Shikabane Hime: Kuro – Episode 2 to… 11…
TAAN: Yes, I really suck at getting stuff done. I’m about a week late for the latest episode, and I’ve only gotten up to the second one. So anyways, here’s a (sort of) comprehensive summary of (practically) the entire second season of Shikabane Hime (so far). The episode breaks aren’t exact or clean. Now then, prepare for a massive Wall of Text (and some pictures).
Episode 3: Preparations for a Priest and a Corpse
In order to become a Kougonshuu Priest and help Makina and his dead brother, Ouri begins his training under Umehara again in Mt. Goryou. While he practices self defense, Makina undergoes the Enkiri ritual, a method of severing her ties with her old contractor, Keisei. The bond the two once shared turned into a curse, which gives her power at the expense of Ouri’s strength, and thus needed to be eliminated. A projection of her consciousness convinces her to break off the ritual in the middle and she escapes, more attached to Keisei and against Ouri than ever. Later that night, Takamsa tries to remind Ouri that shikabane hime are no longer human and should be viewed that way no matter how human they appear. He then leaves Ouri alone, which Makina uses as a chance to kill him to keep her ties with Keisei. Rika and Saki save him, though. At the same time, the Shichisei send one of their members, Ena, to kill Makina.
Episode 4: The Differences Between a Human and a Shikabane Hime
After Makina was recaptured, Takamasa receives a call from the Kougonshuu about a corpse attack in the city. He and Ouri drive to the scene, and on the way, Takamasa tells Ouri that he’s going to prove that Shikabane Hime aren’t human anymore. After they leave, Makina is taken back by the Kougonshuu to be bound again since she has become a threat. On the way there, though, they run into a familiar face: Keisei. Back with Takamasa, in order to convince Ouri of his point, he tells him the story of his past, in particular when he first met Itsuki and later when his friend, Tomoharu, died and turned into a corpse. He was sent to stop his friend, but couldn’t order Itsuki to kill him, since they were all good friends from school. Because of his hesitation, Itsuki was blown up, but somehow survived, except temporarily had a monstrous form. While in this form, she wildly attacked Tomoharu, but Takamasa still didn’t want either to kill the other and jumped in the way. Tomoharu disappeared after that for four years. This incident left Takamasa scarred both emotionally and physically, and allowed him to view all corpses, including shikabane hime, as inhuman. It turns out he recited this story not just to teach Ouri about the true form of shikabane hime, but also because the corpse they were sent out to fight was the same friend that he had to fight four years ago. This time, though, he’s able to order Itsuki to kill him without hesitation.
Episode 5-7: The Shichisei Attack: Vs. Ena and Touya
The ensuing battle isn’t as simple as that though, Tomoharu binds Itsuki early on, giving him a chance to make a speech about following his nature suspiciously similar to the one the Shichisei did. Takamasa counters by saying that being human is suppressing one’s nature, and then frees itsuki with an arrow. The battle ends soon after that with Itsuki sustaining similar injuries to the last time, partly showing her monstrous form. After the battle is over, Fresh, Saki, and Rika come to tell them that Makina was taken back to the main temple, and that they met Keisei’s corpse on the way. Ouri tells the three to take him back to Mt/ Goryou once he hears this.
Meanwhile, several things are going on at the mountain. Kasuga arrives to look for Ouri since she’s obsessed with him and shikabane hime. Also, somewhere on the mountain, Makina is running from Keisei’s supposed corpse, who just knocked out some of her escort priests. She runs into the priests that were transporting her, but they’re all wrapped in delusions of their greatest happiness and die. It turns out that they were under the power of one of the Shichisei, the one with balloons for head(s) (Touya). Makina falls off a cliff after the Keisei corpse tells her that his regret was that he loved her. Then, Sadahiro and Akira show up at the right before Ouri, Rika, Saki, and Fresh do, and they have a little confrontation. Sadahiro explains that he’s only there to kill Keisei’s corpse, since it can only be a fake. He wants Ouri to turn back and lead a normal life, but the others want him to help Makina. They distract him while Ouri runs up the mountain to find Makina. Both sides are forced to retreat though when Touya’s balloons attack from above.
Ouri almost runs into Kasuga, but doesn’t since he’s completely focused on his search. The first one to find Makina though is the fake Keisei corpse, who is obviously Ena of the Shichisei. Makina also deduced something like this, but she still can’t allow herself to attack him. Instead, she allows herself to be attacked, but Ouri steps in before she actually gets hit. Ouri goes for a second attack, but Makina stops him which allows Ena to get away. He retreats to a pond and makes seven copies of Keisei by polluting the water. Then, he goes back to attack.
