Mushibugyō


#1

Mushibugyo

Mushibugyo
.

Watch on Crunchyroll

Official Japanese Website

ANN Page

Genres: action, comedy, drama, fantasy
Themes: fanservice, historical, monsters, samurai
Objectionable content: Significant
Running time: half hour per episode
Number of episodes: 26
Vintage: 2013-04-08
Opening Theme: 1. “Tomoyo” by Gagaga SP
2. “Denshin∞Unchained” by FREEDa’M
Ending Theme: 1. “Ichizu” by i☆Ris
2. “Through All Eternity ~enishi no kizuna~” by ayami

Plot Summary: In an alternate Feudal Era Japan, giant insects known as “Mushi” started appearing and attacking people 100 years before and since then they bring terror and death to the country. To counter the threat of the Mushi, the Shogunate establishes the Mushi Magistrate (Mushibugyō) whose sole purpose is to assemble warriors strong enough to fight them. The story follows Jinbei Tsukishima, a young and cheerful samurai who is the newest member of Mushibugyō answering a summon to his father by the Magistrate, but as he is not able to fight anymore, Jinbei takes the burden of protecting Edo from the Mushi in his place. (from ANN)

Mushibugyo-ova

ANN Page

Number of episodes: 3
Vintage: 2014-07-18
Ending Theme: “Ichizu” by i☆Ris
Insert song: “GO STLIGHT -Oharu Ver.-” by Satomi Akesaka (ep 3)

Jōjū Senjin!! Mushibugyō Action Manga Gets TV Anime

Hiroshi Fukuda’s story of magistrate unit in Edo-era Tokyo
posted on 2013-01-21 22:20 EST / ANN


#2

Episode 1 -

spoiler

I hate bugs! But I think this one is going to be fun. There is a touch of comedy in it and I think Jinbei is going to be a good exterminator. It was a shame about his father though. Sometimes honor is not always a good thing.


#3

Episode 2 –

spoiler

Jinbei has joined the Insect Magistrate, but will not be allowed to fight for an entire month. This is due to the fact that no one has ever survived their first ten days. In fact, Jinbei has already been told he should just return home. It kills him, but he agrees to the one month period of not drawing his sword. But I have a feeling that won’t work out that way.

Teamed up with Hibachi on patrol, of course they find the insect first. Jinbei reluctantly lets Hibachi fight on her own while he takes the bystanders to safety. But when Hibachi runs into trouble, Jinbei is right by her side, fighting with a sheathed sword. Well, that was one way to get around his orders!


#4

Episode 3 –

spoiler

Jinbei finds out that Koikawa is a murderer. But Jinbei stands up for his master and believes in his innocence when another robbery/murder is committed. Jinbei later breaks him out of prison and they look for the real culprits. Of course they need to run into a bug first! Jinbei helps to evacuate the people while Koikawa takes care of the bug. But he is suddenly attacked from behind by a human and Jinbei steps in to help.

Koikawa takes out the Bladed Mantis and all of the stolen goods fall from its belly. The bug was the true criminal. Jinbei learns how to better use his sword and he and Koikawa become friends. It’s funny that when Koikawa takes him out drinking, they have tea!


#5

Episode 4 –

spoiler

Tenma is a great bug fighter, but Jinbei finds out that he’s afraid of bugs. He promises to keep it a secret from the others, but they already know. And Tenma later accuses Jinbei of betraying his promise to keep his secret.

And of course the next bug they fight is the kind that scares Tenma the most. If small centipedes frighten this child so much, then how will he face a giant one? The others understand his fear and tell him to stay behind while they go to fight it. But Tenma overcomes his fear long enough to use his shikigami and the bug is defeated. Good teamwork! However, Tenma is still afraid of bugs!


#6

Episode 5 –

spoiler

A special assignment pairs Jinbei with Mugai. This was at Mugai’s request, but why? He really doesn’t care much for Jinbei. Perhaps Mugai wishes to see how much he’s learned and to test his skills. Still, Jinbei is very happy to be paired with his idol.

They arrive at the Minister’s mansion for an extermination. Jinbei befriends one of the servants, Yasuke. Once Mugai meets with the Minister, they get right down to the investigation. They are shown a room with bodies and whatever insect this is, it will be making the mansion its nest. Mugai knows right away that it’s an Oohitonomi – a giant flea larva – and it’s an ugly one.

It appears in another room, eating, and Jinbei attacks it, only to find that it is armored and has a nasty stinger that he needs to avoid or it will suck out all of his blood. The Oohitonomi can jump around like a regular flea as well. Somehow Jinbei manages to kill it, but there is no such thing as one flea and the others soon arrive – an entire army of them! Mugai takes over the fight and quickly kills them all. But things aren’t over yet!

The huge daddy Oohitonomi crashes through the ceiling with more of his children. But where is mommy? One of the Minister’s men reports that another flea has attacked the kitchen and not everyone was able to escape. Jinbei volunteers to go and fight, even if it means his death, but Mugai won’t let him go, saying that he isn’t strong enough. Jinbei is stunned that he would say that and goes off to fight anyway.

Jinbei arrives at the kitchen just in time to see Yasuke under attack and it’s the giant mommy Oohitonomi! Jinbei uses his special attack, but it doesn’t do much. Mugai makes short work of his opponents and tells his host that he doesn’t need a partner. Jinbei is fighting well, but is still having trouble striking a death blow. Yasuke is impressed by his skill anyway. The flea aims at Yasuke once again, but I think the Oohitonomi was just trying to distract Jinbei, for when Jinbei saves Yasuke again, the Oohitonomi body slams Jinbei into the wall.

Jinbei is down, but won’t let Yasuke near him and the bug. Jinbei slowly rises and picks up his sword. His anger gives him even more power and he attacks the Oohitonomi again, but this time, Jinbei has gotten one of the bug’s stingers in his stomach. It picks him up, causing Jinbei to drop his sword, and begins to suck his blood. Yasuke screams, but when Mugai arrives, he finds an empty, destroyed room and Jinbei’s sword. He wonders if Jinbei is dead and calls him a fool.

Upon stepping further into the room, he hears Yasuke’s screams and follows them to another room to find the Oohitonomi still feeding on Jinbei. But Jinbei is still conscious and apologizes to Mugai for failing. This time, Mugai is the surprised one! He smiles and telling Jinbei that he never had any expectations of him, severs all the stingers stuck in Jinbei with one blow. Mugai then kills the escaping Oohitonomi.

As they take their leave of the mansion, Yasuke thanks Jinbei for saving his life, but Jinbei tells him that he was just doing his duty of assisting those in need. On the way back, Jinbei asks for the reason Mugai chose him for the mission, since he really didn’t want him. Mugai chose him because he is the weakest and would be easy to replace, but he tells Jinbei that he’s forgotten the reason. They continue on, but they are being observed by a mysterious person wearing a mask. This can’t be good!


#7

Episode 6 –

spoiler

The man in the mask is captured and says his name is Nagatomimaru. Being that he calls everyone “commoners”, I wonder if he is of the ruling class. He also mentions that he hasn’t been outside in ten years. And even with all the information that he can get, he wants to know more about bugs. Hence, his attempted break-in – knowledge is everything to him, but he acts like a child. He wants to search their archive for the answers to his questions, but Kotori informs him that they are off limits.

Hitachi rips off the weirdo’s Noh mask to reveal a beautiful face beneath. Kotori thinks he looks familiar, but the man quickly puts his “face” back on and accuses Hitachi of hating him. Kotori tasks Jinbei with seeing the man home, but Hitachi is annoyed that they are letting him go. Kotori says he didn’t do anything. But Nagatomimaru doesn’t want to go home, he wants to go to the archives! So, Hitachi beats him up – I bet she enjoyed that!

