I’ll admit, based on last week’s preview I wasn’t expecting much from this week’s episode.  But holy crap, was I proved wrong!  This is by far the best episode of the series and I can’t believe I doubted it for even a second!  Shame on me! *slaps self*

At the start of this week’s episode, we get a brief glimpse of the woman from the end of last week’s episode (remember the lady on the streets saying that she’d get her hands on Zakuro at some point?  Yeah, her.) seducing a man – from the military if I’m not mistaken – in an alley.  We then switch to the Spirit Affairs where Lieutenant Hanadate is asking Kushimatsu and Lord Amaryoju for their assistance at the upcoming ball.  Apparently some woman has been luring men away before transforming into a giant spider and then draining their life.  Gee, I wonder who it could be!  Kushimatsu accepts the assignment and as Hanadate is leaving, Zakuro dashes down the stairs to greet him.  After a short conversation in which Hanadate compliments Zakuro on her belt, we notice Amegaki in the background becoming rather jealous of the affection that Zakuro is blatantly showing towards his superior.

After much fighting and yelling on Zakuro’s behalf – which I’m sure half of the neighborhood could hear – Kushimatsu manages to get all of the girls into their new, fancy Jesuit outfit.  Hozuki, Bonbori and Susukihotaru don’t seem to mind the new outfits; in fact, all of the girls seem to love their new clothing except for Zakuro.  Amegaki approaches her and tells her that she looks pretty, but then he quickly inserts his foot into his mouth by saying that even though she’s a lovely girl by nature she tends to act a bit aggressively towards others.  Exclaiming that she’s found a new use for her Jesuit footwear, Zakuro digs her heel into Amegaki’s foot.  Ouch!

The gang arrives at this big fancy shindig and once again, the humans stare openly at the girls.  I know that it’s not often that they see half-spirits, but c’mon!  I feel a bit bad for the girls.  Anyway, once the teams split up for their individual missions, Hanadate asks Zakuro if she’ll dance with him.  Of course, this is because she’ll be able to monitor the women in the room better that way compared to staying on the sidelines.  From a balcony above, Hozuki and Bonbori lament the fact that they are unable to dance but carry on with their mission – attaching rose petals to every woman in the ballroom.  Here is where we get a small inside look at their powers: they are able to control flower petals, with which they are then able to track and monitor people.  Quite a nifty talent if you ask me.

We then see Zakuro being bullied by several senior officers, both of whom warn her about making a scene because it will make a bad impression for the Spirit Affairs.  Amegaki comes to her rescue, stating that he’s quite positive he’d never see his senior officers participating in spirit hazing – a practice that has long since been considered to be bad in general.  Once the men are gone, Zakuro doesn’t say anything, but simply pounds on Amegaki’s chest before clutching to him in what could be to see Zakuro’s emotional side.  He comforts her and it was such a sweet, touching moment between them.  I’ll admit I was hoping that he’d kiss her right then and there, but then again, I’m hopeless. XD What I’m sure is a few hours later, we find Ganryuu, Bonbori and Hozuki sitting on a bench with Hozuki singing the chant that is usually sung while the girls are fighting demons.  It turns out that they are only able to retrieve the information their rose petals have gathered while signing, but they wave off Ganryuu’s concerns saying that passerby most likely suspects that they’re simply drunk.  Upset that Bonbori is hogging Ganryuu all to herself, the girls tag each other and Bonbori begins singing while Hozuki talks to Ganryuu.  It’s then that the girls get some sort of vibe from one of their petals, telling them the location of the enemy.  After sending out a petal to Susukihotaru and Zakuro, the gang sets off in search for the target.

Susukihotaru and Riken are patrolling the garden when they get the message from Bonbori and Hozuki and as they’re about to return to the mansion, they’re stopped by – *gasp* – the cloaked figures!  Well, one of them, but still.  After a brief, but intense battle between the cloaked figure and Riken, Susukihotaru manages to touch the figure as they flee, saying that she only felt sorrow and that the person was being chased by something.  Zakuro and Amegaki are also attacked by the second cloaked figure, but Zakuro seems to make short work of them.  We find Bonbori, Hozuki and Ganryuu outside a large door, unable to open it because the magic petal they had attached to the woman had been destroyed.  To prove her point, Bonbori shows that her hand has a burn on it; apparently whoever is singing when one of the petals is destroyed gets burned because the two put their souls into every petal.

The door opens and as the trio walks inside, we find several mummified military officers caught in a massive spider web, along with a still healthy looking Hanadate.  We then see the pretty lady from before saunter out of the shadows before turning into a really gross looking spider.  Refusing to allow the girls to protect him, Ganryuu nearly gets himself killed before the girls cloak him in a whirlwind of flower petals.  Bonbori faces the spirit while Hozuki protects Ganryuu and it was quite neat to get to see them fighting alone instead of backing up Zakuro.  Unfortunately Bonbori gets injured, but as luck would have it Zakuro appears out of nowhere and defeats the spirit.  Somehow, instead of disintegrating like every other spirit the girls fought, she turns back into her human form and informs Zakuro that she’ll find out soon enough why everything is happening and why her mother let this happen to her.  Of course, this is startling information and Zakuro is completely in shock after hearing it.

Opinions: I couldn’t stop staring at the screen once this episode was over.  Not only did we finally get to see what goes into Bonbori and Hozuki’s powers, but we got to finally see the cloaked figures launch an attack and we got some more information on Zakuro’s mother.  It wasn’t much information, but information none the less.  Amegaki’s displays of jealousy and affection towards Zakuro was downright adorable and it definitely validated the pairing for me.  Now if only Hanadate could just get out of the way!  Plus, Ganryuu showed some genuine concern for the twins and that was endearing as well.  All I can say is: is it next week yet?

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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