Another incense burner… that can actually talk this time.

Episode 7 Summary:

In this episode, we are introduced to a being named Uraha-Yanagi, who claims he was a human that died and now inspirits an incense burner. He was recently bought by Seiji and Oko, and tells the five tsukumogami residing at the Izumoya that his last wish is to be able to see his wife one more time.

After having seen more of this series, I feel like item rental shops would actually be real handy in the present day as well.

While the tsukumogami ponder on how to reunite Uraha-Yanagi with his wife, Seiji is asked by Katsusaburou to help out Tsuru-ya—a man who used to be employed by Katsusaburou, but now owns and runs his own shop. Tsukuyomi and Ohime are lent out for Tsuru-ya’s shop opening party, and it is there that they find out there is a female ghost haunting the place… Could it possibly be Uraha-Yanagi’s wife?!

Seiji and Oko believe this is the case, but the reality of the situation might be more complicated than it first appears.

Usagi’s face is absolutely amazing here.

Episode 8 Summary:

My response whenever I’m asked to do anything bizarre.

In this episode, the young master of the Omi-ya asks Seiji to look into the past of a mysterious man named Hansuke. Hansuke is a wholesale seaweed merchant who arrived the in the area five years prior and has been greatly successful. People have been saying nothing but good praises for Hansuke, and he is a fairly generous person and a big spender to boot. The young master feels anxious about Hansuke’s kindness, especially towards him; and wonders if Hansuke possibly has any ulterior motives.

To be honest there were a lot of great faces in this episode.

As this is going on, Goi (the crane kiseru) appears to have some memories linked to the smell of roasting seaweed. When he happens to catch a glimpse of Hansuke later on, Goi feels as if he’s seen this person before, although he can’t remember exactly who it is. Hansuke also appears to recognize Goi in his kiseru form, which Seiji takes notice of. This ends up being the key to revealing who Hansuke really is.

The young master being surprisingly philosophical for once.

My Opinion:

Just when I was complaining about We Rent Tsukumogami’s episodes being a bit lackluster in my last review, we get these two amazing episodes back-to-back.

Both of these episodes have essentially their own self-contained stories, with a big twist at the end. The tone, atmosphere, pacing, and plot twists were all well-done in both of these episodes. I especially loved the lighting in episode 8. It featured a lot of soft, sunset scenes; which was fitting for the more melancholy mood of the episode. I’m also just a sucker for ghost stories (as in episode 7) in general. Although I did like the plot of episode 7, I admittedly did feel that episode 8 had a better presented story overall. Both of these episodes do ultimately end on a bittersweet note, but at least they hint at a more hopeful and happy outcome for the people involved.

We get a brief continuation of the ongoing flashback involving Oko, Seiji, and Sataro in episode 7. In the flashback, it’s revealed that Oko and Seiji actually lost their first shop due to a big fire; and it is only after this event that they began to run the Izumoya shop. Seiji tells Oko that he managed to eventually exchange the comb (given to them by Sataro’s mom) for a hairpin that could net them at least 80 ryo. If they sold the hairpin, they could essentially rebuild their shop. But Oko’s pride gets in the way, and she refuses to sell the hairpin. The flashback ends around this point. There’s no flashback present in episode 8—understandable as it would have likely been out of place with the plot involved. But I do wonder what eventually happened to the hairpin Seiji acquired, as I do not think it has been shown in the series (in the present time) yet. And of course, I also wonder what eventually happened to the relationship between Oko and Sataro. As the series has been teasing us about Sataro and Suou (the incense burner) ever since episode 1, I hope we get a satisfying conclusion to this long-running plot point by the end of the series.

While episode 8 was nearly perfect, I did find some things to nitpick on about episode 7. In episode 7, we are actually introduced to another tsukumogami (in addition to Uruha-Yanagi) named Nure-garasu. He appears to be some sort of teapot tsukumogami, and literally only appears for one scene. I don’t know what sort of purpose he served as he was absent from the rest of the episode. Was he just there to tell Tsukuyomi and Ohime about the ghost haunting Tsuru-ya’s place? If that’s the case, I think it would have been better to let Tsukuyomi and Ohime discover the ghost on their own; because Nure-garasu’s presence in the episode feels pretty pointless. In addition to that, I did feel like Uruha-Yanagi’s departure from the Izumoya felt a bit too abrupt. I know the series wants to restrict its regulars to the five original tsukumogami that inhabit the shop, but Uruha-Yanagi’s situation felt a bit too easily resolved.

Other than the things I mentioned above, I again did feel like Oko was just kind of cast to the wayside. It’s mostly Seiji who does anything at all, whether it involves talking to other characters, actually solving the mysteries, or setting things into motion. It’s starting to get real annoying, though I am glad to see that at least Seiji has become less of a jerkass character. Despite this one gripe, these episode were still far better than I ever expected. I have high hopes for the remaining episodes of the series and am excitedly looking forward for new episodes.

Out of five for episode 7:

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Out of five for episode 8:

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 This is probably the closest We Rent Tsukumogami has ever gotten to making me cry.