At Donbura, Tsuyoshi with a lot on his mind, snaps at Tarou, Haruka and Shinichi. He quickly runs out, embarrassed.
At the police station, Auntie Yuriko and a pair of detectives come in to interrogate Tsubasa. Auntie Yuriko thinks Tsubasa is an ikemen and believes he is a good fugitive. Tsubasa tells the detectives that he is innocent of the charges against him since he has found Natsumi and they are in fact living together again. He says they can find her at the apartment. The detectives go check it out.
Tsuyoshi sees Natsumi walking by and runs over to her, calling her “Miho” and trying to get her to remember him. Natsumi doesn’t know what he’s talking about and a police officer comes by to arrest Tsuyoshi for harassment.
The cops throw Tsuyoshi into the same cell as Tsubasa. Tsubasa asks about the one million yen reward, but Tsuyoshi says this was never about the money. Tsubasa says he understands how Tsuyoshi feels.
Tsuyoshi offers to split the reward money with him, but Tsubasa says it’s okay. Tsuyoshi thinks Tsubasa is trying to bribe him into giving Miho up and they scuffle. The police hurry in to separate them.
Later, the detectives return and say they have confirmed Natsumi’s whereabouts. Auntie Yuriko is happy that her instincts were correct. But they still have some unresolved issues to take care of. There have been similar cases of people going missing and returning acting differently or weird. In fact, they have confirmed they have become Jutos.
So far, they have found that Jutos are violent, but also free-spirited and like to fold origami. Tsubasa remembers Detective Sayama is exactly that way. That’s why the detectives want him to help them by observing Natsumi. It could lead them to finding out what the Juto are and what they want. In exchange, they can get the charges against him dropped.
Tsubasa can’t believe Natsumi would ever be a Juto, but he agrees in order to find out for himself.
Meanwhile, Sonoza finds a weakened Murasame downtown and seals him with manga pages.
On the other side of town, Rumi arrives in Tokyo for the first time to visit Jirou. But she is surprised to see him sick in bed. A delirious Jirou thinks he’s dead and seeing an angel.
Elsewhere, Tsubasa finds Natsumi practicing some Shakespeare. He applauds her and she is excited to see him. They make their way to a different side of the park where Tsubasa decides to propose to her. He says he almost did it before, so he figures he should get it on her finger now.
Sononi watches as Natsumi excitedly accepts the ring. Sonoi asks if Sononi’s interest in learning about love is the reason she is interested in Tsubasa. She says yes and that Tsubasa has chosen to walk a fraught path that will end up wounding him. “And then… he will shed the blood of love.”
That evening, Tsubasa cooks Natsumi a delicious dinner complete with champagne. After enjoying their meal, Natsumi falls asleep. Tsubasa takes this opportunity to visit Papa Jin to ask about the Juto.
Tsubasa offers Papa Jin some food so he’ll be more willing to talk. Papa Jin explains that this area where he is imprisoned for having raised Don Momotaro was once a gate that gave Juto access to the human world. If the Juto are in the human world now, they must have found another way.
Tsubasa asks where that is, but Papa Jin has already finished his food. Thus, visiting hours are over.
Tsubasa returns home and finds Natsumi is gone. But an origami crane has been left on the table.
Next day, Tarou encounters a young man who has been hyper-focused on studying and desires to know what youth is all about. Tarou brushes him off, but the young man has already been overcome by a Hitotsuki.
The Donbros assemble as the Hitotsuki begins rampaging. The Hitotsuki attacks them with a youthful slow-motion effect so Tarou uphenshins to Goldon and then locks in a ToQger Gear to allow him to counter it.
The Ryuko no Geki pops up in front of a still-sick Jirou. Rumi tries to stop him from leaving, but he insists. When Rumi hugs him, her wonderful scent calms Jirou down so much that he collapses, thinking he really is in heaven.
Tarou delivers a peach finisher at the Hitotsuki and it embiggens. The Donbros combine into Goldon Onitaijin and finish off the Hitotsuking. The young man, back to his normal self, happily runs toward the sunset and his youthful future.
