While training with Juuru and Tametomo, Sena runs into Makino, a former rival in the game of Karuta. Makino taunts Sena for being a coward who uses her speed to run away from her.
After Makino leaves, Muryou calls them about a Jamenshi downtown. Shiguru and Sayo join them and are shocked to find people with Hyakunin Isshu lines written on Karuta cards attached to their foreheads.
Hyakunin Isshu Jamen tells the Kiramagers after they henshin that they must play the game. Sena uses her skills to slap a card off a woman’s head and it explodes in the air. Hyakunin Isshu says he rigged the cards to explode once he finishes reading the first half of the card.
Moving on to the next card, Sena slaps another one off of someone’s head and it also explodes. She thinks she got it right. But Hyakunin Isshu says the card will explode if she touches the wrong card.
For the third card, Sena believes she has the right one. But she realizes it’s wrong before she knocks it off and now realizes it’s too late. Just then, Makino arrives and gets the correct card before it explodes.
While Makino scolds Sena for her poor skills, Shiguru is able to slice all the cards left in Hyakunin Isshu’s hands, freeing the people with cards attached to them.
Hyakunin Isshu Jamen escapes.
Over in the darkness, Garuza lets out his fury and is amused by the results.
Back at the coconut tree, the others believe they need training from Makino to help fight Hyakunin Isshu. But Sena wants nothing to do with her. She storms out saying she can dislike whatever she wants.
Shiguru, Tametomo, Dr. Sayo and Mabushina head to the Karuta Hall where Makino agrees to teach them.
Juuru and Mach find Sena by the water and suggest they go for a little drive. Sena admits that she grew hopeless going up against Makino as she would always just speed forward without thinking. Juuru says that is Makino’s forte. But in Karuta, it is a weakness and Makino recognized that.
Sena would be too fast, thus always picking the wrong card. Makino taunted her by saying she should slow down, but then she’d have nothing left.
Sena says she and Makino were great friends in the past though, especially when they played Karuta.
Juuru believes Makino is actually afraid of losing to Sena. He observed it when they met earlier.
Meanwhile, Hyakunin Isshu storms into the Karuta Hall and is surprisingly joined by Garuza who becomes the reader. Tametomo goes up against Hyakunin Isshu, but loses the first card. That results in Tametomo getting turned into a card himself.
By the time Juuru, Sena and Mach arrive at the Hall, Dr. Sayo and Shiguru are both trapped in cards as well. Now it is Makino going up against Hyakunin Isshu.
But Makino gets the wrong card because Hyakunin Isshu cheats with fake cards he can control.
Sena hurries over to Makino whose Dark Energy begins emerging from her body. Makino says that she wanted Sena to see her win. Sena asks if Makino is actually afraid of her.
Makino admits it. She was never able to beat Sena with speed. So in her desperation, Makino used that to her advantage by leading Sena on toward wrong cards and intentionally unsettling her with hurtful words.
Makino says she only became Karuta Queen because Sena left. But really, she missed being able to go up against Sena the most.
Makino turns into a card and now it is Sena’s turn to go up against Hyakunin Isshu.
She ends up winning card after card by using her speed. She observes where Hyakunin Isshu moves and is able to figure out which cards are the correct ones. Her speed allows her to beat him to the right cards.
Hyakunin Isshu releases the others from the cards and the Kiramagers henshin. They are able to destroy all his cards to finish him off.
Carantula sends over Heian-kyo Basra Jamenju. The Kiramagers hop into Kiramaizin. But Garuza hops into Smog Jouki to join in the battle. He grabs a couple in their stalled car and attaches it to Heian-kyo Basra’s grid face to protect it from attack.
The Kiramagers call Garuza a coward and that only fuels his Dark Energy.
Juuru summons Mashin Express and Sena decides to hop into King Express. Garuza has no choice, but mentions it being one of the four Titans of Crystalia, the Speed Titan.
Sena is able to use King Express to get the couple in their car to safety and then proceeds to finish off Heian-kyo Basra for good.
Garuza escapes into the darkness, but promises they will meet again.
Later, Sena and Makino meet and express their fondness for each other and the hope that they can remain close and friends in the future.
A very interesting episode. This is definitely my first time learning about Karuta so that was different and fun for me. The episode did a creative job of using Karuta in the plot.
I think this was a little better focus episode for Sena than the first one with the running and responsibility plot. That one was really shared more with Juuru. So this episode was more truly Sena-focused. And it was an unexpected story for her too.
Though the relationship between Sena and Makino was pretty basic and there was potential to do more, it was still good enough to add to Sena’s character a little. I actually think Makino got better character development in this episode rather than Sena though.
Juuru and Mabushina still have had the best character episodes so far.
The design of Heian-kyo Basra Jamenju was great! Definitely interesting reading about Kyoto’s grid design and seeing it used in the design of a MOTW is really fun.
Overall, an okay, interesting episode with a unique theme.