“Pandemonium! The Monster Snake, Shogun Orochi!”
Τhe bulk of the episode focuses on the banquet that we got introduced to more recently where the Shogun is regaling people with tales of the past. It’s all serious and the like but a fair bit early into it we get Toko, the attendant to Oiran, bursting out into laughter because she knows that everyone is just tolerating his stories as he comes across sounding like a fool, as she puts it. The laughter naturally panics everyone and sets the Shogen off to pretty much eliminate the child but Oiran is doing her best in a calm but forceful way to stop him from going further with this. But stupid man can’t handle being made fun of or laughed at and intends to kill child because of it. Not that Toko is great here in how she can’t stop laughing, but it certainly makes it clear to everyone what their Shogun is like.
Oiran’s slapping him across the face is a good moment that definitely snaps him out of it, thankfully. It’s that rare moment of someone standing up to him and not backing down and just like a bully, the Shogun is nearly in tears at being spoken to that way, though partially because he was intending to marry her and he can’t now. But her challenge is smart in that he should know better than to try and marry a weak woman, he needs a strong woman like her as his wife. But he’s just beyond reasoning at this point and it takes some time for her to really stare him down, which is at least amusing if not predictable in how it plays out. It’s not a bad sequence overall but the Shogun goes on about as you’d expect in lashing out before finally conceding to what Oiran has put into motion here.
While the opening riff is enough to make me roll my eyes at the obvious path that the story will take sometime in the future, the rest of the episode is pretty standard stuff. The problem comes in that I’ve been given no reason to care about any of it, from the Shogun on down. It’s all “internal politics” to me that doesn’t mean anything other than showing us who they are as characters, and even then it’ really just the Shogun and Oiran and that was easy to suss out already. It gets some stuff done and does it well but it was mostly boring in the grand scheme of things, especially without much from our Straw Hats in general.
Thanks for reading! See you next week!