Meanwhile, Tsubasa hurries to look for Natsumi and finds her sucking in an Anoni. Tsubasa cannot believe she really is a Juto. Suddenly, Sayama comes zooming in to try and take the Anoni for himself.
Natsumi and Sayama face off, but Natsumi jumps away when Tsubasa approaches. Sayama proceeds to suck in the Anoni. Tsubasa henshins and leaps toward them, but also gets sucked in.
Tsubasa wakes up and finds himself in a strange forest. He sees the Anoni being chased by two Juto who split her up and eat her. Tsubasa walks the other way and begins to follow a faint singing nearby. Along the way, origami animals begin emerging throughout the forest.
Tsubasa stumbles upon an area where unconscious humans are hanging in trees. He spots Sayama as one of the people, but he also sees Natsumi.
Tsubasa tries to reach Natsumi, but the origami stops him from climbing up. A Juto arrives and ties him up in vines before forcing an origami into his mouth. This allows the Juto to assume Tsubasa’s identity. And as it does, Tsubasa falls unconscious.
In the human world, JutoTsubasa is at the ramen restaurant. But he scarfs down all the meats, scaring the other customers and slamming the chef’s face into the bowl of soup.
After eating, JutoTsubasa folds a cat origami.
Wowowow! This is the kind of stuff I want to see! This episode played out like some of my favorite episodes over the years. Ones where the episodes start off goofy or light and end with something big or dramatic. And boy did they do that here.
I definitely lost track of time, so I thought they were going to end the episode on a cliffhanger with Tsubasa flying through the portal. But OMG, those scenes in the Juto world were insanity. The creepiness. The ominous atmosphere. Those Kodama-like origami animals. The image of lifeless people hanging from the trees! Like, WTF! I loved it!
No no. I don’t love morbid things. lol But I do love seeing stories take some unexpectedly darker turns. Especially when it affects characters I actually care about and want to see heroically escape those situations.
JutoTsubasa taking his place is the kind of unexpected twist that gets me excited. I hope they don’t just resolve it next episode, but maybe drag it for a few episodes. Maybe this is what reveals Inu Brother’s identity to the others?
Honestly, when Tsubasa went through the Juto portal, I thought they were doing it to give an excuse to allow Tsubasa/Totaro to be nonexistent in episodes again. But nope! They actually went all the way to finally show us just how threatening the Juto truly are.
Even when Tsubasa went to see Papa Jin, I at first thought we’d get an expository speech from him. Then I thought him not telling Tsubasa anything actually important was a cop out. But all of this really helped to set-up the surprising ending of the episode.
I noticed earlier in the episode some interesting directing choices. Some interesting angles and shots. Reminds me of Ryusoulger‘s “Attack on Tyramigo. And I think that also added to making the final moments of the episode work. It was such a jarring moment that you can’t help but be left in shock and awe at seeing WTF was going on.
The Juto have been lurking about all season. And normally, I’d be annoyed that they haven’t really emerged in a big way until now. But this is Donbrothers and I easily forgive it for everything. lol There’s still around 15 episodes left. But there’s also a lot of story left to tell. Or at least, potential story. I hope JutoTsubasa is the trigger for the all the main plot threads to finally start moving much quicker.
I really enjoy seeing JutoNatsumiho in battle. And against JutoSayama again too. I hope we see more. And perhaps her going up against the Donbros would be amazing.
I also hope they continue the great soapy stuff. I need the Tsuyoshi-Natsumiho-Tsubasa-Sononi quadrangle to go full-on soap opera please. Thank you. Lol
The youthful slow-mo was amusing. I would’ve loved to have seen a whole episode of them playing with coming-of-age story tropes. lol Especially since it would relate to a pseudo-ToQger tribute.
But anyway, I loved this episode. It certainly kept up the great vibes from last week. And I hope it can continue. I have enjoyed the season’s slowburn. But with the big, exciting development at the end, I hope we can continue to get more consequential movement with the stories.
Non-CGI Donbro of the Week