"Heartache" (心の疼き Kokoro no Uzuki?) is the seventh episode of the Toji no Miko anime series, released on February 16, 2018. The episode was written by Takashi Aoshima, storyboarded by Yoshiki Yamakawa and directed by Hiroaki Kudou, with animation direction by Eri Kojima.
Under the care of the anti-Origami group Mokusa, Kanami and Hiyori finally meet the person behind the mysterious nickname FineMan, and they learn new insights on the Great Disaster of Sagami Bay and the current head of the Origami family. Meanwhile, Sayaka makes a crucial decision as she faces her fate as a tool for Yukari Origami.
Within Renpu Girls' School's premises, Yukina Takatsu prepares Sayaka Itomi as she holds a syringe of noro which she considers as the product of the research she performed under Yukari Origami's orders. Although Sayaka was ready to submit herself to the procedure, she instinctively swatted away the syringe, much to the shock of the president of Renpu.
Meanwhile, inside a submarine affiliated with Mokusa, as Ellen and Kanami received first aid from their injuries, they talked with Kaoru and Hiyori about the surprise involving the identity of FineMan, who is Ellen's grandfather. Later, Kanami and Hiyori met FineMan, introducing himself using his real name, Richard Friedman. Richard would later bring them to his laboratory, where he talked about the development history of the S-Equipment, as well as the changes to the Toji system since Yukari Origami assumed the position of head of the Origami family. He admitted that Yukari, who started gathering the noro in one place instead of enshrining them as individual pieces, contributed to the technological advancements that helped in the completion of the S-Equipment, but he was suspicious of how it was made possible.
Ellen would later continue the conversation in their quarters, linking the involvement of Hiyori's mother Kagari to the establishment of Mokusa and how Hiyori's sudden attack against Yukari almost ruined the plans of the group. However, Ellen was able to steal a vial of noro, which more than made up for the setbacks in Mokusa's plans by giving them something to prove the inhumane practices of the Origami family in creating artificial Aradama. Kaoru declared their work as done, and was ready to leave the rest of the anti-Origami plan to Richard Friedman and the president of Osafune Girls' Academy, Sana Maniwa.
As Kanami and Hiyori take their night's rest, Mai, who was still held within the Origami estate, was thinking about Kanami when she received her first call from Sayaka. While Mai was happy to hear from her, the call was cut off short. In reality, Sayaka was no longer within the Renpu campus, and Yukina demanded the Elite Guard to organize a search for her. Maki and Suzuka, however, refused to follow orders from Yukina since they move according to Yukari's orders. Enraged by the show of defiance, Yukina insulted Maki and Suzuka for their recent failures and stormed away. In her rage, she slapped a still-recovering Yomi Satsuki and belittled her existence as an Elite Guard. Yume saw the commotion and, after considering their similarities in age and talent, decided to look for Sayaka herself.
Sayaka was mulling over her sudden decision to escape the Renpu campus as she hid near a convenience store, and it was Mai who found her. However, Yume was able to find the two, but decided to let them go if they could get away from her after she counted to ten. Mai and Sayaka decided to use the opportunity to escape, but Yume easily caught up with them, and a fight broke out between Yume and the two in the grounds near Tsurugaoka Hachimangu.
Sayaka was able to match Yume's swordsmanship, but Yume urged her to use something that could gain her the upper hand; Sayaka was tempted to use it against Yume, but remembering Kanami's words made her reconsider. A disappointed Yume then decided to finish off Sayaka, but Mai was the once who received the Elite Guard's attacks in her stead. Seeing Mai getting hurt for her sake forced Sayaka to attack Yume more viciously, but Yume also started fighting more seriously, eventually defeating Sayaka and preparing to attack her without Utsushi. Soon, Yukina arrived with four students of Renpu to bring back Sayaka and prevent Yume from taking further action. Yume relented, but not before taking down Yukina's companion students. Meanwhile, Sayaka finally spoke about her decision to Yukina directly, and walked away from her role as a tool for Yukari, with Mai accompanying her.
As Mai and Sayaka shared their first moment as friends near Shichirigahama, President Ema Hashima from Minoseki Academy arrived with Mai's butler Shibata, asking them to move to somewhere safe after the events that conspired. As Shibata took them by car, Ema received a call from Sana, confirming that Mai and Sayaka would be under the latter's supervision, and Ema voiced her readiness to face responsibility in her recent actions.
In a mountainous area, Mai and Sayaka were reunited with Kanami, Hiyori, Ellen and Kaoru, with Ellen welcoming them as members of Mokusa. Then, Richard Friedman arrived by car, and a woman introducing herself as Akane Origami stepped out of the car, greeting them as another member of Mokusa.
- Yukina Takatsu
- Sayaka Itomi
- Hiyori Juujou
- Ellen Kohagura
- Kanami Etou
- Kaoru Mashiko
- the Toji in the Dream
- Mai Yanase
- Maki Shidou
- Suzuka Konohana
- Yomi Satsuki
- Yume Tsubakuro
- Ema Hashima
- Sana Maniwa
- Richard Friedman - Ellen's grandfather and creator of S-Equipment, known publicly as FineMan
- Akane Origami - A member of the Origami family and a member of Mokusa
- The convenience store where Sayaka went in hiding for the night is modeled from the convenience store located at Kamakura, Omachi 1-chome.
Insights by Hisane Kannazuki
The teachings of the Ittou-ryu family of sword styles go way back to the Chujo-Ryu martial art style, and this video acts as an introduction to its techniques. Kenjutsu supervision collaborator Takanashi-sensei is using an uchidachi in this movie. Comparing the Ittou-ryu of Mai and Sayaka side-by-side might be interesting.
The opponent for Episode 07 is Yume, the last of the Elite Guards, and during the scene where she caught up at the shrine grounds, she used a stance famous among Tennen Rishin-ryu practitioners called "hira-seigan no kamae" (lit., "flat seigan stance"). Yume brings down her okatana to chuudan level but with the sword facing sideways, pointing ahead. I feel like Yume's personality begins to manifest at around this point.
Later, Sayaka performed a strike that brushed away Yume by receiving her blow then returning it with a sweeping attack, causing Yume to be driven into a wall. At that time, Sayaka might have performed an Ittou-ryu technique called "Hitotsugachi".
Lastly, Mai demonstrated a nukiuchi (an attack made immediately after unsheathing one's blade), but due to circumstances in production, all that's shown in the episode is the stance of the act of nukiuchi. Sooner or later, Takanashi-sensei will perform the technique in action, after which I will deliver my commentary as soon as I receive the footage.
[After one week] Last week, Mai demonstrated a nukiuchi. The stance is relaxed, and since the nukiuchi is done in an instant, adding it to the anime is difficult no matter what, I hope everyone understands. (Link to footage)
- Toji in the Dream: "They say boys grow a lot in three days. But they shouldn't forget about girls, either."