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Title: KAMEN RIDER HIBIKI
Description: 2005 - 2006


Raymond - December 7, 2005 04:19 AM (GMT)
Information on KAMEN RAIDA HIBIKI

Number of episodes: 48 + 1 Theatrical Feature + 1 Direct-to-Video Feature

Motorcycles: GAIKA (Hibiki); TATSUMAKI (Ibuki)

Enemy Force: MAKAMO

CAST:

Hidaka Hitoshi / Kamen Rider Hibiki: HOSOKAWA SHIGEKI
Adachi Asumu: TOCHIHARA RAKUTO
Izumi Iori / Kamen Rider Ibuki: SHIBUE JOHJI
Todayama Tomizo / Kamen Rider Todoroki: KAWAGUCHI SHINGO
Zaitsuhara Zaomaru / Kamen Rider Zanki: MATSUDA KENJI
Danda Daisuke / Kamen Rider Danki: ITO MAKOTO
Saeki Sakae / Kamen Rider Sabaki: No Actor
Eiki / Kamen Rider Eiki: No Actor
Shinagawa Shiori / Kamen Rider Shuki: KATAOKA REIKO
Tachibana Kasumi: GAMOU MAYU
Tachibana Hinaka: KANABE MIYUKI
TAKESHI Leader Tachibana Ichiro: SHIMOJO ATOMU
Amami Akira: AKIYAMA NANA
Mochida Hitomi: MORI ERIKA
TAKESHI Scientist Takizawa Midori: UMEMIYA MASAKO
Makamo Prince "Doko": MURATA MITSU
Makamo Princess "Hime": ASHINA SEI
Kabuki / Kamen Rider Kabuki: MATSUO TOSHINOBU
Habataki / Kamen Rider Habataki: YUE TAKEYUKI
Kirameki / Kamen Rider Kirameki: YAMANAKA SATOSHI
Touki / Kamen Rider Touki: MATSUDA KENJI (Movie Version)
Touki / Kamen Rider Touki: No Actor
Gouki / Kamen Rider Gouki: No Actor
Shouki / Kamen Rider Shouki: No Actor
Banki / Kamen Rider Banki: No Actor

PLOT:

The ancient evil Makamo, has long been thwarted by the group known as TAKESHI, who recruits and trains warriors into becoming "ongaku oni"--or "music / sonic sound demons". Teenager Adachi Asumi, while in the forest, runs into one of the Makamo monsters, and is saved by Hibiki, one of TAKESHI's best oni warriors. Immediately impressed by Hibiki, Adachi attempts to learn more about this ongoing ancient battle, and to also gain a mentor in life.

REVIEW:

Easily the most controversial series in the Rider mythos since KAMEN RIDER RYUKI, confusion reigned during the year-long airing of KAMEN RIDER HIBIKI.

Toei and Ishinomori-Pro decided to revamp the franchise again, this time telling a tale of humans who possessed "oni" or "demon" powers to battle an ancient evil. Each of these "oni" warriors used sound-based weapons to sonically destroy the evil beings, utilizing musical items that generated sound.

This concept of "musical demon warriors" versus "ancient creatures" became a bit too much for both hardcore fans and the casual viewer, who realized quickly that the concept of beating monsters with drums, guitars, trumpets, and other musical instruments was taking the Rider idea too far from Ishinomori Shotaro's basis of what a Kamen Rider was.

Toei and Ishi-Pro decided to also make the program very Japanese, because of the "ancient war" idea. The warriors all took their codenames using complex kanji writing, all denoting sound and demon, such as "Echo Demon", of who was Hibiki himself. While this may have been a novel idea to make the program more authentically Japanese, giving the demons simplistic names with complicated scripture descriptions didn't really teach anything Japanese at all. All it did was make it complicated for the main fanbase of viewers--the little children, who had a tough time reading the names without help.

The series turned off adults and teens by the droves, leaving only the children, who were less discriminating with program's contents. The production values were shoddy--all of the scenes were filmed outdoors at a large forest or park in the daytime, in order to save costs on night filming and location rentals. The monsters were primarily CG effects, and while that could have made the show better looking, the producers didn't mesh the CG properly with the human cast, which made for awkward looking action scenes that are simply too unreal, even for tokusatsu programming.

The plot revolved around a teen who followed the main character, a carefree warrior named Hibiki who was the senior oni in a group called TAKESHI that employed other oni warriors. As a coming-of-age story developed between the two characters, the scriptwriters wanted to project an aura of camaraderie and brotherhood, but concentrated so much on it that the other parts of the story were largely ignored on both action scenes that made sense as well as screentime for the other onis.

The show boasted over 10 oni fighters, but a majority of them had little to no screentime except for the opening credits in the second half of the series. Starting scenes were inexplicably rapid and unconnected with following scenes, and many bits of dialogue were throwaway lines that barely acknowledged what was happening.

To save more money on the program, the show focused on using the same two performers for the main humanoid villains, and also only had one "studio" location, which was a restaurant that the group used to finance their operations. Otherwise, the entire series was filmed in the same forest around the same time of day.

The unconnecting scenes, the shift of focus back and forth from Hibiki to Asumu, and the poor efforts in creating the villains, a majority of them CG effects or if they were humanoid, resembled masked Mexican wrestlers, turned viewers off completely.

Sponsors dropped the program, and toy sales went into a tailspin, as adult collectors refused to buy collectibles, and with no emphasis on the other mentioned-but-never-seen oni warriors, kids only could get items from the three onis that were focused on--Hibiki, Ibuki, and Todoroki. Other onis did pop up, but they got little screentime and never revealed their non-costumed forms--sometimes they would call on the phone, but were never seen.

Realizing that the program was in dire trouble and that the idea of musical onis that used sonics against CG monsters was an idea gone wrong, Toei for the first time fired their main staffwriters, and brought on veteran scriptwriters from past KAMEN RIDER shows to save the ailing program, who was losing viewers heavily despite having a decent lead-in from "Mystical Task Force MAGI-RANGER", which was not a ratings smash to begin with itself. Losing more viewers despite airing 30 minutes later on a weekend was a critical problem.

After the new script team joined the program, the writers veered away from the odd paring of Hibiki and Asumu for a bit and focused back on the master-student relationship that was at the heart of the program's aim at the start. A rather emotional and in-depth characterization occurred between Todoroki, a novice oni and his master Zanki, provided the viewers that stayed with the show a bit more quality television and delivered some heartbreaking moments, but the decline in viewership and poor reviews of past shows, coupled with lagging toy sales, could not rescue the show from terrible ratings. Unable to recuperate the lost viewers, the program went into high gear and wrapped up the storyline, but left the loyal fans in a lurch when the final battle was only half-seen before the program jumped a year ahead with no mention of the result, save that only Hibiki, Ibuki, and Todoroki showed up for the big battle, and that they all survived. A lengthy build-up to the critical final fight was completely rendered irrelevant when no other onis came to the big brawl, only three showed up, and viewers never got to see what happened.