Jinbei is taking Nagatomimaru home, but he refuses to say where his home is and keeps changing the subject. He finally tells Jinbei that he will go the rest of the way alone – and he walks right in to a bug attack! He seems fascinated by the giant mosquito sucking out the man’s blood. He is also disbelieving and thinks he’s fallen asleep over his books again. He pats the Yabuka on the head and decides that the entire night has just been a very strange dream. What an idiot!

The Yabuka soon targets Nagatomimaru and Jinbei comes out of nowhere to save him. The Yabuka flies off but soon comes back to get Jinbei. Still thinking that he’s dreaming, he orders Jinbei to kill the bug quickly, but it targets Nagatomimaru again. Jinbei saves him again, but is injured and blood splatters on Nagatomimaru’s mask. Still unbelieving that anyone would shed blood or even fight for him in reality, Nagatomimaru tells himself that he is still dreaming.

Jinbei asks him to search his vast array of knowledge to find a way to kill the Yabuka. Jinbei goes back to fighting and Nagatomimaru thinks back on his sad childhood when he came to the hard conclusion that people are liars. But this Jinbei may be different – he looks at Nagatomimaru with trust in his eyes. Nagatomimaru begins to cry and decides to help Jinbei in this dream. He runs off and returns with smoking thatch and mugwort which slows down the Yabuka. The rest of the Bug Magistrates arrive to find the fight over and Jinbei and Nagatomimaru congratulating themselves.

They all end up celebrating, as Nagatomimaru regales them with his brilliance in defeating the bug. After everyone has fallen asleep, Nagatomimaru decided he had a fun day and will come back again to share his knowledge with Jinbei. He finally comes to the conclusion that the night was not a dream, but reality as he removes his mask. He tells the sleeping Jinbei that he is somewhat grateful to him. Then Nagatomimaru realizes where he is and that the archive is right at his fingertips! Putting his mask back on, he runs off to find the archive. It was sweet of him to cover the sleeping Jinbei up.

He gets very excited over all the books and knowledge that the archive contains. But then he finds a box containing a special scroll. It’s a map of Japan with a large X through it. Nagatomimaru is interrupted in his musings by Kotori – who knows exactly who Nagatomimaru is! He’s the son of the shogun and the heir to the shogunate! Kotori draws his katana and cuts the scroll, telling Nagatomimaru that as long as he doesn’t reveal what he’s seen, Kotori will not tell anyone his true identity. Nagatomimaru questions Kotori only to find out that he cannot tell him anything and Kotori also asks him never to return to the Insect Magistrate’s Office. Nagatomimaru will keep the secret, but insists on visiting Jinbei every day.

Kotori is actually impressed that Jinbei has made a friend of the next shogun. But Hitachi arrives to beat up the intruder again. As Mugai looks out over the city, I wonder if the map with the strange seal indicates that the rest of the country has been lost to the bugs. Perhaps even the entire outside world?


#8

Episode 7 –

spoiler

Summer has arrived and with it comes the Ryougoku River Opening! And Jinbei thinks that he will finally get to see a fireworks festival. But the ultimate bug has appeared in Edo – a giant rhinoceros beetle. The residents run as the Insect Magistrates deal with the monster. Jinbei was sent for sake and has no idea what’s going on. He returns to find headquarters deserted.

The appearance of such a bug is the true beginning of Summer and the Insect Magistrates deal with the safety of the residents and allow Mugai to concentrate on fighting the bug. This is their yearly “Summer War”. Meanwhile, Jinbei is still carrying around the barrel of sake and finds a mysterious person in the courtyard. Jinbei invites the “young lady” to go see the fireworks with him, but she tells him that she cannot leave the compound. Jinbei thinks that she seems to be of the nobility and wonders if she is the daughter of someone that works there. He comes to the conclusion that she’s waiting for her parents in order to see the fireworks with them.

Mugai is having his fun with the bug, but when he knocks it down, Jinbei can feel the tremors and wonders what they are. The girl tells him that they are just testing the fireworks. He like to join the others, but as the girl walks away, he decides to keep her company instead and suggests that they find a spot within the compound to watch the fireworks from. He searches for a carpet for her to sit on, thinking that a straw mat just isn’t good enough for someone like her.

The residents watch the Summer War with great interest and cheer Mugai on. Meanwhile, Hitachi has her own problems with Kotori and Nagatomimaru. The onlookers are thrilled to see Mugai cut off the giant beetle’s horn. Jinbei can’t find a carpet, so the girl brings him one. Jinbei then finds the perfect viewing spot – the watchtower. Mugai’s sword absorbs the beetle’s severed horn in the Jingaitou Transformation and Mugai gains power. He uses his lengthened sword to cut the bug in half with Rhino power! With the beetle defeated, the residents cheer.

Later, the fireworks show begins and everyone has a prime viewing spot. Jinbei begins to climb the watchtower ladder and asks the girl to take his hand. But she informs him that no one is allowed to touch her. He grabs her gloved hand anyway and encourages her to climb up. Once at the top, they enjoy the beautiful show. Jinbei notes that it sounds better than the testing did. The girl is surprised to find out that this is Jinbei’s first fireworks display and apologizes that he couldn’t watch with his comrades, but Jinbei tells her that thanks to her, he gets this great view. The girl takes one of the bells from her hat and rewards Jinbei with it. He thanks her and tells her that he will treasure it forever.

Hitachi ends the show with one last beautiful display that pleases the crowd, but seems to sadden the girl. Jinbei sees the dead bug in the darkness and thinking it’s a hill, is puzzled to see one where there wasn’t one before. He turns to find the girl gone. I guess he’ll never know that he had just met his real boss. The girl tells her officials that she will seal herself away and is shown to be the “High-Ranking Minister – Insect Magistrate”. But I wonder why she has to seal herself away – “according to custom”. I wonder how she’s connected to the bugs and why the symbol of the butterfly seemed to disturb her. It almost sounds like she’s going into a cocoon.


#9

Episode 8 –

spoiler

So, the Insect Hunters are sworn to kill the Insect Magistrate. Interesting. But she’s already in her confinement, so I guess she’s safe for now. However, Mitsuki is tasked with finding her Refuge.

Our heroes are kept really busy lately, fighting all the insects. Did Mitsuki send them all? Jinbei looks beyond sleep and I’m sure he’s suffering from exhaustion as they all are. Jinbei is ordered to rest and Mitsuki decides that he will be her target. Good luck with that – he doesn’t even know who she is, let alone where she is! She plays damsel in distress and gets Jinbei to help her further, by using her “charms”.

Mitsuki thinks that men are idiots and that Jinbei is easy prey. She tells him a tall tale and gets his promise to help her. They run into Mugai and he would definitely recognize her, so to distract Jinbei, Mitsuki shoves an eel down her kimono and begs Jinbei for his help in getting it out. LOL Soon, everyone is struggling with eels and while everyone is distracted, Mugai speaks with Mitsuki and tells her that she’s after the wrong one. But Mitsuki is already positive that Jinbei is in love with her.

She later asks him about the people he works with as they stroll along. He describes his coworkers in glowing terms, but Mitsuki wants more. However, Jinbei is distracted by Oharu as they bump into her. I laughed when Mitsuki called her a “giant peach woman”! Mitsuki is miffed by Jinbei’s lack of attention to her and she drags him away, but in the process, she knocks over Oharu and Jinbei goes to her rescue. Poor Oharu got all wet! LOL Jinbei strips so that Oharu may dry herself with his clothes.

Spilling the water all over herself worked so well for Oharu, that Mitsuki tries it as well. Jinbei doesn’t notice immediately, but when he does, he tries to take off his fundoshi to give to her, but she kicks him instead. Nice way to treat a gentleman that was willing to go naked for her! LOL Mitsuki decides that honey didn’t work, so she’ll use Oharu instead and kidnaps her.

