Plot: Moroha has split off from Towa and Setsuna to do more bounty hunting since she has a debt to pay off. She’s told by a corpse dealer, Jyubei, to retrieve the head of a demon she slayed previously named Tokotsu. She had only brought back his headless body before, and he’s currently being brought back to life by his son, Jakotsumaru, by stealing the bones of people and animals from the nearby villages and feeding them to his skull.
With the promise of a bag of gold for her troubles, Moroha heads off to slay the beast and his son.
Meanwhile, Towa and Setsuna get information on the location of the Dream Butterfly, but Setsuna is more interested in demon slaying missions. Coincidentally enough, the closest mission is investigating the boneless corpses of the villagers, which of course leads them back to Moroha to face Tokotsu.
Tokotsu happens to be one of four beasts – referring to themselves as the Four Perils—under the command of Kirinmaru, much to Setsuna’s annoyance because it means they might be accidentally walking a path that will eventually lead them to fulfilling the wishes of the Tree of Ages. They explain Kirinmaru’s plans to Myoga, but he is perplexed because he knows Kirinmaru as a being who would never do something so treacherous as destroying the fabric of space and time.
Moroha also reveals that she didn’t slay Tokotsu. She has no memory of the battle and suddenly woke up in front of Tokotsu’s headless body. She took the red rainbow pearl in his armor for herself and brought the body to the corpse dealer for a bag of silver. She has no idea who actually killed Tokotsu.
Nonetheless, she faces off against Jakotsumaru and Tokotsu once more, and Tokotsu asserts that Moroha is indeed the one who killed him. Towa wants her to apologize and return the money she got for his corpse, but Moroha refuses as a matter of pride and blazing her own path in life.
She battles against them for a while, and then decides to use her secret weapon. Applying a special rouge, she is able to gain the memories of Inutaisho as well as a massive increase in demonic power. She calls this form Beniyasha. She’s able to slay Jakotsumaru easily and even badly wounds Tokotsu, but she suddenly passes out, having run out of energy. She’ll be out cold for at least 24 hours.
Setsuna and Towa pick up the slack and slay Tokotsu once and for all. The bodies of the demons are atomized, however, meaning no bounty for poor Moroha.
Breakdown: Okay, I guess I’ll concede a bit here. Unlike what I thought in the previous episode, they didn’t go down the episodic route yet. Things were definitely happening, almost to the point of exposition-dump-y levels.
First and foremost, I called it – they confirmed that Setsuna and Moroha were only in the modern era for a few days. But somehow Setsuna became a skilled violinist in that time.
Secondly, somehow, Setsuna and Towa haven’t connected the dots that they’re technically cousins with Moroha? Or if they have, they haven’t acknowledged it.
Third, Towa’s a bit too naive here, to the point where she’s almost kinda stupid. She’s seriously like “Apologize to him” and acting like they shouldn’t slay these demons when she saw firsthand that he’s been ripping the skeletons out of living beings to feed them to his father. By the way, thanks for the imagery of a bunch of dogs having their skeletons ripped out through their mouths. I wasn’t aware an Inuyasha sequel would bring me nightmare fuel. The scenes with the bandits getting their bones ripped out was also horrific, but those poor dogs….
Back to the point at hand, she actually views it like THEY’RE the bad guys in this situation and hesitates in both fighting and slaying them as a result. She even laments Jakotsumaru’s death. I get that she’s not nearly as battle hardened as Setsuna or Moroha, it’s to be expected that she’d be more put off by killing, but these are killer demons who are also currently trying to kill them.
It could be argued that Tokotsu didn’t do anything to warrant being killed the first time, that we know of anyway, but that’s about it. I don’t think there’d be a bounty on his head if he hadn’t been doing something bad in the first place anyway. Remember, he’s a bone-eating demon. I can assume he’s habitually eaten people. Towa has to be convinced by Setsuna that their crimes are nothing compared to those of Tokotsu and Jakotsumaru, which…duh.
Even Kagome had no real qualms about demons being killed when she first arrived in the feudal era. And, remember, it’s not like Towa is averse to violence. Her whole backstory is nothing but fighting people.
This episode is fairly Moroha-centric, which means we finally get more of her story. She’s apparently in deep debt to Jyubei for some reason and is using her bounties to pay it off. She also knows Myoga – and, yes, he’s here, which just adds even more questions.
Myoga’s a great big exposition dump in this episode, like he has a tendency to be. He explains all about the Four Perils, how Moroha has demon powers from Inuyasha and spiritual powers from Kagome, he also explains the deal behind Moroha’s rouge, which was brought up in episode one but never really explained or shown until now.
Apparently, somehow, Moroha not only has, out of all of his descendants, blood tasting the most similar to Inutaisho’s despite being only a quarter demon, but she has rouge which originally belonged to Izayoi, Inuyasha’s human mother. Inutaisho gave it to Izayoi as a present and it somehow made its way to Moroha. When applied, the rouge allows her to channel the memories or powers or something from Inutaisho, giving her a huge boost in strength (and allows her to use a couple of familiar abilities – Iron-Reaver Soul-Stealer and Blades of Blood) She names this form Beniyasha, and it’s implied that she was Beniyasha when she defeated Tokotsu the first time, but doesn’t remember it because the form only lasts less than a minute before she’s wiped out, falls unconscious and doesn’t awaken for 24 hours.
