Shikabane Hime: Aka Ep. 13 [Season 1 Finale]

「 屍姫 」Episode 13: Funeral for a Contracted Priest

Summary: After the fight and Keisei’s death, everyone is in mourning as the death had affected everyone. Makina is deeply saddened by this, as she has a hard time coming to terms with what had happened during that night. The orphanage was also hurt, as the kids had lost a brotherly figure. A prayer is held at the main temple, performed by priests. Oori is seen there trying to come to terms with what had happened. Oori got informed that Keisei had gone on straight to heaven rather than become a Shikabane, which is a sign of relief to see him pass on with no regrets and no strong attachments left in the world.

Meeting Keisei’s father and master Takamine Sojo, Oori is then told of how a Shikabane is born, the obligations of a contracted priest, the ways of the Kougon cult as well as many other essential information regarding their world. Keisei was said to be a low ranking priest but due to his death in duty, he was granted the title of Gon Shoujo (one of many titles and rankings of priests in the cult). Throughout the explanations, a series of flashbacks were shown in accordance to the topic at the time. Oori, who was calm throughout the talk, wondered about where his life would lead to now. The cult had already proposed a new contracted priest for Makina as opposed to Oori. Due to his lack of training, he had been overlooked as a successor to Keisei. At the same time, Makina is held at the cult as Shikabane Himes were not allowed to be around during the prayer. A little shocked by the news, Ouri returns home and reminisces about his past with his brother, about how he was found and brought up by him up till the present day.

Later that evening, during the public funeral he found out that his former employer, Master Sadahiro, was also a contracted priest who worked alongside Keisei in the past. Knowing this, Oori  proclaimed that he wanted to become a priest and protect Makina, so he asked Sadahiro for some training. After informing Oori of Goryouzan Mountain, where all the priests had their training, Sadahiro promptly leaves with his shikabane hime Akira, closing off the episode as well as the first season.

My 2-cents: This episode started off on a very sombre note, as we see the effects of Keisei’s death on all of his loved ones. Makina, the orphans and his colleagues all seemed very saddened by the tragedy. Surprisingly enough, Oori was actually quite composed throughout the whole episode, which is something that I never would have expected of him. Of course, he has always been a bit emotionally off since the start but I would have though that he would bawl his eyes out to an extent with Keisei’s death. I guess that because of his childhood, he was more than prepared and equipped to handle loses like this, especially after the death of his cat when he was young (God that cat creeps me out with all those glowing eyes. It does look pretty badass though)

After Makina’s breakdown, we didn’t really see much more of her in this episode other than seeing her shackled up. She seems to still be deeply in regret, probably blaming herself for Keisei’s loss. I never expected to see a soft side to her, especially after seeing how tough she is mentally in the previous episodes. She never wavered against her enemies and the only time I recall seeing her cry like that was right before she was killed during her human life. It’s good though, it builds on her character and shows that even Shikabane’s have emotions and feelings. It also shows the bond that a priest and shikabane have, which is nice to see.

The ending cliffhanger was very intriguing, as it seems to foreshadow a training arc of some sort for Oori at Goryouzan mountain. Hopefully it doesn’t last long, cos I want to see more badass battles involving Makina and the other shikabanes. The preview hinted at the appearance of some new shikabanes so that will be pretty cool. This episode was a very sad one throughout, and it can probably be seen by the expressions of the characters, the atmosphere  and colouring of the scenes. The colours were often very desaturated, so it fits with the event really well. Even the soundtrack was pretty slow and serene.

Overall, I enjoyed this episode but to me it acted as little more than a bridge between the 1st season and the 2nd season, which is practically what it was. With all the flashbacks and the explanations, it sets up the next season really well. I can see some people being less than happy with this ep but given the circumstances, I reckon it was done pretty well.


4 Responses to “Shikabane Hime: Aka Ep. 13 [Season 1 Finale]”

  1. 1 CP January 16, 2009 at 11:10 PM

    As much as I hate recaps (looking at you, shitpuden), this episode actually made use of what a recap is supposed to do.

    Man…I really think w/ Keisei gone, it’ll make half of the show be less fun. Hopefully, SH:Kuro can prove it’ll be even better than Aka.

  2. 2 Bass January 16, 2009 at 11:21 PM

    Yea, the flashbacks really fit along with the explanations so it made things easier to understand as well.

    And yea, Keisei was so awesome. Him and his perverted jokes were always a highlight, especially with Oori’s reactions. I’ve got Kuro downloaded so I can’t wait to check those out

  3. 3 Lessa December 30, 2010 at 4:08 PM

    THAT WAS THE FINALE?! I didn’t know that! That means… I finished the anime already? Man… well, I guess I have to look forward to season 2. But seriously… I was so sad that Keisei died. I really wanted him and Makina to end up together in the very end. Even Kagami cited that he knew that Makina felt for Keisei more than just a comrade; Kagami knew she loved him, and that Keisei loved Makina (evidenced in the episode when they confront Akasha in the woods).

  4. 4 thirstevampire February 8, 2011 at 8:36 PM

    so sad i bawled my eyes out. ssssssssssaaaaaaaaaadddddddddd!!!!

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