The next day, Jinbei is left to work alone as his team members rest. He finds out that Oharu is missing and is too upset to help Mitsuki – until he notices that she’s wearing Oharu’s kimono. She tells Jinbei that she’s kidnapped Oharu and pulling out a flute, calls an insect to her. Mitsuki tells Jinbei to come alone to meet her later or her insects will feast on Oharu!

Once Oharu awakens, Mitsuki informs her that she’s a hostage. Oharu thinks that Mitsuki is a very lonely person. Jinbei arrives as promised and Mitsuki demands the location of the Insect Magistrate in return for Oharu. Instead, Jinbei tries to point out that what Mitsuki is doing is wrong. He finally has to confess that he knows nothing about the Insect Magistrate. Mitsuki accusing him of lying, so he tells her that he will go ask Kotori, but Mitsuki translates that into him getting help from his friends. Her flute calls another insect and Jinbei is trapped, but at least he’s found Oharu.

Mitsuki calls the insects again and Oharu tries to help, but falls instead. Jinbei catches her just in time, but they are still in danger from the insects. Jinbei comes up with a plan and I have to say that he and Oharu make a pretty good team! And after everything, Jinbei still believes Mitsuki to be a nice person. He just sees the good in everyone he meets! Jinbei feels that Mitsuki was threatened into doing what she’s doing and promises to protect her, but Mitsuki just gets angry. This time she calls multiple insects to her.

They attack Jinbei and he can no longer get to the exit. He tries to protect Oharu and even holds up an entire house to keep her safe. Mitsuki can’t understand why they are laughing, as if they’re having a good time. Mitsuki promises them that they will die, but she didn’t take into account that the team would follow the insects that ran away and now Jinbei has help from his friends. They defeat all the insects, but during the fight, Mitsuki got away. The others are surprised that Jinbei and Oharu are even there.

Mitsuki meets Mugai and says that he was right – she did pick the wrong guy, but that wasn’t what Mugai meant. She asks him what he did mean, but he just smiles and says he doesn’t know, before leaving. Mitsuki just doesn’t understand, but she won’t forget Jinbei!

A strange group approaches some fishermen for a ride to Hachijo Island – they heard there was a girl there. Oh no! Are these the Insect Hunters? The fishermen are really samurai and attack the group. They are the Insect Hunters and they quickly kill the samurai. How did they even find out where the Insect Magistrate was? And poor Mitsuki’s fate is sealed. Death awaits her as well, once this group returns from the island. And it looks like the Insect Magistrate might know someone is coming for her!


#10

Episode 9 –

spoiler

Absolutely everyone is sent to save the Insect Magistrate, but that leaves Edo without protection. However, the Insect Magistrate is more important. As they all are about to set sail, a bug appears and Jinbei notes that it is right near Oharu’s house. Jinbei is torn between his duty and his friend, but the Samurai House Patrol volunteers to stay behind and deal with the bug since it is too close to the Shogun’s palace. And so the rest sail for Hachijo Island. Meanwhile, the Insect Hunters have already landed. Luckily, they still have a long climb ahead of them.

On the ship, Mugai is at the bow and sees a man on a raft that he knows. He calls him Manako and this man calls Mugai a traitor, so he must be one of the Insect Hunters. Manako goes into a frenzy and the ship is cut to pieces. Mugai is his opponent and everyone is surprised to see how evenly matched they are. They also find out that the Insect Hunters intend to kill the Insect Magistrate.

Koikawa attacks Manako and wants to know if he was the one that killed his mother. Manako doesn’t know what Koikawa is talking about and pushes him back. He sets off a bomb but Jinbei and Hibachi get away and head for the island. However, Manako can’t let anyone else get there, so he encircles the wrecked ship and survivors with a ring of fire. Manako wants to die as well. I hope someone can help him out with that! He seems a bit on the insane side.

Koikawa is still obsessed with wanting to know if this guy killed his mother. But it’s enough of a distraction to let the Shrine and Temple Patrol get the jump on Manako and the canons are fired, although that isn’t even enough to kill him. Koikawa could have delivered the final blow, but decided that Manako wasn’t worth it and leaves to join his team, who was able to escape earlier.

The Insect Magistrate knows that the Insect Hunters have almost reached her. Her house is pretty cool too. It’s in the middle of a water-filled volcanic crater. She removes her glove and waves her hand, apologizing to all the creatures on the island. A poison fog seeps through the forest, but the Insect Hunters are ready with their antidotes and continue on. Jinbei and Hibachi have finally reached the island, but are spotted by the Insect Hunters and shot down.

Jinbei happens to fall through the roof of the Insect Magistrate’s house and comes face to face with his friend, but he takes her to be a servant of the Magistrate. Well, she never introduced herself back then so how is Jinbei supposed to know her? LOL She tries several times to tell Jinbei who she is now, but he keeps cutting her off and just assumes that the Magistrate isn’t home. She finally gives up and just lets Jinbei think that he’s right. He tries to take her hand, but she pulls it back and Jinbei explains the danger that the Magistrate is in. However, the girl is confident that no one could pass through the poison fog. Jinbei is still worried though and the girl assures him that the Magistrate is in a safe place. But all this leaves Hibachi to face the Insect Hunters alone and her current opponent is Mashiro. Cat fight! LOL

Jinbei questions his friend about the Insect Magistrate, but once again, comes to his own conclusions and the girl just agrees with him. Jinbei thinks the house and the place it’s in is a lonely one, but the girl contradicts him and tells him that the Magistrate prefers it there. In Edo, she has no freedom. Jinbei disagrees and she comes to envy him a little. Just then the leader of the Insect Hunters appears and targets the girl, calling her the Insect Magistrate. I wonder how Jinbei will take that!

The girl hits the intruder with acidic poison and Jinbei tries to attack the man, but both he and the girl disappear! Jinbei looks up through the hole in the roof too see the girl and too many enemies! Thankfully, the rest of the team has landed and Mugai hurries ahead of everyone. Good thing the poison fog has gone. But another Insect Hunter lies in wait and attacks the party. Koikawa decides that this one didn’t kill his mother and leaves him to Tenma, but a gun against paper?

The Magistrate tells the Insect Hunters that it’s time to end this, but Jinbei has finally climbed to the roof and demands to be their opponent. He stands in front of the girl to protect her and tells her to get to the Magistrate. But she had moved the fight to the roof in order to protect Jinbei. The group attacks and the Magistrate uses her acid to cut a hole in the roof to fall through. She can’t understand Jinbei and it sounds like she’s beginning to get some feelings for him.

Koikawa comes upon Mugai and Gaikotsu and is shocked to hear that Mugai was once the leader of the Insect Hunters. Was it Mugai that killed his mother? Koikawa asks that very question as he attacks!


#11

Episode 10 –

spoiler

Koikawa wants to know if Mugai killed his mother as he continues to attack him. But it looks like Mugai isn’t fighting back and while this is going on, the Insect Hunter escapes.

Jinbei is still trying to protect the Insect Magistrate, but she’s beginning to think he’s a spy for the Insect Hunters. Then she finds out the hard way that he isn’t and Jinbei still thinks she’s just a servant. He keeps trying to send her to her master too. Three against one is taking its toll. Jinbei is really no match for these guys and is soon defeated.

Koikawa attacks Mugai again and Mugai drops his weapon. Koikawa can’t kill an unarmed man and knows that Mugai didn’t kill his mother. However, since Mugai was once their leader, Koikawa thinks that Mugai can tell him what he wants to know. Mugai tells him that this isn’t the time for that and rightly so – they are in the middle of a mission after all.

Now sure that Jinbei isn’t one of the Insect Hunters, she’s sorry she ever doubted him. She apologizes to his unconscious body and says that she is no longer human. Anyone that touches her dies from her poison. Hatred and fear made her the Insect Magistrate, but people still try to use her. Jinbei was the first one to make her feel human again and now he’s hurt because of her.

