And so, we’ve finally reached the penultimate episode of Katanagatari. It pretty much was the episode to wrap up all of the background behind this series by showing more about Shikizaki Kiki, along with finally putting an end to the Maniwa corps. It wasn’t my favourite episodes of the series so far, but I still liked it quite a bit.
The big difference between this episode and the other one so far is that there was surprisingly little focus on strategies: the main match was just a fight between Shichika and Houou until one of them went down, and it also lacked the build-up that made some of the other fights in the series so great. In the meantime though, it was a neat opportunity to look a bit into the mind of Shikizaki Kiki, and how he managed to forge all those weird swords anyway. It’s an interesting tiwst that because of his influence, these people with supernatural powers like the Maniwa corps started walking around.
As for the ending… yeah. It’s a common twist to pull on a penultimate episode, to put a main character on the verge of death with no apparent save. Remember the golden rule of anime, though: no character is dead unless confirmed. I’ve seen people in anime recover from wounds much more serious than Togame’s, and especially considering the incredible speed at which Maniwa Pengin recovered from his wounds, I really have no doubts that Togame is going walk out of this series alive.
If there’s one thing that has been bothering me for the past number of episodes, then it’s the pretty one-sided way in which Emonzaemon has been murdering off the Maniwa corps.His fights in this episode especially weren’t really that spectacular, with his fight against Houou becoming Dragon Ball Z-esque at times (“let me turn into a beam of light to show how fast I am!”), and in his fight against Pengin he just got lucky that Pengin was stupid enough to explain the exact details of his powers.
At this point, I’m not really sure what to expect of the final episode: one of the big reasons why this series was so good was because of the light-hearted banter between the different characters, the addictive style of storytelling and the way in which it took its time to analyze the different martial arts that Togame and Shichika ran into. I really fear that with that princess, those charms will disappear in favour of a more epic ending.
Rating: * (Good)