Hikari no Ou - 07
Hikari no Ou continues to putt along in the murky middle for me, not quite closing the sale but remaining too engaging to cut loose. I don't do it often, but the only course that seems to make sense for me is to commit for the rest of the cour and see what happens after that. If spring didn't look like such a busy season it might be different, but it does. It's good enough to stick with against the current competition. In six weeks it could be another story.
I haven't seen anyone else express it, but I remain suspicious of Kira. She's just too nice. And I guess Touko never got the lecture about not accepting candy from a stranger. While it seemed innocuous at the time, it's notable that later Akira warned Kun-kun not to accept candy from anyone because of the hallucinogenic drug "asafuyu" going around the capital. There's no evidence that Kira did anything suchlike here (or a motive to do so) but it's an odd coincidence if nothing else. It also struck me odd that she saw a dog named Kanata which she knew didn't belong to the girl accompanying it, and it never occurred to her that it could be the one belonging to Koushi's father.
There were some interesting developments with Kun this week. In some respects he seems to be a quite normal child, and to be bonding especially with Akira-san. But he has his weird spider moments - like the bit with choosing a "bug familiar" to keep watch when Akira goes out to hunt. Or the time he seemed to go into a waxy-eyed trance - I assumed he was communing with his beetle (or maybe looking through its eyes) but at this point that's just a guess.
Meanwhile Koushi has hatched a plan to harness skyfire as a weapon, with Ruroku's help. If nothing else he seems to have bought lock, stock and barrel into Okibi's narrative about the spiders invading the capital (and nothing he saw in the forest would have suggested otherwise). Kira may not have made the connection regarding Kanata, but Koushi does as soon as she tells him about her meeting with Touko, and it's a good thing for her that he did. As for Kaho she's decided she's going to marry Shouzou (whether he wakes up or not), seemingly more or less as an expression of gratitude.
The headline is obviously that Koushi and Touko finally meet. And in doing so presumably they set the main storyline in motion. Their initial encounter comes when both are seeking the other out at his old house, and a ghost-like apparition he calls a "spy" turns up. A tree person does too - I'm going to guess those aren't unconnected events - and Touko declares that she intends to follow it and ask for medicine for Shouzou-san. Koushi agrees to take her to the "forbidden zone" where the tree folk are said to reside, in return for her insights on the spiders and natural fire. And thus what's presumably the principal relationship in Hikari no Ou is formed.