Hello, guys! It’s time for Katsugeki Touken Ranbu and we’re in Kyoto this week! I have spent a whole year in Kyoto and that’s why I was excited that our boys were visited the old capital. I have even gone to Nijou Castle a few times, and I really recommend it for the gardens! Anyway, let’s get onto to our review!
A person’s true face is like the waxing and waning of the moon
Original Japanese title: 第一部隊
Honebami Toshiro’s former master and 14th Ashikaga shogun, Ashikaga Yoshiteru, has already perished in the Eiroku incident. However, with rumors of a street slasher going around, the first unit suspect something is amiss. A mystery enemy wearing a red oni mask appears and has the power to manifest troops for the Time Retrograde Army. Just what does this have to do with Ashikaga Yoshiteru…?
There is a reason this is the FIRST Unit
From Yamanbagiri being able to defeat an ootachi with ease to Oodenta showing just why he’s one of the Five Great Swords, the First Unit is on a whole other level to the Second Unit. Don’t get me wrong, Tonbokiri did an amazing job on that bridge, but the First Unit are undoubtedly much, much stronger.
Mikazuki ‘Holy ****’ Munechika
I have been longing to see the old man fight, and although he got a cool fight scene in Touken Ranbu Hanamaru, seeing his serious side in this episode was almost too much for me to bear. I’ve enjoyed a lot of the action scenes in Katsugeki Touken Ranbu so far, but this is the only episode that actually caused me to hold my breath. I did NOT want to miss even a millisecond of his perfect, elegant, powerful movements. Mikazuki Munechika has the image of being a light-hearted old uncle with a slightly difficult personality. It’s easy to forget that he is one of the Great Swords of Japan. He didn’t even break out a sweat.
Also, the fact that his strikes create crescent moons was a wonderful touch.
The Beautiful Emo
It didn’t take long for Yamanbagiri Kunihiro’s emo side to come out! As I mentioned in the last review, he was originally forged as a copy of another sword, thus giving him an inferiority complex. The close shot of his face as he lamented being nothing like the Five Great Swords was so heartbreaking (…I actually laughed aloud). His beautiful eyes were also quite captivating I must say.
The double-emo with Honebami in the next episode preview was also absolutely adorable.
Ashikaga Yoshiteru was an Ashikaga shogun in the mid-16th century. Honebami Toshiro was passed down to the shoguns of the Ashikaga family for many generations, until Yoshiteru’s death in the Eiroku Incident in 1565.
Hizamaru and Higekiri
It is unknown exactly who forged Hizamaru and Higekiri or when, but a popular story goes that they are both made from two halves of a naginata belonging to the emperor over 1000 years ago. Two rival swordsmiths then forged the swords, and they have both gone through many name changes over the years. One of my favorite stories is that when the two swords were forged, Hizamaru was slightly longer than Higekiri and was more valued. Higekiri’s swordsmith prayed for his honor to be saved when, lo and behold, Higekiri magically cut Hizamaru down to the same length. This earned the sword the name ‘Tomokiri’, which literally means ‘friend-cutter’.
Anyway, it’s due to the swords going through many name changes that there is the running joke that Higekiri can never remember Hizamaru’s name. Both swords are safe and sound in Kyoto, and if you time your next trip to Japan right, you might even be able to see the real things!
Yagen Leg Watch -> Mikazuki Eye Watch
Unfortunately, there were no Yagen legs to academically study this week, so I thought we could take a look at Mikazuki’s eyes. A few weeks ago, I asked some of you who are unfamiliar with Mikazuki Munechika to look out for his eyes. Well hopefully this week it has become clear that his beautiful blue eyes also contain golden crescent moons. It’s surprisingly rare to get a clear, official shot of his eyes, so the multiple close-ups we got this episode probably made a lot of fans happy.
Until Our Next Mission
Although the episode was not exactly action-packed, I feel that just Mikazuki’s fight near the end of the episode only more than made up for it. I feel like I’ve been waiting a couple of years for that fight and it didn’t disappoint! However, there doesn’t seem to be all that much chemistry happening between the members of the First Unit, so I’m unsure how long I would like to follow them, but I will never say no to seeing more of Yamanbagiri!