We return to Ryuubi and her group heading south in search of the "elephant's bellybutton lint." Or whatever crazy substance it was they needed again. As if anyone cares. Just enjoy the jiggling boobs. And dumplings are serious business.
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)
You know something is wrong with the main focus of the show when the short diversion to Chouun and Bachou (along with a 2 minute documentary on bamboo shoots) is much more amusing than the main story of Ryuubi and her traveling harem...er...traveling group.
As for that traveling group, while stopping at an inn for some dumplings (SERIOUS dumplings!), an unknown girl wearing rather limited clothing (as in primitive, not sexy revealing), sees them and seems to recognize someone in the group. Following that, while crossing a river, a large log rather inconveniently comes along almost hitting Ryuubi and Gien as they were crossing, though Gien smashes it into toothpicks with her giant metal club thingy (yes, that's the technical term for the weapon that Gengan gave her). Later, while they wait for their clothes to dry, Gien senses a presence in the woods and runs off to find it, but the girl from before artfully hides in the trees.
Definitely something suspicious here.
The suspicion meter reaches maximum when a large rock almost flattens Ryuubi and Gien as they travel below some cliffs. While resting at an old man's hut, they discover that there is a hot springs in the nearby mountain, which is helpful, since Ryuubi twisted her ankle while trying to dodge that large boulder. Yes, I guess this is the onsen episode, and we have our required bathing quotient for the series, which seems to require one bath scene at least for every two episodes. The one person who did not come along was Gien, who deliberately stayed behind below the mountain.
She did, because she suspected, rightly, that the barely clad girl behind the murder attempts was not after Ryuubi, but her. The girl, whose name is Gotsutotsukotsu (who the hell comes up with these things?), apparently is out for revenge, since it appears that Gien killed her elder sister. Gien waits alone down below the mountain, intending not to involve her new friends in one of her old feuds. Gotsutotsukotsu, however, doesn't come alone, bringing a small band of armed women (all of whom seem to have chosen fashion from the Modern Cavewoman�"� catalog). She even taunts Gien with the fact that she has friends who will fight with her, while Gien is always alone. But, of course, Gien now does have friends, and Batai, suspicious of why Gien stayed away from the hot springs all alone, comes down to investigate, and winds up helping Gien to fight off Gotsutotsukotsu and her gang.
In the end, while Batai and Gien spar an awful lot, we get one of those nice bonding sessions and events. And yes, they kick the butts of Gotsutotsukotsu and her gang.
I guess the lesson is that friendship is a beautiful thing? Sure.
We basically have a little side story (as if there is a main plot to begin with) where we learn a little more about Gien's personality and background, while also providing an opportunity for Batai to be something other than a slightly annoying little brat. As usual, the fighting scenes consist of a lot of action lines and very little action. The bathing scenes are filled with steam that will likely be removed for the home video release in Japan later on. And there's not much else to comment, except that I found the menma (bamboo shoot) documentary more interesting and amusing than most of the rest of the episode.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Apple Mac Mini with 1GB RAM, Mac OS 10.5 Leopard