Whoa whoa whoa… the Priestess Princess might really be in love with the worn-out and weary Kambei instead of the passionate and idealistic Katushiro? Well, that’s honestly a twist I wasn’t expecting, at all (though it probably does make a lot more sense if you go back and pay attention to who her little charm actually pointed to). I guess that notion about girls being more into seasoned older guys than “silly boys” applies just as well in fantasy alt histories.
With each successive episode, this toon’s truly seems like an archetypal myth that’s been re-fashioned into a realer story with realer characters and realer points to make. Katsushiro and Ukyo, in particular, have become much better realized; both on their own and in their somewhat-removed relationship to one another. I’ve waxed rhapsodic about Ukyo’s evolution at length, already; this time, the rhapsody's for Katsuhiro.
I especially enjoy how this all centers on this rookie seeing through Ukyo’s bullshit immediately, but then getting so carried away with the resultant righteous indignation that he starts making some really rash decisions. It’s not the he’s wrong, necessarily, but it’s a bit like those Rush “New World Man” lyrics. He’s old enough to know what’s right, but he still hasn’t made the mistakes which would teach him what to do with that rightness.
Oh man, it’s like we’re seeing the origin stories of an iconic hero and villain unfolding here! I could see this being the backstory of two adversaries who’ll be feuding for years and years. Or for minutes and minutes, at least. We’ve only got four episode left, so they’re going to have to tie up their blood debt mighty quick, now.
Actually, on that note - - PREDICTION! The remaining samurai are going to fall into the clutches of Ukyo’s forces, and Katsuhiro’s going to reappear at the last moment to save them. He’ll cut Ukyo’s head off, find that his girlfriend’s chosen his sensei while he’s been gone and then, with integrity intact, he’ll wander off into the sunset, beginning his life as a lonely, wandering warrior.
You can see that, right?