Fan outrage was intense, as the Internet boards in Japan lit up with angry viewers and loyal tokusatsu afficionados were denied a spectacular fight sequence, but were given an ending where Asumu has outgrown Hibiki's mentoring and becomes a man of his own. Rider fans were already upset that the franchise didn't feature "Riders" that rode motorcycles other than Hibiki and Ibuki (Todoroki and Zanki didn't know how to ride motorcycles), some half-hearted romantic angles were spontaneously tossed in during lulls in the action, and that at the end, the onis were still battling the ancient evil as always, so no final results ever came to pass.

A feature length movie was also produced, as Toei was hoping for a quick financial turnaround to make up for lost revenue, but the movie itself was panned for also not providing a satisfactory ending (the movie also skipped on one of the final fights in their goal to create two concurrent storylines in the film), and the Ishinomori estate suffered a major loss by producing both the full-length film and the program itself.

The series also was "sabotaged" by Ishinomori-Pro itself, as KAMEN RIDER THE FIRST--a retelling of the original KAMEN RIDER with updated costuming, SFX, and closely following Ishinomori Shotaro's storyline for the original Rider concept, was released. Fans of all ages, from children to diehard Rider fans, were thrilled to see the original "bug-man" concept return to the screen, which made KAMEN RIDER HIBIKI all the more glaring as a failed entry in the Rider mythos.

Despite poor ratings, flagging toy sales, and lackluster acting performances from many of the show's regulars, Toei stuck by the program through 48 episodes, a standard norm of episodic airings for annual tokusatsu shows. Rumors had abounded that the program would be shortened due to weak popularity, but in order to properly prepare for the next Rider program, KAMEN RIDER HIBIKI did complete its allotted number of episodes--much to the chagrin of fans waiting for the next program in the franchise to come as soon as possible.

There are some fans of the program, as the ratings, although disasterous, kept steady by the end. The viewers that remained however, were treated to a poorly written ending, despite their loyalty, which sparked the heated debate among tokusatsu watchers about the completion of the program.

Learning from their mistake, Toei and Ishinomori-Pro veered the series back towards the initial Rider concept with the following program, which celebrates the 35th anniversary of the franchise.

foo - December 7, 2005 01:08 PM (GMT)
[STORY]
Since the olden times, there are people who have the ability to turn into demons.
They confined themselves in the mountains to study the craft and to undergo the excruciating training.
Using their powers, these demons (ONI) protect humanity from MAKAMOU.
They were worshipped for it.

Overtime, they were able to grasp the knowledge and perfect the form of transformation.
An organization called TAKESHI was then formed and spreaded all over Japan.
They have also managed to devise the sound attack techniques and the various weaponries that are feared by Makamou.

Armed with these powers, the Onis have continue to hunt down Makamou till now...

.
.
.
.
.

Episode 1, HIKU ONI. (The resounding demon)

Awaken by the familiar sound of the alarm clock, ADACHI ASUMU gets up for school.
He is joined by his classmate, MOCHIDA HITOMI.
It's the start of another day.

After class, Asumu goes to the brass band department to look for the teacher-in-charge, seeking her opinion on whether Jonan is a good high school.
His teacher is concerned with his decision to opt for a school not famous for its brass band.
However as Asumu is too engrossed in looking at the practice session, he does not hear what the teacher is saying.

Asumu takes a ferry to Yakushima island to attend a religious service with his mother, ADACHI IKUKO.
His mother is concern with his upcoming high school entrance exam.
He reassures her.

Asumu notices a man humming a strange tune as he is watching dolphins on the deck.
The man then saves a child who falls off the deck, with the physical ability beyond human capability.
Asumu is amazed by his ability.

Upon arriving at the island, Asumu's cousin, ADACHI CHIZU drives them to their mother's place.
Meanwhile at a public telephone, the man communicates with the sisters TACHIBANA KASUMI and TACHIBANA HINAKA about the arrival of a new disc.

As the man is entering the mountains, he takes out a disc and hits a tuning fork-like device against it. The disk transforms into an hawk-like form and flies off.

As Chizu is driving Asumu around the island after the service, he encounters the mystery man again.
He says that he is walking in the forest to borrow the strength of the trees.
Asumu is further drawn by this man known as HIBIKI.

They suddenly realise that Chizu is missing.
She is captured by DOUJI and HIME, both of whom have been monitoring Hibiki's movement.
The two disc animals that Hibiki unleased, hawk and wolf, appear to challenge them.

Upon discovering the unconscious Chizu, Hibiki leaves her to Asumu's care and gives chase to Douji and Hime...

Sounding the tuning fork, he henshins.
Douji and Hime transform into KAI-DOUJI and YOU-HIME respectively.
A battle ensues.
On witnessing this scene Asumu is stunned.

To be continued...

foo - December 7, 2005 01:15 PM (GMT)
Episode 2, HOERU KUMO. (The howling spider)

Frightened by Hibiki's flame, Asumu slips and exposes himself to the fight between Hibiki and Kai-Douji. Hibiki rescues him and gets injured in the process.
Hibiki recovers from his wounds after defeating Kai-Douji.

Hibiki decides to drive Asumu and the unconscious Chizu back to their grandfather's place, only for Asumu to realise that he is a paper driver! (paper driver - qualified but no practical driving experience)
After countless engine stalls, he manages to drive them down the mountains.

Asumu and Hibiki dig into dinner as Ikuko tugs Chizu into bed to rest.
On learning that Hibiki lives in Shibamata as well, Asumu is elated.

In the forest Hime is talking to someone in a hut.
An ominous voice emits from the hut...

Hibiki calls Kasumi to report his findings.
Both Kasumi and Hinaka feel uneasy on learning about the attack on humans by Makamou.

Asumu tries to tell his mother about his earlier adventure with Hibiki, but she's too drunk to believe him.
On witnessing this, Hibiki feels a sense of responsibility to Asumu.

That night, Asumu notices that Hibiki's room is empty.
He hurriedly gives chase and finds him on the sea coast, making a new ONGEKIBOU (sound attack stick).
The two of them start to talk, with Asumu bringing up his problem about high school.
Through Hibiki's words, Asumu feels liberated from his worries.
Hibiki gives him a compass and leaves for the mountain, leaving Asumu behind.

