episode 20

episode 20 — Change! / Change the clothes!

Ukyo is presented seated on a new throne set on the platform of the main hall. He makes his state of the nation address: his goal is to make an affluent society, give jobs, make life better for everyone. It is his obligation as the new Amanushi.

The newly appointed chief of the Nobuseri (Tonomo Kobayakawa) requests an audience with Ukyo, and he is received. Ukyo tells him that the Nobuseri are to continue what they did under Amanushi as usual, by taking rice away from the villagers. He tells him that the Nobuseri are still needed by the capital.

However, Ukyo tells Tessai in confidence that he knows the Nobuseri will die soon, in war, by the hands of the farmers who know the story of Kanna village. Amanushi hated war, thus he controlled Nobuseri and controlled with vengeance to avoid war.

Katsushiro, Kirara, Kikuchiyo, and Komachi see the floating capital over Kougakyo as they come near it, and guess that Sanae is inside.

Within the palace, Sanae wakes up in bed, and asks about her baby. But Mizuki shakes head (the fetus died), and Sanae cries. Ukyo’s harem come in accompanied with guards. The women say that Sanae’s servants (Mizuki, the 2 other girls, and the rest of the women) have been made servants to them, because they need to be beautiful for the lord. When it is mentioned that Sanae is still within the bedroom, Sanae is then taken out by the guards, bed and all!

It is announced that Kanbei’s execution is to be at 6pm. Kanbei makes a last request to ceremonially cleanse his body and perform harakiri. The cleansing is allowed, but not the harakiri, because Ukyo gave orders for Kanbei not to be given any weapons.

Messages flash around Kougakyo that Kanbei will be executed, as Katsu’s group arrive within the city. Masamune sees them, says hi, and also agrees that this is bad for Kanbei. Katsu says his sensei failed, that it was impossible to do it alone.

The prime minister gives his thanks to Ukyo for everything. The murder of the imperial messenger cemeted the minister’s position, as they were both vying for it. Ukyo tells him that he personally did not kill the imperial messenger, an assassin did, the same one who takes in Ayamaro. Ayamaro is brought in by an elite guard (someone much like Kyuzo or Hyougo). He says he has come to fear Ukyo. Ukyo says that as payment for being raised so well, he would let Ayamaro manage the warehouse supervisors. Considering that Ayamaro used to hold all of Kougakyo, this is a major demotion.

While at a hideout, Masamune takes a look at Kastu’s sword, notes that he has already used it a lot, and must be sharpened again. Kirara says that Kanbei is not a man who is easily killed, so Katsu should stop worrying. The boy protests that it would be a shame for a samurai to do nothing. Kiku takes him by the neck and declares: we’ll show our manhood by rescuing him.

Mizuki serves Kanbei’s last meal. She comments that someone who will die shouldn’t be eating rice balls (at least, that calmly!). Kanbei replies that he is the man hired by rice, so he should eat it and do his best. When Mizuki bows and sobs to him, he takes out Mizuki’s hair pin. After she leaves, Ukyo visits Kanbei one last time. He says that he owes Kanbei for what he is now, so he say goodbye, and that it’s a losing battle. Kanbei tells him: don’t be sure until you behead me. Riled, Ukyo warns that Kanna village will be next.

Kanbei is present to the assembled crowd, Katsu’s group being among them. Katsu starts to walk away, saying they need to rescue the women first. The others follow him.

They hear Shikimoribito coming. Katsu stops them and asks where they are going. The Shikimoribito explain they are to deliver a battery in celebration of the new Amanushi’s accession. We’re not sure what they did, but soon the Shikimoribito are seen tied up and without uniforms. Katsu and Kiku are seen getting into the uniforms, apologizing for what they did and saying they would just borrow the uniforms. Kirara also slips into a uniform, and says she is coming along. Katsu knows the real reason, it shows in his eyes, but Kirara just says rightly that the samurai don’t know Sanae.

The Shikimoribito vehicle makes it to the rice storage area, where it is stopped. Katsu does the talking, and convinces the guards, but Kirara and Kiku fumble with their uniforms and are noticed. Katsu then warns that guards that all their descendants will be punished if they inspect the ship. Scared, the guards let them pass.

Ayamaro greets them to check the value of the gift to the new lord. Kiku is astounded at the amount of stolen rice just stored there, reveals himself too early and attacks. Even when Ayamaro explains that the rice is necessary in trading for batteries, Kiku slashes at the rice bales in anger. Katsu asks Ayamaro at swordpoint to be told where the women are. He tells Kirara that he will go get the women then Kanbei, and left her to deal care of Kiku.

Before the execution, Ukyo is introduced to Kougakyo as the former manager of the city and now lord. He greets the crowd with that nonchalant smile of his.

Kanbei is strapped onto the beheading stock, Mizuki’s pin in his hand. He tells the executioner not to miss.


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