Angry now and transforming, she tells the Insect Hunters that they won’t leave that place alive. They attack but it’s futile. Fully transformed now, the Magistrate has butterfly wings, which can attack and defend. The Hunters call her Kuroageha and an immortal monster. Just as I was thinking that she never needed any help, the Insect Hunters manage to hit her and she loses her power. They quickly surround the weakened girl and explain how she was taken down. She’s helpless now with her poser sealed away.

It’s noticed that Jinbei is still alive and the Insect Magistrate tries to save him, but the leader of the Insect Hunters wants him dead. Just as he is about to kill him, Mugai deflects the blow. About time he got there! The fight continues with Mugai and the rest of his team to protect the Insect Magistrate. And Koikawa finally finds the one that killed his mother. He gets his revenge.

The Insect Hunters soon come after the escaping group and they are separated. Once again, the Insect Magistrate is left with an unconscious Jinbei and no power. However, she will not leave Jinbei behind and is determined to protect him. But is that really Jinbei?


#12

Episode 11 –

spoiler

The fight with the Insect Hunters continues. The Insect Magistrate is struggling to escape with the still unconscious Jinbei. She stumbles and falls, dropping Jinbei. When she sees the scrapes on his face from his earlier fight to protect her, she feels awful for once thinking he was the enemy. Jinbei almost gave his life for her and he may yet die. She picks him up again and implores him to live as she continues on. Her greatest desire is to apologize to him.

However, the enemy has caught up to them and attacks. The Magistrate is still unable to fight with her powers sealed away. Sougan is all ready to kill the Magistrate when Jinbei deflects the blow! He’s awake, but very different. He looks to be possessed by a fox spirit (?) and is more than able to take care of Sougan with his fists alone. The Insect Magistrate has no idea what’s happened to Jinbei, but he is a lot stronger.

Sougan readies to attack him again with his spear, and as Jinbei picks up his sword, he’s thinking of the other enemies. Apparently, Sougan isn’t even worth thinking about, which gives Sougan even more reason to kill Jinbei. Sougan attacks the Jinbei walking away from him, but suddenly Jinbei is behind Sougan and that’s the end of another Insect Hunter. The Leader sends Shidou and Mashiro after them next, while he continues his fight with Mugai.

Jinbei leaves the Insect Magistrate to fight more enemies, but who will protect her now? Kuroganemaru is really doing a number on Hibachi and Tenma, but Koikawa comes along and takes him out just like that. But now the three of them have to face Shidou and Mashiro. Unfortunately, Kuroganemaru is still alive as well. He shoots at the three and when the smoke clears, Jinbei is there. He caught the bullets meant for his teammates in his hand! However, instead of attacking the Insect Hunters, he attacks his teammates! They run as he demolishes the cliff. No one can understand what’s happened to Jinbei or why he’s acting this way.

Jinbei attacks the Insect Hunters next. It looks like his ponytail becomes a giant hand or something and it picks up the three Insect Hunters, strangling them. He’s just pure evil at this point and his power destroys the ground beneath everyone. He transforms even more and the Magistrate notes that he will destroy himself. It certainly looks that way. Jinbei screams in rage and the Magistrate needs to think of a way to save him. As she makes her way to where he is, Jinbei slams the three Insect Hunters to the ground. I’m really surprised they survived. Jinbei screams that everyone is his enemy.

Jinbei’s ponytail changes again, and throws spikes at everyone. The Magistrate still wants to save him, but isn’t sure how. She’s still trying to get to Jinbei, but comes face to face with Shidou. Not good! He grabs her by the throat and her last thoughts are of Jinbei as Shidou stabs her. But he doesn’t! Jinbei has changed again and stops Shidou, saving the Magistrate. He seems like he’s back to normal and I wonder if the Magistrate’s bells had something to do with calming him down.

Still thinking the girl is the Insect Magistrate’s servant, he tells her that they must get to the Magistrate. He also wants to keep his promise to her, but then he falls asleep in her lap instead! What is left of the Insect Hunters decide to retreat. As Jinbei sleeps, the Magistrate notices a piece of her hair on him and wonders if that is what transformed him. The rest of the team joins them and Kotori declares their mission a success! I wonder how he defeated his opponent. He doesn’t look like a fighter and yet he’s still in one piece while his opponent is a complete mess. And it looks like there is more to come with regards to the Insect Magistrate!


#13

Episode 12 –

spoiler

So, while everyone was off saving the Insect Magistrate, the bugs continued to attack Edo. The Samurai House Patrol has reached its limit and Oogami is the only one left standing, and he continues to fight on, all alone. When our heroes arrive, the city is in flames.

The Eighth Shogun, Yoshimune, is urged to flee to castle, but he refuses, saying that the worst is yet to come. In that case, I suppose nowhere is safe. Nagatomimaru wishes to go and fight with his friend, Jinbei, which was rather touching, considering he hasn’t even sliced fruit in his lifetime! LOL But he’s determined that his accumulated knowledge will see him through. Once again, Oharu is taken by a bug and her last thoughts are of Jinbei. Suddenly, Jinbei is there, saving her! Yay! Everyone could see how happy she was to see him too! LOL

The bugs continue to ravage the city, but before the team can join the fight, it appears to be over. They come upon a pile of bug corpses and the one man that has killed them all – Jinbei’s father! Father and son are happily reunited, and it was quite an interesting greeting. Father and son begin a swordfight, much to the dismay of the astonished onlookers. Jinbei’s strength is being tested by Genjuurou.

A party is held later to celebrate the saving of the Insect Magistrate and the defense of Edo. Genjuurou is hailed as a hero. Jinbei asks his friends to fill him in on what happened at Hachijo Island, since he hardly remembers anything. They all remember that he had turned into a monster, but they’ve been ordered not to say anything to him. Jinbei also remembers the Magistrate’s “servant” and they all look at him funny. He then asks to see the Magistrate, because he has something to discuss with him. Hibachi tells him that their rank prevents such a meeting. Nagatomimaru arrives to find his friend alive and well.

Jinbei later tells his father that he’s learned that he’s weak and that the others always end up saving him. He also tells Genjuurou that he’s sure he lost the fight on Hachijo Island too. He apologizes to his father for his weakness and for bringing dishonor to the family. But his father already knows how weak his son is and tells him that they are going on a training journey.

The Insect Magistrate tells Mugai that her hair falling into Jinbei’s mouth transformed him, but that no ordinary human would have changed in such a way. She wants to know if Jinbei is really an Insect Hunter and Mugai just tells her to mind her own safety before he leaves the room. He knows that she is powerless at the moment. All alone and feeling lonely, she wonders what Jinbei is doing. She sneaks out of her room with the intention of apologizing to Jinbei. She finds him training in the yard, but before she can approach him, she sees Oharu bringing him food and leaves. Jinbei hears the faint jingle of a bell, but gets distracted by Oharu’s conversation. The Insect Magistrate hears that he’s leaving to train, but she also hears that he wants to be strong for Edo – and for her.

Genjuurou and Jinbei greet the rising sun and begin their journey. It’s some very unusual training and once they reach the summit of Mt. Fuji, Genjuurou tells Jinbei that he’s ready to learn the Tsukishima secret technique – the Thirty-Six Blades of Fuji. But he only has three days to lean all thirty-six techniques! Genjuurou uses Fuji Hammer to cause the mountain to erupt. He then leaves it up to Jinbei to use the same technique to halt the flow of lava. Genjuurou also tells him that it took five years for him to learn the techniques and still Jinbei only has three days to learn!

Jinbei tries to learn Fuji Hammer without rest or food, but to no avail. He finally collapses after two days and wakes the following day with his coat on fire. The lava is spreading and Jinbei needs to stop it fast! The spot that would have stopped the flow is now gone and Genjuurou asks Jinbei what he will do next. He only has one more chance to halt the eruption and the destruction of everything at the base of the mountain. Jinbei concentrates on what his father had taught him and realizes what he must do.

