“Once, there was a girl saved by Tsukumogami… And a boy from whom they took everything. Does it not make sense that the ones to bring them together might be Tsukumogami, as well? That lovely quote from Hayori at the end of the previous episode sets this one up perfectly. Thus far we’ve seen our protagonist “Kunato
Hyouma” goes from giving hostile greetings to sincere apologies and eventually begrudging acceptance. When he first arrived he not only offended the Tsukumogami in the household, but he also made their Master (Botan Nagatsuki) cry. As admirable as his straightforwardness, it only served to create more trouble for him.
Despite this temporary obstacle Hyouma inadvertently placed in his own path, he managed to gather the approval of them all in just 3 days. So what now? Well, it looks like Hyouma is going to be staying with them for a year. We learn some interesting things about the Nagatsuki family in this episode. Apparently, Hayori made a deal with Zohei (Hyouma’s grandfather) in exchange for taking Hyouma in.
She and the others decided to reveal this to Hyouma since he’s made such an impression already. The deal was that they would agree to temporarily take him in if they’d be allowed to evaluate him as well. Now I’m sure you’re thinking “Why would they want to do that?”. It happens to be the same reason her Tsukumogami do almost everything they do, for Botan.
According to Hayori, Botan’s Tsukumogami didn’t originate from random objects. They originated from a single “Trousseau” of objects offered by a bride upon marriage, and they are tasked with finding her a “happy match”. In their eyes, Hyouma’slist of signatures works to serve the purpose of their evaluation as well. He is asked if he would agree to a “trial arranged marriage”, and even though he doesn’t refuse it’s obvious he’s not ready to make that kind of commitment.
The whole scene was pretty adorable, and it wasn’t a surprise to find out later that Zohei was a fan of the idea himself. Botan was rightfully embarrassed by the entire display; she’s certainly not wrong that it’s likely to make their next year together a bit more awkward.
Hyouma’s response to it all is rather stoic at first until he’s alone, then he lights upbeat red. He’s secretly just as embarrassed as Botan is by all of this! His communication skills with women may need a little work, but his ability to save the day should be able to make up for it. In fact, when Botan is attacked while going shopping, he’s ironically only there to save her because he wanted to clear up a misunderstanding. Between this episode and the last, we’re shown two distinct sides of Hyouma that we’re sure to see a lot more of.
There’s the righteously violent side of him obsessed with protecting humanity from the evils of the Tsukumogami; then there’s the side of him that’s just a socially awkward “uptight” young man. Hayori is convinced that the two of them are a good match (almost like they’re made for each other), and it’s obvious that they would all love to pair Botan up with someone capable of protecting her. Since she doesn’t seem to have any special abilities or ways of defending herself against the hostile Tsukumogami. Will Hyouma be her knight in shining armor?
Malevolent Spirits: Mononogatari is streaming now on Crunchyroll.
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