So, this seems to be heading into an anime original ending? Let me say the following: as someone who didn’t read the manga, I didn’t notice this. In a way, I do agree with the decision to end at this point: this show should not be allowed to drag on any longer. I’ve heard that the next arc will be even longer than this one. There’s no way that I’m going to watch that. This will be good closure, if it indeed is handled well.
My only complaint about this episode was that Abe no Seimei is a very stereotypical villain with one-sided motives. Still, it’s not a case where all hope is lost. This episode was very solid in how it delivered the background of the girl who would once become Hagoromo Gitsune. That was actually a great closure for her story.
The pacing here was fine as well (and hey: people actually bother to distract the main enemy while giving others the chance to talk). A lot of stuff happened in this episode, which is a really major difference to how this show once was with its endless stream of build-up.
Now, for the anime original ending, this series needs to remember the largest flaw of these kinds of endings: the fact that they nearly always tend to play it too safe. That’s the big issue with nearly every single one of them, in one way or the other. I’ll hold my breath for this one, but at the same time: I can actually see an ending being possible here. Much more than usual.
Rating: ** (Excellent)