Jinbei uses his sword to clear a path through the lava to the spot he needs to get to. He successfully uses Fuji Hammer but the lava remains, burning his feet. Genjuurou then shows Jinbei the Fuji Storm technique which swirls the lava up into the sky and hardens it. It crumbles and falls back into the mountain. Unfortunately, there’s no more time to teach him how to do this, since his three days are up. But Jinbei promises to practice and master the technique on his own.

The Insect Magistrate remembers the rest of the conversation between Jinbei and Oharu. Jinbei had said that his rank prevents him from meeting the Magistrate, but that he intends to get stronger and be worthy of meeting the Magistrate someday. She also remembers him speaking of his promise to the Magistrate’s servant to look at the blue sky of Edo together. She seemed really touched that he remembered that promise. So much so, that it brought tears to her eyes. The Insect Magistrate now awaits the fulfillment of that promise. But other things are happening that may prevent that!


#14

Episode 13 –

spoiler

Osono is a journalist looking for that one big scoop and she hopes to find it at the women’s bath in Edo. Her subject is the Insect Magistrates and especially Jinbei. Osono wanted to speak with him, but since he isn’t available, she ended up at the bath where she finds Oharu. Although fascinated by her chest, Osono manages to introduce herself and asks Oharu about Jinbei.

Next, Osono sees Hibachi and once again, gets caught staring. After introducing herself, Osono asks about the Magistrate’s Office and gets an earful about Mugai. LOL Osono also asks what the Magistrate is like and gets to hear about the Insect Hunters and their plot to kill the Magistrate. But Hibachi leaves her hanging and all the pleading in the world doesn’t get her any more information! LOL

The Magistrate is well guarded as she gets into her lonely bath and reflects on past events. And now without her power, she can no longer protect Edo.

Hibachi and Oharu find Osono still at the bath, finishing up the draft of her article, and nearly fainting from the heat. But the things she writes! LOL It’s no wonder the girls get mad, but Osono tries to print it anyway. Unfortunately, a breeze from an opened door causes the sheets to fly into the street. Hibachi and Oharu chase them, trying to catch each and every sheet with cries of “don’t look”! LOL But the drawings of them in those sexy poses were just so flattering! LOL Although this was basically a recap episode, it was well done. I like recaps like this one!


#15

Episode 14 –

spoiler

While Jinbei is off training with his father, a mysterious stranger enters the city and asks for directions to the Insect Magistrate’s office. The person he asks isn’t sure and takes a better look at the stranger. You can only disguise so much as the man sees the clawed feet of the stranger and the drool dripping from his mouth, and he cowers in fear. Saying that he has no use for the man anymore, the stranger then bites his head off!

Kotori is taken to task by Yumehiki for allowing the entire City Patrol to go on vacation. But they really didn’t give Kotori much choice in the matter. He vows to cut their salary, but Kotori still has to deal with Yumehiki’s anger. But Yumehiki calms down enough to show Kotori his five new canons, purchased with his own personal fortune. Yumehiki redesigned these huge canons to protect Edo and says that he doesn’t need Kotori and the City Patrol anymore. I’m sure Yumehiki is going to be proved wrong at some point!

Jinbei and his father are on their way back and hear of attacks by men that look like insects. Once they hear that they were on their way to Edo to look for the Insect Magistrate, Genjuurou sends Jinbei off to the city in his own special way. Kotori and Yumehiki have received the same report and are now facing this mysterious stranger, standing amidst a pile of bodies, and sucking up the remaining blood. They are surprised to hear it speak, but Yumehiki still declares it to be an insect that needs to be killed.

Yumehiki shoots it with his special gun, but it has no effect. The thing buzzes and asks about Jinbei, before it attacks them. Oogami shows up with the Samurai House Patrol and beats it back with his sword. Yumehiki sends Kotori off to help the injured, saying that he doesn’t need his useless help. If he only knew! Kotori leaves with an injured child and the Samurai House Patrol attacks the monster. Unfortunately, it takes out the entire patrol with one strike.

Oogami and Yumehiki are the only ones left and they attack together. No effect. So, Yumehiki pulls out his ace – the new canons! But they have no effect either! Yumehiki orders his men to keep firing and when the smoke finally clears, the monster is still standing. Oogami and Yumehiki attack it again – they should know better by now that it won’t work, but they are sworn to protect Edo. Once again the monster wins. He has Yumehiki pierced by one of his claws and asks again about Jinbei. To his credit, Yumehiki doesn’t tell him and the monster deals the killing blow. It’s blocked at the last second by Jinbei! He got there just in time!

Even in his weakened state, Yumehiki tells Jinbei not to interfere in another’s fight. The monster flies up into the air, pleased to see Jinbei. And once Jinbei sees the bodies and the damage, he ignores Yumehiki and attacks the monster. Yumehiki warns Jinbei against doing that and tells him to pull back, but is ignored again. Jinbei is amazed at the speed of his opponent, but manages to keep up with it. Jinbei defeats the monster! Both Yumehiki and Oogami are stunned that Jinbei could do something that they could not.

Unfortunately, the thing regenerates, and uses a Ninjutsu technique, so now Jinbei is facing two monsters, one of which is a supposed illusion – but which one? Both monsters attack Jinbei and they both feel real to him. He manages to cut both of them down, but once again they regenerate and now Jinbei has to deal with four monsters! The Ninjutsu is not a cloning technique, but a splitting one. Great!

All four monsters attack Jinbei at the same time and he keeps killing them, but the things keep multiplying. How can Jinbei hope to win? He is injured now and the monster comes in for the kill. Jinbei stands his ground and tries to defend himself, but the blow doesn’t come. Hibachi, Koikawa and Tenma have shown up just in time. The three attack the monsters and think they defeat them, but sure enough, they regenerate and now there is a whole army of the things!

The humans are surrounded and Jinbei quickly explains their plight. If they can’t use blades, Hibachi tries bombs, hoping to burn the monsters, but that doesn’t work either. No matter what they do, the monsters keep increasing in numbers. Koikawa suggests retreat, but Jinbei refuses, not wanting to let the monsters kill any more humans. Hibachi notices that some of the monsters haven’t regenerated and Tenma notes that those monsters were beheaded. So, now they know what to do, but it has to be done to all of the monsters at the same time or else they will have a bigger problem on their hands.

Jinbei comes up with an idea, but the monsters attack them again. He does manage to tell the others his plan and they leave him to it. The monsters pile around him and Jinbei uses his new Fuji Hammer technique, but will it work? Yes! He obliterates the monsters all at one! Jinbei thanks his friends for their help, as Mugai watches from a nearby rooftop. Why didn’t he help? Kotori returns to the scene and Jinbei runs over to greet him. Kotori says that the “Insect-men have made it to Edo” and that puzzles Jinbei.

It’s a beautiful day in Kishuu Province as the villagers go about their daily lives. Suddenly, the entire village shakes with a huge stampede of monster insects. And the episode ends with a large explosion!


#16

Episode 15 –

spoiler

The Kishuu village is decimated by the Ten Crucifix Insects of Sanada and the villagers are killed. The corpses are piled up and a bloody beacon is sent into the sky. Back in Edo, Yoshimune receives a report on the Insect-man that attacked the city and how Jinbei destroyed it, but the officials are still critical of the City Patrol. When they learn that the Insect-man, Sarutobi Sasuke, was a retainer of Sanada, who supposed died a century ago, the superstitious men think they are fighting spirits!

Yoshimune has heard enough from these foolish men and reminds them that they have the Insect Magistrate. Kuroageha is also present at this meeting, and makes the silly ministers happy by telling them that she will take care of things. Yoshimune apologizes to her later for involving her in his lie to the ministers, since he knows that she is now powerless, but Kuroageha is still willing to sacrifice herself to protect Edo. Yoshimune is impressed by this small girl, who has given up everything.

