The girls start their journey, which just seems like an excuse to split them up and interact with even more of the characters in this world of a thousand (at times literally, it feels like) girls.
What They Say
During the last years of Han Dynasty, the world was filled with chaos and disorder. Three girls, Ryubi, Kan'u, and Chohi pledge to be blood-sisters in order to settle this world. After overcoming many hardships, they were finally able to bring back peace. However, a new evil creeps into their momentary peace. The battles of Muso girls are about to start once again.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
We open with a flashback apparently, with two lady generals fighting a losing battle against Kyoudo (whoever they are). The battle appears to have gone badly, and now the one with the glasses, Kaku, is remembering that sad time. She seems to be in better shape now, as she is serving the Emperor in the capital, as we learn from the evil eunuch Choujou. Put this down as another Plot Marker.
In other events, we see the various girls on their journeys, as they set out to get the ingredients for the cure for Kashin. Chouun and Bachou are together, and so are Ryuubi, Rin Rin, and Koumei. Along with a giant bento box. Rin Rin certainly likes her lunches, but... this one was not packed by her. Koumei gets suspicious when she learns that Rin Rin just picked it up. Koumei then tells the story of a demon who apparently hides in large wicker boxes and then attacks people. Going to grab some firewood to destroy the box, suddenly out pops Bachou's cousin Batai. She was trying to tag along on the trip, and she basically blackmails Rin Rin (because of an earlier incident) into helping her get the group's assent to come along, though Koumei wants her to return to the village, since that's where her cousin Bachou wanted her to stay.
They continue their trip to Suikyou's house in the mountains (with fog as always). Finally at Suikyou's house, Koumei sees Houtou again, her little foster-sister and fellow pupil of Suikyou. After their happy and cute little reunion dance, necessary to fill the cute quotient, Koumei discusses the purpose of her journey with her former teacher. Suikyou is quite willing to help them by giving them the belly button lint from a Nanban elephant (who thinks up of these things?), but when she goes to get it, she cannot seem to find it anywhere. Houtou looks rather worried, but says that everything is fine.
That night, Rin Rin, who cannot sleep because of a troubling dream, gets up to take a trip to the bathroom, but instead catches someone sneaking around the house at night. Capturing the prowler, it turns out to be Houtou, who was carrying a large sack of food. Asked for an explanation, she reveals that she was planning to travel far to the South to get the elephant belly button lint. Spilling the beans now, she reveals that while she was cleaning the storeroom one day, she saw the box that held the precious medicinal substance, opened it up out of curiosity, but wound up ruining the substance (a sneeze and a bucket of water will always wreak havoc upon a powdery substance, which this belly button lint appears to be). She was afraid of Houtou and Suikyou being angry, but instead they forgive her, and our heroines now decide there is nothing to do but set course for the distant south and try to acquire some belly button lint for themselves.
And so, they set forth again, at which point Rin Rin's guilty conscious gets the better of her. Seeing how lenient Koumei was when Houtou told the truth, Rin Rin decides to come clean about her own little secret, the one that Batai was using to blackmail her. Rin Rin, while chasing a pig in the house back home (why in the hell is she chasing a pig indoors?), accidentally broke Koumei's favorite inkstone. She is very sorry and begs Koumei to forgive her. Nothing doing there, apparently, as that was a gift from Suikyou that Koumei treasured greatly. Thus the episode ends with the two little girls chasing each other around while Ryuubi, claims the high ground and calls them such children (she may be physically fully mature, but Ryuubi has little claim to greater emotional maturity).
Kan'u and gang split up in order to collect the ingredients for the cure to Kashin's problem, revealed in the opening episode. We also get subtle hints that all is not well in the Imperial Capital. The main focus this episode was on Koumei and her visit to her former teacher, Suikyou, and her little foster sister/fellow pupil Houtou, and so expect lots of cuteness. There really isn't much substance to this episode, and much of the humor is following along paths that have been taken by this show over and over again. It's not that surprising. Of the three expeditions, the one with Koumei, Rin Rin and Ryuubi, with little Batai tagging along, might contain the least interesting characters. Perhaps we'll have more fun when we see the focus shift to Kan'u and her trip to the Son sisters in the next episode.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Apple Mac Mini with 1GB RAM, Mac OS 10.5 Leopard