Together with his mother, Asumu goes to the south of the island to search for Hibiki.
They meet an acquaintance in the forest who sees a man resembling Hibiki.
On hearing this bit of good news, Asumu leaves his mother behind and walks further into the forest...

...where he encounters Hime in front of the hut.
Hibiki appears in time to save Asumu.
After telling Asumu to flee, he henshins.
The truth form of the mysterious hut is revealed: a giant Makamou spider, TSUCHIGUMO.

Asumu witnesses Hibiki defeating the spider.
Hibiki turns to him and says that he is well-trained...before letting out a big sneeze.

To Be Continued...

foo - December 7, 2005 01:20 PM (GMT)
Episode 3, OCHIRU KOE. (The fading voice)

Asumu returns to school, feeling invigorated after his encounter with Hibiki at Yakushima.
However the reality of life dawns on him upon meeting up with Hitomi, who's stressed up with the upcoming entrance exams.
The words of encouragement from Hibiki suddenly seems so distant now.
Then again, being the inattentive student that he is, Asumu tries to show his vacation photos to her, causing her to frown at him.

Meanwhile, Hibiki and Kasumi leaves for Okutama. Their target this time is the Makamou, YAMABIKO.
During the journey, Hibiki tries to confess to her about his true from being revealed to Asumu, but is unable to do so.
Kasumi is able to see through his unconvincing behaviour and takes a dig at him.

In the mountains of Okutama, two people are attacked by Douji and Hime.
As they ripped out their victims' Adam's apples, they let out a laugh of esctasy...

Hibiki runs into Ikuko as they stopped by a store.
Happy to see him again, she breaks into her usual non-stop bantering, telling him about how she knew of his true form from Asumu, being his saviour...blah blah blah.
Hibiki had to lie to her to escape her conversation.

However the damage has already been done.
Kasumi threatens him to self reflect on what he has done.
He promises to follow up upon returning to Shibamata.

With that issue out of the way, Hibiki begins importing datas into the disc animals and unleashes them into the forest of Okumata.
The search for Yamabiko begins.

Ikuko returns home and tells Asumu about her earlier encounter with Hibiki.
He is elated on learning about this.

Upon discovering the whereabouts of Douji and Hime, the disc animals notify Hibiki.
He immediately rushes to the scene, henshins and breaks into combat with the two of them.

Hibiki manages to dispose of them without much difficulty.
At this moment, in the deep of the forest, a giant being begins to move...

To Be Continued...

foo - December 7, 2005 01:25 PM (GMT)
Episode 4, KAKERU SEIJIROU. (The running Seijirou)

Morning.
The first thing Asumu sees as he wakes up listlessly, is the compass from Hibiki.
He puts it in a drawer and closes it; almost like he is shutting off from something.

Even though Hibiki manages to defeat Hime and Douji, both he and Kasumi are not able to locate Yamabiko.
It is possible for it to have already moved during the battle with the two of them.
With that in mind, Hibiki expands the disc animals' search range.

Asumu buries himself in studying for the upcoming high school entrance exam.
The consequences of failiing to get into Jonan High is unimaginable to him.

On the way back from school, Asumu learns from Hitomi about her dilemma of whether to continue pursuing drama activity or start cheerleading in high school.
It seems like Asumu is not the only one with similar concerns.

The disc animals return to Hibiki, with hardly any information on the whereabouts of Yamabiko though.
Hibiki decides to use this time to discuss with Kasumi on the issue of Asumu knowing his identity.
He manages to convey his thoughts and gains her understanding.

Asumu and Hitomi stop by a bookstore, where Asumu witnesses a middle-aged man (TACHIBANA SEIJIROU) rescues a child from being knocked down by a bicycle.
That vivid moment reminds him of what Hibiki did.
Sensing something about that man, Asumu follows him and hears him mentioning Hibiki's name.
Just as expected, he knows Hibiki.
Asumu decides to continue following him.

The next thing she knows just as she comes out of the bookstore, Hitomi is involved in the pursuit with Asumu, not knowing what is going on.
However their amateur detective work is easily detected by Seijirou.
He starts to run at a speed that they could not keep up with and when they thought they have lost him, he appears before them.
'Is this some form of prank?' he asks.
Seeing both Asumu and Hitomi grasping for breathe from the pursuit, he mentions that they are not well-trained, and gives a laugh.

Finally Yamabiko is found.
Hibiki henshins and confronts the fully-grown beast.
He manages to dodge its powerful attacks, before sinking his belt buckle into its chest and hitting it with his sticks.
The repeating hits eventually smash Yamabiko to dust.
Hibiki heaves a deep breathe as the scattered fragments are washed away by the river.

Hibiki and Kasumi return to "Tachibana" to see Seijirou there.
On later finding Asumu and Hitomi seated inside, he gives them a welcoming smile.

To Be Continued...

foo - December 7, 2005 01:30 PM (GMT)
Episode 5, TOKERU UMI. (The melting sea)

By the twist of fate, Asumu and Hibiki meet again.
He apologises to Asumu for allowing him to witness the shocking scene of him battling Makamou.
Asumu replies by saying that it is great to see him again.
With words of encouragement for his upcoming entrance exams by Hibiki, Asumu returns home invigorated.
Until he has cleared his exams, he will not see Hibiki.

Several days later, Seijirou holds a meeting at "Tachibana".
He wants to hasten the Makamou extermination.
This is due to the intensive physical exertion and resources required, something which they cannot afford at the moment.

Meanwhile at the coastal area of Boso, Douji and Hime begin attacking the fishing people.
Using a foam-like substance, they melt the body before tossing it to the sea.
A giant claw emerges from the sea...

As she is on her way to work, Ikuko encounters a man in front of a convenient store.
He notices her looking at him and greets her.
She replies, commenting that he is good looking.
He thanks her before disappearing into the store.

Asumu has a one-on-one talk with his teacher-in-charge, where she advises him to work harder on his studies.
The words hit Asumu hard, causing him to lose the confidence of being able to see Hibiki again.
Seeing Hitomi hard at work with her studies, the feeling of isolation starts to grow in him.

One of the Onis, ZANKI, is injured by the attack of the Makamou, BAKEGANI.
With Zanki out of action and his assigned area now vulnerable to Makamou attacks, Hibiki takes his place to exterminate Bakegani.
This is the first time he is facing it.

Upon arriving at the coastal area of Boso, Hibiki and Kasumi immediately dispatch the new crab disc animal to investigate the surrounding.
Later Hibiki discovers the disc animal bounded and unties it... before hearing the ominous voice of Hime.
Hibiki henshins and unleashes all three disc animals (hawk, wolf and gorilla) on him.
He eventually finishes Youhime off with his flame.

