Shikizakura ep 9: The Heart’s wishes

Shikizakura is heading towards the end of the season, with tension at an all-time high and Kakeru got dealt a huge blow both physically and mentally. Oka seemingly resigned herself to the fate of the Shrine Maiden. And the shadows lurking behind Shikizakura ritual is beginning to move…

And the gig’s up. The Midnight Sun – aka the White Team – is disbanded. Ryo is a formidable warrior so he stay with the Black Team as well as Kaede. Kakeru got yeeted by one of the Shinjas and his henshin crystal got cracked. That means Ibara’s silenced and he couldn’t transform anymore. But by doing so, it might have “unlocked” Ibara’s memory and Kakeru begin to “dream” about the past of the Oni. It’s quite a typical story where the Oni came to eat the girl, got imprisoned and slowly warmed up to the human that he stayed with. Ibara’s Oni design wasn’t stellar actually, he looks like a brat infected with the Extremist virus. But hey, the samurai that took him in was pretty badass. He must be one of the Myojin clan’s predecessor since his daughter was the Shrine Maiden. And that masked samurai that wanted to capture her is obviously related to Ukon, and he’s showing his true color now. With a twist, he might be on the good side but maybeeee not?

Kakeru here acting like a true-blue hero and Kamen Rider. Even without his power, he still wishes to protect Oka and fulfil her wishes. Even though his insecurities, confusion and helplessness just grew ever larger, he still want to be there for her. But Kakeru is pretty much a “normal” boy now, he can’t henshin, he can’t fight, but hey, at least he’s loaded. My boy took Oka out for a date she’ll never forget. But in the end, they had to talk about the ritual anyway. Oka has resigned herself to being the sacrifice while Kakeru absolutely object to it. The usual heroism that we often see in other superhero series show itself again: Even if it’s to save mankind, it’s not right to sacrifice yourself. Basically, the optimism required in a hero is to save everyone without sacrificing a life. However, up until this point, we haven’t seen any indication of it being possible or even for a Shinja to be “saved”. Therefore, this might end quite…badly.

Oka and Kakeru was very cute in this episode. But I do feel for Kakeru since not long after he was given the ability to become a hero and managed to convince an Oni to help him, he lost it all. He has basically reverted back to the kid he was years ago when he was powerless and couldn’t do anything. Will Ibara come back? Or will the ritual still proceed as it has been for generation and steal the life of our heroine?