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Review: Otome Yokai Zakuro Episode 13: The Rampaging Spirit and the Despicable Wuss

Quick Summary

In Otome Yokai Zakuro episode 13, “Brilliant Finale,” after seeing the Village of Oracles aflame, Omodaka rushed back with an unconscious Zakuro in his arms. Byakuroku’s concern for both Omodaka and her sister Daidai pushed her to decide to help Kei Agemaki and the others. She led them by the fastest path back to the Village. There, they found Omodaka’s minions dead and encased in webs — Rangui’s webs. But they didn’t immediately see Rangui. Where was she — had she retreated after setting fire to the village? And where was Daidai?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

What’s in This Post

3 Favorite Moments

Moment 1: Kei Seizes the Moment

Though her words sounds a little harsh (this is Zakuro we’re talking about!), I think her meaning was clear — and it wasn’t harsh at all. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Once again, the series has given me more favorite moments than I can share. Guess that keeps my posts more concise, huh?

Kei’s never had the best timing. Nor has he had the most courage. He’s not a coward at all — it’s just that spirits and things of a spiritual nature were difficult for him. So even getting to the Village of Oracles was a major step forward.

It was pretty amazing then that he didn’t even hesitate when it became clear that Rangui was going to slaughter Omodaka. Unfortunately, he unwittingly unleashed the full force of Rangui’s jealous fury when he said that saving Omodaka was something Zakuro would have done. Rangui, driven by jealousy-fueled hatred, lunged at Zakuro, who was still in a trance. Kei tried to get her out of the way, but he was too late. All he could do was get wrapped in the same spider’s web that Rangui used on Zakuro.

Rangui couldn’t eat them right away, even though that’s what she wanted to do. That’s because Bonbori, Ganryuu, Houzuki, Riken, and Susukihotaru doubled their attacks. Omodaka joined in with them, but Rangui countered all of their combined attacks. She had just consumed Omodaka’s minions and most of Daidai’s life force, so energy was at its peak.

Rangui was frighteningly strong — and very, very fast. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

What their attacks did do, however, was bolster Zakuro’s resolve. She wasn’t fully unconscious; she was just paralyzed. Yet she couldn’t quite throw off Omodaka’s spell. Until Kei spoke.

Seeing what looked to him like their impending death, he finally told Zakuro that he loved her (08:37).

That energy was enough to help her throw off the enchantment. Her response was exactly how I imagined Zakuro would respond under these circumstances: “Stupid. You’re supposed to wait until everything’s been taken care of” (08:46). But I think he knew — or at least strongly suspected — what she really meant.

Moment 2: A Well-Received Promise

Bonbori and Houzuki seemed almost surprised by Ganryuu’s answer. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

After their successful return from the Village of Oracles, Amaryouju and Kushimatsu greeted them with some shocking news: the military had decided to disband the Ministry of Spirit Affairs. Amaryouju and Kushimatsu intended to continue their part of the work, which meant they were going to count on Bonbori, Houzuki, and Susukihotaru. But the soldiers were going to be reassigned.

They all took the news hard. But Bonbori and Houzuki seemed hardest hit. Maybe it was because they’re also so cheerful and optimistic, but their usual demeanor’s contrast with their tear-stained faces and almost childish attempts to run away was stark. As soon as they heard the news, they dashed out of the room. Ganryuu had to go searching for them.

They were “hiding” in a tree. They looked so upset that he tried to comfort him by saying that he would come to visit. But that wasn’t nearly enough for them. They were so playful about their feelings for him throughout the series that sometimes it was hard to tell if they were serious or just teasing, but now that he was about to leave, it was clear.

Bonbori and Houzuki were very upset that Ganryuu was about to leave. They almost switched to passive/aggressive personalities — and that was hard to see in such otherwise optimistic characters. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

They really liked him.

So both of them made it clear that they didn’t want just a visit, so he relented, straightened his back, and said (18:00), “I will come for you.”

That wasn’t enough, either. Houzuki asked if he would come for her or for Bonbori. Ganryuu had grown through the series, though, and despite some earlier surprise at the extent of their togetherness, he had come to understand and embrace it.

He said (18:08), “For both of you.”

Judging by how quickly both of them threw themselves out of the tree and onto him, they were very happy with his answer.

Moment 3: Zakuro’s Reluctant Confession

Zakuro finally told Kei how she felt — and it wasn’t easy for her. She went through a lot in this series. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Remember when Zakuro told Kei he should have waited to tell her he loved her “until everything’s been taken care of?”

Kei remembered!