Suddenly, a giant Bakegani appears.
Managing to avoid its attacks, Hibiki places his ONGEKIKOU (belt buckle) on its shell.
However it emits a green foam and melts the buckle!
With his left arm hit by the foam, the stunned Hibiki has no choice but to escape into the sea.

At this moment, Asumu wanders aimlessly to the entrance of "Tachibana"...

To Be Continued...

foo - December 7, 2005 01:35 PM (GMT)
Episode 6, TATAKU TAMASHII. (The beating spirit)

"Until I've passed my exams, I will not see Hibiki."
Even though Asumu made this promise, he still finds himself at the entrance of "Tachibana", pondering on whether to enter or not.
Upon seeing him rather dejected, Seijirou invites him in.
Asumu learns from Hinaka that Hibiki is out on a mission at the moment.

Meanwhile, an injured Hibiki lies on some rocks to recuperate from the attacks of Bakegani.
With his Ongekiko swallowed, Bakegani is turning into a potent threat to him...

In place of the absent Hibiki, Seijirou takes over to listen to Asumu's problems with his entrance exams.
At this moment, a young man called IBUKI appears.
Through his conversation with Seijirou and Hinaka, Asumu realises that he is also an Oni.

They then receive a phonecall from Kasumi, notifying them about the injury sustained by Hibiki from his battle with Bakegani.
Not wanting to worry Asumu, Hinaka tells him that Hibiki is delayed and will not be back so soon.
Upon hearing that, he leaves the shop.

As he is walking back while looking at the compass given by Hibiki, Ibuki catches up on him in his bike.
'You are a Takeshi?', Ibuki asks.
'No, I'm Asumu', replies Asumu, not knowing what Takeshi is.
Mistaking Asumu as Hibiki's assistant, Ibuki tells him about his trip to deliver Hibiki's new Ongekikou.
Asumu then learns of Hibiki's injury and climbs onto Ibuki's bike to go look for him.

Hibiki is surprised to find the arrival of Asumu with Ibuki.
As both Hibiki and Kasumi wonder what is he doing here, Ibuki expresses his view that it is unwise that the apprentice is not by side of his Oni.

After eventually clearing up the misunderstanding, Ibuki passes the new Ongekiko to Hibiki.
As Ibuki prepares to leave with Asumu, Hibiki gets the latter to stay behind to talk about his problems.
Through Hibiki's kind words of encouragement, Asumu manages to break free of his bewilderment.
With his spirit uplifted, he makes his own way back to Shimabata.

Hibiki goes to face Bakegani again.
With his left arm ineffective in the battle, he is facing a hard time with its repeated scissor attacks.
A strike from Bakegani knocks his Ongekibou off his land hand.
Just as the battle is starting to turn against his favor, he somehow manages to plant the new Ongekiko on its belly.
With the Ongekiko installed well this time, he hits it repeatedly with the single Ongekibou on his right hand.
Bakegani is finally defeated.
As its dust is washed away, Hibiki de-henshins and heaves a sigh of relief.

At this moment, whilst in a train, Asumu opens up his reference book.
He vows to put his best effort to study hard.

To Be Continued...

foo - December 7, 2005 01:44 PM (GMT)
Episode 7, IBUKU ONI. (The blowing demon)

The entrance examination results for Jonan High school are out.
The scream of delight comes from Hitomi first, as Asumu continues to scan through the name list for his number... and finds it.
He has passed.
They explode into celebrations.

Meanwhile, Hibiki is training hard at Yamanaka.
Even though the workout is tough, he is still able to spot an expression of joy, to the familiar humming of his favorite tune.

Asumu receives a congratulatory phonecall from his mother, Ikuko, as he makes his way to "Tachibana". He wants to share the good news with Hibiki.
Upon arriving, however, he learns from Kasumi that Hibiki is out, making him a little disappointed.
Hinaka then secretly tells him that as an Oni, one is subjected to continual training to ensure optimum body condition.
And that Hibiki is currently training in the mountains of Shibamata.

Asumu returns home for a change of clothing.
He leaves a voice message in his mother's cell phone, informing her about his plan to go look for Hibiki, as he takes out the train schedule in his other hand.
He heads for Shibamata station.

At this moment, the new Douji and Hime are going about their demonic activity.
They attack a couple at a lake at Kohan, dragging them into the water.
There's something in the lake...

As Asumu is sitting and reading a travel guide book in the train, he notices a pregnant lady standing in front of him.
Just as he is hesitating on whether to give up his seat, a young lady seated nearby does so willingly.
Feeling rather embarassed, Asumu dares not look up.

Ibuki reports to "Tachibana", informing them of his operation to track down the Makamou, ITTANMOMEN.
It seems that it is near where Hibiki is undergoing his training.
In the meantime, Ibuki's apprentice, AKIRA is making her way to join up with him after her examination results announcement.

For his last training task, Hibiki challenges a big taiko drum.
Coupled with the serious look on his face, his forceful beating generates a powerful timbre, alternating between his human and Oni forms.

By the time the train arrives at his destination, Asumu has already fallen asleep, oblivious of the stop he is supposed to alight.
In the end he panickedly gets off at the next station and learns from the locals that the next train back is 2 hours away.
The stunned Asumu then notices the young lady from just down getting into a taxi, leaving him there alone.

The young lady gets out of the taxi at her destination in the mountains and waits for someone.
At this moment, Douji and Hime strike!
Just as they are about to drag her off by the leg, Ibuki arrives on his bike and rescues her.
He then blows into a whistle-like device... and henshins.
Ibuki breaks into battle with Kai-Douji and You-Hime.
The young lady looks on as Ibuki easily disposes of You-Hime.

Meanwhile, Asumu takes out the compass from Hibiki and begins to set off by foot into the mountains...

To be continued...

foo - December 7, 2005 01:49 PM (GMT)
Episode 8, SAKEBU KAZE. (The crying wind)

As soon as Ibuki defeats You-Hime, Kai-Douji follows up immediately and pounces on him.
ANNE TAKA (hawk disc animal) arrives in the nick of time to rescue Ibuki.
The person who controls the disc animal happens to be Akira.
Just as Ibuki is about to apply his finishing blow on Kai-Douji, Ittanmomen, appears and saves him.
Ibuki and Akira can only watch on as the giant eel-like Makamou flies off for the lake.

Travelling on foot, Asumu is having trouble trying to find the place where Hibiki is training.
Just as he takes out his cell phone to check the time, Hitomi calls, where she talks about having a graduation celebration party.
Before Asumu can reply, his battery goes dead and the call gets cut off.

