Sonoshi, Sonogo and Sonoroku introduce themselves to Shinichi and Haruka and announce that they are here upon orders of The Council to hand down the sentence to the Noto3 for their desertion: execution. The Noto456 send explosions their way.
Over in Kakamura, Tsubasa has been searching for Tarou all afternoon without any luck. Jirou finds Tsubasa and says he’s been looking for them both all afternoon too since he wanted to introduce them to Rumi. Remembering what he and Tarou saw earlier, Tsubasa snaps at Jirou and tries to get him to realize Rumi does not exist.
Meanwhile in the Juto Forest, Tarou wakes up and tells the arguing Juto to hurry up and copy him already. JutoTerasaki arrives and says Tarou was a fool to eat the origami himself. Tarou says it doesn’t matter since he and Jirou are both of the Don Clan anyway. JutoTerasaki acknowledges that the penguin Juto needed the blood of the Don royal family. And a member of the Don Clan needs to watch over the forest.
Tarou points over to the real Terasaki-san and JutoTerasaki says that he has been sleeping there for 100 years, meaning both are nearing the end of their lives.
Just then a Juto comes to copy Tarou.
Over at the virtual art gallery, the Noto456 banish the Noto3 saying they no longer have the right to use it. Sonoshi, Sonogo and Sonoroku cackle that they will have fun slowly playing with the three of them.
The Noto3 retreat to Donbura where they tell Shinichi and Haruka what’s happened. Haruka asks if they can do anything about Tsuyoshi, but Sonoi says this is different from when Tarou got boxed and sent away. The Noto3 ask about where Tarou and Tsubasa are.
Master Kaito says something must have happened to them while visiting Kakamura. Otherwise, they would’ve showed up when Tsuyoshi turned into a Hitotsuki.
Sonoi asks Master Kaito to relay a message to Tarou about the possibility of them all working together. Shinichi says that is difficult considering they were fighting against each other as late as yesterday. Not to mention all the people they have eliminated until now.
Sonoi asks what they must do then and Shinichi says they must show their sincerity. Sononi asks Shinichi to teach her how to haiku and he almost gives in, but catches himself. The Noto3 don’t know what sincerity is and Kaito says humans usually express it using money.
The Noto3 leave and sit up on a rooftop thinking about how to find money. They had already spent their allowance from The Council.
Suddenly, the Noto456 arrives and are ready to get to business. Sonoi henshins and tells Sononi and Sonoza to leave. Sonoi manages to sneak away as well and is determined to retrieve the Ring of Forgiveness from the Juto Forest.
Back in Kakamura, Jirou introduces Rumi to Tsubasa. But Tsubasa of course sees no one next to him. Tsubasa decides to just play along for now so he can ask Jirou if he knows anything about the town potentially having a connection to the Juto Forest. When Tsubasa mentions that he needs to save his Natsumi, Jirou turns the tables and says perhaps Natsumi/Miho is the fake one.
Before Tsubasa can snap back, JutoTarou arrives. He quickly transforms into a Juto to slap Jirou and toss Tsubasa aside before he leaves.
As Tsubasa lies on the ground, he notices a full moon in the sky and quickly heads inside to look through Shiina Naoki’s manuscript. He sees that the full moon is prevalent in the pages.
An exasperated Jirou comes in asking Tsubasa how in the world Tarou became a Juto. Tsubasa tells him about Tarou taking his place, but Jirou cannot believe it. JutoTerasaki walks in and confirms what Tsubasa is saying.
Back in Tokyo, Natsumiho comes across JutoTarou making deliveries. She recognizes that he is a penguin Juto, but can see why Tarou would allow himself to become one. She slaps him in order for him to remember why himself and he does.
But Tarou asks Natsumiho why she would help him. She says that humans are full of pain and sorrow and she’s had enough of that.
Natsumiho leaps to the other side of town and right into the middle of a group of rabid Jutos. She wonders what she could have done to illicit such contempt from them.
Over in Kakamura, JutoTerasaki tells Tsubasa and Jirou about the House of Don feeling anguished over the Noto seeing humans as only resources. That’s why they created the Juto to replace humans. But the Juto merely brought about the fall of the Don Clan and in return, the Don family sealed the Juto in their own forest. That’s why the responsibility of keeping the Juto locked tight fell onto the family.
JutoTerasaki says he intentionally raised Jirou to become his own replacement as protector of the Juto Forest. And all this time, it was only them two in this town. JutoTerasaki created illusions of everyone in town, including Jirou’s friends. He wanted Jirou to live a happy life here.
Jirou tries to process all this information. JutoTerasaki says he is dying soon and that’s why Tarou took the role of protector in place of Jirou. Jirou falls to his knees in despair.
Tsubasa steps in to ask about the full moon and if it has anything to do with the forest. JutoTarou arrives and says he can answer that question. The full moon is the entrance to the forest.
JutoTerasaki realizes Tarou allowed himself to become a Juto in order to get this information. And he was able to do that by copying the Juto instead of the Juto copying Tarou.
JutoTarou points to the full moon’s reflection in the old swimming pool. He grabs Tsubasa and they jump in.
JutoTarou and Tsubasa land in the forest and head to the hanging Tarou in the tree. Tarou commends the Juto on a job well done. He spits the origami out and the Juto reverts back to its own form before running away into the forest.
Tsubasa runs over to cut Natsumi down from the tree. But Sonoi suddenly storms in, fighting off Juto. Tarou and Tsubasa henshin to help in the fight. And while they are busy with the Juto, Sonoi encounters JutoTerasaki who realizes Sonoi is here to save the people the Noto have eliminated.