There is a commotion outside with the officials and Nagatomimaru. He is demanding to be told what was said at the meeting, saying that he needs to tell Jinbei. The Insect Magistrate asks who that is and Yoshimune tells her that it’s his son, Ieshige, and he asks if she knows this Jinbei that he’s yelling about. The Shogun is surprised by the pleasant look on Kuroageha’s face when he says Jinbei’s name. She asks permission to speak with Ieshige.

Kuroageha is taken to Ieshige’s room, which is a typical boy’s cluttered room – “no girls allowed”. LOL I liked that little doll of Jinbei too and there are also many other depictions of Jinbei as well. Ieshige is flattered that the Insect Magistrate has come to visit him and is pleased to share his knowledge with her. But he’s also secretly disturbed that this girl has come to “steal” his knowledge and decides to collect her knowledge instead – all for Jinbei, of course! However, Ieshige soon finds out that Kuroageha is only there to question his relationship with Jinbei. She mentions rank and position and wonders how they can meet. Kuroageha discovers that Ieshige must have lied about who he is in order to associate with Jinbei. She also concludes that if one lies about their status, they can still have a relationship with someone of lower rank.

Hearing that, Ieshige realizes that they are in the same boat and takes her to a telescope that is trained on the Magistrate’s Office. Now that they are comrades of a sort, he confides that he watches Jinbei every day and Kuroageha just can’t believe that this guy is going to be the next Shogun! Ieshige gets upset when he watches Oharu fall on top of Jinbei and he gets a face full of her chest! Koikawa is jealous. Jinbei is there with his team to tell them about his vacation and wants to hear what the others did as well. Hibachi went to train in the ninja village and worked on new explosives. Koikawa hunted bandits in the area, and Tenma says that his is a secret. Hearing their stories, Jinbei decides to work harder as well. And of course Genjuurou has been there the whole time, listening.

Genjuurou also knows things about the team and would love to fight them all someday. He also discovers why Jinbei comes to this tea shop and asks Oharu if she’d like to marry his son! LOL He actually ends up begging her to marry Jinbei. As Oharu falters for a way to answer Genjuurou, Hibachi isn’t taking it all that well. And Kuroageha is watching all this through the telescope and isn’t too happy either! Genjuurou tells everyone that he had met his wife, Kanae, in Edo too. Oharu is eager to hear the story, but Jinbei seems surprised, and realizes how little he knows of his own mother.

Genjuurou tells Jinbei that Kanae was also a sword fighter and had a huge chest. The others think that Oharu’s chest may have made Genjuurou suddenly think of his wife. But Genjuurou continues with his story, telling how he met his wife in Edo, while they were both sword training. They had heard the rumors about one another and finally meet. They spar and next, they get married. Looks like Genjuurou skipped a lot of that story! LOL But Genjuurou still has his memories and it seems that first battle between them destroyed much of Edo as they tried to determine which of them was the stronger fighter. But both were impressed with the other’s skills too. Their battle lasted a long time, and neither one of them had so much fun fighting before. As they fight, Kanae decides that their son’s name will be Jinbei and that they will both train him to be a strong fighter.

Everyone is impressed by the story, but Koikawa wants to know who won the battle. Genjuurou tells him that the fight continued for another year, but never ended. Not only did Genjuurou propose during their fight, but apparently Jinbei was also born during that same fight. Perhaps that is partly why Jinbei is such a good swordsman! LOL But the story fires up Jinbei again, who now wants to be as strong as his mother and father. Still watching through the telescope, Kuroageha now asks Ieshige for a favor. She asks him where his father would hide a treasure and Ieshige thinks she’s “after the Tokugawa’s buried treasure, said to be hidden in the Akagi Mountains”. Way to keep a secret, Ieshige!

However, Kuroageha isn’t really interested in treasure; she’s seeking a legend about the insects. Ieshige thinks he knows what she’s talking about and shows her a scroll that he memorized from the Insect Magistrate’s library. It’s that map! Western Japan is crossed off with a big black X and the sign of the insect is written all over it. But east of Kishuu, the map is clear. Ieshige tells Kuroageha that Kishuu is their line of defense against the insects. He still doesn’t know that Kishuu has been destroyed, and continues to tell her that his father would put any treasure he had furthest from the advancing insects. He points to the land of Ezo on the map and tells her that the treasure would be there.

More good news – Sarutobi Saskue’s body has disappeared. That night, it’s reported to the Shogun that someone has stolen the body and the Shogun wonders if this may have been done by other Insect-men. I have a feeling that this bug really isn’t dead either. And he isn’t! A man walks along a moonlit path, carrying the pieces of the body on his back and Sarutobi’s head in his hand. The head says that it underestimated the enemy, but is safe now. The man turns out to be another Insect-man, Kirigakure Saizou, but he didn’t save Sarutobi for the sake of saving him. He saved him to prevent Sarutobi from being examined, which would give their enemy too much information about the Insect-men. Saizou now crushes Sarutobi’s head and disposes of that and what is left of the body, so he can hurry to Kishuu and Sanada.

Kuroageha confronts Yoshimune. She thinks she has a way to get her powers back, and mentioning Kishuu, wants Yoshimune to tell her everything he knows. He seems really worried too. Their talk concludes with Kuroageha confirming that she must visit a well to regain her power. Why didn’t he tell her sooner? She decides to leave at once, but is told that it’s a dangerous trip and Oooka Echizen no Kamitadasuke offers to accompany her as a bodyguard on her secret journey. He may be trusted by Yoshimune, but I’m not sure yet that I would trust him. Thankfully, she also chooses Jinbei to go with her.

Kotori tells Jinbei to wait at a roadside tea shop for someone, but Jinbei isn’t sure who he’s waiting for and worries that he’s in the wrong place. But he hears a voice telling him that she’s already there, and when he turns, he’s surprised to see the Insect Magistrate’s servant at the shop. She tells him that they are going to Kishuu!


#17

Episode 16 -

spoiler

With an army of insects at his back, Sanada addresses the people of Kishuu city and tells them that he isn’t there to fight but to meet with their lord, Tokugawa Munenao. And Munenao has just received a message from Yoshimune that Kuroageha is on her way to the well in Kishuu. When Munenao hears Sanada’s name, he’s surprised that “a ghost from a century past” has now reappeared as an Insect-man.

Meanwhile, Jinbei is traveling with who he still believes to be the Insect Magistrate’s servant and Oooka. It was funny when he asked Kuroageha if Oooka was the Insect Magistrate and says that he looks nothing like he thought the Magistrate would look like. But Kuroageha tells Jinbei who Oooka is and says that Oooka is the smartest man in Edo. Jinbei apologizes to Oooka and formally introduces himself, but is confused when Oooka demands to see “it”. However, Oooka moves on without explaining.

Back in Kishuu, Munenao meets privately with Sanada and asks for his demands. Sanada tells Munenao that he wants a ship large enough to carry a thousand humans. He even shows Munenao the plans for this invincible battleship that he wants Munenao to build for him. If he does this, Sanada will leave Kishuu in peace. Munenao agrees as long as Sanada keeps his word.

As they travel, Oooka instructs Jinbei in samurai etiquette and Jinbei seems an eager student, but he also helps a couple with their wagon, against Oooka’s rules. And he just continues to break those rules, much to Oooka’s chagrin. In the end, Oooka just declares Jinbei the wrong person for this critical mission. He’d like to send Jinbei back to Edo in shame, but they are very close to Kishuu and Jinbei promises to behave. When they finally reach the gates of Kishuu, they are forbidden entry. Jinbei produces all the necessary papers, but they are still turned away.

Oooka then speaks privately to one of the guards and telling the guard who he is, asks for the master to be called, saying that they should already be expected. Oooka also threatens the guard, but is still told that none are allowed to pass by Munenao’s order. Meanwhile, Munenao is burning the Shogun’s letter, knowing that Kuroageha would be in danger from Sanada if he allowed her into the city. He should have just left a message for Kuroageha at the gate, explaining this. At least that would have been the smart thing to do.

