With the end of the first episode revealing Yaichi's true intentions and "profession" to introverted samurai Akitsu, it seemed as though our protagonist was dead set against having anything to do with the group who make themselves known as the House of Five Leaves of the show's title.
However, despite his best intentions it seems that Akitsu simply can't stay away, be it with the promise of free meals or the opportunity for some rare company for this normally shy loner. When even some work as a labourer doesn't exactly work out for the hapless fellow, it doesn't take much to see him naively and slowly drawn into associating himself with the group yet further, and before he knows it he's accompanying barkeeper Ume as he hauls hostages around, and even finds himself getting paid in the process. It seems that the group are Hell-bent on ensuring that Akitsu joins their ranks, but why? Even Yaichi doesn't seem to be entirely sure, beyond a fascination with this rather unique character.
Come to think of it, that last phrase pretty much sums up my own feelings about House of Five Leaves up to this point - I'm not entirely sure why I'm finding myself increasingly drawn to it, but Akitsu's character and nature are certainly a not inconsiderable part of it. If nothing else, this show is looking set to be the antithesis of the standard samurai anime template, and the fact that it's so carefully, slowly and teasingly revealing its characters and their motives around the borderline idiotic protagonist is actually oddly compelling. Akitsu himself is a weird blend of a genuinely likeable guy who can't get a break and a moron who is naive to a fault, making him oddly fascinating to watch even up against the smooth and street-wise Yaichi; add to this the growing feeling that there's something far bigger going on here than what we've seen so far, and I find myself wanting to know more. While all this teasing might only be able to hold my attention for so long, it's certainly working so far.