Anime Anime Reviews Review

Hikari no Ou – Episode 06

The rare Conversation-via-Overlay

Episode Synopsis:

Koushi sneaks out at night to accompany the freelance fire hunter Roroku. After dispatching a pair of fiends, they come across a group of fire hunters who have captured one of the Spider clan and are in the process of torturing him for information on behalf of Yuoshichi instead of turning him over to the Divine Clans. Suffering from blood loss and seemingly confident that the element of surprise won’t be required, the Spider tells the hunters that the clan has made both themselves and a number of fiends immune to the lethal effects of natural fire, though how many believe him is unclear.

After encountering a sea deity known as a tombwhale on the open water, Touko and company reach the capital and make their way to the home of the injured train mechanic Shouzou, whose dog tags include his address. The group takes his parents up on their offer to let them stay and recuperate.  While on an errand to retrieve medicine, Touko is led by Kanata first towards his late master’s former residence and then away from a suspicious city guard. Having become lost during their evasion, the pair are happened upon by Kira.

Episode Review:

I feel more forgiving of this show’s technical execution than my partners here (perhaps because I’m already used to the sometimes similarly wonky movement of aforementioned Windy Tales), but the scene in this episode with the captured Spider was jarring not just because of the amount of blood, but also because of how hard it was to visually place him against the background. I also agree that it’s making some questionable narrative decisions – specifically in regards to maintaining information parity between the leads, which happens again in this episode as the injured Spider reveals to Koushi what Touko & company determined last time. Makes me worry that Touko’s encounter with Kira might not actually lead to meeting up with Koushi for lack of dialogue hooks, and I can’t decide if the title of the next episode being “Chance Encounter” makes that possibility less or more likely. I can imagine a scenario in which Kira helps Touko but vanishes into the night, and it takes much longer to track down Koushi via more conventional channels to avoid making the progression of the main plot seem as contrived – that just feels like the kind of thing a novel would do, and this show is reportedly adapted from some (not that I’ve actually read any of the author’s work, of course). Naturally, this is more likely if the show is planning to last longer than this cours, but the current pace certainly suggests that (and I don’t know what the exchange rate on novels to anime episodes is, but I bet we have plenty more source material to go through).

As long as I’m metagaming my predictions, I wonder if the scene where Touko yells to the tombwhale that Shouzou won’t be joining it is foreshadowing some influence that she has and/or develops over the supernatural, or if we’re going to end up on the trade ship or one of those yachts and coming back to the ocean – as much as I believe that having a cool whale in your story is its own reward, it does seem like an odd scene to have with no readily-apparent possible payoffs. Conversely, the details sprinkled in about Akira’s sickness and capital sentries being animated paper seem like they’re going to become very relevant very soon.

Kaho resolving to stay and help the man who risked his life to save hers is a nice gesture, and perhaps the best we can hope for in terms of excuses for the both of them to exit: stage left, but I would reserve the right to be unhappy if the city ends up burning down with them in it. This leaves the Spider boy Kun as the character that I’m most curious about, as far as how the plot is going to accommodate him. Kaho seems to take the fact that Shouzou’s parents didn’t immediately get the cops involved when he is obviously persona non grata as a significant gesture of good faith – curiously, he wasn’t even included in the initial handing out of hand-me-downs, although, if the OP is any indication, that may be coming.


I am wary but still intrigued.

1 comment on “Hikari no Ou – Episode 06

  1. Pingback: Hikari no Ou – Episode 07 – The Con Artists

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: