The sixth episode of SENRAN KAGURA SHINOVI MASTER recounts Asuka and Yumi’s final battle from Shinovi Versus, hence the name of this episode. The plot also progresses in the present, with Asuka and Yumi fighting Gekkou and Senkou.
Oh, and as per usual:
First things first, a flashback to the end of Shinovi Versus, if I recall correctly. Both Asuka and Yumi are good ninjas, but Yumi had a strictly black-and-white view of the world. Of course, Asuka associated with Homura, which went against everything Yumi knew. This led to Asuka and Yumi fighting.
Back to the present, and Asuka and Yumi are ready to fight Fubuki, Gekkou and Senkou. Asuka knows more about the whole situation then she is letting on, but decides to keep that information withheld until after she and Yumi win.
Asuka takes on Senkou, whilst Yumi fights Gekkou. As Asuka fights, she realises that Gekkou and Senkou are being used. Yumi clash against Gekkou also has a clash of values – Gekkou has the same black and white views of shinobi that Yumi had before Asuka opened her eyes.
Behind the scenes, Suzune and Homura’s Crimson Squad take a few moments to try and decide the best course of action to take concerning the youma that is guarding the captive Hanzo shinobi. They decide to sneak up on it, using the air vents.
Asuka and Yumi continue to fight. Yumi realises that Gekkou is just how she was in the past, and of course the flashback from earlier continues. Yumi insists that she and Asuka continue fighting until one dies, but her grandfather, Kurokage, stopped their fight.
Returning to the present again, Gekkou goes on about how great Kurokage was, and Yumi agrees. However, what Gekkou and Senkou missed out on was Kurokage’s final lesson.
The air vent that Homura’s Crimson Squad are crawling through gives way, and they end up landing on top of the Hebijo shinobi. Suzune quickly calls for a change of plans, and has Homura’s Crimson Squad work together with Hebijo to rescue the Hanzo students.
They approach the youma, and discover that it is capable of human speech.
Back to Yumi and Asuka’s fight, and they bring it to a close. Asuka takes an attack from Senkou, but uses that to grab her and throw her at Gekkou. Yumi then finishes the battle. With Gekkou and Senkou defeated, Yumi tells them Kurokage’s last lesson: become the justice of the moon.
Yumi then says that she will fight Fubuki. That was the very thing that Asuka was trying to prevent – however, she can’t do anything as the battle with Gekkou and Senkou has left her exhausted.
Going into this episode, I was somewhat worried that it would mostly just be a recap of Shinovi Versus – turns out I was only half right. At least the plot did progress a little, even if it was only to show Asuka and Yumi’s victory against Gekkou and Senkou.
Anybody who has played Shinovi Versus will already be familiar with Asuka and Yumi’s last fight, as well as the final lesson Kurokage has for Yumi.
The fight in this episode was decent enough. Not a big fan of Asuka just not communicating with everyone else, particularly as she knows about Fubuki. I guess the only way to justify that is that Fubuki threatened to harm the captive Hanzo shinobi if she said anything to anyone else.
However, Asuka is a ninja. There are subtle ways for them to communicate. Then again, Homura figured that there was something not quite right with Asuka when they fought.
I could try to justify it, but it is still a case of poor communication – something that causes a lot of problems in all sorts of media…
It also seems like the conflict between Fubuki and Yumi will reach its climax in the next episode, which presumably means that the youma will take over as the main threat for the second half of the season. That’s just a guess on my part, so we’ll just have to wait and see.
As for what I think about this whole episode: it was all right, I suppose. It had its moments, but maybe dwelled a bit too long on the past.