Hakuouki: Reimeiroku Episode 9: Until the Dogs Come Home
Ryunosuke spends more time with Kosuzu, and when pressed as to what his feelings towards her is, he admits that he has never felt this way for another person before. On the upcoming Roshigumi trip to Osaka, Kosuzu explains her worries about Serizawa’s treatment towards the maiko in the red-light district. Ryunosuke makes a promise to her to do everything in his power to prevent anything bad from happening. However, when Serizawa gets drunk and deems that the maiko have insulted them, he threatens to cut their heads off. Hijikata, in the interest in minimizing damage, cuts the maiko’s hair instead. At the same time, Yamazaki gives Ryunosuke the ultimatum of deciding whether or not to join the Roshigumi.
Ryunosuke, Ryunosuke, don’t promise things you can’t keep! While it does seem noble that he promised to stop Serizawa from doing anything crazy in Osaka…he ruined his own promise by not doing anything. Ryunosuke is truly “all bark, and no bite,” as when it came down to the wire, he could do nothing but yell at Serizawa, and we know how well that works out. All he could do was grip that damn comb that he had bought for Kosuzu. It took Hijikata doing the dirty work to diffuse the situation, and even though no one’s head was chopped off, two maiko have had their livelihood ruined. I really don’t think that they will find jobs after, as maiko training takes years and years of training, and with the rumours reaching far and wide, no one will want affiliation with them.
I just thinking that Ryunosuke should have just killed Serizawa right there, but the issue is that I don’t hate Serizawa anymore, I’m just annoyed with Ryunosuke for being incredibly wishy-washy. He can’t admit to liking Kosuzu, can’t keep promises, can’t use a sword, blames Serizawa for all the bad things- need I go on? I think that Ryunosuke fulfills the role of the passive bystander, and in more than one way, a passive narrator. He’s a part of the story, but not in any way that changes the flow of history. As an adaptation of actual history, there’s actually still a lot they can be done with his character. They did, after all, manage to fit in demon vampires in ancient Japan.
Hijikata, as ever, is the one that “diffuses” the situation at hand. I’m really sad that this had to happen, as he did ruin two people’s lives, and will be further hated by the members of the public. The rumours behind the Roshigumi being wolves isn’t inaccurate, and based on the number of men that keep breaking the code (like, every episode!?!). I know he’s the demon, but Serizawa is the only one that can break the code and not bend to Hijikata’s threats, and he seems to use every available opportunity to exploit the holes in the code. The furies are a product of the code being broken, and even with the test, it’s not very effective, and it’s not fair that they keep testing it on the corps.
I’m feeling rather pessimistic, so I have a feeling this romance between Kosuzu and Ryunosuke isn’t going to work out.