The Roshigumi discover place where Yukimura had been staying burned to the ground, and there are no leads as to where the doctor has gone. Niimi keeps two furies chained, and feed them the medicine, but one day, he disappears with the medicine and the Water of Life. Outside of that, the Aizu Domain continue to pressure Kondou and Hijikata into getting rid of Serizawa because of his chaotic behaviour. Kondou has no desire to fight Serizawa, and chooses to speak to Serizawa alone to try to convince him to behave. Serizawa refuses, and nothing changes. Ryunosuke discovers two keys things- one, Serizawa is suffering from the same fatal disease as a woman he loved once, and two, a man matching the description of Niimi has been speaking to the opposing groups to try to sell an item that will change the war in their favour. Hijikata takes Okita and Saitou to the teahouse and they kill the men that were bartering with Niimi-san. Niimi-san, who had taken the Water of Life himself turns fury and easy evades the attacks of all three men, but in the end was defeated by his lust for blood.
Serizawa seems a whole more human, and well, likeable…? If that is even possible. Ryunosuke was doing another one of his routine sake runs when he accidentally sees Serizawa baring his soul to Umi-san. As it turns out, Serizawa is dying of a disease that causes blindness and memory loss. I suspect it’s and sexually-transmitted infection of some sort? Serizawa is dying of the same disease that his first love died of, and considering his love for the red-light district. Even so, I think this is part of what makes the characters of Hakuouki so great, that even the villains are merely the product of survival and the blurring of the line between right and wrong. Their lives are so short, so they have to make the best of it.
Serizawa is more aware than ever that his position in the group is precarious, and his uses are limited. The Aizu domain continues to test the resolve of Kondou and Hijikata by asking them to kill Serizawa, and Kondou, peacemaker as usual, tries to talk Serizawa into behaving. That doesn’t go well, with Serizawa just bossing Kondou around to pour the sake…which is really what Kondou’s problem is. Both Hijikata and Kondou are too soft-hearted at certain moments, which is what holds them in check. Serizawa, on the other hand, is very much prepared to deal with the realities of time, but in combination with his horrible temper, it often negates each other. All I have to say is – just kill him already. Either he’s going to die soon, or he’s going to cause more problems, and since Niimi is no longer an issue, is doesn’t seem like there is much else there is do.
Niimi-san was brilliant this episode, and he tried to sell the Water of Life to the highest bidder. He himself has taken it, and has most of it under control, which means that the medicine has come a long way. Where is Yukimura in all of this? Probably somewhere else gloating about his great creation, and all the havoc it’s causing the locals. Doesn’t anyone suspect anything, with all these weird murders and demon bodies showing up? I guess not, because it takes a certain mindset to believe how crazy this show is.
The final fight in the teahouse was really good, though. There was a sense of urgency as they raced through the place to kill Niimi…the big finale is this week, so we’ll have to see.