All the girls love… bad guys?

Episode 5 Summary:

At the beginning of this episode, we get a continuation of the flashback that Oko had in episode 4, in which she meets with Sataro’s mother. To test Oko’s cleverness, Sataro’s mother asks Oko to turn an 80 ryo profit from a fairly inexpensive comb. The flashback then abruptly ends as Oko and Seiji (in the present day) confirm that the incense burner that has been brought to them is not the Suou that they were looking for.

I wish I had gotten a better screencap of Heizo, but unfortunately I just don’t have the time to go back and take more screencaps.

The rest of the episode is devoted to Seiji teaming up with a long-time acquaintance, Heizo; who acts as the Edo-period equivalent of an investigator. The two attempt to solve the mystery of a “chivalrous bandit” named Itachi Kozo, who has recently gained fame in the area.

Surprisingly, Ohime (the princess doll tsukumogami) is smitten with the idea of a chivalrous bandit… and wishes to be stolen by him?! In the end, it is thanks to her help that the identity of the mystery bandit is revealed.

This image is funnier without context.

Episode 6 Summary:

Oko echos my sentiments exactly.

One morning whilst Seiji is out on an early morning walk, he bumps into the young master of the Omi-ya—the very same man who was intent on pursuing the waitress of the sweets shop, named Ohana. Due to some unfortunate luck, Seiji and the young master end up falling into the river, and the young master drops his seal case.

As Seiji and Oko attempt to find the seal case later, they bump into the young master again. A thug has apparently found the seal case in the river, and demands 30 ryo for it. The young master of the Omi-ya unfortunately doesn’t have this great a sum of money on hand, and despairs. Wanting to help him, Seiji and Oko remember how they managed to solve the problem posed by Sataro’s mother all those years ago. Of course, the tsukumogami also lend a hand.

The young master is honestly kind of an idiot.

My Opinion:

These were somewhat average episodes. I didn’t think they were bad, but I didn’t find them particularly amazing either.

Episode 5 was a pretty fun episode, even if the “plot twist” was rather predictable. I’ve always been fond of plotlines involving phantom thief-type characters, and Itachi Kozo at least has more of a noble motivation than most. We also get introduced to a new character here: Heizo, a reformed thief turned investigator. I hope we see more of him in later episodes, as he’s a very interesting character, and it’d be great to find out how he became friends with Seiji and Oko.

Following the trend of each episode focusing on one of the tsukumogami at the Izumoya, we get Ohime’s backstory in this episode. While her history is certainly a bit out of the norm compared to the other four tsukumogami, it didn’t feel like Ohime got much character development or character focus. Since the start of the series, I had always felt that Ohime was a bit bland compared to the other four. She unfortunately didn’t get much screentime in this episode, as most of it was spent on the chivalrous bandit plotline. The only new thing we learned about Ohime is that she has a soft spot for phantom thieves… which is amusing but is hardly groundbreaking stuff. Hopefully she does get some more focus in later episodes.

Episode 6’s plot was a bit more intriguing compared to episode 5, but episode 6 suffered from some subpar pacing and writing. The young master of the Omi-ya makes another appearance, and I am happy to see that his relationship with Ohana is being expanded upon. But the first five minutes of the episode was just a chore to watch. It was just Seiji and the young master having some really mundane banter, and then accidentally falling into the river in the stupidest and most contrived way possible. I am also baffled as to why the episode decided to go about solving the conflict the way that it did. When the young master of the Omi-ya was being harassed by the thug, Seiji and Oko could have stepped in and helped to corroborate the young master’s story. Instead they just… choose to stand at a distance and just blindly agree to the thug’s unreasonable terms? What? I get that the episode would have ended in five minutes had they done this, but it felt like a rather unrealistic reaction. Then again, social norms might have been vastly different during the Edo period, so who knows.

More importantly, we got a continuation of the Suou/Sataro overarching plotline over these two episodes via flashbacks. While this overarching plotline is intriguing, the flashback in episode 6 really highlights a growing problem I have with We Rent Tsukumogami. Oko just doesn’t get much screentime compared to her brother, Seiji. Despite her apparent cleverness, Seiji is often the one doing all the “dirty work” and the one who interacts the most with other characters. At times, Seiji feels more like the main character of the show, even though both siblings supposedly share the protagonist role.

I have a lot of problems with the flashback in episode 6 because it’s shown that Seiji is the one who mostly solves the problem posed by Sataro’s mother, rather than Oko. Not only does this undermine Oko’s implied cleverness throughout the series; it also takes the spotlight away from Oko once again. I suppose that this scene was written this way to show how close the siblings were to each other, and to show how powerful a force they can be when working together. But it just feels like Oko’s given a passive role; which is a shame since I like Oko more and more as a character as the show goes on.

Admittedly, I do find that We Rent Tsukumogami is starting to become a chore to watch. The backgrounds and atmosphere of the series are still quite lovely, but I just have a hard time caring about most of the characters because Seiji gets so much focus in nearly every episode. I guess I’ll try to stick around for now.

Out of five for episodes 5 and 6:

precure heart2precure heart2 and 1/2

Please let Oko get more screentime, and actually play a significant role in the plot for once.