As nightfall looms, the possibility of seeing Hibiki becomes increasingly remote.
The situation gets worse when Asumu realises that he is lost.
That is when he notices a camp fire and walks towards it tiringly.
Just as he is nearing a tent by the fire, Akira comes out of it, much to his shock.
It's the girl from the train!
Asumu then sees Ibuki.

The worried Ikuko makes a call "Tachibana", enquiring the whereabouts of Asumu: he has not return since leaving the voice mail of him going to look for Hibiki.
Kasumi remembers about Hinaka leaking Hibiki's whereabouts to Asumu and promptly interrogates her.
It is at this time that Ibuki calls to inform them that Asumu is with him.

The next morning, the awaken Asumu goes near the lake to stretch himself.
He sees a snake and panics, before realising that it is Ibuki's disc animal, NIBIIRO HEBI (snake disc animal).
Akira then calmly retrieves it and plays it back on her whistle.
It is only then that Asumu knows that Akira is of the same age as he is.
Their brief conversation ends in her finally exploding in a fit of anger and giving him a piece of her mind, telling him about how his unexpected presence and ineffectiveness are hindering their operation.
Even though Ibuki chides her for her outrage, Asumu still feels miserable by her comments.

Unexpectedly, Hibiki appears and cheerily greets Asumu.
When Ibuki leaves with Akira to exterminate Ittanmomen, Asumu bows and apologises to Hibiki for all that has happened.
Upon finding out what the matter is, Hibiki tells him more about Akira, and also to not harbor any feelings of indebtness.

Meanwhile, Ibuki henshins and battles Ittanmomen.
His task is made even more difficult without the support of Akira.
Nonetheless, he still manages to defeat Kai-Douji.
He then attaches his belt buckle to his trumpet and executes his pure sound attack.
The intense sound causes Ittanmomen's body to expand uncontrollably, before exploding in a big bang.

Upon accomplishing their mission, both Ibuki and Akira return to the camp.
Hibiki thanks him for the job well done and passes him a cup of tea.
He then looks at Asumu, giving him the eye signal to do likewise for Akira, which he timidly does so.
Akira accepts the tea and apologies to him for her earlier outburst.
For the first time, Asumu sees the gentle side of her.

To be continued...

foo - December 7, 2005 01:54 PM (GMT)
Episode 9, UGOMEKU JYASHIN. (The wriggling evil)

The summer vacation has finally arrive.
With the examination safely out of the way and the time to enjoy himself, Asumu starts off the vacation... by indulging in a good sleep.

Meanwhile, Hibiki is in the midst of a battle with Douji and Hime.
Just as he is about to henshin, Douji snatches his onkaku away and tosses it to opposite side of the river bank.
Seeing the golden opportunity, both Douji and Hime transform into their kaijin forms and launch their attack on him.
Nonetheless, Hibiki retrieves his henshin device and defeats them.

Asumu is late for his movie appointment with Hitomi, Katsunori and Kiko.
Unable to reach him on his cellphone, Hitomi has no choice but to return to her seat.
On the other hand, Ikuko returns from work and sees Asumu still in bed.
Knowing about his appointment with Hitomi, she hurriedly wakes him up.
He dashes out of his house.

At "Tachibana", Ibuki, Akira and Hinaka are strategizing against the Makamou in Chichibu.
They are having difficulty in identifying the Makamou in the area, whether it is UBUME or OOKURI.
In any case, as both are airborne beings, Ibuki's sound attack range would be effective on them.
With that settled, Ibuki sets off for Chichibu.

Asumu wanders around after his missed appointment with Hitomi, drifting from a music store to a book store.
As luck would have it, he notices two youths shoplifting.
Suddenly, their eyes meet and Asumu is numbed with fear by their stares.
The staff tries to catch the two culprits and they start to run.
A scuffle breaks out and ends up with Asumu being hit in the face by the girl's bag.

Under the guidance of his disc animal, Hibiki is led to the hideout of the Makamou, OOARI.
Slowly and steadily, he approaches his target...

No matter how she tries, Hinaka cannot clearly identify the Makamou in Chichibu.
It seems that lately the data from Takeshi has not been as useful and this worries Seijirou.
Meanwhile at Chichibu, a new Douji and Hime are already attacking humans...

Hibiki and Ooari engages in a battle.
Dodging the acid emitted from the Makamou ant, he breaks four of its right legs with his sticks, and rolls it over.
He immediately executes his drum attack... and smashes it into pieces.

Ibuki and Akira arrive at the scene where the human attack took place.
Analysing the scene, they realize that the attack is caused by neither Ubume nor Ookuri, but something else.
It is possible that it could be trouble for Ibuki.
Nonetheless they press on with their pursuit of the unknown Makamou.

The injured Asumu leaves the book store.
He encounters the male shoplifter on the street, the latter's face seething with rage...

To be continued...

foo - December 7, 2005 02:01 PM (GMT)
Episode 10, NARABI TATSU ONI. (The demons, side by side)

Asumu is confronted by the runaway shoplifter, who blames him for creating trouble.
Just as Asumu is about to be hit, Seijirou appears and prevents the attack.
The youth flees.
Asumu is saved.

Ibuki and Akira continue their pursuit of the unknown Makamou.
Suddenly a huge rock falls in front of them. Ibuki manages to escape the danger.
Despite knowing that he might not be able to handle this opponent by himself, Ibuki pushes on with his search.

Seijirou brings Asumu to "Tachibana".
It seems like misfortune is always falling on Asumu.
No amount of words from Seijirou is able to make him feel any better about it.

Meanwhile Akira contacts Hinaka, telling her of the need to send over the unknown Makamou's information.
Try as she might, Hinaka cannot seem to find it.

Understanding the situation, Asumu gets up and leaves the shop.
Other than seeing him off, there is nothing the concerned Seijirou can do.

Hibiki receives the news about Ibuki's pursuit and plans to join up with him.
Even though Kasumi is concerned about Hibiki's extended battle, she knows that the importance of the mysterious Makamou.
She makes a U-turn and sets off for Ibuki's location.

Akira is attacked by Douji and Hime and is hurt in the process.
Fortunately she is saved by Ibuki.
Seijirou then informs him that the unknown Makamou is OTOROSHI, a Makamou which appears once in every 100 years.
This is turning out to be a difficult battle.
Ibuki leaves behind the injured Akira to join up with Hibiki.

Upon arriving at the rendezvous point, Ibuki encounters both Kaidouji and Youhime.
Just as he is about to henshin, a sudden blow from Kaidouji sends him flying. Hibiki then arrives.
Both of them unleash their disc animals to corner the evil duo and henshin.
They are no match to the two Onis and are easily defeated.

