Mononogatari really picks up some steam in this episode and reveals some fascinating new tidbits to viewers. Hyouma’s overly cautious security measures end up landing him in a dicey situation. While he’s preoccupied with that; It seems that Zohei, Haori, and Kushige have gone to an important meeting. The Saenome in the past developed a curious relationship with a Tsukumogami from the early Edo period, “Suit of Armor Kai” one of Kyoto’s 3 Great Tsukumogami. Funnily enough, he’s actually quite a cool character. He was carved out a special exception to fight with them, then was eventually sealed behind a barrier with one stipulation.
That stipulation is that as long as he stays put, he can request anyone to be his playmate, at any time. Botan isn’t present in this episode, but that doesn’t stop us from learning something about her. It turns out my suspicions that she may have some dormant power of her own may actually be correct. After a flashy introduction, Kai pulls out some bottles and asks Zohei to tell himaboutHyouma staying with the Nagatsuki. According to Kai, Botan has the potential to shift the balance between the Saenome and the Tsukumogami.
It’s not made clear what precisely this potential (or Power) is, but it’s apparently so important that the two sides have forbidden anyone to attempt to “make use” of her at all. Naturally, some of the Tsukumogami are now suspicious that Zohei’s actions are a move towards breaking this taboo. Early on in the episode, we find out that Hyouma has placed talismans around the perimeter of the estate and the surrounding area.
Apparently, he wasn’t aware that Kushige had already erected a barrier. He also didn’t seem to know it would affect Botan as well, so the others insist that he move them ASAP. While Hyouma is collecting the last of his talismans, he notices that one of them has been burned, indicating to him that someone powerful destroyed it.
Immediately following his discovery, he is approached by 2 shady-looking Tsukumogami that are looking for him. He manages to temporarily get the jump on them at first but doesn’t account for their unique abilities. Eventually, they overpower him and proceed to interrogate him about Botan. This is our first time seeing Hyouma in such a bind. In fact, I’d say this episode reveals how much more Hyouma has to learn, even beyond his issues with Tsukumogami. That’s something that’s made especially clear after Yu shows up at the party. Yu arrives just as Hyouma’s interrogators realize that he doesn’t know anything.
Then, in a bit of a twist, we find out that Yu actually knows these mysterious strangers. They go by the names Aogi and Uchiki; they’re special exceptions responsible for internal investigations and intelligence gathering. Though, that extra bit of information didn’t do much for Hyouma’s damaged pride. After being interrogated, he’s now aware that he knows even less about Botan than he thought. Judging from what Kai says while he’s speaking to Zohei, the joining of the Kunato andNagatsuki Houses could prove to be contentious. There’s no telling what kind of challenges are in store for the two of them now.
Malevolent Spirits: Mononogatari is streaming now on Crunchyroll.
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