Katanagatari – 02
Having obtained the Zettou Kanna blade last episode from Koumori Maniwa, this time Togame and Shichika are after the Zantou Namakura, which is currently in the possession of a rounin swordsman named Uneri Ginkaku who is holed up in a castle in desert region.
Kicking off were we left off, Shichika and Togame arrive in Kyoto and Togame immediately drags Shichika off clothes shopping; after all its bad for her image to be seen with a half-naked man. Shichika doesn’t really care for clothing too much, finding the traditional styles too restrictive – he flat refuses to wear a top, although Togame is able to get him into a pair of hakama. Shichika’s social retardation shows when he almost kills two thieves that stop he and Togame on the road – as it is he breaks their swords and one of them gets their arm snapped into the bargain.
Togame knows that Shichika’s inability to distinguish her from other people is going to cause them problems and tries to get him to remember her by senses other than sight – like touch, smell and taste…..although she really doesn’t seem to mind having Shichika pawing all over her 😛 They have a brief chat about Uneri and the Zantou Namakura during this ‘training’.
Meanwhile Uneri is visited by another chatty Maniwa ninja who is after the sword – Shirasagi, who has a quirk of only speaking in backwards sentences…..however he’s short-lived as Uneri quickly slices him in half (although Shirasagi continues talking for a while before noticing 😀 ).
Next morning Shichika and Togame set off through the desert to find the castle Uneri is in – much rambling (and amusing) conversation ensues about such things as catchphrases – Togame insists Shichika needs one to make him more interesting to write about in her reports and has even gone so far as to compile a shortlist for his consideration. Shichika himself can not see the point in this and after rejecting a few of her proposals, ends up agreeing to “however by that point you’ll be torn to pieces” as his catchphrase just to shut her up (Togame’s catchphrase is ‘cheerio’ according to her…..which is also my favourite way to say bye 🙂 ). This whole conversation amused me, I liked the way they highlighted the fact that characters in certain shows only have a quirk in their speech pattern or a catchphrase to make them stand out – the dialogue in this series is always lampshading little tropes like this, its fun.
They eventually arrive at the castle, which pops out of nowhere when Togame trips over the discarded body of Shirasagi Maniwa.
Proceeding inside they find Uneri in a small room. Togame tries to use her wit, charm and wealth to talk Uneri into handing the katana over without a fight, only to be attacked as soon as she sets foot over the threshold of the room. If it hadn’t have been for Shichika’s instincts Togame would be in two pieces 😛
Shichika calls for a timeout and he and Togame retreat to the desert to have a quick strategy meeting……although Togame isnt overly impressed by Shichika’s inital plan to draw Uneri out of the castle. Shichika insists that Togame accompany him back to face Uneri, saying she has to stay right behind him and that “people are stronger when they have something to protect”. Inside Uneri reflects that he no longer has anything to protect since the desert swallowed up his land and drove his people away – the Zantou Namakura sword claimed by his forefathers is all he has left.
Shichika and Uneri face off once again. Shichika lands a hit, but doesn’t put enough strength into it resulting in only pissing Uneri off. They both swear to fight seriously now and Uneri cuts his arm to use his own blood to cut down the friction on his blade to unleash Namakura’s full potential as a sword that can cut at the speed of light.
Shichika dodges the inital strike and then uses Togame’s face as a foothold to bounce off on and attack from directly above Uneri, determining that the sword can not slash straight above the wielder. Shichika claims victory and the Zetou Namakura blade, however he also majorly pisses Togame off as she did not appreciate being used as a wall for him to bounce off of! 😀
Thoughts: I liked this episode – although think the 1st one was a bit better over all. The dialogue is excellent and Shichika shows a bit more personality in this episode, although he still needs a lot of work…….as Togame says in the episode, he’s a bit boring 😛 The direction was a bit flat in this episode too, a few too many static shots – not what you want during long sections of talking…..although with so much of this episode spent walking through the desert there really wasnt much else to show I suppose! Also the action sequence in this episode was really short – although that’s probably due to the fighting style the abilities of the Zetou Namakura dictated – ie: one shot killing.
Next episode will air on 8th March and it seems that the next katana is in the hands of a swordswoman, I’m hoping for a bit more action – preview looked interesting anyway.