When we last left Hyou and her never-ending battle against the youjin in Hakodate Youjin Buraijou Himegami, her bacon had been saved by a pack of totem-animal dressed ninja women whose fishnet ninja clothes look exactly like that worn by Hyou’s protector Himegami.
Volume 3 begins back at the Butterfly Caberet, Hyou is telling everyone about the women who saved her. She says that its not the first time a mysterious woman has protected her – when she was young, as her father lay dead at her feet, a mysterious creature known as the Colobockle took her hand and comforted her. One of the cabaret girls laughs and Hyou flounces off, annoyed, to lay flowers at her father’s grave.
Himeka offers to go with her, but is sidetracked by a piercing whistle. She’s called to the side of her compatriots – the ninja spirit warriors of the night before. Ranka, whose totem is a bear, Kirika, the hawk and later we learn that the little girl having a snowball fight with Hyou is Aika, with her two ferrets, Black and White. We also learn that the Colobockle Hyou met as a child was none other than Himeka, who has been watching over her since then.
The Butterfly is facing a crisis – all their customers are going to the new cabaret in town, the Black Widow, where they are not just getting lap dances, they are getting sex with bosomy foreigners. Run by the cross-dressing French woman, the Black Widow appears to be bewitching the entire town.
When Hyou and Himeka are attacked by newly born youjin, they are saved by some random wandering rounin, who appears to know (or at least know of) Hyou. The youjin turn out to be two of the Butterfly’s customers, not youjin at all, and Hyou and Himeka realize that something very evil is going on. Himeka and Hyou head over to the Black Widow to find out what *is* going on – and to protect Melanie, one of their own dancers, who has gone there.
The police too are on to the trail of the youjin. On all the murdered men (the ones cut down by Hyou and her friends) they find a handkerchief with a spider logo. One of the policemen admits to having one of those handkerchiefs, which he got by “doing it” at the Black Widow, and the police chief puts two and two together. He decides to go undercover to the cabaret – as a woman. (He is very pretty, so this is not as unlikely as it seems.)
He and Himeka meet while waiting to be seen by the owner of the Black Widow, as Hyou is caught and thrown out by Melanie. Hyou sneeks back in with the help of Aika and they spy Melanie and the rounin having some adult fun. (Melanie later says that he’s a really nice guy….). The rounin meets with another samurai and it turns out that they are not only friends, but friends of Hyou’s father.
Himeka puts a charm on the police chief’s hand, saying that she’s drawn the character for “person” on there and if she gets nervous to squeeze her hand shut. Himeka disappears into the room with the owner of the house. When she later hears Kirika’s whistle, she finds herself tattooed with a black spider, just as we learn that Melanie also bears the mark.
When it is at last his turn, the owner asks the police chief to strip; he hesitates. But when he does, we learn that he is actually a woman after all.
As the owner realizes that her house has been infiltrated, she commands the men with the handkerchiefs to become youjin. Hyou and her new allies face the human/youjin hybrids, Himeka runs to save the police chief, screaming that she should squeeze her hand – the charm works and the owner of the cabaret is blasted backwards, giving the chief and Himeka time to run. But they are not in time to save Hyou, who is now mad with the pain of the youjin being born and the blood of the ones she is killing. To be continued….argh!
Yuri is the usual here – when Hyou is suffering from the pain of the miburo, she relies on Himeka for comfort. When the hybrid youjin first appear, Himeka thinks that Hyou is coming on to her and she glad gives in, until the real cause makes itself known. Kirika, who has some jealousy issues about Himeka, points out that Ranka likes girls, in general. I’m thinking it’s a Himegami trait, myself. Nothing explicit, but I keep hoping that Himeka will at least get that kiss from Hyou she wants. ^_^
Still a very violent and service-y series. And as a woman, the French owner of Black Widow has such *enormous* breasts that its absolutely laugahble that she could pass for a man but, heck, she is a magic user, so it could be a glamour for all we know. And now we know why the police chief understood immediately that she was a woman passing as a man, since she is as well.
So, let’s see, that makes 4 Himegami, a samurai, a rounin, and Hyou on the one side and like 14 million Youjin on the other. Seems like a fair fight to me. ^_^
Art – 7
Story – 7
Characters – 8
Yuri – 3
Service – 6
Overall – 7
I’m either getting used to the art or it’s getting better…. I’m betting it’s the former. ^_^