At the park, Sonoi is surprised to find himself finishing a beautiful watercolor of the scenery. He didn’t realize he had learned to paint already. At Donbura, Sonoza is full of emotion, crying and laughing at Haruka’s latest panels. He believes it is her best work so far and that she no longer needs him. Haruka disagrees and asks for them to continue working together.
Meanwhile, Miho wants to go back to work. But Tsuyoshi tells her that she must stay at home.
Later, the Donbrothers ask to see Tsubasa at Donbura to ask him about his relation to the Juto. They say they just want to know more about their enemy. Tsubasa scoffs at them thinking they’re some kind of heroes when they’re just civilians.
Tsubasa says all he knows is that Juto copy humans. And when you defeat the Juto, the human they were copied from can safely return. Tarou does not understand since JutoMiho had told him killing a Juto would also kill the human.
Tsubasa tells them to just let the pros handle the situation and to stay out of it since they’re just civilians. He gets up to leave and the Donbros think he’s a bit cocky considering he’s supposed to be a civilian himself.
Anyway, Jirou invites Tarou to the countryside as he’s heading back soon to spend time with Rumi and Terasaki-san. Tarou thinks that would be a good idea since he and Jirou are both from the Don Family. Tarou would like to say thank you for having helped raise Jirou.
Jirou excitedly shows Tsuyoshi a photo of him and Rumi. But when Tsuyoshi looks at the photo, Rumi is no nowhere to be seen.
On the other side of town, Miho is at the salon ready to work. Her co-worker asks if she’ll be okay since Tsuyoshi did not want her to come back. But Miho just wants to be out and about and not be locked up at home all the time.
Sononi watches Miho and relays her location to Tsubasa. She reminds him that if he killed the Juto, Natsumi will return. Tsubasa says he hesitates because it would be hard for him to kill something that looked exactly like Natsumi. He asks if they can just go to the Juto Forest and save Natsumi directly. Sononi says the way Tsubasa got caught up in the Juto consuming the Anoni would be unlikely to happen again.
Sononi tries to guilt Tsubasa by using his love for Natsumi to push him toward getting rid of the Juto. He leaves and finds JutoMiho at the train station.
Miho can sense Tsubasa’s bloodlust. After he henshins, she comments that he’s quite cute in this form.
Tsubasa shoots at her, but Miho says she is immortal. And besides, if he kills her, the real Natsumi will die too. Tsubasa refuses to believe her and they battle. Sononi watches Tsubasa and Miho go at it, but suddenly recalls Tsubasa’s words to her when he thought she was Natsumi.
Tsubasa dehenshins and charges toward JutoMiho. Once he’s grabbed hold of her from behind, he summons Murasame and slashes at her. The Juto reverts to her Miho form.
Sononi remembers Tsubasa saying that he would always love Natsumi, unconditionally. Just as Tsubasa is about to deliver a final blow to JutoMiho, Sononi rushes over and shoves JutoMiho out of the way. Sononi instead gets slashed on the arm by Tsubasa. Tsubasa runs over to her.
JutoMiho is able to escape and runs into Tarou. He asks her about what she told him regarding the Juto dying. Miho says she is not a liar. In understanding what it is like to act human, like being able to laugh or cry at the smallest things or wanting to reach for the stars, Sononi believes she understands humans more than even Tarou.
Tarou tries to help her, but she pushes him away, saying she hates the Don Clan.
Tsuyoshi finds the injured Miho stumbling back to their apartment. Waiting for the ambulance, Tsuyoshi says this happened because Miho left the apartment. But Miho utters Tsubasa’s name and that triggers something in Tsuyoshi.
Tsubasa has brought Sononi to safety. He asks why she protected the Juto. She admits that she lied about killing the Juto to save Natsumi. But why? Tsubasa asks.
Before Sononi can tell Tsubasa how she feels, Sonoi and Sonoza arrive and tell Tsubasa to leave. They say they will take care of Sononi. Tsubasa runs off.