As Ganryuu was talking to Bonbori and Houzuki, Kei was talking to Zakuro. She mentioned that she’d been scared during their battle in the Village of Oracles. He expressed surprise that she even knew what fear was, which prompted her to say (19:05), “You were such a wuss that I had to man up!”

In response to his apology, she softened and eventually told him that when she was with him, she felt like there was nothing to be scared of. Like any normal human male, he took that as a good sign, and he told her again that he loved her.

He was not expecting her explosion of temper. She said he was despicable; she told him he had terrible timing. So, also like any normal human male (well, at least the one who make any attempt to read the other’s emotions), he assumed she was rejecting him. In fact, he deflated entirely, which shocked her — and seemed to make her even more angry.

Kei was not expecting Zakuro to respond so angrily when he told her he loved her again. I kinda felt sorry for the guy! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

“Shouldn’t you know how I feel by now?” she asked angrily (20:20) — which was an entirely “Zakuro” thing to do. His answer was a perfectly “Kei” sort of answer, which boiled down to him saying that yes, he knew how she felt — namely, that she felt he was despicable and a wuss.

In exasperation, Zakuro stood up, faced away from him as if she couldn’t bear to look at him as she spoke. And in the thirteenth episode, after myriad battles and machinations to keep them apart, Zakuro finally said the words.

“I also… love you” (20:36).

It was hard for her. But because of her relationship with him, she could finally not only admit those feelings, but say them out loud. Since so much of this series was her story, I thought it was wonderful she had grown this much while maintaining her characteristic strength and determination.

Thoughts

Did you hear Rangui start to sing the Half-Spirts’ battle song (“Am I a flower…”) in a minor key (02:51)? Talk about creepy!

Omodaka’s reaction to hearing Rangui’s song was about the same as mine! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

This series caught and captured my attention for a lot of reasons. I like its perspective on alternatives to violence, as I discussed in my Thoughts for episode 12. I liked the love story that unfolded between Kei and Zakuro, not to mention Riken and Susukihotaru and Bonbori, Houzuki, and Ganryuu. I also liked the world, with its collision between Westernization and the older spirit realm. But what I might have liked the most is how it talked about how we treat one another.

Zakuro, Bonbori, Houzuki, and Susukihotaru are our positive example. Between the environment that Amaryouju and Kushimatsu created and the support that gave one another, they grew up loved and cared for. While they all experienced trauma in their pasts, they had the support structures, including friends close enough to be family, to help them work through it. By the time Kei, Riken, and Ganryuu entered the picture, they met independent and strong half-spirits who were equal partners — in fact, they sometimes exceeded their military counterparts in capabilities and leadership.

Contrast that to the world of Byakuroku and Daidai. On one hand, they see how half-spirits are brutalized on a daily basis. They probably felt lucky in that they get decent clothes and food. Plus, they get to interact with Omodaka and Rangui, who are clearly the leaders in the Village of Oracles. So at least they’re not held in dark and dank cells. Yet, they aren’t consulted as trusted advisors. They’re certainly not friends or family. Just look at how Rangui treated Byakuroku’s wounds back in episode 8. Rangui slapped some healing talismans on Byakuroku, then left her cold and naked on the floor.

Rangui tried to consume Daidai. That pretty much summed up how half-spirits were treated in that world. That kind of thing would have a profound impact on one’s psyche… Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Or look at how Byakuroku reacted when she asked why our heroes trusted her to lead them to the Village of Oracles (01:48). Their trust was clearly bothering her. Why didn’t they think she would betray them? The warm response she got from Bonbori, Houzuki, and Susukihotaru was outside of her experience. She almost couldn’t frame their response. She had no similar experiences in her past to compare it to.

Byakuroku got a relatively happy ending. She apparently had saved Omodaka, or he had saved her, or they together decided to save each other from the flaming village. And that was happy, as far as it went. But what happened to the other half-spirits females that Daidai had freed? What happened to the male half-spirits whose nature Zakuro finally recognized?

The show didn’t give us a nice and tidy resolution for the problem of those in a position of power or economic advantage treating others poorly. That’s probably a good thing, because just as in real life, the problem hasn’t gone away. Dramatizing the lives of the Ministry of Spirit Affairs gave us a positive model, and the show did a good job of generating sympathy for those who were mistreated by giving us two attractive and sympathetic characters in Byakuroku and Daidai. I talked about that idea in my review for CubexCursedxCurious Episode 1’s Thoughts section.

I still hold out a little hope — or maybe it’s an aspiration — that fiction that introduce us to ideas we might not otherwise have thought of. And in doing so, help us decide to make the world, or at least our little part of it, a little better.

I hope you enjoyed reading these reviews as much as I liked writing them!

What did you think of the closing episode? What were your favorite moments? Let me know in the comments!

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