This was definitely the most emotionally turbulent episode to date and one of the most jarring moments in the series considering how things seemed so carefree among the brothers at the very beginning. As always, Tenka is three steps ahead of his brothers, already gone to his execution by the time Soramaru and Chutaro return home. The Orochi vessel must die, lest calamity befall the lands…
The episode dragged out Tenka’s execution and rearranged events to make his death the very last thing that kept us hung on the series. We got quite a bit of filler with Botan’s back story of the Orochi. Though useful in the story’s development, the back story seemed a bit tedious at such a suspenseful moment in the plot where Tenka is about to be executed. Like WOULD YOU ACTUALLY HAVE TIME to listen to this woman’s story if your beloved aniki was on his way to his death? Through the back story flashback we do get hints of who, or rather what, Botan is. We are shown the Kumo brothers’ ancestor fighting the Orochi as well as the appearance of another significant character who is closely tied to Botan.
“Even the beloved sun is alone if no one can reach it…” – Sousei
Of all the anime older siblings I’ve seen, Tenka is probably one of the best ones to date and one of my personal favourites. He’s tried so hard to make sure his brothers had a smiling childhood. He was there as their brother, their father, mother, role model and teacher. Not only did he juggle his duties as the Kumo family head, he also came to be beloved by the village people. At Tenka’s execution, not only do his younger brothers protest, but also the villagers and the other guards. The Yamainu – Sousei and Kiiko are particularly conflicted and frustrated about Tenka’s death because of their allegiance to their duties versus their history with Tenka.
Tenka shows, time and time again that he has enough strength to break out of the chains and escape by disarming guards and even breaking the chains in order to embrace his brothers. THIS MAN IS JUST WILLINGLY GOING TO HIS DEATH… but in the end he really can’t walk away without saying goodbye to his brothers. SO MANY FEELS. I CRIED SO MUCH when I read this in the manga and now it’s even worse with the voice-acting giving the dialogue live. I still think Tenka’s last monologue was more dramatic in the black and white snippet panels of the manga but the score really adds to the heavy drama.
“Don’t turn out like me. Cry… Yell… Act tough… Be proud of the way you live… LAUGH!”
THAT SINGLE TEAR TENKA SHEDS BEFORE HIS DEATH KILLS ME.
What are you pondering today?