Mob stresses over his role in this year’s culture fair and uses his battle with the yokai to get his creative juices going.
Recap & Reaction
There’s a giant tree in the middle of the city.
Who knows what dangerous unexplained phenomena is lying there waiting?
There’s a cultural fair going on and the students have 2 weeks to prepare for it. Everyone has been given specific roles to carry out to make the cultural fair happen. Mob has to help with costumes, which causes his frustration, raising his explosion percentage higher. Comically, Ritsu is forced into dressing up as a maid and pleads his case that they shouldn’t do it.
The scene shifts next with Serizawa presenting his intention to Reigen, that he wants to go to night school to finish his “compulsory education.”
This episode sets the stage similarly to episode one. We are presented with another school crisis in Mob’s mind that causes him a bit of emotional stress. Everything as been quite light hearted at this point.
All of the sudden, the yokai hunter from the beginning of the episode randomly appears. He calls himself “yokai hunter Amakusa Haruaki.” He shows up to Reigen’s business and states that “he’s trying to prevent an incident before it happens.” Reigen is frustrated that he can barely understand him, tells him that he is already booked up.
After finishing up with a client, Haruaki comes back. Then, he starts speaking and Reigen gets annoyed and goes completely off against him, telling him “to get straight to the damn point!” Then, Haruaki starts singing his backstory and his reasoning for being there.
Haruaki is here to fight the “evil yokai horde,” called “The Hundred Demons.” There whole aim is to revive the “Great Yokai King.”
Haruaki’s character comes off as a pretty funny character. His design and funny dialogue creates a fun dynamic with Reigen. It’s presented in a way where the audience isn’t really sure if what he is saying is real or not. Some of the Japanese references and dialogue doesn’t quite come through in translation as Reigen mentions that he stop speaking the way he does. Only then, do I realize there’s a joke at play here. Having Haruaki sing made that gag come through quite a bit stronger, making me chuckle a bit there.
Reigen is having none of this and questions why he didn’t just go to the authorities. Haruaki responds that they will most likely arrest him (because he’s crazy and has a sword). Haruaki pleading with Reigen, offers 1,000,000 yen. Having his nonsense radar go off, Reigen figures it to be fake, but is in fact real. Reigen switches stances by glowingly telling Serizawa that “they must take down this evil yokai!”
Mob shows up hoping to ask Reigen some questions and tells Mob to tag along. They walk along the street and Haruaki blatantly points out this random building, sensing yokai to be there. In a quick turn of events, things actually look as it seems with random plant roots coming out of the ground. As the tension builds for a moment of reckoning, Mob continues stressing over the cultural festival.
As all four start walking through town, Reigen thinks what most of the audience is thinking, this dude is some grifty cosplayer. In reality, there is some kind of strangeness lurking around that makes you not completely question it. It’s the dialogue and the showing of a Mob slowly freaking out the cultural fair that keeps your attention that 100% might come sooner than we think.
Next thing you know, a yokai does actually come out and Haruaki stops it’s attack with his sword. He uses some mumbo jumbo “Holy Spirit” technique, but his sword ends up breaking in half. Serizawa easily disposes of it, stating “it’s just like an exorcism.” Reigen reaching “God Mode,” pulls out his best attack and slings salt against the yokai.
I couldn’t help but have a nice burst of laughter when Reigen makes an attack.
Suddenly, the 4 yokai generals come out and make an advance on the four. Already, an incredible sequence of fighting between Mob and Serizawa makes this action scene the highlight of season 3. After an incredible display of beautiful colors and panning of different angles of Serizawa & Mob’s attack, the four generals get taken down. The Great Yokai King shows off his full form as it transitions with the monster screaming, zooming into Mob’s eyes. In a comical matter of fact fashion, it scene just shows a dead yokai just laying on the ground.
Even though this battle didn’t mean much for the purposes of a main plot, it was by far, one of the most outstanding action scenes I’ve seen in a while. Usually the heroes would think of ways to take down the bad guys as they are struggling, but Mob thinks of all of their attacks to be ideas for the cultural fair, which is the real dilemma. It’s these kind of moments in a fight where everyone knows how powerful the main characters are and it’s cool to see another ignorant character experience it.
An amazed Haruaki offers to pay Mob and Serizawa a significant amount of money to be yokai hunters, but they turn it down because of Mob’s cultural fair and because Serizawa wants to go back to school. To Reigen’s relief and delight, he happily tells Haruaki that they have other plans to live their super basic lives. He mistakenly mentions further that “it’s not about the money,” as Haruaki greatly apologizes for trying to buy Reigen off.
To look like an honorable man, Reigen agrees after almost taking in the money. Looking for another way to make money, he has an idea to stuff the dead yokai to sell, but it will end up disappearing. Mob gets hit with an incredible idea and ends up making yokai costumes and having part of the theme be about “the Great Yokai King.” The cultural fair ends up running well to Mob’ relief and we get another hilarious scene with Ritsu dressed up as a maid, serving moms some satisfying beverages.
What to Takeaway From This Episode
If there was one phrase that came to mind when explaining this episode, then it is “easy to consume.”
In another classic storytelling episode, Mob stresses over a light-hearted situation with the cultural fair and we get to see a little mini adventure, highlighting the incredible abilities of Mob and Serizawa. Reigen plays Reigen’s role perfectly as the man toeing-the-line of a person with great wisdom and a person with no shame. For the first time, Reigen mentions that Mob didn’t need his help figuring out something. This further exacerbates the idea and learning lesson in episode one that Mob may eventually stop working for Reigen.
Overall, this episode was just another episode like the last. Mob advances his character development started from the previous episode. I got in a few laughs, saw some cool action and felt really good about the story in the end. There’s nothing too deep here about the plot just yet, but I’m sure something will rise up soon with this tree fiasco.
Because of the lack of a main plot and villain, these first two episodes just become something that just passes by. That doesn’t mean they weren’t enjoyable to watch, it just means there’s nothing to be that excited about just yet. At least we got to laugh at Ritsu!