episode 22

episode 22 — Slap!

Katsushiro angrily runs out of the Hotaruya, Kirara running after him. She manages to catch up to him and embraces him from behind. But Katsu looks back at her angrily.

Back inside the inn, Masamune kindly rebukes Kanbei. Both he and Katsu are to blame, he being a professional samurai (and not knowing any better), and Katsu being an amateur (and not knowing any better either). Kanbei just stays it is up to Katsu to decide, and asks for more sake.

(spoiler) As Katsu and Kirara keep walking around the town, Kirara tells Katsu to apologize to Kanbei. Katsu icily says it is unnecessary, and that he is not going back. Katsu pulls her into a deserted alley, and explains. There is reason for war everywhere, his reason for staying in Kanna village is over. He pins her to the wall, and asks in all seriousness if she would come with him. Kirara’s crystal flashes, as he kisses her.

But as he pulls away from the kiss, Katsu finds Kirara looking back at him — and he does not see the love in it that he wants to see. He walks away, saying he no longer needs her purification (more like, he no longer needs her sympathy or kindness anymore, if she cannot love him back). Kirara’s crystal stops glowing. (end)

~~ Aren’t you just annoyed at how vague Japanese can be sometimes if you don’t pay attention?

Kyuzo walks the streets of the town with Ayamaro. They see Katsu walking alone.

Kirara goes back alone to Hotaruya, and is met by Yukino at the foot of the entry staircase. The geisha makes the girl sit with her. She gives her a gentle hug. Kirara says that it reminds her of her mother. She then says that she just wanted to save him (Katsu, that is). Yukino comments, isn’t that just a bit arrogant? He wanted to hold the sword, it’s just that, there’s nothing you have to worry about (It’s not your fault why the rookie samurai is finding the life more than he can handle.) By this time Kanbei is standing at the top of the staircase, hearing every word.

Yukino tells Kirara to live for herself more. She gently but knowingly says that Kirara didn’t follow the samurai, (and specifically, Kanbei, into Kougakyo) because she was worried. The crystal begins to flash like mad, and Yukino notes, the pendulum is honest. A woman must speak out clearly when in love. She then offers to lend Kirara a kimono and makeup. The women now see Kanbei (Kirara pales a bit), but he denies overhearing the conversation.

Soldiers from the capital arrive and surround Kyuzo, as Ayamaro hides behind a tree. Kyuzo takes them on alone and makes them all fall. Kanbei and Kikuchiyo arrive too late to help out, but Kyuzo says it’s good that they came, because the soldiers he felled were sent to kill Kanbei. Kanbei chides that Kyuzo has been worried about Kanna village. Not exactly. Kyuzo just wants to see the end of the current mission, and wants to get to the bottom of Ukyo’s involvement in it all.

Kobayakawa (the leader of the Nobuseri) talks to Ukyo again, saying they have already collected the year’s tribute. Ukyo tells him to go back; the villages are bound to be hiding rice from them. The Nobuseri objects; they over look that to let the farmers stay alive. But Ukyo reminds that he is the lord now, and the samurai should serve their lord, so the Nobuseri leaves. Ukyo chuckles that he loves this idea of bossing around Nobuseri. He asks the prime minister where are the other clones.

Back at Hotaruya, the men have a discussion as Ayamaro eats, VERY slowly. Ayamaro says that Ukyo can very well rule the world. He bitterly says that he taught Ukyo the art of showing a double face while doing business. Therefore the masses were told one thing, and Kanbei another. Kanbei thus tells Kyuzo: they have a job left to do.

At a farming village that has just defeated a group of Nobuseri, Ukyo demonstrates just how good he is in using that double face. He apologizes that the capital had not helped before, and promises to help them now. The village offers some of their hidden rice in gratitude. However, the village elder grumbles as soon as the floating capital leaves. Whoever becomes Amanushi, I don’t think things will change much.

Tessai spells out the situation: the famers don’t know Nobuseri come from the capital, the Nobuseri don’t know the farmers have been told by the capital to fight back.

Rikichi, Heihachi (operating a kettle), and Shichiroji arrive at Hotaruya by boat. As greetings go around, and Yukino asks her “Momotaro” for the promised come-home gift (he forgot), Rikichi sees Sanae at the top floor window.

Sanae refuses to see him, saying she can no longer go back to being his wife. But Rikichi pleads with her to reconsider, presenting her hair comb, promising to build graves for the dead baby and the former Amanushi, if that will make her happy. Whatever she says, he will take her home. Both she and Rikichi begin to weep.

Katsu is shown alone in the desert, as he recalls the reason why he took off.

Immediately after being called an idiot and whacked with a sword, Kiku angrily asks Kanbei why he did it. Katsu says “sensei” is angry because they came. Kiku objects, saying Kanbei always treated them like children. Katsu adds that Kanbei lost, too, so he doesn’t understand why he was so mad, and if Kanbei allowed Katsu to come along in the first place he would not have to live in shame now. When again Kanbei says that he should not think so highly of death, Katsu shouts. He is not afraid to die, and he now knows why Kanbei always loses: he does not trust his comrades.

Kirara steps forward and slaps Katsu across the right cheek. Her crystal flashes madly, and now her feelings are clear to him.

Katsushiro stands up and moves on. I chose the wrong person as my master, he declares.

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