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Summary:

Kotori gets word that the Insect Magistrate’s life is in danger, so the City Patrol, Samurai House Patrol, and Shrine and Temple Patrol are sent to Hachijo Island—the place where the Insect Magistrate is currently residing.  Just as they are about to set sail, a large insect begins attacking the city, so the Samurai House Patrol decides to stay behind to deal with this threat.

GROUP ACTION SHOT GOOOO!!!!

Mr. Head Priest guy is pretty cool-looking.

It takes a day and a night to get to Hachijo Island, but before they can even land, the boat gets demolished by one of the members of the Insect Hunters.  Thanks to Hibachi’s parachute, she and Jinbei are able to go on ahead while the rest of the Insect Magistrate Officers stay behind to deal with this threat.  Luckily, some firepower from the Shrine and Temple Patrol allows Koikawa to defeat the enemy easily.

Mugai, you can’t meet your match this early! That’s not how it works!

On the island, Miss Head Magistrate is somehow able to sense the intruders, and creates a poisonous gas that fills the forest.  Jinbei ends up losing his grip on Hibachi and falling straight into the temple where Miss Head Magistrate is staying, and there is a brief reunion.  Jinbei is sadly too dumb to realize that he’s talking to the Head Magistrate herself.  Their reunion is short lived, as three of the Insect Hunters soon arrive on the scene.  Miss Magistrate shows that she’s fully capable of defending herself, as she seems to be able to emit acidic and poisonous gases from her very body.  However, Jinbei ends up interfering in her fight, attempting to save her.

I STILL SHIP THEM……….

Too bad Jinbei is so obviously shipped with Haru…

Meanwhile, the rest of the Insect Magistrate Officers finally catch up.  As Mugai goes off to fight a member of the Insect Hunters alone, his opponent suddenly reveals Mugai’s secret: Mugai was the former leader of the Insect Hunters.  Unfortunately, Koikawa happens to pass by just as this is said and immediately becomes enraged, remembering the death of his mother at the hands of the Insect Hunters.

My Opinion:

This was a good episode with a lot of action. Well, more action than usual for this series, anyway.

As we near the end of the anime season, we finally get to see our full group of human antagonists. Unfortunately, they end up having next to no screentime as a result. In this episode alone, one of them already gets killed in a somewhat anticlimatic fashion.  Koikawa’s fight with that scythe dude (seriously, he was so one-off that I didn’t even bother to remember his name) was kind of underwhelming. While Koikawa WAS the one that finished him off, it kind of takes away the impact of the fight a little when the dude was shot with a bunch cannonballs first. Just saying. The other Insect Hunters have pretty neat designs (like that glasses-wearing lady), so I hope we do get to see a bit more of them in the next episode before they’re defeated.

We get a PLOT TWIST here! So Mugai is actually the former leader of the Insect Hunters… I honestly wasn’t expecting that. The past episode makes it clear that he was a former member, but to actually have been their leader… And yet, Mugai seems fairly matched by two of the Insect Hunters so far. I wonder if the Insect Hunters really are just that good or if Mugai’s somehow gotten weaker after he abandoned the group. Speaking of which, why did Mugai abandon the Insect Hunters? I would have thought the group would have disbanded after their leader left. Or maybe Mugai was usurped from his role?

Anyway, one of the big criticisms I have of this episode is: did they really feel the need to reuse Koikawa’s flashback like three times. We get it Mushibugyou, the person who killed Koikawa’s mom was an Insect Hunter and that she was killed by a sword slash. That point does not need to be reiterated three times. By the third time that sequence played, I couldn’t help rolling my eyes a bit because it was starting to feel just like filler in order to fill up some episode space. Which somewhat makes sense given that fight scenes are a lot harder to animate. That still doesn’t justify all the recycled footage though. Fortunately, the flashback sequences were very short.

I really like that Miss Magistrate is shown to be able to take care of herself pretty well. I had thought she would just be another “damsel in distress” that had to be rescued, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that that was not the case. And her relationship with Jinbei is still very adorable. She tried many times to correct Jinbei and reveal to him that she’s the very Magistrate he was looking for, though in the end she stopped trying. I suppose that’s because she wanted to keep the relationship she has with Jinbei the same. If he realized she was the Head Magistrate, he probably wouldn’t treat her in the same friendly, “we’re equals” kind of way.

Overall, this was a good though not outstanding episode. If you were waiting for a lot of battles, then this episode is for you. If you were waiting for an episode where the team actually fights human enemies, then this episode is also for you. The episode gets minus points from me for excessive flashbacks and somewhat underwhelming fights (so far), but Miss Magistrate’s badassery alone nets this episode another full heart in the ratings.

Out of five for this episode:

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This episode made me love her more. But… will we actually learn her name? (Or am I just forced to call her Miss Head Magistrate forever…)