Short Synopsis: After a six-month period of mourning, Genji returns to the palace for a visit.
Episode Rating: 7,5/10 (Good)
Okay, so while lots of stuff happened, this mostly was a building up episode. First we get Aoi’s funeral, in which Genji, his father and step-brother say goodbye to her. He gets visited by her in her dreams, and in the meantime we see that Lady Rokujou has found out that she’s been unconsciously killing the women Genji slept with, though it seems that she’s not willing to accept the fact that she created the murderous ghost. Six months after Aoi’s death, Genji returns to the main palace in order to spend some time with the emperor and that’s where he sees Murasaki back, who seems to have grown up from when we last saw her. It really makes it difficult to keep track of all of the different characters when they change faces like that! When I watched this episode for the first time I thought that the little girl that appeared later in this episode was still Murasaki.
But instead it seems that that little girl is a new character that Genji is asked to take care of. If I understood correctly, she seems to be of noble blood, though her mother has died, and Lady Fujitsubo’s brother seems to be her father. Later we see Genji and Murasaki talk for a bit, where it’s interesting to note that Murasaki and the narrator seem to be sharing the same voice actress. Since the original novel was also written by a Murasaki, this seems to be the way of the creators of the anime to give a small tribute to her. The episode ends with Genji making love with Lady Rokujo. I didn’t quite catch the reason why and its implications, but the next episode should shed more light into that.
And since I’ve praised the graphics of this show often enough, I’m going for something different now: the music! It turns out that they also did the soundtrack for xxxHolic, and it’s indeed the same subtle combination between folky songs and modern synthesizers, though the soundtrack of Genji Monogatari is much more dreamy than the one from xxxHolic. Still, it’s a really varied soundtrack: there are so many different songs in here, and yet none of them feels out of place.