At the same time, Makina explains that the reason she doesn’t want Ouri to be her contracted priest is that she really killed Keisei because she didn’t allow him to be a corpse. Ouri explains that as an act of kindness and empathizes, and tells her (among other things) that she should keep her ties. This helps her come to terms with Ouri being her contractor, but Sadahiro appears out of nowhere and tells them that it’s impossible since Keisei’s Run(Rune?) and regrets would rot and corrupt Makina in the form of a curse. Ouri calls it a strength and says that with the power of all three of them, they can beat the Shichisei. The 7 Keiseis enter right at that moment, ready to torment them.
Ouri already resolved to take on the burden of killing all his brother’s copies so the others don’t have to and begins by stabbing the lead one through the throat. The other clones stop moving, but only until he gets close. It turns out they’re extra bodies Ena can switch to, but he can’t control all of them at once. Sadahiro explains this, and togetehr they take out all the extras so only the main one remains. Before they can kill him though, Touya appears and gives Ena his normal body to move into. In this form, his main form of attack is to use a bell spinning at high speeds as a projectile. Makina steps in and attacks, but destroys her gun. Instead, she grabs on to the bell and forces it to stop and crushes it. She’s only able to do this by draining Ouri’s Run to regenerate faster than the bell can shave her arms off. This causes both Ouri to receive extreme pain and Ena to go into a nervous breakdown. Makina finishes him off soon after that.
There’s still Touya to worry about though. He (well, she, but that’s a spoiler) meets up with Kasuga, who just became insanely jealous of both Ouri and Makina after watching them support each other. The sight of Touya drives her mad though, and she brainwashes her by reinforcing their shared ideology about death. She then attaches a balloon to her neck that gives her a NDE high. Back with Ouri, even though he just got his rune drained, he says he’s fine and will only need to get used to it. Sadahiro and Akira introduce themselves to Makina and tell her that their true target is the High Shinsou, and then leave before the others show up.
Later, during a meeting of the Kougonshuu priests, they are given the order to destroy the Shichisei from the spokesperson of the High Priest. Ouri questions the reason they give for the Shichisei’s attacks (a very daring move), but doesn’t really get anywhere. He kind of hints at his devotion to Makina though. After the meeting, he gets Keisei’s Zadan-scroll-infused robe from Rika to help with his training. He also learns that only the High Priest can create shikabane hime.
Things aren’t peaceful for long though. Kasuga returns to school looking overconfident and almost possessed. At the end of the day, she starts getting other people possessed by balloons and also turns one guy into a mass of balloons. The entire school is eventually possessed by balloons, which makes her own grow larger. Later, Makina and Ouri get back to their apartments after being away for so long. Ouri chats with Makina for a bit first and then returns to his own, where he’s “ambushed” by Kasuga. She literally throws herself on him, and his room starts exploding from the balloon. Ouri doesn’t immediately grasp the situation, but after his spectral cat “friend” pokes his eye to give him blood vision, he sees the balloon and figures she’s being controlled by the Shichisei. Kasuga’s friend steps in at this point and tries to get her back to normal, but it obviously doesn’t work. Instead, she escapes, and Ouri learns about the school and that Kasuga had a crush on him. Of course, he understands (Makina) and goes to the school to stop her. The other priests get worried about him since he’s out of contact and send Makina after him.
She arrives at the School to find Kasuga, who attaches a happiness balloon to her, too and leaves. Ouri arrives soon after and Makina tells him to go after the girl since she’s not actually dead yet, just controlled. Later, Makina struggles up to the school to find that it has been transformed into some kind of creepy amusement park, and with all the students hanging from their happiness balloons. She finds Touya and attacks her , but bursts some balloons in the process, revealing things called happiness monsters. They come from the balloons and kill their owners once they’re big enough, so they “die happy.” Makina is against this, but can’t really do anything at the moment. Ouri is also in the school/park, telling Kasuga to wake up while they go on various rides. Since his tactics obviously don’t work, he tries something different and starts breaking things. The school temporarily reverts back to normal when he does this, and he finds his friends also possessed by happiness balloons. Ouri sees the balloon over Kasuga’s head again and goes to attack it, but Kasuga yells at him to stop, since she’ll die if its broken. She becomes confused about whether she wants to die or not, and that confusion makes the school switch from normal to creepy park rapidly.
