Sunday, January 31, 2021

“YASHAHIME: PRINCESS HALF-DEMON” Ep17: Heroines Closer to Fated Encounter with KIRINMARU


It is close to four months now since Japanese anime studio Sunrise unleashed “Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon,” the next-generation sequel series to iconic anime “Inuyasha,” based on the long-running manga by “Ranma ½” creator Rumiko Takahashi. Longtime fans of the franchise have followed the adventures of twin half-demons Towa and Setsuna and their quarter-demon cousin Moroha in Feudal Japan. With the 20-episode mark close, they are also getting closer to answers regarding Setsuna’s lost memories and Moroha’s missing parents (Inuyasha and Kagome). But the hostile forces around enigmatic demon lord Kirinmaru will not let them proceed any further than they have.

The stakes have never been higher than in “Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon” episode 17, “Trap of the Two Perils” which was released Saturday last month, January 30. With only two left among Kirinmaru’s original subordinates the Four Terrors, it seems the trio of Towa, Setsuna and Moroha are unwittingly about to fulfill the prophecy that the demon lord Kirinmaru will die by the hand of “one neither human nor demon.” Kirinmaru’s half-sister Zero believes that pertains to human-demon half-breeds like the aforementioned girls. Having failed to kill Towa and Setsuna, the twins of Sesshoumaru, when they were still children, Zero looks to try again with the remaining Terrors Konton and Totetsu.

Again involved in the complex behind-the-back plotting is the “pirate” Riku, whom as already seen in flashbacks from previous episodes, is remarkably un-aging for a human. He has volunteered to lure the half-demon princesses to Konton’s magical trap using Totetsu as a patsy target for the girls. Meanwhile, Towa and Setsuna are no further to finding Mount Musubi where the dream butterfly that took Setsuna’s memories might be found. The former again grouses at how her amnesiac sister still cares nothing for her missing past. At the same time Moroha is still stuck with trying to clear her unending debt.

While seemingly becoming formula since the episode count went into the 10s, again the trio is suckered into doing coming along with Riku, despite whatever misgivings they have about him. Sure enough, they encounter Totetsu and pursue him into a ravine where the effects of Konton’s magical formation lie in ambush. In effect Towa and Setsuna are separated from Moroha, each grouping trapped in an illusion environment where they seemingly cannot escape. The former two find themselves wandering a field towards a tree that remains out of reach, while Moroha finds herself endless climbing up the walls of the ravine.

Over with Sesshoumaru’s twins, there is again palpable tension with how differently the modern day-raised Towa and the feudal-living Setsuna see things about their environment. Fortunately Towa manages to prove that her 21st Century education is able to figure out how illusions like Konton’s might work. That, plus her and Setsuna’s growing use of their inherited dog-demon traits, enable them to break free of the illusion and confront Konton himself. And as the next-episode preview spoils, Kirinmaru will finally show up on the battlefield along with the twins’ unmet father (and ensemble dark horse from classic “Inuyasha”) Sesshoumaru. How will this “first meeting” play out?

“Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon” airs weekly on NNS in Japan, while international distribution is handled by Viz Media through anime platform Crunchyroll, streaming service Hulu, and Funimation, which has partnered with Viz to produce an official English dub that began releasing last November 2020. Meanwhile, Medialink has rights for airing the series in Southeast Asia, which can be watched via the YouTubechannel of Ani-One Asia, available in that region only.

Image courtesy of OtakuKart

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