Holy god, I am SO late. Why the heck did I put off watching this awesome series? Ah well, the good thing is that Shadow seems to have made a three-week trip to Japan, so only the translation of episode 20 has been released yet, which means that I haven’t missed anything. I’m not going to attempt to watch the raws without any translation anymore. This really is a series at which you need to fully understand what’s happening in order to enjoy it. Luckily, Shadow’s back from Japan now, and I’m now eagerly awaiting her new translations. ^_^
This episode was mostly meant for background information. Both about Seiran as about the history of Saiunkoku, and the civil war. But that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a great episode. I really enjoyed it. It seems that both Seiran and Ryuuki were unwanted children. Ryuuki was hated by all his brothers, while Seiran was hated by his mother. She kept telling him that she’d been so much better off if he hadn’t been born.
Out of all the princes, Seiran was the most talented. At the age of twelve, he already was an excellent swordsman, he won the royal tournament and was presented by the royal twin swords Kanshuu and Bakuya by his father. He gave Bakuya to Ryuuki. I’m not sure how, but at some point, Kanshuu also came in Ryuuki’s possession, which he then gave back to Seiran again during the previous episode. So, what happened to Bakuya? *kicks memory*
Seiran was exiled because of his mother and grandfather. They were planning to make Seiran Emperor. That’s something which his four eldest brothers didn’t like, so they used this fact to arrest Seiran, and exile him. (Small note: who were the women, standing right beside them?). It was because of the current king’s influence that Seiran just became exiled, rather than executed.
Seiran was exiled to the Sa-province. During his journey, his mother was killed by assassins, sent after him by his brothers. Seiran then vanished fourteen years ago. At the end of that year, Shouka found him, and took him in. Between those times, it’s unknown what he’s been doing, though if I had to guess, it wasn’t pretty. All we know is that he’s picked up by a strange man, with long, dark-red hair.
Then, the episode focuses on the history of Saiunkoku. After prince Seien was exiled, things went well for five years. Ryuuki was taken in by Shouka and the four other princes continued to fight on the inside. Then, nine years ago, the emperor turned sick. When the princes found this out, the conflict between them took a serious turn, and the entire palace lost its balance. Therefore, civil war started. When you combine this with a heavy drought, the population suffered heavily. I just loved how the creators showed a quick shot of Shuurei, playing on her instrument in front of the dead people.
Shou Taishi didn’t do anything about this. It seems that he was waiting for a person, worthy to be called the emperor of Saiunkoku. When he finally found someone like that in Ryuuki, he solved the crisis like it was nothing, he fed the hungry and executed the four fighting princes (at least, this is implied. They’re all dead, aren’t they?). Then, two years ago, the previous emperor died, and Ryuuki got the throne. What happened afterwards, we already know.
Really an excellent background episode. Why did I ever start to ignore this series?