A really good episode this time, whose entire purpose was to relate back to the past: for Togame it showed her childhood, and Shichika related back to his past matches. On top of that, it was quite an interesting episode in the way that the sword this time was one who produced illusions, making it an interesting one for the mind games, plus an actual sword with a self-consciousness.
I also feel like this series is getting better and better at pacing itself. Really, these episodes have more dialogue than you can shake a stick at, yet I wasn’t bored for a second, even though I my broken Japanese didn’t understand everything that was said. That’s exactly what I’m looking for in a “tons of dialogue”-series. I mean, it’s easy to read an entire essay that goes on for ages (just look at that recent Musashi movie from Mamoru Oshii), but it’s much more difficult to make the dialogue blend in with the animation and storytelling. I’m glad that Katanagatari found a way to keep itself from getting boring or tedious.
The thing I also like a lot here is that Togame and Shichika feel just like a real couple. Very refreshing in anime where half of the creators don’t know the meaning of that word at all. Finally we can see some actual intimacy, rather than people beating each other up at the slightest romantic tension.
As for the final episodes, I think we’ve established the final bad guys at this point by now. The next two episodes should resolve everything. With two hours left, that should be more than enough time, considering how easy it was to plan in this series over 12 episodes. My biggest worry right now is that Hitei might prove to not be the most interesting opponent. It’s all going to depend on how that final episode can give her more depth than she has now.
Rating: ** (Excellent)