If time truly permitted I’d relate from the beginning but, this is a transition to a new arc so it’s as good a place as any.
So Rikuo finally ascended to take over the Nura-gumi as “The Third” (3rd leader of the gang). Meanwhile, Yuka is having her 13th birthday. As it turns out, she had a childhood encounter with a “mirror” youkai that takes the life of a girl on… her 13th birthday. As Yuka’s classmates study this youkai, and as Yuka’s fending off messages inside her head, Yuka runs off from the group and soon finds herself chased by the youkai on a fruitless journey home.
In fact, she’s been trapped in the school on the other side of the looking glass, so to speak. As a cell phone given to her (in the form of a creepy youkai-ized doll) exposes her plight to those on the other side, leading to a frantic search. Of course, Rikuo is the only one who can actually see her through the mirror. The youkai is very unamused and breaks the mirror and nearly has Yuka absorbed when Youkai Rikuo pulls her out of the youkai fully, asking what it’s doing grabbing chicks on his turf.
So, the mirror monster creates perfect copies of itself all around Rikuo and Yuka. It sounds very impressed with itself until Rikuo, sword drawn, simply cuts all of them at the same time. That solves the problem.
While Yuka manages to make it seem like she was just imagining things and waves off the search, she tugs on Rikuo’s kimono and demands to know more about him. He grants her request, in his own way, leading her on a trip to the stomping grounds of the Bake-nekos (Ghost Cats), who were featured early on getting their butts kicked by what you might think of as were-rats, but who are part of the Nura-gumi. So Rikuo gives her an introduction tot he world of the youkai, including how it is both scary and fascinating, making her realize that yes, Youkai Rikuo really is a youkai, and after a long night out, he takes her home.
Rikuo ends up back at his own house at morning, something that his grandfather and mother remark upon, thinking that he must’ve scored with a girl and being quite fine with that. (Now that’s some family…) Actually, Rikuo is pretty out of it as he walks to school. Somehow Yuka is not at all tired (granted, she looked like she’d passed out from sake, so she was nice and out of it while Youkai Rikuo carried her on his back), and wants to ask Rikuo something. Rikuo, breaking character, says “sorry about last night,” sending Yuki Onna into a tizzy, and Yuka grabs Rikuo and goes off with him.
So, it basically goes like this.
- Youkai Rikuo (whose name she obviously hasn’t heard!) tends to be around where Rikuo is.
- There seems to be a connection between the two.
- Rikuo: (I’m busted…!!)
- “You must be friends with him, right?”
Rikuo, welcome to The Friend Zone, Clark Kent version. If the glasses fit, wear them.
Incidentally, the episode ended with some “recon” being done by three youkai of another “gang” that figure it’ll take a week to completely conquer the town, given that the Nuras are softies.
We’ll see about that, won’t we?
Rating: 9/10. Great ep. Many horror movies could learn from the competence with which the first half was done, and the second half included a lot of real character building that did not feel cheap at all.