staring out the window.  She’s pretty irritated with him for leaving her alone all day and asks him if he only brought her along because there’s a spirit in the house.  Amegaki panics and uses Zakuro as a shield of sorts and wants to know why the spirit is still there.

Their conversation is quickly interrupted by Tae, who announces that dinner is ready and both of his parents and his sister are waiting for them.  Amegaki quickly apologizes to Zakuro, which was confusing at first, but became quite clear why he did so.  His father absolutely loathes spirits and Zakuro has to pretend not to be a half-spirit, which I’m sure must have been hard for her.  Amegaki steers the conversation away from spirits by asking his father to share some of his war stories with Zakuro.  During dinner, Zakuro notices Amegaki’s sister feeding a small, black and white kitten but his sister silently asks her to keep quiet.  After dinner, Amegaki finds Zakuro staring out of a window and brings her a small peach to snack on since it was quite obvious she didn’t enjoy dinner.  Zakuro asks him if his father is the reason for his fear of spirits and Amegaki says that’s probably part of it.

He then goes on to tell her that when he was a child, he was approached by a spirit in the middle of the night and then his kitten Itsue disappeared.  He searched for her all over the house and pleaded with the spirit to take any of his other possessions if it meant he could get Itsue back, but he never did.  It was such a sad story and now his fear makes so much more sense.  I’d imagine I’d be afraid of spirits if I lost the one thing or person I loved the most after seeing one.  Zakuro scoffs at his story and tells him that Itsue has been with him all along.  The small kitten appears again and after some encouragement from Zakuro, she shows her true form: a demon cat!  Amegaki is scared at first because it’s the same spirit he saw as a child, but Zakuro explains that sometimes when kittens are loved unconditionally, they turn into demons.  Apparently this happened to Itsue and she showed herself to him when he was a child to thank him for loving her so much.  Amegaki tearfully apologizes to Itsue for not realizing it was her when he was little and the spirit seems pleased by this and returns to her normal form.  Zakuro comments that usually humans can’t see spirits, but there’s always exceptions (I’m sure she’s alluding to his sister being able to see Itsue.)

After all is said and done, the duo is ready to return home Amegaki reveals that he really asked Zakuro to come along because he couldn’t deal with his father.  He thanks her and just as they’re about to have a tender moment, Tae runs up and ruins all of it!  Damn her! *shakes fist*  Amegaki’s mother calls Zakuro aside and proceeds to thank her for being such a good friend to Amegaki and for tolerating her husband.  Hmm…  Seems as though his sister isn’t the only perceptive one.

Opinions: This was a cute, nice little breather from some of the more heavy plot-laden episodes we’ve had recently.  The comedic relief and touching story of Amegaki’s childhood was definitely adorable and I enjoyed getting to see where Amegaki grew up and the reason behind his fear of spirits.  Plus, the fact that he was reunited with Itsue after all these years nearly had me in tears.

Score: A+/A+

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As a 22-year old gamer chick, anime/manga addict and all around geek, Nagi is one of the prized members of the Anime Evo family! She likes any sort of genre so long as the artwork is shiny and the plot good (it also doesn’t hurt to have some fan-service and gore either!) and will give any anime or manga at shot.

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