In episode 17 of Katana Maidens, Kanami and Hiyori meet with a familiar face. They are also introduced to someone else, and some light is shed on the situation that the Toji currently find themselves facing.
The episode begins with a reunion between Suzuka and Maki. Suzuka slaps Maki for going off and fighting alone, but ultimately she is relieved to have her back. After that, Akane says that Kanami, Hiyori, Suzuka and Maki will be accompanying her to visit Yukari Origami.
On the way to meet Yukari, Kanami and Hiyori talk. Hiyori is unsure about seeing Yukari, whereas Kanami just wants to fight her again. Those two aren’t the only ones who have a chat.
Maki and Suzuka talk, and those two are a little unsure about seeing Yukari again as well. They also say why they accepted the aradama in the first place; for Maki, it was simply because she wanted more power. Suzuka, on the other hand, wanted to keep up with a certain someone. Seems like Maki is pretty dense when it comes to that type of thing, though.
Meanwhile, at Ayanokouji, Ayumu is being interviewed. It is for a place in the imperial army, which will involve taking strengthening drugs. Ayumu is keen to get stronger, and makes it known. After the interview, however, Yuzuki rejects her – though she may be working with Princess Tagitsu, she does care for her students.
Going back to the main focus of this episode, Yukari finally appears. With everyone gathered, she explains that the aradama cast her off when she was defeated by Kanami and Hiyori during their previous encounter – Kanami compares her to a lizard’s tail.
Yukari isn’t the only one that the girls are there to meet though.
Alongside Yukari Origami, one third of Princess Tagitsu is being kept on board the submarine: Princess Ichikishima. This piece of the great aradama seems to be rather pessimistic – she immediately assumes that Kanami and Hiyori are there to destroy her.
It is now time for exposition. When it comes down to it, the aradama known as Princess Tagitsu became intelligent enough to a point that it developed certain emotions towards humans. These emotions were in conflict with each other, so it split into three: Princesses Tagitsu, Takiri and Ichikishima.
Princess Tagitsu wants to retaliate against humans, as she was born from the feelings of anger and resentment. Princess Takiri wants to dominate, control and guide humans. Princess Ichikishima wants to evolve the human species by combining them with aradama – something we have seen with the elite guard.
The three parts of the great aradama are in conflict – whoever wins will be able to reclaim their true form, which is waiting in the netherworld.
After learning all that, Yukari invites Kanami and Hiyori for tea. Kanami is ready to forgive Yukari for what she has done, but Hiyori has no such intention. Yukari then tells them that she allowed Princess Tagitsu to assimilate her in order to save her friends. Yukari also mentions that Kanami and Hiyori’s okatana, Chidori and Kogarasumu, may exist simultaneously in both the normal world and the netherworld. That may just be key to defeating Princess Tagitsu’s true form…
Returning to Ayanokouji once more, it looks like Yuzuki is content to let her students go about with their normal everyday lives after the imperial guard reviews. Then Yomi shows up and cuts them all down, which presumably means the only way to ensure they live is to give them the strengthening drugs and make them part of the imperial guard.
The episode ends with the creation of an imperial guard for Princess Tagitsu. Ayumu happens to be part of that guard – she was in the group that Yomi cut down. It is also clear that Yuzuki is not pleased with this development.
After this episode, I’m liking Suzuka and Maki more than I did before. There wasn’t really much to them during the first cour, where they were pretty much just played the role of elite guards and not much else.
Here, however, we see that Suzuka genuinely cares for Maki – and, as far as I am concerned, is in love with her. Maki doesn’t seem to realise that. I still wouldn’t call either of them my favourite member of the elite guard, but I find myself liking them a lot more lately.
Talking of my favourite member of the elite guard, Yume was mentioned a lot in this episode. At this point, it seems very likely that she is dead for real, but it is nice to see that her memory lives on.
As of this episode, we now have a clearer idea of what the great aradama seeks, though I do wonder if siding with any one of them is the wisest idea. Maybe the show will go down the ‘humans and aradama can co-exist’ route, but I feel it is just as possible that there may be betrayals in the near future.
The plot is steadily progressing, with various things revealed in this episode and a conflict set up for the very near future. Ayumu will no doubt find herself in conflict with Kanami – it will be interesting to see what she does when she discovers that someone she admires is her foe.