At this time, a fully-grown Otoroshi appears in front of their eyes.
It then flies off, with Hibiki and Ibuki in pursuit.
With Hibiki piloting Ibuki's bike, TATSUMAKI, Ibuki aims his weapon at the the giant flying turtle... and brings it down.

Hibiki immediately accelerates to the crash site.
Suddenly he instructs Ibuki to jump off the bike.
It seems that Hibiki does not know how to stop the machine and it eventually crashes into a rubbish disposal area.

A combination of their attacks manage to knock Otoroshi down.
Hibiki's initial drum attacks on it fails.
Finally with the help of Ibuki, he manages to execute a new drumming move, GOUKARENBU NO KATA... and blows the beast up.

Hibiki heaves a sign of relief after the battle.
As he tries to thank Ibuki for his effort, he notices Ibuki's depressed look.
He is on the verge of tears as he sees his beloved bike in ruins.
No doubt it is Hibiki's fault, but he is still able to laugh it off.

Meanwhile, Hitomi appears in front of the depressed Asumu.
He apologizes to her for oversleeping and missing their movie appointment.
She comforts him that since she herself dozed off during the movie, they can watch it again together.
Asumu is touched by her gesture, and this gradually makes his miserable feelings better.

To be continued...

foo - December 7, 2005 02:05 PM (GMT)
Episode 11, NOMIKOMU KABE. (The swallowing wall)

It's spring time.
For Asumu, today marks a new beginning in his life.
He is now a high school student.
Wrapped in his brand new uniform, he walks slowly under the fully-bloomed cherry blossoms, clearly enjoying the moment.

At the entrance of Jonan, Hitomi & co. are left waiting for Asumu yet again.
Only when they finally spot him running from afar that they are able to enter their new school.

With the recent unexpected appearance of Otoroshi, Seijirou has to pull out all the old Makamou records for re-evaluation.
These records are stored in a secret room in "Tachibana".
In fact the whole buidling is designed to function like a ninja residence, equipped with moving walls and hidden rooms.
Only members of Takeshi know about this secret.

Accompanied by Akira, Ibuki tests out two new disc animals, KIAKA SHISHI (lion) and ASAGI WASHI (eagle).
They are able to repel his bullets.
As usual, Ibuki is left impressed by the works of Midori.
Who is Midori?

On the way back from school, Hitomi suggested to Asumu to visit "Tachibana".
She wants to show Hibiki their new school uniforms.
However as Asumu is still affected by the shoplifter attack incident, he is not in the mood to do so.
He tells Hitomi to go ahead and runs off, as if he is escaping from something.

A report comes in from the Takeshi in Tochigi: Makamou has appear and there is no Oni in the vicinity.
Hibiki and Kasumi are immediately despatched to the area.
Upon completing the preparation, Hibiki gets in SHIRANUI (Kasumi's vehicle), in his hands are the two new discs that Ibuki has tested earlier.

Asumu runs to the book store where he witnessed the shoplifting.
Not wanting to evoke the bad memory, he quickly walks pass the place.
This is when he suddenly knocks into a lady, causing the baggages that she is carrying to scatter all over.
On realizing that he has teared her bag, the apologetic Asumu volunteers to carry all her items to her destination.

When they reach the lady's destination, she expresses her gratitude by offering him tea.
It is only at this time that Asumu realizes he is at the front of "Tachibana".
Asumu is surprised when he learns that Hinaka knows her.
Not only that, she knows of the relationship between Asumu and Hibiki.
She is MIDORI and is a member of Takeshi.

After murdering a farmer, Douji and Hime encounter a mysterious man cladded in black.
They kneel before him to receive something from him.
The man removes a mysterious piece of clod and thrusts it into Hime's throat...

As Asumu is talking to Midori over tea, Hitomi appears in front of them.
She is not happy at Asumu after his earlier claim of not wanting to come over.
Confronted by her dissatisfied looks, he is unable to provide a proper explanation.
Hinaka has to step in to help him resolve the situation.

As soon as he arrives, Hibiki immediately starts his Makamou search.
Douji and Hime appear and he quickly henshins, ready for combat.
Douji and Hime transforms into Kai-Douji and You-Hime and further... into MUSHA-DOUJI and YOROI-HIME respectively.

Though momentarily shocked, Hibiki emits his flame on them.
But what used to be a deadly attack is easily repelled by them.
Hibiki then uses the fireballs from his sticks... yet again ineffective.
They launch their assault and Hibiki is forced on the defensive...

At "Tachibana", the wall moves before the eyes of Asumu.
When he places his ear against it to investigate, the wall suddenly collaspes and he falls with it.

Meanwhile, the heavily overwhelmed and cornered Hibiki is blew off the cliff by the duo...

To be continued...

foo - December 7, 2005 02:14 PM (GMT)
Episode 12, HIRAKU HIMITSU. (The opened secret)

Falling into the underground reaches of "Tachibana", Asumu tries calling out for help, but to no avail...

Falling off a cliff after being overwhelmed by Musha-Douji and Yoroi-Hime, Hibiki somehow manages to get up to heal himself...

He then makes his return to the base camp, requesting for Seijirou to search for any records on Musha-Douji and Yoroi-Hime.
Despite her obvious concern about Hibiki's condition, Kasumi continues about her work setting up the disc animals.
The animals have managed to capture video footages of Musha-Douji and Yoroi-Hime, and she tries to search for their weaknesses.

Relying sorely on the lights from his cell phone, Asumu walks cautiously through the pitchblack passageways.
He accidentally pushes onto a wall and enters a lighted room.
The walls of the room is filled with henshin devices, disc animals, belt buckles and sound attack weapons.
Asumu cannot help admiring the exhibition.
When he tries fiddling around with henshin tuning fork, Midori appears.

Both are surprised at their reunion at this most unexpected place.
Knowing that Midori is an old friend of Hibiki, Asumu wants her to tell him more about Hibiki.
She lets him know about the existence of Makamou in the whole of Japan, their recent unusual increased activities, sightings of the same Makamou but of different colors and forms.
All these have result in both Hibiki and Ibuki being kept busy.

Ibuki and Akira return to "Tachibana" to find only Hitomi there.
As Akira is having a conversation with Hitomi, Ibuki discovers that someone has enter the underground hidden door.
He verifies that both Seijirou and Hinaka are down there.
Hinaka then requests that both Ibuki and Akira change their clothings and look after the shop as they work underground.

Asumu takes the opportunity to ask Midori on how Hibiki became an Oni:
When he was in junior high school, a quarrel with a classmate led to him being transferred to another school.
When he could not do anything to stop the transfer, he fell into a state of depression.
In the end, he vows to live a positive life.


