After a weeklong personal break, I bring you a review of episodes three and four of Zoku Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru!
Of course, we get a small scene were Kashuu Kiyomitsu is training alone and it seems that he hasn’t been sent out into the field in a while and is starting to feel down about it. Unfortunately, Kashuu is greatly overshadowed this episode by the introduction of the newest sword, Taikogane Sadamune.
Taikogane Sadamune (aka Sada-chan) is one of a few swords that was previously owned by the Date Clan and has a good relationship with the other two Date swords, Shokudaikiri Mitsutada and Ookurikara. Thanks to Tsurumaru, another Date sword, they alongside a handful of the other swords in the citadel compete in a Sports Festival. The interactions between the other trios are very entertaining. We once again get to see the Three Spears and their ridiculous tower fail once again.
Despite the best efforts of Sada, Mitsutada, and Ookurikara, they lose the Sports Festival to the Oda Nobunaga swords. It was a really sweet episode showcasing the relationships between the swords while showing a softer side to Ookurikara, who is typically a loner and hardly smiles (except when it comes to anything that has to do with Sadamune because he’s a ball of sunshine).
In episode four we are introduced to another tantou, Fudou Yukimitsu, but his relationship with the Oda Nobunaga swords isn’t all sunshine and rainbows like the previous swords. Fudou seems to have a lot of issues when it comes to the fact that he couldn’t protect Oda Nobunaga, and as repercussion of these deep seeded issues, now drinks to forget them all.
You guys thought this show was just for laughs but Hanamaru can touch on the sadness within the swords very well, they just balance the rest of the episode with something humorous to make it less painful at the end. He of course clashes heads with the straight-laced Heshikiri Hasebe but thanks to actually talking it out, unlike the stage play, the two come to a mutual understanding. For now that is.
I felt that the story behind Fudou’s depression and unwillingness to be accepted by the citadel for being a useless sword made this a much stronger episode. Especially, since this is a brand new sword and we have no prior knowledge about him and he immediately takes your heart away with his somber story. Combined with him butting heads with Hasebe due to his inability to understand him because he was too blinded by his own perspective on Oda Nobunaga.
Finally, just as fans predicted it seems that next episode we will see the return of Yamatonokami Yasusada. We catch a small glimpses of him dressed in the travel garb as he is on his way back home to the citadel. But will he be the same Yamatonokami Yasusada that we knew? If so, how will Kashuu deal with the change in his partner? We’ll just have to watch the next episode to find out.