Last episode we were introduced to Shichisei, an organised group of Corpses looking to team up with the betrayer priest we saw earlier in the series with a view to destroying the Shikabane Hime (and, of course, the Kougon cult with it). Circular as these things are, we also come to the realisation that Shichisei were responsible for the death of Makina's family, and the reason for her becoming a Shikabane Hime in search for revenge on behalf of that family.
In this latest instalment, that circular nature carries on to even further degrees, as Keisei tells Ouri about his past, including the hows and whys of his becoming a priest, and how he ended up as a Contracted Priest to Makina. All of this in itself ties in with the Kougon Cult passing the recent information they've gleaned on Shichisei to Keisei, basically putting him and Makina in charge of "dealing" with them.
Meanwhile, seemingly away from all this, Ouri is looking forward to his sixteenth birthday, while Keisei advises him to keep out of the coming skirmishes and Makina all but molests him when he mentioned in passing that he's already seen a member of Shichisei. Of course, keeping out of it sounds like a great idea, but it isn't long before Ouri gets dragged into the conflict with Shichisei whether he likes it or not, thanks to a move which looks likely to have dire consequences for both Ouri and Keisei...
Perhaps it's just me, but it genuinely feels as though Shikabane Hime: Aka has been getting better by the episode as the series has progressed. While it may not be the deepest of shows, it's managed to balance plot progression and revealing any requisite back story pretty well, and has similarly never overdone the action side of things while losing side of any of its prominent characters. Add to that a slightly stop/start horror aspect (which again made a brief appearance here right at the end), and you have yourself a half-decent series which is building up quite nicely to a big climax (before it starts all over again in Shikabane Hime: Kuro of course).