"The Point of a Sword" (切っ先の向く先 Kissaki no Muku Saki?) is the first episode of Toji no Miko, released on January 5, 2018.
Aspiring Toji from Minoseki Academy, Kanami Etou and Mai Yanase, rose up as representatives of the school for the most recent National Swordsmanship Tournament. Here, they meet representatives from other Toji schools for a round of intense sword combat.
Police rushed to the scene of an aradama attack that broke out in certain wards in Tokyo. Meanwhile, sword-wielding girls, known as Toji, rush to intercept the centipede-like aradama, with one of them equipping a special armor that allowed her to quickly finish off the massive enemy.
Meanwhile, on the Special Religious Military Unit headquarters in Minoseki Academy, student Kanami Eto entered a training match against fellow student Mai Yanase and was given a certificate for winning against Yanase. Regardless, both Mai and Kanami were chosen as representatives of Minoseki Academy.
After a trip by bullet train to Kamakura, Kanami and Mai find that the national tournament for aspiring Toji will be held in the Origami Mansion, owned by the ones entrusted to overseeing the Toji's weapons, the okatana, and there are already several schools whose representatives are present in the vicinity of the tournament venue. Among the students present is Hiyori Jujou, whose first meeting with the two students from Minoseki wasn't pleasant.
That night, as Kanami and Mai spend the night inside the Origami Mansion, while Kanami remained positive throughout the night, Mai revealed her anxiety over the upcoming tournament, especially as she voiced out her concerns over her confidence in using Utsushi in combat. In order to prepare for the tournament, Kanami decided to invite Mai to a sparring match, allowing the usage of their okatana as well as Utsushi for a more accurate experience of combat. However, Mai turned down the offer. Later that night, Mai remained worried, especially with the possibility of her clashing swords with Kanami.
The next morning, with the elite guard Maki Shidou watching over the day's tournament, Kanami and Mai enter the tournament venue, where they see the participants as well as spectators from both Minoseki and other schools. As Hiyori immediately took down the competition, Kanami won against Sayaka Itomi after a quick exchange of blows. Mai would also bring a swift victory against Kaoru Mashiko and her massive sword. After Hiyori won against Ellen Kohagura, Mai's greatest fear becomes real as she was matched against Kanami. Despite Mai's decision to use iaijutsu to stand a chance against Kanami, her attack was easily blocked by Kanami, sealing the match's favor to the latter.
Eventually, the finalists, Kanami Eto and Hiyori Juujou, face off on another venue reserved for the decisive match. Here, the match will be officiated by Yukari Origami, the head of the Origami family and revered as the "great hero of 20 years ago". Immediately, the start of the match became tense as Hiyori attacked Yukari instead of focusing on the match, prompting the Yukari's elite guard to strike back. Kanami's choice to save Hiyori forced her into sharing the aggression of the elite guard.
Despite this, Kanami's focus remains in finishing the decisive match between her and Hiyori, and this meant running away from the elite guard for the meantime.
- Sayaka Itomi
- Yukari Origami
- Maki Shidou
- Suzuka Konohana
- Kanami Etō
- Mai Yanase
- Hiyori Juujou
- Kaoru Mashiko
- Ellen Kohagura
- Yomi Satsuki
- Yume Tsubakuro
Insights by Hisane Kannazuki
The anime series uses techniques and movements from real-life swordsmanship schools without any changes made and with the same limits as their real-life counterparts. To that extent, we aim to combine what is possible within the bounds of an anime production with the characteristics of real-life swordsmanship schools in weapon scenes that viewers will enjoy watching.
In the anime, in bridging the ma'ai (interval) from a sizable distance, turning around while performing an attack provides both offense and defense, but in iaido, there are a lot of techniques for situations where both competitors are usually separated from each other and have their respective ma'ai (although situations involving seated competitors are also frequent). This is part of Mai's plan in her match against Kanami.
Insights by the Official Twitter
Utsushi can be cancelled by the user, or is cancelled upon loss of consciousness, moments of lowered concentration, or losing contact with one's okatana. Therefore, instructors warn students to "not release their utsushi".
Insights by Tatsuya Takahashi
The "Hitotsu no Tachi" (lit., "the one cut") as said by Hiyori is a thrust performed while using a Third-Layer Jin'i. Compared to the speed of a sword thrust, First-Layer Jin'i is 2.5 times as fast, Second-Layer Jin'i is 6.25 times, Third-Layer is 16.66 times and Fourth-Layer is 39.06 times as fast, with the Third-Layer Jin'i as fast as a pistol bullet and Fourth-Layer Jin'i exceeding the speed of a rifle bullet. Take note that we're talking about the speed relative to sword thrusts, not walking speeds.
A learned Jin'i cannot be raised beyond the layer it currently belongs to. Thus, a Toji with a certain knowledge of Jin'i cannot learn higher-layer Jin'i based on knowledge from lower-layer Jin'i. An exception to this is Hiyori's Shin'i (Deep Movement), which ignores the layer-based aspect of Jin'i acceleration. However, using Third-Layer Jin'i can cause weakness for two to three days, and using Fourth-Layer Jin'i can cause the user to faint not long after use.