Wave of Determination
With Kiki on board bringing along the bird calling accessory from Kihal, Zen can use the bird to track the ships movements.
Raj is at a nearby port town drumming up support to get people to help take down the Claw. However, his reputation isn’t great. But Raj decides to take the stage in front of everyone. He wavers with stage fright but remembers what his role in this is and asks for help.
Raj manages to win the heart of the people and change their opinions of him and all the merchant ships set up a blockade against the Claw’s ship. Raj declares Shirayuki as a ‘friend to the royal family’ and tells the pirates they won’t get away with this kidnapping. The Claw’s ship makes a getaway on another route covered by whirlpools. Raj doesn’t want to retreat and follows them somehow managing to traverse the whirlpools through willpower and sheer luck. He rams their ship into the Claw’s and destroys it.
Zen and the Lions make it as well by land and they surround the Claw successfully rescuing Shirayuki.
The Lions leader then offers them to rest up at their village for the time being, but Shirayuki recognises him as her dad.
From a dejected, spineless prick to a worthy prince with confidence to lead his men into battle. What a transformation Raj has undergone. He’s finally someone we can get behind and support not someone we look at with spite, partially because of Shirayuki and but mainly because of Raj’s own willingness to change for her.
This story in itself is a wonderfully crafted one and this episode was what I’d call a climax of that story. Sure he’s still miles behind Zen, but that spirit and determination to change is what makes him lovable and there’s nothing wrong with faults, no one’s perfect. Though maybe Zen is close.
I’ve said this before, but Shirayuki has always been a great character. Sure she has no fighting power, but she doesn’t stand still and let herself be rescued like some helpless frail princess. She also doesn’t overwhelm her enemies like some overpowered superwoman. She’s nicely in between and more human thanks to it, like breaking down into tears after all that ordeal, no one can blame her.
I’m disappointed that Kiki, whilst as impressive as always in taking out her enemies, couldn’t play a more major role, and just melded with the rest of the rescue force in. Still, she showed us what we know she’s capable of on the battlefield. I’d actually quite like a Kiki/Mitsuhide focused episode, I don’t think there’s much argument against that pairing.
After the reveal of Shirayuki’s dad, I’ve realised how obvious it actually was now that I think back to it. My hunch should’ve been more than a hunch, but either way, at least I took the hints. Now we’re all interested in everyone else’s reactions to this ‘discovery’. This at least explains perfectly what Kazuki meant, but then comes the other obvious question, what is Shirayuki’s dad doing being some sort of mountain king whilst his daughter was out there struggling away?
Speaking of struggling, I’m still struggling to get used to these names, not sure if I said anything about Umihebi, but even that is bad. It sounds like some bad fanfic name from someone who knows a few words and decided to mash them together. At least this arc looks to be over now and I won’t have to suffer with those names anymore.
One thing is, why does her dad seem surprised that it’s Shirayuki? As much as Kazuki wanted to rescue Shirayuki of his own accord, I thought at least it was under some instruction from the leader. And surely he’s heard everyone mention her name, the name of someone he gave. Unless she changed her name? Hmm..