Nabari no Ou seems Hell-bent on keeping up its history of mixing very dialogue-heavy episodes with more action oriented ones, and just as we were expecting a bit more action this time around so we get it in episode seventeen.
To be honest, the entire affair seems to be getting ever-more confusing, to the point where it's almost impossible to decide who is on what side any more, and there's so much double-crossing and double-double-crossing going on that I defy anyone to make a cogent explanation of who is on the 'good' and the 'bad' side of the fence. Certainly, shades of grey has been one of this series biggest strengths, with no obviously evil, or indeed obviously good, faction. Keeping away from such a black and white storyline should be commended, but the ensuing confusion is currently requiring the patience of a saint to get through from episode to episode.
Still, this instalment does treat us to a few fight scenes, a little more of the immortal cat (which amuses me more than it should, I think) and some dressed-down Raimei in a rather fetching hat. Much as I've enjoyed her contributions throughout this series, I have found myself increasingly frustrated with the way her character has been portrayed - Having started out as a very strong young woman, both physically and mentally, she now almost seems to be comic relief, making stupid decisions and proving to be unable to defend herself time and again. Sure, she's doubtless been traumatised by the way things turned out with her brother, but turning her into a figure of fun in this episode in particular just doesn't sit with her previous portrayal.
Anyway, as I've already alluded to, this was a better episode in many ways, setting things moving after a rather tepid episode sixteen. It still seems to be taking far too long for the story to move anywhere, yet again convincing me that thirteen episodes would have been enough to squeeze everything into, but the myriad possible endings to the series make it both unpredictable and compelling in equal measure, and that can only be a good thing.