Even Hibiki used to have such problems, he thinks, as he links Hibiki's story with his shoplifting incident.
Asumu is also able to find courage in Midori's words.

Meanwhile, Hibiki finally locates Musha-Douji and Yoroi-Hime's weak points.
He sets out for battle, as soon as the Makamou, NURIKABE, has been detected.
He finds the duo in the forest, henshins and launches his attack.
The two new disc animals he unleashes are ineffective against them.
Next, he hurls his stick fireballs at them.
It is useless on Musha-Douji.
Hibiki is then hit on the shoulder by Yoroi-Hime.

Just as Musha-Douji is about to apply his finishing blow, something unexpected happens: both Musha-Douji and Yoroi-Hime have their forms powered down.
It seems that their powers are temporary and they have now returned to their original forms of Kai-Douji and You-Hime, forms that are no match to Hibiki.

After disposing of them, Hibiki leaves for his next target: Nurikabe.
His new sound attack technique, MOUKADOTOU NO KATA, pulverizes the giant Makamou.
As another tough battle draws to a close, Hibiki gives Kasumi a smile.

With the guidance of Midori, Asumu returns to the shop.
Akira and Hitomi are surprised to see Asumu.
He replies with a smile.

To be continued...

foo - December 7, 2005 02:22 PM (GMT)
Episode 13, MIDARERU SADAME. (The berserk destiny)

In a desolated mansion, the figure of a man clad in black appears as the door opens.
He was the mystery person who had eariler granted Douji and Hime with their mysterious powers.
He leaves and disappears into somewhere...

During breakfast, Asumu complains of lack of appetite due to a slight stomachache.
Ikuko checks with him if he is troubled by something for him to feel that way.
No, he replies as he looks for the medication.
She then hands him the medicine right before his eyes.
She cannot seem to understand her son sometimes, she wonders.

At "Tachibana", Hibiki and Seijirou are looking through the Oni shift schedule.
With the way things are going now, Akira will have problems juggling with her Oni apprenticeship and high school studies.
The concerned Hibiki even suggests requesting Asumu, who happens to be her classmate, to help her get up to speed with her schoolwork.
Seijiro agrees to his suggestion.

Midori appears with the newly developed drum belt buckle, called BAKURETSU KAENTSUZUMU.
She has tuned it up to enable maximum pure sound amplification.

In the mountains, Ubume's Douji and Hime kneel in front of the mystery man, awaitting something from him.
He opens Douji's jaw and thrusts a different piece of clod into him.
Douji then begins to shake violently.
Hime looks on in wonder...

With the pain showing no sign of subsiding, Asumu goes to school, holding his stomach.
His condition is causing Hitomi to worry about hm.
However his face lights up suddenly when he sees Hibiki at the school entrance.
He wants to ask Asumu to help out Akira in her studies, but for some reason, is unable to do so in front of Hitomi.
Man's talk, he tells Hitomi, before pulling Asumu to away.
Hibiki is happy to know that Asumu promises to help out, but is concerned to see him behaving oddly.

As Douji and Hime look for food for the infant Makamou, Ubume, they encounter Ibuki.
They transform into Kai-Douji and You-Hime and commence battle with the Oni.
Ibuki's firepower causes Kai-Douji to transform into Musha-Douji.
But he continues to transform further, this time into MIDARE-DOUJI.
Instead of attacking Ibuki, he turns to You-Hime and like a vampire, start to suck her blood.
He then devours Ubume, before flying off.
Taken aback by the sight, Ibuki immediately calls Seijirou.
Hibiki immediately sets off with Hinaka, who has to take over Kasumi's driving duty due to flu.
To investigate the abnormal incident, Ibuki and Hibiki plan to link up with DANKI, who is nearby chasing after another Makamou, Yamabiko.

Meanwhile, as Danki is squaring off with Yamabiko's Kai-Douji and You-Hime, Midare-Douji shows up and easily defeats them and the gigantic Yamabiko.
Danki is left stunned as he flies away.

Back in school, Asumu is overwhelmed by the pain and is sent to the hospital.
He is suffering from appendicitis and a surgery is necessary.
Not now, not when senior high school life is about to start, he thinks to himself.
Ikuko can only feel for her son.

Meanwhile, Ibuki and Akira spot the airborne Midare Douji.
Ibuki henshins and fires away.
Sensing the hostility, Midare-Douji swoops down on his target.
His fast movement gives Ibuki a hard time, as he sets up his weapon.
He then executes his sound attack and Midare-Douji falls into distress.
Just as Ibuki thought that the battle is over, the monster recomposes himself.
He gives a yell, which his body then purges out Ibuki's bullets.

An unforeseen puncture in Hibiki's vehicle further complicates the mission.
He entrusts the repair to Hinaka as he runs to Ibuki's location, striking his henshin device along the way.

Not experienced in hand-to-hand combat until now, Ibuki faces a difficult opponent.
The clearly superior Midare-Douji overpowers him and all of a sudden sinks his fangs into Ibuki's left shoulder!
Ibuki screams in pain.
Akira is at her wits end...

To be continued...

foo - December 7, 2005 02:28 PM (GMT)
Episode 14, KURAU DOUJI. (The eating Douji)

Overwhelmed by Midare-Douji's relentless attacks, Ibuki ends up with his left shoulder being bitten.
The blood loss is draining Ibuki's energy away.
Midare-Douji spits out the blood and brushes the resisting Ibuki aside, before turning his attention to Akira.
He sniffs at her.
Realizing that she is not his food, he leaves...

... where he then runs into Hibiki in the forest.
Without a moments delay, Hibiki launches his fireballs at him.
The move is ineffective and only serves to make Midare-Douji counterattack with even more vigor.
Just as Hibiki is falling into a pinch, Ibuki and Akira arrive onto the scene.
Ibuki's firepower eventually manages to drive him off.

Meanwhile, Asumu is wheeled into the operating theater.
Ikuko looks on in worry...

Seijirou and Midori look up on Midare-Douji and his unusual cannibalistic attacks on his own kind.
Seijirou mentions that even though this does not look like an experiment to create a stronger Makamou, this does not take away the fact that he is still a formidable enemy.
Hibiki and Ibuki vow to bring down the monster.

Hitomi rushes down to the hospital.
Unexpectedly she bumps into her cousin, TODAYAMA.
He is paying his hospitalized senior a visit while she is here for a friend who collapsed in class.
When she gets to the operating theater and learns that Asumu needs to have his appendix removed, she grows concerned.

At their base camp that night, Hibiki and co. unleash disc animals to track down Midare-Douji.
Meanwhile deep in the forest, the mystery man is producing Otoroshi Douji and Hime, his purpose for doing so unknown...

