English Dub Review: Katana Maidens: Toji no Miko “A Single Sword”

“Too many mind!”

Overview (Possible Spoilers Below)

The episode begins immediately as Kanami & Hiyori take on the Aradama-powered Yukari, while Erin and Kaoru wake up from the ass-kicking they got the last episode from Yume, and move on to meet up with at the Temple where the Yukari battle is taking place, while Mai and Sayaka seem tied up with their fight with Yomi. When it cuts between each battle, it manages to keep a consistent flow when cutting between each scene, but after Mai and Sayaka finally defeat Yomi, and Sayaka confronts Yukina in a scene that feels pretty damn cathartic to anyone who’s grown up around abusive parental figures in their lives, but leaves her with some parting words due to Yukina’s inability to understand the point Sayaka is trying to get across before leaving with Mai to also catch up with the others at the Temple.

We do see what’s left of Yume after her collapse as it turns out that she really did succumb to her fatal illness, but due to a protocol between Yukari’s Elite guards, they aren’t permitted a normal death if their bodies are fused with Noro with Suzuka staying behind to dispose of Yume’s corpse before she revives as an aradama, while Maki goes to find Yukari. As Kanami and Hiyori begin their battle against Yukari, they’re clearly outmatched by Yukari’s overpowering abilities and prediction powers, along with Yukari revealing the the long-awaited answer to why didn’t bother pursuing the two for a while which demonstrates how smart Yukari was in terms of meticulous planning as her predictions knew the two would go to Mokusa for Sanctuary while on the lam which lead to her eradicating Mokusa later-on. During the spectacular 2 on 1 battle, Kanami is quick to figure out her weakness and manages to wound Yukari, but given the “Boss battle” jokes I’ve cracked about this fight, It starts to actually feel like one when the Kanami’s lucky stab, causes her reveal her true Aradama form with an effective transformation scene that attempts to blend 2D and CGI as her hair transforms into four extra arms with an Okatana in each limb like she’s General Grievous.

But just as things seem decidedly bleak for the two, The other four protagonists Mai, Sayaka, Erin, and Kaoru join the battle against Yukari in her Tagitsu form which events out their odds, while Maki is shocked at the revelation of Yukari’s true intentions. During the battle, we do get a detailed flashback revealing what really happened during the battle with Tagitsu 20 years ago which fleshes out a different side of Yukari even I didn’t expect but excels in giving her some pathos. Despite their numbers advantage, Kanami’s friends are taken out one by one by Princess Tagitsu until Kanami herself is knocked out, leaving only Hiyori standing. What happens next is a crowning moment of awesome as the ghost of Kanami’s mother, Minato temporarily possesses Kanami’s body and is able to weaken Tagitsu enough to allow Hiyori to perform her secret technique with Kanami regaining consciousness just in time to pull Hiyori out danger as Tagitsu is defeated. The episode ends with a spectacular light-show as everyone outside watches as Tagitsu dissolving into a bright-blue light show as Kanami and her friends lay unconscious from the aftermath.

Our Take

Damn! that was most definitely the final battle episode. Our Toji Protagonists have shown their bravery, growth, teamwork, learned about the villain’s origins and prevailed on a high note. Now the real question is, what will the last 12 episodes be about? Will it be like Gurren Lagann where the twist after the show’s presumed happy ending turns out to have devastating consequences after a 7-year time-skip?

The fight scenes kept the momentum going in terms of awesomeness and while some animation was a little choppy in places during Yukari’s transformation scene, it thankfully wasn’t distracting enough to give each character a moment to shine. Especially Sayaka’s scene when she confronted her abusive ex-mentor, Yukina.

Now I’m curious what will become of our Six Toji protagonists now that Tagitsu is destroyed. Whatever the outcome, I’m hyped enough to find out!