Despite the massive delay, I finally have the chance to review Brave10 episode 9. I never expected or intended for this to come so late, but I have been extremely busy and have only just had the chance to write this. But anyway, thankfully the episode was worth the wait.
For quite a while I have lamented over the fact Brave10 started out pretty strongly only to falter in recent times, but now my faith has been renewed after watching this episode. Finally after long episodes with trips to hotsprings and other such nonsense that did little (if anything) to further the plot, we see Brave10 throw up a surprise and take a darker tone.
We finally see Yukimura’s group of Braves together in this episode and he explains about why he has gathered them all in the first place, and what roles they have etc. It doesn’t really make any difference to the viewer, all apart from Isanami being said to be the dark half of the Yin-Yang while Saizo is the light. Saizo questions Yukimura’s comment instantly, but he is told that it is indeed the case. We also find out that Isanami has dark powers from the underworld that are controlled by her emotions and the emotions of people around her. We also find out that the hairpin she wears isn’t the source of her power at all, but instead is keeping everyone safe from her dangerous and evil powers. Saizo, Yukimura and Jinpachi are the only ones in the room discussing the matter, but as we see at the end of the episode, Isanami had overheard their conversation and stands outside in a state of shock.
Oh, and we also discover that Anastasia has in fact been a spy this whole time, and so wasn’t really working for Yukimura. She attacks Rokuro while he is sleeping and tries to steal his magical eye, but before she gets the chance to (and after a brief struggle between the two) Rokuro destroys his own eye so that it’s secrets and powers won’t fall in to an enemy’s hands. Sasuke does appear when he hears the commotion, but doesn’t stop Anastasia as he hesitates at the last second and is instead caught by her ice magic. As more people gather, she flees. Later, she is met in a forest by Saizo. She warns him to turn back so she won’t have to kill him, but Saizo doesn’t listen and they end up fighting anyway. Anastasia is taken by surprise as Saizo is quicker than Sasuke was, and Saizo quickly defeats her.
However, when he has her pinned down and is trying to get some information out of her, she freezes the nearby lake and uses the distraction to escape, although later we find out Saizo had let her go on purpose as confirmed when he is telling Yukimura about what happened.
But yes, that’s basically the episode content, and it was pretty damn awesome. I wasn’t expecting Anastasia to turn / reveal she was never a real ally of the Braves, and so it was a nice surprise. It also shows that everything isn’t always how it seems, and that in the world of shinobi you can never be too sure of anyone or anything. It makes a refreshing change to see something like this in Brave10, as inner turmoil within the group hasn’t really been much of a problem before now, so seeing how they will deal with Anastasia and whoever she is working for shall be good to watch.
Also interesting is how Isanami is going to react and what she is going to do now she knows the truth about herself and her powers. I can imagine her powers going crazy or her being super depressed or something for a while, only for the “light” Saizo to calm her down and reassure her that everything is ok. Saizo still remains the best character, but admittedly I have grown to like Yukimura and Rokuro quite a lot recently, and now there could even be some hope for Isanami depending on how the story plays out. With all that said, it’s great to see Brave10 back in top form with this brilliant episode, and I am hoping it can continue now until the end.