Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Shikabane Hime: Aka - Episode 10

It may have happened a couple of episodes ago now, but Minai's "death" (I'm not sure if you can say that someone who is already dead has died, but never mind) still reverberates around this episode. In particular, Keisei seems Hell-bent on finding out how she was disposed of despite Ouri putting her into hiding, a line of enquiry that exposes the exact nature of the people Ouri has been working for in his part-time job. Of course, we already knew that they were involved with the Kougon cult, but now we know exactly what the nature of their involvement is as well.

That aside, Shikabane Hime: Aka seems to have taken us into the story arc which will close out this series. This particular arc begins with Omune (she of the weird crush on Makina, despite knowing that she's dead) introducing Ouri (who must be sick of people telling him about freaky and weird things by now) to a cult led by a monk who claims to be immortal, a "gift" that he can offer to anyone willing to join his organisation. Ouri goes to check out this cult, with some obvious suspicions, but also rather naively the thought that this guy may be able to "cure" the Shikabane Hime or something similar, but not long after this "magical" monk gets visited by some rather unsavoury characters, who look set to go face to face with the Shikabane Hime and the Kougon cult in due course.

This all ties in to some further back story regarding Makina, who is having some pretty graphic nightmares about her death and exactly what happened to cause it. If you wondered why Makina hates Corpses so much, you'll soon see why, and of course these revelations also add some further flavour to the closing episodes of this series.

In many ways, this particular episode is simply an interim one, designed to transition us to some bigger, more important episodes to close out this series (and no doubt to set things up for Kuro, coming in January), so from that point of view it does an okay job of things, introducing some more of the horror-esque scenarios that have worked pretty well for the series at times, and explaining reasonably well what was threatening to become an overly-complicated state of affairs between the various personalities and factions on show here. When all is said and done then, this all allows Shikabane Hime: Aka to continue in its role as a pretty good series, that stretches but perhaps never quite breaks the boundaries of the genre it occupies.

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