At the risk of sounding morbid, it was nice to be back in the Feudal Era with our heroes solving gruesome demon murders. Yashahime Episode 5 is very satisfying and feels as though the show has settled into itself at last. The anime from studio Sunrise serves as a sequel to the beloved Inuyasha anime, which was based on the manga by Rumiko Takahashi. It follows the descendants of the previous cast, namely daughters Towa, Setsuna, and Moroha.
Now back home, Setsuna is ready to take on another case as a Demon Slayer. Kohaku assigns her to investigate a series of deaths that leave the bodies with their skeletons removed. Towa excitedly insists upon going along, with the hopes that she can track down the Dream Butterfly along the way. Setsuna and Towa ride off with Kirara, slightly bickering along the way. It is nice, for being separated for ten years the two really feel like sisters.
Elsewhere, Moroha is trying to claim her reward for the latest bounty. Turns out, she is in debt and sets out to get the head of a demon she may-or-may-not have slain in the past. She is accompanied by a familiar face: Myoga the flea. The demon Tokotsu was one of the Four Perils who work for Kirinmaru, and he was also the demon Moroha swiped the red Rainbow Pearl from. Jakotsumaru, his son, is trying to bring him back by collecting bones for his body. It looks like the three girls may fall into the request from The Tree of Ages whether they want to or not. Cute raccoon dog demon Takechiyo is also introduced briefly and filled the Shippo-shaped hole in some nostalgic viewer’s hearts.
Yashahime Episode 5 allows the group dynamic to settle in. Moroha and Setsuna were raised in the Feudal Era, and have no qualms with fighting. In contrast, Towa wants to give all creatures the benefit of the doubt. Setsuna even calls her out on her naive goal of “no killing.” Towa is an absolute gem of a character in this episode. The writing doesn’t set her up to be unintelligent, but survival by killing has never been something she’s had to experience before. It adds humor to the fight scene, on top of Moroha’s general antics. (Moroha has a fun moment in this fight, but that is all that shall be said to avoid spoilers.)
The other surprising shift is that even though questions aren’t answered, it seems less distracting than in previous episodes. Maybe it is because I have adjusted to it. More likely, it is because the show is focusing on the main cast and not constantly bringing the missing characters up. It also doesn’t bring up the past in situations where it feels odd for questions to not be asked. When Myoga drops hints and boasts about Kagome and Inuyasha’s genes in Moroha, it makes sense that he is comically brushed off by her. The show also compensates by illustrating how Moroha is almost more connected with her grandfather in terms of power. Yashahime Episode 5 again ends on a question, teasing a shot of Miroku, but for once I have faith that it is going to be explained soon?
The animation of Yashahime manages to succeed in making Kirinmaru’s work eerie but not gory. There isn’t a lot of blood, but the fluid animation induces a shudder when a skeleton is pulled out of a man. Same for when Kohaku is showing Setsuna the empty skins in the beginning.
Yashahime Episode 5 feels like a jump in the right direction after slowing down in previous weeks. A nostalgia-inducing battle brings out the best in the ladies, as well as a satisfying group dynamic. There are still a lot of questions, but the show seems to know now that the time to answer them should be sooner rather than later.
Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon is now streaming on Crunchyroll and Hulu.