episode 10

Episode 10 — Gather!

(All this happened in 30 minutes?! Egad….)

The gang decides to split into 3 groups and move separately, as this will make them less conspicuous. They all agree to meet at a huge boulder in front of the brige to Kanna Village, known as Wing Rock (because it looks like a wing to anyone). Each group will be composed of 1 farmer and 2 samurai. As for Kikuchiyo (who is still unofficial at this point and the odd man out of equal distribution), he declares that he will go where he wishes.

Kirara takes the mountain route with Shichiroji and Kyuzo, following the underground stream with her water crystal. Kyuzo walks on ahead of the other two, despite Roji’s requests to keep pace with Kirara. The water maiden declares proudly that she will not be a burden to them and steps it up.

Katsushiro, Komachi, and Kanbei take the scenic route. Poor Katsu is worried sick why Kirara is with Roji and Kyuzo, wondering if that is for the best. Kanbei just tells him that the goal is to reach the village safely, while Komachi teases him about her sister. Eventually they run into Kikuchiyo, who insists that the three were running in front of him, that he was not following them. Komachi, who is very happy to see her big friend again, accepts him, dubious story or not.

Gorobei, Heihachi, and Rikichi take the main road. It is best to hide in the open, Gorobei says, and to blend in. But Heihachi doubts if they blend in, with their current street-performer attire. Poor Rikichi is miserable, saying that he can’t act like a performer, that he knows only how to plant rice. Nonetheless, Gorobei says they are to introduce themselves as the merry traveling performers, composed of himself, master wood cutter Eminosuke Hoho (Heihachi), and master scythe wielder Koedayu Maguso (Rikichi). Hei then explains to Rikichi that deliberately laughing in the face of danger is Gorobei’s style.

Kirara keeps giving Kyuzo weird stares as they continue their journey. She complains to Roji that she can’t read his mind, worrying that he will try to kill Kanbei again. Suddenly Kyuzo stop, and says they are being followed. He is right, they are. But because Kirara begs him not to do unnecessary killing, Kyuzo walks ahead.

Komachi and Kikuchiyo are still teasing “Katsu-oji” about Kirara. It’s obvious even if he hides it. Katsu strongly denies it, saying that he is training to be a samurai, and there’s no time to think about women. Kanbei smiles at him, and says he’s taken the bait. It makes Katsu more obvious since he gets serious while being teased.

The “street performers” reach town and watch a troupe of dancing robots and people. While there, tin cans comb the crowds. The samurai notice it, so the tin cans don’t find the three.

When Komachi’s team stops at a stream, Katsu is still brooding, while more teasing happens. Komachi brings up the “smell of the battlefield” thing, and asks Kiku what it is like. But Kiku evades, guessing it must be a good smell or something. He teases Katsu by giving scenarios, about “Momotaro” being handsome enough and the newcomer being an excellent swordsman. At the end of it, Kanbei asks Katsu with a sad face, why do you wish to be a samurai?

Kirara stops at the start of 2 paths, not sure where the water crystal leads next. Kyuzo however takes the path on the right without asking. Kirara grumbles about him remaining depressingly silent and moving egotistically. She says there is no way they can understand each other, that she does not want to bring him to the village. Roji just says that samurai are not judged by their mouths, but by the risk they take on themselves.

As if to prove Roji’s point, suddenly Kyuzo moves to one side, and the three are attacked. Katsu slashes at the first robot just in time, and splits the robot into 2 more robots. As Kirara hides, Roji and Kyuzo deal with the robots that arrive. Kyuzo saves Kirara from one robot who manages to see her, and gets hit in the arm. Her face changes to being really concerned about him. Roji notes that Kyuzo knew spies would come so he dealt with them, as a sign of gratitude (I guess, for being accepted in the group).

Rikichi gets his legs shaved by the traveling dancing troupe, while the samurai are enjoying themselves, getting their faces powdered. Rikichi balks loudly, and doubts the sanity of his two companions as he gets changed, into a kimono!

While patching him up, Kirara asks Kyuzo why he wants to kill Kanbei. He says, simply, “Because I am a samurai.”

Katsu chides Kiku. He chose the way of the blade to train himself, but after meeting Kikuchiyo, he has had doubts. Kiku harrumphs and says thinking won’t make you full. Kanbei asks Katsu what did he thought back at the Shikimoribito village (I guess, when he helped out when he did). Katsu says he wanted to keep Kirara–no, the farmers–from getting hurt. Kanbei then tells him that is something you only see after being hurt.

The “street performers” start trudging again, now as drag queens. They see the charred remains of a farming village, and Rikichi is seriously affected, scared that the same thing might happen to his village. The group is found by a tin can. The veteran drag queens (Gorobei and Heihachi) pile on the charms, saying they are cheerful traveling showgirls, while Rikichi tries to crawl away. But poor Rikichi becomes more conspicuous because of it, and is asked by the tin can to give a performance, on pain of getting slashed. The samurai have hands on their swords. Desperate and panicky, Rikichi suddenly gives an all-out one-woman show, becomes Maguso Koedayu, shakes his bon-bon, and shows his smooth legs. The tin cans leave in disgust. Rikichi breaks down and cries while the samurai compliment and laugh with him, grateful that they didn’t have to slash anybody.

Back at Kanna village, a meeting is held. Manzo panics about the samurai that are coming, saying that maybe rikichi’s team told the nobuseri about it.

Komachi’s team reaches Wing Rock first, then the drag queens, at each other’s heels. Some greetings of surprise to see Kikuchiyo, some teasing of the men in dresses. But it seems that Roji’s team got there even earlier, with Kirara fixing up Kyuzo’s jacket. He mumbles his thanks. Katsu looks on sadly when he is pulled away.

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