Boy, that was AWESOME! I didn’t understand 25% of the episode, but who cares! The things that I did understand turned this episode into a great one. This definitely was the best episode of Bakumatsu so far!
So many things happened during this episode, I don’t know where to start. Let’s begin with Kanna, as we finally see some of his history as well. He indeed grew up in England, along with some woman (his mother, nanny?). Then, at one point this woman was taken away from him against her will by some selfish guy. If I understood things correctly, he sees this woman’s reflection in Kakunojou. Parkes also introduces four new characters this episode. Code-named Knight, Queen, Luke and Bishop. If I understood things correctly, they’re some kind of elite of the English forces.
Then the play. If I got things right, then the troupe always uses its last performance of a certain play to add something extra. With the previous one, it was the image of Nakaiya Juubei. This time, it’s a bit more extravagant: a plan to catch Nakaiya Juubei. Of course, all is a clever plan of Soutetsu. This is what I understood. He hid the lord’s head at a place near the newly set-up theatre of the troupe. Under some docks, to be exact. He then lures Juubei to that place, right at the same time of the troupe’s performance, and in the middle of the play, Akizuki suddenly comes, destroys the curtain and reveals the threesome of Kanna, Juubei and Soutetsu, who are talking at that time. That’s where the awesomeness started. I have to say that I was as surprised as the crowd when Akizuki suddenly did his thing.
What I didn’t understand was why Soutetsu just let Juubei escape with the Lord’s Head. It may be because he counted on Akizuki and the others to stop him, of was it because of something he said or thought? Another thing I didn’t understand was Parkes’s role in all this. For some reasons, he ordered his minions to fire a cannon at the docs. Where did he hear that things like these were going to happen? Kanna?
Still, it doesn’t matter if I didn’t understand these things, as the things that followed were brilliant. Nakaiya tries to escape, though the cannons are rather bothersome to him. Akizuki and Kakunojou end up in a boat chasing after him, though they’re almost hit by a cannon, and they fall down. Kanna, who happens to be near and sees this suddenly has a flashback from his past, in which he sees Akizuki as the guy who took away the woman he looked up to. This episode didn’t do anything regarding this, though I suspect that the future episodes will. ^_^
Meanwhile, everyone’s chasing after Juubei and fighting each other. Then, Ebisu actually manages to capture him, and god damn it, the English actually manage to hit both of them, killing both Nakaiya and Ebisu off at the same time! I love it when a character is killed off unexpectedly with an impact, and Ebisu’s death truly was memorable.
Akizuki, meanwhile, attempts to slay the Lord’s Head and fails. This causes the lord’s head to escape and take over Emimoto, the one introduced during the previous episode. And with this, I really mean take over, as in it goes inside of Emimoto’s head. He orders the retreat of the English forces, and Soutetsu smiles very suspiciously. I’m not sure what’s behind that, but we’ll probably find out soon.
Overall, if you were wondering whether Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto would turn out to be worthwile, well, so far it has! With the second half of this anime about to begin, I’m expecting some great things from this one. :)