After looking worryingly as though it might be losing its way somewhat, the last episode of Shikabane Hime: Kuro at least left us with a suitably surprising ending, with Keisei popping up to say hello to Makina. But is it the real, live Keisei? Is it a corpse Keisei? Is it Keisei at all?
Before we get to the real meat of the episode, we have the resolution of the incident revolving around Tomoharu, a former friend (and now Corpse) of Takamasa, which also brings to a close the demonstration to Ouri of Takamasa and Itsuki's relationship - In essence, their love for one another hasn't changed, but rather Takamasa has decided to hide away and bury this part of his nature, for the sake of his continuing life and survival. Natural instincts are becoming a recurring theme in Shikabane Hime: Kuro, from this particular story through to the nature of Shichisei's members, and even Makina's current plight.
Speaking of Makina, the appearance of "Keisei" is haunting her - Although she realises straight away that this is nothing but an imposter, she finds herself unable to take any kind of violent action. Luckily Ouri has no such qualms (and is surprisingly forthright compared to the relative waste of space we saw throughout most of Aka), although come the episode's cliffhanger we're greeted with no less than a Keisei carnival...
At last, it feels as though Shikabane Hime: Kuro is going somewhere - This was a pretty well-realised and solid episode, that finally saw Ouri standing up for his own feelings and beliefs (and indeed those of Makina) in a way we haven't really seen before, while also bringing Makina's unresolved issues regarding Keisei down to their raw core. Now that all of this is set and the core theme of this series is properly out in the open, I'm hoping that this upswing continues and that it can reach similar peaks to Aka at its best.