Touya notices this and goes to do something, but Makina destroys her own balloon to stop her. Her happiness monter takes the form of herself when she was a kid, but she ignores it to take on Touya which makes it turn into a giant blob with a mouth. She stuns it with her guns and uses it as a stepping stone to get to Touya, eventually knocking her down, only to discover that not only is she a girl, but a small kid in a big suit (if you notice, she never moved her limbs or anything). Another Shichisei, Hizuchi, appears behind her and explains that Touya was a poor girl who never experienced happiness until one day when her parrents took her to an amusement park for the first time and treated her well, as a final act before they committed suicide with her in a ferris wheel compartment. Since she only ever experienced happiness right before she died, she equated the two and thus her powers. Hizuchi then promptly knocks Makina out so that Touya can take her back to Hazama.
There’s trouble with Ouri, too. Kasuga’s balloon pops and her happiness monster emerges, ready to kill her and Ouri. It easily knocks asside Ouri, butbefore it can do anything, Hizuchi stops it and tells Ouri that he’s the child of a corpse. He then kills the monter and leaves. The monster was linked to Kasuga, though, so she dies too. Unfortunately (or fortunately) for her, she doesn’t becoem a corpse, meaning she can’t becoem a shikabane hime, either.
Meanwhile, at the Shichisei’s place, Hokuto is playing around, breaking machinery and tubing, and bleading profusely. Akasha is there, and same with the bug guy, Hazama. Their interest quickly turns to something Akasha has, a sutra from the Hoshimura family (Makina’s) that explains how to make shikabane hime. It turns out that their raid of the Hoshimuras that killed Makina was not only to make her into a corpse, but also to steal that sutra to turn Hokuto into a shikabane hime.
Episode 8-10: Oori’s Truth and the Shichisei’s Plan
Makina wakes up in some strange watery place in the Shichisei’s base. Hazama and Akasha talk about the sutra they stole where Akasha reveals that there was no instructions that could be used for Hokuto. Hazama tells him that’s why he kidnapped Makina. After being taunted a bit by Hazama, Makina realises that this is her chance to fight the Shichisei and destroy them. The first on her list, and the closest one to her happens to be Hokuto, who she immediately fights. Of course, Hokuto is able to just toss her around like it was nothing, but Makina doesn’t give up. Her fighting does have an effect on Ouri, though. He collapses in the middle of some training at the Kougonshuu temple and asks to go help her instead of train. Instead, they order an Enkiri on him, under the possibility that he’s a corpse. It turns out that a bunch of the higher-ups knew that he was the child of a corpse. Ouri starts remembering parts of his past once they call him this, mostly a bunch of dead children on the floor, and Keisei, Sadahiro, and Akasha fighting together against something. He’s then escorted out roughly by Takamasa. When they’re out of sight though, Itsuki knocks out some regular priests and Takamasa lets him go. Saki and Rika show up though, and try to prevent Ouri from leaving, believing that the Enkiri is for the best. Ouri escapes with the help of Takamasa and Itsuki, and Fresh appears to stop the fighting between them and Rika and Saki. Umehara appears with the Dai Soujo, who dismisses Ouri’s escape as a small issue and instead gives Takamasa a special mission to wipe out the Shichisei all at once.
At the Shichisei base, Hazana orders Hizuchi to kill Ouri, something Hazana’s wanted to do for some time. After he leaves, the rest review their plan of attack extremely ambiguously. Akasha watches and is happy that his wish is about to be fulfulled, but he worries about Hokuto for some reason. Hokuto, though, is just fine, fighting Makina. She keeps asking who Makina is, until she tells her that she’s her enemy. Hokuto then goes insane with happiness at being called that.
Ouri, in order to find out about himself, returns to the orphanage he stayed at to look for anything Keisei might have left. He meets the caretaker who tells him that there was a strange kidnapping case around the same time he was brought in. In the middle of their talk, one of the kids from the orphanage rushes in saying that another kid was kidnapped. Ouri’s spectral cat tells him that their brother is calling and reveals it’s multiple eyes again. That cat is awesome. Anyways, it leads him to the kidnapped children, where he finds Hizuchi waiting for him, calling him his brother. He says that he recreated all the events that happened when he was killed by Ouri’s mother. Apparently, she was the one who kidnapped kids all the kids, and they all died, but Ouri somehow didn’t. Ouri suddenly remembers bits and pieces about it, but still not everything. This drives Hizuchi mad and he creates a giant heap of random stuff (think Sho Minamimoto style) and lights it on fire. This final piece triggers Ouri’s memories completely.
