Shikizakura ep 8: Betrayal

More than half a season in, we finally get a Ryo-focused episode, but my boy didn’t get the “happy” ending he deserved, but just more and more suffering that descended on him out of nowhere. It’s hard to imagine the man who channeled the SUPAIDAMAN last episode would be treated as such.

We got to see Ryo’s backstory. Can’t say I am very surprise since it’s pretty standard for an anime backstory. Ryo must have loved and idolized his father as an Oni-slayer. And we found out that he of course isn’t as stone-cold as we thought he was (well last episode pretty much confirmed it already). Surely anyone would be rattled and impatient if their father’s killer are emerging again after a few years. Though Ryo’s quite cool-headed when Benio order him to stand back. Well he was straining himself but still.

Then came the twist. I thought it was weird that Ryo’s mom was eating so much food. But I initially dismissed it as just a gag played for laughs at the expense of a funny mother, but nope. The plot turned out much more disastrous for our green boy when he found out that his mother has been dead for 5 years since that day, and the person who he call “Mom” now is just an Oni that killed both his parents. It is pretty devastating when he think back to all those memories for the past years and realize they were all lies that the Shinja fed him. Even so, he couldn’t dismiss all of that as lies…

And Kakeru came in for the save. Now that Ryo think about it, Kakeru is also in a similar situation to his, albeit there are differences. But both has experienced loss and grief beyond imagination. So when Kakeru tell him to stand up, Ryo has found his own strength to rise up once again. Gotta say, Kakeru’s energy is quite contagious, from Kaede issue to Oka and now to Ryo, the boy just plowed through them all with steadfast determination and never looked back. He took a stab from Ryo but still clear-headed enough to preach him. Thanks to him, Ryo got an upgrade form and proceed so slice and dice the Shinja that caused him so much despair.

Pretty interesting episode showing how even the Oni-slayer can be corrupted and destroyed from the inside out. Phenomenal fight scene this episode, Ryo sure put his upgraded suit to use. He’s definitely reminiscent of Dan Moroboshi – specifically, the one from the new Eichi Shimizu manga. Twin swords, throwing knives and shoulder Slicers/Sluggers, he’s definitely one of the better designed suit in the series. Upcoming episodes might be much more dramatic since the organization might have been infiltrated since if you think about it, the fact that a Shinja being the head honcho’s secretary for 5 years might have raised some flags, and the dandy guy’s weird smug at the end.