Sonoi and Sonoza confront Sononi. Sonoi reminds her of the Don Clan originally loving humans so much they abdicated the world of Ideon. The Don Clan wanted humans and Noto to live peacefully together. But Sonoi says that would be the fall of the Noto. That’s why Noto who have feelings for humans must be executed according to the law.
Both Sonoi and Sonoza try to kill Sononi, but they hesitate and ultimately refuse. They admit that they are just like her when it comes to humans.
At Donbura, Tsubasa thinks about what he must do next. Master Kaito, however, relays a message to him from Tsuyoshi. Tsubasa goes to meet Tsuyoshi atop a parking garage.
Tsuyoshi asks Tsubasa if he really did that to Miho. Tsubasa tries to tell him that Miho is actually a Juto. But Tsuyoshi does not believe it and charges at Tsubasa.
Tsuyoshi henshins and takes Tsubasa up into the sky. Before they slam into another parking garage, Tsubasa also henshins and the two shoot at each other.
Tsuyoshi’s anger overcomes him and he shoots at Tsubasa until he is forced to dehenshin. Once Tsubasa is vulnerable, Tsuyoshi prepares a decisive shot. But Sononi comes running in to shield Tsubasa and ends up getting hit by the attack instead.
A shocked Tsuyoshi dehenshins as Sononi gets thrown across the parking lot. A Hitotsuki looking for validation appears and terrorizes Sononi. But both Tsubasa and Tsuyoshi try to push him back. The others arrive and the six Donbros henshin together for the first time.
Sononi is able to stumble away once again as the Donbros finish off the Hitotsuki.
Snow begins to fall in Tokyo. Sononi struggles to get herself up the stairs, but she loses consciousness and falls back all the way down.
Tsubasa comes running and takes her in his arms, pleading with her to wake up. Master Kaito appears with an umbrella before heading back to Donbura. There, he opens up his computer to initiate Tsubasa’s redemption of Kibi Points in order to bring Sononi back to life.
Sononi wakes up in Tsubasa’s arms. For a second, Tsubasa is happy and relieved. But he catches himself and pushes her off his lap.
Tsubasa gets up to leave. Sononi calls to him, but he tells her that he never wants to talk to her, be near her or even see her ever again.
Later, Haruka is eating dinner with Auntie Yuriko and feels like she’s forgetting something hugely important. It isn’t until she’s in bed that she realizes Tsubasa is Inu Brother.
Wowowow. This is Donbrothers right? Because for a moment I thought it was a completely different show. Lol
Seriously though, I really loved this episode. Do I wish there were more of these episodes sprinkled about during the season to balance out the outrageous(ly hilarious) nonsensical shenanigans? Absolutely! Of course.
But like I’ve said over and over every week, the Donbros have earned so much goodwill with me that I can forgive them for more than I would for any other toku season. Donbrothers has had some very high highs. And I think this episode is one of them.
For example, if this were a poor episode, I would spend most of this section whining about the virtual art gallery. I just watched the Donbro movie and then seeing Sonoi painting, I remember how I originally thought each of the iconic paintings would mean something in the story. But they ended up being absolutely irrelevant. … And I don’t care. lol
But anyway, this was definitely a Noto-focus episode. Did the show suddenly remember what the Noto3 were all supposed to be about? Yes they did. Again, I would’ve loved to have seen more actual development. And a few of the plot threads are thin at best. But I’ll take their current positions anyway.
The three of them have managed to understand and feel the emotions of the human world. Something that confused and even angered them at first. But thanks to those pesky Donbros, they’ve been able to find the beauty of what the human world has to offer.
And none of them more profoundly than Sononi. As disappointed as I was with them retconning (not really) Sononi saving Tsubasa from the forest last week, I was over the moon excited by how Sononi and Tsubasa’s story unfolded this week.