Takamine happens to be explaining Ouri’s past to Rika ans Saki at the same time anyways, so we get his explanation. Basically, Ouri’s mother died regretting that she couldn’t see her unborn child. When she became a corpse, she tried to collect as many children as possible, looking for her own. Somehow, she couldn’t recognize Ouri as her son, so she kept kidnapping kids and left them all, including Ouri, to die. Then, one of the kids became a corpse who’s regret was that he couldn’t eat. He ate everything, including the bodies of the other children who were once his friends. That was Hizuchi, and he grew to hate Ouri because he was the onl one alive. The other kids also possessed Ouri, but didn’t become corpses. Instead, they took the form of a cat Ouri once had. Hizuchi grabs the cat and throws it at Ouri so that they can possess his body. It explodes into some kind of blob that engulfs him and knocks him into a nearby river. It re-emerges as a giant multi-mouthed blob with random fangs and claws over it and Ouri’s face in one of the mouths.
At the Shichisei’s base, Hokuto is still playing with Makina. After thoroughly beating Makina up, Hokuto loses interest in her again and goes to stare at the waterfall again. Akasha comes down to tell Makina why she can’t beat her. Hokuto was born and raised merely to be a sacrifice, so she was always stored away and never experienced anything. Because of this, she had neither regrets nor nature, so for her to destroy things is to understand them. Makina feels like she knows this somehow, and Hazama explains that it’s because Hokuto was part of the Hoshimura clan, meaning she is part of Makina’s ancestry. The only reason the Shichisei killed Makina in the first place was because she was the only suitable person to be Hokuto’s enemy, which would make Hokuto attack the Kougonshuu by association. Now that she has become her enemy, Makina is no longer useful to them, so Hokuto crushes her and tosses her into the water. Makina feels Ouri in pain though and gains new resolve to win and get out. She gets back to fighting and knocks Hokuto away just in time for members of the Kougonshuu to break in. Hazama and Akasha are forced to retreat with Hokuto, and Makina is able to go to Ouri.
Ouri, still engulfed by the blob of spirits, is spurred on by Hizuchi to eat the kids like his mother did. He resists at the last moment and instead throws himself on the burning heap. The spirits realize that Ouri was the same as them, only wanting to be loved, so they side with him against Hizuchi. Makina arrives in the middle of the battle and gets Ouri to decide to stay human by tossing his staff back to him. He absorbs all the spirits and his body returns to normal. Ouri and Makina defeat Hizuchi fairly quickly after that. They’re just in time to watch two planes crash into the city, though.
The crashes cause hundreds of thousands of deaths, creating far more corpses than the Kougonshuu can handle. It turns out this was the Shichisei’s real plan. The team attacking the Shichisei base was recalled immediately and the ones they were tracking got away. Under orders from the Dai Soujo, Takamine and Umehara go to round up as many shikabane hime and their priests as possible to go fight the corpses in the city rather than defend the temple. The Gon Dai Soujo also orders Sadahiro and Akira to guard the Joubou, the place where Makina was held. Meanwhile, corpses attack the Kougonshuu Orphanage, but Ouri and Makina fend them off. From there, Makina senses that Hokuto is going to the Joubou, and not the city.
At the Joubou, a the Shichisei attempt to enter, but are stopped by Sadahiro and Akira with a grenade launcher. Hazama takes near fatal damage, but is able to survive. Akasha and Hokuto are unharmed. Akira and Sadahiro manage to hold them off until Hokuto rushes in and they’re distracted by Ouri’s arrival. Along with Hokuto, the other two manage to get inside. Sadahiro and Akiha then turn their attention to Ouri and Makina and proceed to block their path. They explain that they’ve killed anyone who has come too close to discovering what shikabane hime are, which shocks Ouri but doesn’t deter him. Makina eventually forces her way through and Ouri follows later by attacking Sadahiro with a Zadan technique. It turns out Sadahiro let himself get hit though.
While all this is happening, the contracted priests and their shikabane hime desperately fight off all the corpses they find, unable to discriminate from the living and the dead. They’re also confronted by two of the Shichisei, Touya and the old guy. They tell them that the plane crashes were just to lure the priests away from the head temple and trap them in battle.