Sonoi says that is his sincerity and JutoTerasaki is pleasantly surprised to see that the Noto are capable of changing as well.
Tsubasa calls for Murasame, but Tarou says there is no need. He instead uphenshins to Goldon and the bright golden light shines through the forest, burning all the origami. The humans that had been hanging from the tree fall to the ground.
Tarou speaks to the Juto. He says their existence is not a sin, but hurting humans is and they must stop. From now on, the Juto will spend the rest of their lives in this forest, unable to ever leave.
The Juto run into the trees, refusing to challenge Tarou.
As the fog clears, JutoTerasaki points to the Ring of Forgiveness on a nearby hill. Sonoi approaches it and spins it. All the humans they had previously boxed and sent away return to the human world, including Tsuyoshi. When he sees Haruka, Shinichi, Sononi and Sonoza fighting the Noto456, he quicky henshins.
Back in Kakamura, Jirou is with Rumi and his friends. He says they can’t possible be illusions since they’re right in front of him. abunaiJirou takes over and is resolved to save Tarou so he can defeat him himself. But Rumi and friends begin to fade away as they wish Jirou safety and good luck.
Rumi and friends cheer on a shocked Jirou as they disappear for good. Jirou falls to his knees and cries. Over in the forest, the JutoTerasaki disappears.
JutoNatsumiho, meanwhile, is still battling the swarm of Juto trying to attack her. But she is taken aback when she is able to defeat the Juto herself. She realizes Tarou has rescued the captured humans from the forest and commends him.
The Juto leap onto Natsumiho as she falls into the creek.
Meanwhile, Tarou, Tsubasa and Sonoi arrive at the battle. They all henshin and work together against Sonoshi, Sonogo and Sonoroku. They deliver finishers at the Noto456 and drive them away, for now.
Later, Tsubasa is so happy when Natsumi wakes up in his lap. She says it feels like she just came out of a really long dream. Tsubasa says the dream is over. He takes her into his arms.
The Missing posters of Miho that Tsuyoshi had put up all over the city have now fallen off and are scattered around, including in the creek where the JutoNatsumiho’s dead body floats along until it sinks.
After first watch, I felt like it was a pretty good episode. But after second watch for this recap, I felt even better about it. A really good episode methinks.
First of all, Why did I cry when Jirou’s friends disappeared? Huhu. It’s hard to think of a better position in the season for this part of the story to play out. I feel like a good next step would be for abunaiJirou to avenge Jirou for the fake life he’s been forced to live. Or even Jirou adopting abunaiJirou’s personality more and then the two of them fusing or whatever. That would be interesting. But definitely would need a bit more time to flesh out than just the final four episodes.
Being able to explore more about Jirou’s growing up would have been a great story. Especially as a contrast to Tarou’s childhood. Jirou had “friends,” but they weren’t real. Tarou had only his Papa Jin with everyone else isolating him. So telling those stories together, especially as Don family members, would be a good endgame sort of plot. Since it’s because of the Don Clan’s mistakes and failed experiments that have really brought about all this conflict.
Instead, I guess Jirou’s story (so far?) just helps to hold up the Juto plot thread of the season. It makes sense overall even though you might be able to argue Jirou, Terasaki-san and his town were diminished to mere plot devices for the main Juto story. At the same time, the JutoTerasaki wasn’t malicious, per se. But saw this as the only way to protect the world from the Juto even if it meant having to unfairly thrust Jirou into the responsibility. He wanted Jirou to at least live a happy life before he was to take over as the protector.
When it comes to the Juto conclusion, I think it was about as good as they could’ve done with it. I think they actually have done a good job with the Natsumiho plot thread. The one criticism I will have right now would be them not showing more of Natsumiho, or I guess JutoMiho, and her I guess jaded feeling or exhaustion. I liked the scene in this episode where she basically says she’s tired of the human’s pain and sorrow and is basically over it all.
Natsumiho has always been interesting as not only was she connected to a few of our main characters, she was also cool and intriguing on her own. She was an outsider as a Juto. And especially when she would have her own fight scenes, even if short and not too often. So I think she was probably one of the better characters. It even added some mystery as to who she really was and how the whole Natsumi/Miho soap opera plot would play out.
Should be interesting to see Tsuyoshi’s reaction to what’s happened moving forward. And of course how Natsumi readjusts to being awake. Not to mention Sononi still having lingering feelings for Tsubasa.
Tarou’s gold wave over the Juto forest was quick and easy, but also made sense. Like Terasaki mentioned, it needed to be a Don family member to take care of the forest and Tarou did it decisively. Even if convenient.
As for the Noto456, they do feel a little like a last-minute addition to give the DonbroNoto superteam someone to battle as the final boss. But with the way the season has played out, I’m not as annoyed by the lack of a clear, all encompassing endgame. Again, I feel like the season’s slice of life approach to the usual toku story beats lends itself to being more understated. (Not underwhelming though! lol)
Did I wish the show did things differently? Absolutely. Was I satisfied with the conclusions we reached this episode? Yes, I think I am. And it’s not just me being a Donbrothers apologist. I think the pieces they had all came together well. They did well with what they put together for themselves. Something like a bumpy plane ride making a safe landing.
It was a really good episode. I enjoyed it and felt it. I think all those KibiMangoez Points again help. But also because the episode involved characters that I actually do care about and like a lot.
Non-CGI Donbro of the Week