The Nabari no Ou episodes are coming thick and fast once again at the moment, and thank goodness things are getting a little more interesting within them to boot.
After the capture of Miharu, Yoite and Oda at the end of the last episode, this instalment sees quite a gathering of forces against Kairoushuu as a result, with various factions and individuals with an interest in the hostages come out to try and rescue them, including Gau and Raikou. I've talked before about how free and easy characters in this series are when it comes to choosing their side, and we really get that impression here again, with numerous players in this series making choices based upon their own convinctions rather than those of the group to which they are allegied - To be honest, it makes for a refreshing change from the typical 'good versus' evil conflicts we see so often in shows of this kind.
What should have been the other big revelation of this episode was a glimpse inside the mind of Hattori, Kairoushuu's leader, showing his history and motivations for wanting the Shinrabanshou. However, it has to be said that this all actually felt rather weak, taking in the story of Hattori as war journalist who has seen so much evil that he wants to rid the world of it, using the Shinrabanshou in a quasi-Human Instrumentality Project manner to basically 'delete' the world's history and start over again. Maybe I just don't have any feel for it because it's such a bonkers idea, but killing so many people in the name of peace and wiping the memories of the entire planet because of memories of his own just seems hypocritical in the extreme. Yes, I know the bad guy is always a big ball of hyprocricy, but somehow I was expecting more of a big revelation on this point, something along the lines of "I want a world where everyone wears Yoite's hait". Hmm, okay, maybe not that then, but you get the idea.
This was actually a pretty decent episode all in all though, turning the tables somewhat due to those changes in allegiance (although how permanent they'll be I have no idea) while also splitting the main characters up for long enough to avoid too much "Yoite! Yoite! Yoite!" nagging from Miharu, who proved once again that he's capable of fending for himself to at least some degree. No doubt episode twenty-two will turn into a bunch of long, drawn-out rubbish just to spite me, but this was actually a reasonable effort, and certainly rather watchable.