This is fine and dandy and all, it gives her a way of boosting her strength a little more considering she’s a quarter-demon, though her unique ability to use spiritual powers and demon power was already enough in my opinion, but…where the hell did she get that rouge? And why does it suddenly have powers?
I definitely remember the rouge. Inuyasha gave it to Kikyo, if I’m not mistaken. But he obviously didn’t have it after the fact (I’d be shocked if Kaede kept it for 50 years and, for some reason, gave it back to Inuyasha.) and, like I said, it didn’t have powers. So either the rouge just doesn’t affect humans and Kikyo didn’t sense anything about it or they bullshitted this out of thin air. Not even Expositionyoga explains why the rouge gives her powers – he just explains that it was a gift from Inutaisho to Izayoi.
Also, uhm, can we talk about the faux pas Inuyasha seemingly pulled here by giving a gift he gave to his late lover to his daughter born of another woman? ….Yikes.
SUPER LATE STAGE EDIT: Holy. Shit. I just remembered something. Didn’t Naraku destroy the rouge Inuyasha gave to Kikyo? Did Inuyasha have more than one of those things or are they being super sloppy with their continuity?
How did Myoga go this whole episode without explaining where Kagome and Inuyasha were? And why does Moroha neither seem to know nor care about any of the information that she does obtain about them?
We also learn that Tokotsu had the red rainbow pearl and Moroha just snatched it very shortly before she was brought to the modern era….*shrug* Why did Tokotsu have it in the first place?
I just kinda assumed Moroha got it from Inuyasha somehow or she was born with it, like Setsuna and Towa had theirs in their eyes. But nope. She’s just a thief who stumbled upon it.
They still haven’t really explained what the rainbow pearls even are or if there are more than three. I get that they’re jewels infused with great power, but that’s about it.
A final note we have to add about this episode is the totally random brief Miroku cameo. I say ‘cameo’ but he never really appeared. When talking to Towa about needing to kill demons like Tokotsu, she muttered “On meeting an arhat, slay the arhat; On meeting your parents, slay your parents. Know that the light to your path lies there.” She heard that mantra from a traveling monk and we cut to a shot of Miroku, though his face is obscured because they’re just doing that with old characters for some reason.
If that occurred any time recently, he seemingly looks absolutely no different than he looked 15 years ago. Maybe it’s also excusable for him because I would assume monks just wear the same robes throughout adulthood, and I never saw his face so maybe he’s a bit more aged there, but still. It was nice to see him, and it’s good to know he’s alive, even though he’s kinda low on my list of must-see characters at the moment, but it was really random to drop him in there like that.
Why is he traveling now? Wasn’t he doing his demon-slaying for cash with Inuyasha? Where is Sango, for that matter? Even though her kids have all grown up, she seems to have given up demon slaying entirely if she gave her hiraikotsu to Hisui. It doesn’t seem like she lives in the village anymore. Either she’s off traveling with Miroku and she just wasn’t present when Miroku told Setsuna that or something’s wrong.
Also, WHY did Miroku tell Setsuna that, and did he know who she was when he said that? What a screwed up thing to say. ‘Go on, kill arhats and your parents. That’s how you get on the right path in life.’ Like, whaaaaa?
EDIT: I just now realized that this implies that Setsuna has never formally met Miroku, which is weird because she works alongside Kohaku and Hisui, one of which being Miroku’s brother-in-law and the other being his son. That has a lot of worrisome implications.
Oh and as a final-final note, we’re also introduced to Takechiyo, who is basically like if you merged Hachi with Shippo – he can be used for transportation by changing into a bigger floating form of himself, and he’s a tiny demon kid used for comic relief.
Hm….I wonder if we’ll see an adult Shippo in this series sometime. Maybe not because I don’t exactly know how aging works with demons, but it’d be cool to see him all grown up. It’d be nice to know where he is, too.
All in all, this was a good episode for more establishment, and it had some really great moments with Moroha (I cheered when she did the Iron-Reaver and Blades of Blood), and I love how Setsuna’s warming up to Moroha more than she is to Towa, even calling the former her friend. It allows us to see that Setsuna is reasonable and can be friendly and sweet, but she just gets annoyed by Towa for a variety of reasons.
I didn’t much care for how easily Jakotsumaru and Tokotsu were defeated, considering Tokotsu is seemingly one of the highest ranked demons under the command of Kirinmaru. If they defeated this Peril so easily (and, remember, Moroha killed Tokotsu once before entirely on her own – she also defeated Jakotsumaru purely with an Iron-Reaver…) then the tension in the series is going to wane.
Next time, CATS!
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2 thoughts on “Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon Episode 5 – Jakotsumaru of the Red Bone Palace Review (Spoilers!)”
I just saw this episode and was searching to see if anyone else had mentioned Miroku’s advice to kill Arhats and parents. I think this comes from a Buddhist expression that if you find buddha on the road, kill him. It’s advice a master gave his student in the 9th century. It doesn’t mean it literally, it means to ultimatelt rely on yourself for answers, not other people. I thought that was some pretty deep wisdom for them to drop in that episode.
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That’s very interesting! Thank you for that info!