So, now Oooka, Jinbei and Kuroageha are determined to find another way into the city. It turns out that there is another way, but it’s a dangerous one and Kuroageha almost loses her life in the process. But it was still funny to see Jinbei being such a gentleman and carry her along the cliff path. I think Kuroageha secretly enjoyed it too, for all her protests. They finally end up at another closed and guarded gate and Oooka says that they will head for Wakayama Castle. An incident causes them to be discovered and more guards pursue them. Jinbei turns to fight them against the Oooka’s wishes.

Instead of fighting them, Jinbei cuts down several trees so they can escape. Hiding up in a nearby tree, they watch as the guards search for them. The guards don’t give up and Oooka decides that they should wait for night. Under the cover of darkness, they will enter the city. But night brings another intruder. The guards think this Insect-man is with the party that they are still searching for, but the trio watch as the Insect-man makes short work of the guards, quickly killing all of them. He gives his name as Nedzu Jinpachi of the Ten Crucifix Insects and already knows that the others are hiding up in the tree.

Jinbei wants to attack the Insect-man, but Oooka won’t let him, reminding Jinbei of their mission. Oooka wants them to run, but Jinbei argues his point that Nedzu is evil and must be destroyed. Oooka tells Jinbei that their priority is to protect the Magistrate’s servant, but they no longer have a choice as Nedzu attacks them, splitting their hiding place in half. Jinbei tells Oooka to get Kuroageha away as he stays to fight Nedzu, but Oooka just accuses him of abandoning his mission. However, Kuroageha gives Jinbei the order to defeat Nedzu against Oooka’s protests. Oooka and Kuroageha run as Jinbei stays to fight.

Jinbei soon realizes that he’s up against a master fighter. Nedzu is fast and Jinbei can hardly keep up with his strikes, but Nedzu feels that he has an entertaining opponent for a change. Oooka and Kuroageha make it to the gate and as Kuroageha tries to open it, Oooka just stands there, complaining about Jinbei and his shortcomings. Oooka really needs to be taken down a notch or two! Kuroageha gives Oooka a very simple reason for wanting Jinbei with her on this journey and Oooka still doesn’t understand. But he tells her to step aside and he cuts open the gate for her.

Nedzu has released the eggs from his back and aimed them at Jinbei. At least they didn’t hatch! Gross! But the fight has brought Jinbei close to the gate and Kuroageha calls for him to go with her. However, Nedzu has no intention of letting Jinbei escape him and continues playing with him. When Nedzu finally decides to deliver his death blow, Jinbei avoids it and even catches one strike in his teeth! Jinbei also finally gets a change to use his Fuji Hammer as well as his Fuji Strike and defeats Nedzu. Thinking he’s killed the Insect-man, Jinbei and his party run into the city, but Nedzu isn’t quite dead yet and berates himself for letting the “rats” escape.

Inside the city, Sanada observes the building of his battleship as Nedzu makes his report, telling Sanada of the three “rats” that has entered Kishuu. Nedzu also tells Sanada that they know of them, calling them “Insect-men” and Sanada is amused by the name. Munenao overhears this conversation and knows that the Insect Magistrate is now in his city. Sanada confronts Munenao and asks how he will pay for breaking his promise of keeping their presence a secret and for allowing people to enter the city against his orders. Now that the promise is broken, Sanada says that they must kill everyone in Kishuu. Munenao protests and Sanada relents, telling Munenao to bring him the heads of the intruders!


#18

Episode 17 -

spoiler

Under Sanada’s direction, Munenao gives the citizens of Kishuu ten days to bring in the intruders – dead or alive. If they aren’t found within those ten days, Sanada will destroy the city and kill everyone in it. Sanada throws in a nice incentive as well that terrifies the people and really gets them moving.

The trio come across their wanted poster. At least they are forewarned. Jinbei didn’t like his picture and just had to fix it to make himself look friendlier. Even with everyone in Kishuu looking for them, Oooka hopes they can proceed as planned. When they near a village, Oooka plans to pass it by as quietly as possible, but Jinbei insists on helping an old woman that fell down, and sends the others ahead. However, it’s a trap and Jinbei runs for his life, hoping to lead his hunters away from his companions. Even the children are his enemies!

A group of bandits take over the hunt, and when Kuroageha saves a child from them, she is recognized from the poster as well. Oooka comes out to save her life and Kuroageha orders him not to kill anyone. With one strike, Oooka cuts off all the bandit group’s hands, and it was so fast that Jinbei couldn’t even see it being done. But the trio is still caught by the villagers afterwards.

Back in Edo, Kotori sends Mugai to Kishuu to investigate after the higher up realize that they cannot contact anyone there. The rest of the team wants to go as well, but Kotori needs them in Edo. However, a newly received message from a flying squirrel may change that. In Iwamatsu Village, the tied up trio watch as the villagers celebrate the fact that they are rid of the bandits. Although Oooka saved them from the bandits, the villagers still have to kill the trio or be killed themselves. But before they can do that, Insect-men arrive.

All of the villagers hide as Mochidzuki enters the village and introduces himself and Unno. They know that the wanted people are in the area and have come to “help”. They request information, but when no one comes forth, Unno unrolls to show them a little girl they had caught earlier. She wakes up and screams and suddenly, it’s Jinbei to the rescue! He saves the girl, but it looks like he may lose this fight as Unno rolls over him.

The Rokurou pair prepares to kill the rest of the villagers, but Oooka appears and reprimands Jinbei again. He knocks his sword against Unno and asks Jinbei if he’s going to stop them. Jinbei slowly stands up, holding Unno over his head and announces to the villagers that he will defeat the Insect-men, as he tosses Unno away. Oooka is a good match for Mochidzuki as Jinbei takes on Unno again. Oooka destroys Mochidzuki as Jinbei uses his Fuji Hammer against Unno and kills him.

The grateful villagers thank Jinbei and Oooka, and Irori, the little girl, especially thanks Jinbei for saving her. But it’s also love at first sight for her. Jinbei tries to usher Oooka and Kuroageha from the village, but they are stopped again by Bizen, the headman of the village. He can’t just let them go and wants to know why they are in Kishuu in the first place and why they are being hunted. Late at night, Munenao visits the special well and vows not to let the Insect-men learn of its existence.


#19

Episode 18 –

spoiler

Sanada is pleased with the progression of his battleship. Saizou reports that the Rokurou pair has not yet returned from their mission to find the intruders, but the other Insect-men don’t seem too concerned.

Jinbei and Kuroageha are on the road again, but I wonder where Oooka is. Jinbei sees their destination, a temple, but he also sees what may be another enemy. It turns out to be Hibachi, but Jinbei doesn’t recognize her at first and attacks her. Even after she identifies herself, Jinbei continues his attack, believing Hibachi to be in Edo. But after his attack strips her of her clothes and she gives him her usual explosive retaliation, Jinbei finally realizes that she really is his teammate.

Hearing the commotion, little Irori runs out and is reunited with her sister, Hibachi. She pushes her aside to continue her beating of Jinbei when he asks why she there. Hibachi tells him that she was looking for him and couldn’t find him, so he followed the area’s Lord Yamagatake here to see if he knew something of Jinbei’s whereabouts. Kuroageha walks up to explain why they are there and Hibachi recognizes her as the Insect Magistrate, but Kuroageha corrects her, saying that she is the Magistrate’s servant.

Jinbei is surprised that Hibachi also knows Kuroageha and Hibachi tells him that she is the real Insect Magistrate, causing Kuroageha to correct her again and say she’s the Magistrate’s servant. Kuroageha has to correct Hibachi twice more before Hibachi finally gets the message. Oooka is presently meeting with Yamagatake at the temple, requesting his help to secretly get them to Wakayama Castle. In exchange, Yamagatake wants Oooka to promise that the people of Kishuu will no longer have to suffer at the hands of the Insect-men and Oooka agrees. Only two days remain of the ten that Sanada gave for the capture of the intruders and Oooka has a plan he intends to share with Yamagatake.