Inside the Joubou, the black ink drains away to reveal a staircase leading to an underground door. The Gon Dai Soujo and Honda (an ex-contracted priest) enter the door and arrive at a massive underground chamber with a bunch of coffins arranged in several circles on different tiers. The two of them are examining an important looking coffin but the three Shichisei arrive soon after. The Gon Dai Soujo uses a high level Zadan technique to act as a barrier, but Hokuto is able to charge through it unscathed and stab him due to a protective scroll from the Hoshimura clan. Akasha then orders her to destroy the coffin they were looking at. She does so by stabbing it, impaling the mummified body inside. It screams in pain, which seems to cause all the shikabane hime to loose their En, significantly weakening them.
Episode 11: Betrayal of the Betrayer Priest and the Secret of the Kougonshuu
It turns out that the body Hokuto pierced was the first shikabane hime, the daughter of the founder of the Kougonshuu. In fact, he created the process of creating shikabane hime as a way to revive her. As a result, only girls around her age can become shikabane hime. The Kougonshuu also kept her body, wrapping it with the sutra to create shikabane hime. They used it as a catalyst to connect priests and their shikabane hime. Since Houkuto just destroyed her body, and Akasha took the sutra wrapping her, that connection no longer exists. As Hazama explains, this means they will have to either die or become corpses. He also says that Akasha’s mission to search for the original sutra to turn Houkuto into a shikabane hime has become unnecessary, but Akasha has other plans. With the original in his hands, he wraps Hokuto with it (replacing the old scroll) and does something weird with his Zadan cube thing, turning her into his shikabane hime. Soon after, she kills Hazama, and Ouri arrives. Hokuto starts attacking her using infinite tentacle arms, but Makina is able to dodge for a while. he gets knocked into a pillar, but is saved by Ouri who uses a Zadan technique to blast Hokuto away. Akasha is surprised, so Ouri explains that it’s strength he’ll never know since he killed his shikabane hime. Akasha is pissed that Ouri doesn’t know what really happened and explains:
Years ago, Akasha fell in love with his childhood friend, Hibiki. However, Hibiki fas frail and died. Her last words was that she wanted to become his shikabane hime, so he pleaded to the Gon Soujo to do this. The Dai Soujo allowed this and Akasha and Hibiki became one of the top pairs, rivaling Takamine and Kamika. Unfortunately for them, Hazama lured them into a trap where them and a few other pairs had to fight against 200+ corpses. At the end of the battle, Hibiki killed over 108 corpses and Akasha was able to confront Hazama. Before he could do anything, Hibiki turned into a monster and slaughtered some of the priests and other shikabane hime. Akasha had to cut her in half himself to get her to stop. Later, she was wrapped in a sutra and placed in one of the coffins in the underground room. There, Honda and the Gon Dai Soujo explained to Akasha that shikabane hime who kill 108 corpses will have to be killed by “Observers” (like Sadahiro and Akira), and then will be put into those coffins. Eventually, they’ll revive as “Breakers,” who are immortal, so they are sealed within the coffins and their En is broken off to prevent any bad things from happening.
In the middle of this, the Gon Dai Soujo tries another Zadan tech, this time using his own blood, and causes a massive explosion. Honda takes Ouri and Makina and escapes outside, where he tells the second half of Akasha’s story (when they were talking to Akasha in the coffin room). He sees the hate in Ouri and Makina’s eyes and reminds him that this is why the Gon Dai Soujo tried to use shikabane hime as rarely as possible, so that they wouldn’t have to suffer an eternal living hell as breakers. Akasha reappears from the ruins of the Joubou with Hokuto at this point and the two pairs start fighting. Even so, their En is cut off so Makina is still weak and can’t heal. In the city, the other teams face the same problem, but realize that their En wasn’t their only connection (it was more of a catalyst anyways) and can still fight (yes, through the power of friendship). Ouri and Makina understand this, too, and Makina’s wounds start to heal.
TAAN: Actually, before the ratings, I have to clarify my rating system a bit. See, before, 7 was around average, 10 was excellent, and 0 would be something along the lines of worse than staring at Uboa for hours. 5 was “mediocre,” as innot very good, but not very bad. I guess you could say it’s literally half-bad. This didn’t make sense to me, so now 5 is average, 3 is mediocre (or half bad, if you prefer), 0 is really bad, 7 is really good, and 10 is perfect.
Anticipation Rating: 10/10