Plot: Jyubei sends the trio off on a bounty mission to investigate the disappearances of some local villagers. On their way there, they nearly run over a girl who is being neglected by her mother since she cares more about her cats than her child.
When they investigate the village, they find that the girl’s mother isn’t the only one cat-crazy. Everyone is busy doting on the cats that are strewn about the village. Moroha and Setsuna are easily able to sniff out the scent of demon cats, but Towa’s untrained nose makes her unable to discern the problem until Moroha and Setsuna are mowing down the demon cats.
When a good amount of cats are defeated, the rest head to the mountain. Meanwhile, the villagers all snap out of their feline delusions, and the girl’s mother returns to caring for her daughter.
The three then head to the mountain where they find an old temple. Towa is baffled when the lone monk of the temple, Juan, looks very similar to Mei’s favorite idol, Julian, and believes he’s Julian’s ancestor. Juan doesn’t know anything about the demon cats, but Moroha and Setsuna sense the truth about the temple and reveal that it’s covered in them.
They lay a trap for the cats, which defeats a large group of them. After the attack, Juan reveals a story about the temple. Years ago, a priest had sealed away a demon underneath the floor, and they believe that demon might be attracting the cats.
Setsuna and Moroha go to investigate the bones while Towa stays inside with Juan.
The bones spring to life, revealing a giant demon cat, but no matter how many times they strike the cat down it manages to put itself back together.
Even though they hadn’t sensed a demonic presence in Juan before, it turns out that he’s been possessed by the main demon cat this entire time. The young and inexperienced monk performed a service for the demon to try to bring it some peace in the afterlife, and that was enough to allow its spirit to come forward.
Setsuna wants to strike down Juan to end all of this, but Towa refuses since Juan is still alive and human.
Myoga reveals that, if Towa can absorb the demon energy, she can slay the cat demon without killing Juan, citing that Inuyasha had a similar power in his tetsusaiga.
Resolute in her drive to help people and to not die until she has restored Setsuna’s dreams, memories and ability to sleep, Towa suddenly reveals a new power which allows her to bind the enemy and absorb its energy. She’s able to slay the demon cat without killing Juan.
Breakdown: If it looks like filler, sounds like filler and smells like filler, chances are it’s filler.
I think it’s safe to say this is our first real filler episode of Yashahime. Boring, forgettable villain (who doesn’t even get a name) really generic conflict (villagers are going missing) and the same song and dance for every other meaningful moment (Setsuna is annoyed by Towa because she doesn’t want to kill people and is overly sympathetic, but Setsuna warms up to her a little more BECAUSE she’s so sympathetic. Etc.)
Really, the only thing that might disqualify this as being filler is the fact that Towa gets a new ability in it, which….I have a few problems with.
First, I’m getting just a tiny bit concerned over Towa’s power progression. As it stands, the crew already has a myriad of abilities, and Towa just got a new ability a couple episodes ago, but now she also has the ability to ‘shoot’ her sword at enemies, bind them and this allows her to absorb demon energy and kill demons possessing people without killing the person.
Second, Myoga pops up just to say that Inuyasha had a special ability to absorb demon power with his tetsusaiga….which yeah, in its Dragon Scale form, sure, but—shit, I just remembered the Dragon Scale form. The tetsusaiga has way too many forms. It’s like it’s trying to give Goku a run for his money.
Is THAT why the girls all seem to have dragon powers? That make so little sense, but that is literally the only dragon connection I remember either Inuyasha or Sesshomaru having. However, as Moroha pointed out, why bother saying that if they don’t have the tetsusaiga? And Myoga has absolutely no answer. It’s just ‘Inuyasha could do this…so…I guess Towa can too.’
Towa just suddenly has the ability to absorb demon energy, and uses this to literally bind the cat demon and slay it.
But that just begs the question, if Towa does have some sort of tetsusaiga powers….how does she have those powers? She’s not Inuyasha’s kid. Sesshomaru never had the tetsusaiga. That was kinda his shtick. I mean, I guess it kinda makes some degree of sense because the tetsusaiga was a sword forged of Inutaisho and it was meant to protect humans, and Towa triggered this power by wanting to save Juan. Maybe Sesshomaru, now committed to Rin, was able to forge a sort of tetsusaiga-esque sword of his own fang, but it’s trapped within Towa’s silver pearl and she was able to channel the ability through her energy sword?
I dunno. I feel like I’m grasping at straws.
A few final notes, though – What was the deal with the Juan/Julian thing? We’ve never heard of Julian before now, and this guy seems like a one-off character. It’s not like when Kagome happened upon Hojo’s ancestor. Hojo was an established character, even if he never mattered to the plot, so seeing his ancestor had at least a little meaning. This dude is just…some idol’s ancestor. Julian isn’t even Towa’s favorite idol – he’s Mei’s, so this is even more pointless.
I find it funny that Towa has wireless earbuds but an old iPod. Also, I guess we haven’t reached the point where Towa’s scared of people finding her modern era stuff considering she’s riding around the countryside on her bike, gives a small child junk food and keeps telling Juan that he’s Julian’s ancestor….
Towa asks Moroha why she’s collecting all this money, but Moroha doesn’t answer her.
It is a nice little detail that Towa doesn’t have such an acute sense of smell like Setsuna and Moroha – or, more to the point, that she hasn’t trained it at all. It’s true. While some of her demon powers may have manifested in the modern era because of all her fighting, she had no real need for a super sense of smell.
The cat demon they fight here was a manga-exclusive character Inuyasha and the others fought once upon a time.
Other than that, filler filler filler. It wasn’t bad filler, but it was fillery filler.
Next episode, if the promo picture is any indication, we’re going to be introduced to another member of the cast, a ‘pirate’ named Riku.
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