Meanwhile, the citizens are getting more “incentive” from the Insect-men to capture the intruders, killing people even before the ten days are up. The shipbuilders are also trying to complete Sanada’s battleship in those last two days, hoping to rid Kishuu of the Insect-men. Jinbei and the others are reunited with the rest of the City Patrol. Funny that Mugai calls Jinbei “potato-boy”, and says he must speak with him privately.

As they prepare for bed, Kuroageha asks Hibachi what she thinks of Jinbei. When Hibachi almost drops her bomb, Kuroageha assumes that Hibachi thinks well of Jinbei. Blushing, Hibachi says that he isn’t as good as Mugai, but perhaps he’s a little better than he was. Kuroageha then says that she will leave Jinbei to her and leaves the room. Mugai asks “potato-boy” if he knows the reason for the Magistrate’s mission. Jinbei starts talking and makes no sense to Mugai, but he tells “potato-boy” not to screw it up, before walking away.

Kuroageha comes upon Jinbei as he’s promising the absent Mugai that he will do his best. She tells him that she couldn’t sleep and asks him to go find a better view with her. As they by a lake, Jinbei entertains her by describing his comrades, but as he talks, he drops the bell that Kuroageha had given him. Kuroageha remembers the night she gave him that bell and Jinbei tells her that he always has it with him. She tells him that it’s an unimportant thing, but I think she’s secretly pleased that Jinbei kept it, especially when he says that it connects their karma. Jinbei goes on to say how pleased he was to see her again at Hachijo Island, but Kuroageha grabs his hand, stopping him. She tells Jinbei that he’s warm, but Jinbei thinks that she’s cold from the night air and says they should return. But Kuroageha asks him to stay like that for a while, holding his hand with both of hers and Jinbei tells her to hold on tight.

Tenma is watching them and doesn’t think that Jinbei should be holding a girl’s hand so late at night. He’s soon joined by Hibachi and Koikawa and Jinbei notices them. He jumps up, removing his hand from the disappointed Kuroageha’s grasp to introduce her to his comrades. As they return to their rooms, Hibachi apologizes to Kuroageha for interrupting them, but Kuroageha tells Hibachi that she’s having fun. Hibachi wonders what she meant by her earlier words of leaving Jinbei to her. Mugai watches them from a nearby rooftop.

Munenao receives word that the battleship has been completed. Jinbei, Kuroageha, and Oooka stay in hiding as the others do smaller tasks for them. Hibachi and Irori are finding a way into the castle. Koikawa and Tenma are gathering information in the town. Mugai is with Yamagatake and Bizen, as they try to get more help for the big operation the following day. Jinbei is frustrated and wants to help, causing Oooka to reprimand him again, before explaining the operation for the following day. But this is the fifth time that Oooka has gone over everything and Jinbei still doesn’t get it!

Sanada is very happy with his new battleship, and names it the “Black Butterfly”. He then orders Munenao to prepare a banquet to celebrate. Munenao reminds Sanada that he was to leave as soon as the ship was finished and asks him if he intends to break his promise again. But Sanada tells Munenao that he has broken his promise, for this is the tenth day and the intruders have not been brought to him. Sanada says that as he promised, he will leave after he kills everyone in Kishuu. He wants Munenao to gather all the citizens for the Insect-men’s feast. Juuzou asks Sanada if he can eat some “snacks” beforehand and looks at the shipbuilders. Sanada gives his permission and as he pulls Munenao away with him, the men’s screams can be heard as they are eaten.

Munenao thinks his situation is hopeless, but won’t go down without a final fight. However, Sanada already prepared for that and the army that had been locked up is also killed by his Insect-men. Munenao later finds their bodies and loses all hope. The citizens of Kishuu are gathered before the castle and Sanada announces that they will be punished for not catching the intruders within the ten days they had been given. Every last piece of the humans shall be eaten! Sanada raises his hand and gives the order for his insects to feed.

Pandemonium breaks out as one man yells for someone to save them. Jinbei answers his call as the City Patrol attacks the insects. Many of the lesser monsters are killed right away, saving the people as the stunned Insect-men watch. Sanada asks who they are and Jinbei calls out that they are the Insect Magistrate’s Office!


#20

Episode 19 –

spoiler

The citizens are truly happy to see that the Insect Magistrate’s Office is there. Oooka arrives and challenges Sanada to a fight, saying that they intend to kill him. However, Oooka is letting Sanada set the terms of the battle. But Sanada just says that they are interrupting his punishment of the people and that they will be eaten along with everyone else. The people begin to panic again as Sanada turns his back on them.

Jinbei yells out that Sanada is running away and that makes Sanada turn back. Jinbei adds in that he thinks Sanada is scared too, and that they can easily beat him. This makes Sanada laugh, saying that he will tear Jinbei to shreds. However, he must let his retainers battle first, so they will have to defeat the Ten Crucifix Insects before fighting Sanada. Sanada signals the start of the battle and goes back inside the castle.

Oooka reviews the plan with everyone, and tells them that their deaths and those of the people of Kishuu are irrelevant as long as the Snow Group can complete its mission. The group is immediately hit with illusion magic and Oooka tells everyone to stay together as they proceed, but of course, Jinbei soon finds himself alone. While he searches for his lost friends, he instead finds Nedzu, the Insect-man from the fight at the gate. Nedzu insists on fighting underwater and I’m not sure how Jinbei will handle that.

Jinbei needs to hold his breath as well as find some kind of footing for his sword swing. He allows Nedzu to back him against a wall and he’s able to get in a good strike. However, Nedzu releases his eggs again and this time they hatch! Double gross! The baby bugs attack Jinbei and the water grows murky. I can’t see what happened! Meanwhile, the others come upon Saizou, the leader of the Ten Crucifix Insects. Hibachi chooses him as her opponent, since they are both of the Iga. The others move on.

Jinbei is still underwater and covered in those baby bugs. He uses his Fuji Hammer which kills the baby bugs, removes all the water from the artificial lake, and throws Nedzu into a wall. Jinbei catches his breath as Nedzu seemingly breathes his last. However, Nedzu’s shell hardens and cracks open, revealing Nedzu in his true form. He vows to kill himself for showing his true form, but intends to take Jinbei with him, and their fight continues. Nedzu still has a few tricks up his claw, as he shows Jinbei that he can control water and attacking Jinbei with it. Jinbei runs up from the lakebed, and up a tree onto a nearby roof. But Nedzu claims that Jinbei will never escape his secret technique – Water God’s Army. Jinbei is hit and thrown back towards the lakebed to be sliced with Nedzu’s claw.

Kuroageha and her group are still heading to the secret well, but she feels something is wrong with Jinbei. And that’s because Jinbei’s face is currently under Nedzu’s foot. Nedzu complains about the vain samurai that exist today and is glad Jinbei isn’t like that. Jinbei gave him a good fight and Nedzu will give him a good death. Jinbei is soon underwater again and remembers a conversation with his father.

Nedzu summons up the Water God’s Army again and hits Jinbei with it. However, Nedzu is surprised to see that Jinbei is still alive within the water. Apparently, Jinbei just learned Mt. Fuji Storm! This controls flow and Jinbei uses it against the Water God’s Army to attack Nedzu with his own technique. Jinbei delivers the finishing strike – Rising Dragon – and Nedzu is defeated. He warns Jinbei that there are others stronger than he was, since he is only sixth among the Ten Crucifix Insects. Jinbei compliments Nedzu’s fighting skills, saying that he still has much to learn, and excuses himself to go find his friends. Nedzu apologizes to his master and dies. In his search to find his friends, Jinbei comes upon Hibachi and Saizou and it looks like Hibachi is about to be defeated!