It was more of a Sononi-focus, really. And deservedly so. Of the Noto3, her objective in wanting to learn what this “love” thing was about was the most consistent. And the way the show weaved that together with the soapy plot they’d come up with for Tsubasa-Natsumiho-Tsuyoshi might actually end up being the season’s most well-executed story. Surprisingly enough. We’ll see what the final episodes hold with that.
Anyway, this episode just unfolded so well. Sononi’s devious plot to have Tsubasa kill her rival for his heart worried me a few weeks ago. I didn’t want Sononi to be irredeemable. But the way she put what she learned in action was just so good.
Sononi loves Tsubasa and knowing that him killing the woman he loves would only hurt him, she came clean and even put her own life on the line to correct her mistake and lapse of judgement. In understanding Tsubasa’s unconditional love for Natsumi, Sononi finally understood what love really is.
I loved that moment where Sononi is about to tell Tsubasa she lied because she loves him, only to get interrupted by Sonoi and Sonoza.
That display by Sononi then allowed Sonoi and Sonoza to come to terms with the fact that they too have been (positively) affected by their interactions with the Donbros this year. They don’t know what to do with themselves anymore. Questioning their very existence even? (Is this a theme for the season?!?!?! 🤯)
I guess we won’t get any more major scenes between Sonoza and Haruka (though I’d love to be wrong). But obviously Sonoi still has his drama with Tarou left to work out. But what are they if they are no longer the traditional, accepted version of a Noto? They have six episodes to figure that out! lol
Follow that with the dramatic standoff in the garage. I think that was a wonderful climax to the Tsubasa-Tsuyoshi “rivalry.” And then of course Sononi jumping in to shield Tsubasa and take the bullet (so to speak) herself.
And how about that final sequence. Sononi losing consciousness and falling down the damn stairs?! Tsubasa actually using his Kibi Points to bring her back to life?! But also Tsubasa being conflicted about WTF just happened and not knowing what to think or how to feel anymore?!
Come on now. That was some amazing Sunday morning TV right there. Totaro and Miyazaki Amisa were so good in the scene. Peep that nuanced performance from these two great actors. Especially Totaro where Tsubasa is happy and relieved Sononi is okay for one second before catching himself.
Umm… how about these perfectly nuanced performances from Totaro and Amisa Miyazaki in this scene from Avataro Sentai Donbrothers 44 though? *chefskiss*
— DryedMangoez (@dryedmangoez) January 15, 2023
And they didn’t play it off as some gag or something. It was legit serious and emotional. And it drew upon existing facets of the story and of the characters involved. Man, imagine even 10 more episodes of Donbrothers like this during the season. Boy oh boy.
And there was still more squeezed into this episode! No, I will not forgive Tsuyoshi for basically killing Sononi. (Well, Tsubasa also slashed at her. But not intentionally hehe)
One of the loose ends they need to tie up here though is Tsuyoshi being unstable. Like, that’s probably one of the few things this season they can’t just laugh off. I hope they do something about it later.
I always love seeing JutoMiho in action. That scene at the train station was also great. Momoko Arata has also done some great work this season and it would’ve been awesome to have seen her get even more material to work with too. The scene of Miho and Tarou is another highlight.
They were able to add some things to her character as well this episode. I assume that was also partly to help realign whatever endgame there will be for Tarou (and Jirou) regarding the Don Clan and their adversaries.
Speaking of, I was legit shocked by the scene of invisible (nonexistent?) Rumi in the photo. My goodness! What the hell is that about? I assume we’ll learn more about that when they go back to the countryside as well as reveal what the origami meant at Jirou’s father’s home.
Overall, this was such a great episode to have enjoyed. It will probably be one of my favorites from the season. Yeah, it kind of makes me think “What could’ve been” this season. But tossing those feelings aside, I just appreciate having an episode like this to truly be excited and satisfied about.
Non-CGI Donbros of the Week