Asumu's operation turns out to be a success.
When he comes to his senses the next day, the nurse urges him to get up to walk around for some exercise.
As he wheels his infusion drip, he trips on it and nearly falls.
In a nick of time, someone gives him the help.
This man is Todayama's mentor, Zanki.

Judging from the uncertain way Asumu walks, he can tell that this is his first time being hospitalized.
He then tells Asumu not to rush and leaves.
His way of talking is almost like Hibiki, Asumu wonders as he sees him off.

Otoroshi Douji and Hime appear before Midare-Douji.
They are there to assasinate him for his crime of attacking his own kind.
They transform into Kai-Douji and You-Hime, and approach him.

The disc animals lead Hibiki and co. there as well.
As the three engage in battle, both Hibiki and Ibuki henshin.
After disposing of Kai-Douji and You-Hime, they focus their attack on Midare-Douji.
He is no match for their combination, and Hibiki executes his new drumming move, BAKURETSU KYOUDA NO KATA to finally destroy him.

Back at the hospital, Asumu lies down on his bed.
As he looks at his new uniform on the wall, a sense of uneasiness dawns on him...

To be continued...

foo - December 7, 2005 02:32 PM (GMT)
Episode 15, NIBURU IKAZUCHI. (The weakened thunder)

Asumu is finally discharged from the hospital.
As he timidly checks on his scar at home, his cell phone suddenly rings.
The sudden distraction causes him to accidentally hit his scar.
Enduring the pain, he picks up the call.
It is Hitomi, asking him out for a walk.

After the call, Asumu returns to check his wound by putting his hand into his trousers.
Ikuko then enters the room and almost misunderstands what his son is doing...

In a mountain forest, Douji and Hime attack a boy, until Zanki appears.
He pulls the boy out of danger, entrusts him to Todayama and turns to confront the evil duo.
In front of the transformed Kai-Douji and You-Hime, both Zanki and Todayama henshin.
Four of them break into a brawl, with Zanki taking on Kai-Douji and Todayama on You-Hime.
Zanki is unable to exert his strength on his previously injured right knee properly, and misses his attack.

Elsewhere, the trio of Hibiki, Ibuki and Akira are hard at training.
Halfway through their run, Hibiki stops at the front of a bike shop.
Ibuki is able to see Hibiki's interest in bikes and tells him that he is suited to have one.
Just as Hibiki is entertaining the thought, Akira points out about his previous misadventure with Ibuki's Tatsumaki.

After defeating the fleeing Kaidouji, Bakegani attacks.
Zanki tells Todayama to observe well and with his guitar, RETSURAI, in hand, charges towards the Makamou.
He stabs the beast and sets his belt buckle, RAIGOU.
Bakegani starts to react from the pure sound generated from the strikes of his guitar.
But because the weapon was not planted deep enough into Bakegani, it is thrown off, together with Zanki.
Instinctively, Todayama steps forwards.
However Zanki somehow manages to regain his composure and destroys the beast.
Exhausted, Zanki falls onto the ground.

With the battle over, Todayama calls "Tachibana" to report.
As Hinaka tries to cajole him into going out on a date, Zanki takes the call and delivers the shocking news...

Hibiki stops by the supermarket after training, and runs into Ikuko.
He mentions that he plans to visit Asumu.

Meanwhile in the forest, the mystery man is injecting a tube of liquid into his staff.
A new Douji and Hime arise, their destination unknown...

Zanki announces his retirement and does not want to turn into an Oni anymore.
Even though he has recovered from his injury, he is not able to regain the strength as before.
He has decided to hand over his duty to Todayama.
Todayama is deeply affected by his mentor's sudden decision.

Nearby, SABAKI arrives to exterminate the Makamou, YAMAARASHI.
As he is already fatigued after a series of battles, Seijirou requests for Zanki and Todayama's support.
Setting aside the retirement issue, they rush down.

Plagued by doubts on whether he can take Zanki's place, Todayama and Zanki confront Yamaarashi, Kai-Douji and You-Hime.
In front of the enemy, both Zanki and Todayama henshin...

To be continued...

foo - December 7, 2005 02:35 PM (GMT)
Episode 16, TODOROKU ONI. (The roaring demon)

As they come face to face with Kai-Douji, You-Hime and Yamaarashi, Zanki and Todayama henshin.
Zanki entrusts his Retsurai weapon to Todayama to deal with the giant Yamaarashi, before attacking Youhime and defeating her.
While fighting Kai-Douji, Zanki instructs Todayama to go confront the Makamou.

With the weapon in his hand, Todayama charges forward.
He severes the tail of Yamaarashi and frees Sabaki.
Zanki then instructs him to finish off the beast.
Todayama drives the Retsurai into it, and before he can install his belt buckle on the weapon, gets thrown off.
With Zanki's attention fully on Todayama, both Yamaarashi and Kai-Douji take the opportunity to escape.
Todayama's first battle ends in a failure.
He bows and apologises to Zanki.

Returning to their base camp, Zanki and Todayama start to locate the whereabouts of Yamaarashi.
Because of his failure, Todayama believes that he is not cut out to replace Zanki and lets him know.
Zanki then tells him to forget about everything that he taught him for the past 2 years.
His words hit Todayama hard.

Meanwhile at Asumu's residence, Hibiki makes a surprise visit.
Asumu decides to invite him out for a walk.

As they are strolling, Hibiki mentions that both of them are alike in many ways.
This prompts Asumu to ask him if he is thinking of having him as his apprentice.
Hibiki stops and tells him that there is no intention of him doing so.
Of course he will not do that, Asumu thinks.
He also says that Asumu will not want to become an Oni either.
In spite of that, their relationship has gotten stronger and has already developed to that of a mentor and apprentice.
They exchange beaming smiles before parting their separate ways.

Ibuki and Akira returns to "Tachibana" and learns of Zanki's retirement and Todayama's debut battle.
With the abnormal increase in appearance of Makamou these days, Ibuki worries about Todayama having to go independent, in addition to Akira not being able to attend school.
Zanki and Todayama, Hibiki and Asumu, Ibuki and Akira... each with its own bond.

"Forget my methods and instructions, and develop your own style."
Heeding Zanki's advice, Todayama begins training with his weapon.
Despite falling on his feet, he is able to develop his own movement and way of wielding the weapon.
From afar, the observing Zanki displays a look of relief.

When Yamaarashi has been found, Zanki and Todayama make their way down.
Hibiki calls up as soon as he learns of Zanki's retirement.
He thanks him for the hard work and sends words of encouragement to Todayama.
Even though his tone is cheerful, he has mixed feelings about it.

Kaidouji appears and Todayama henshins.
As he tracks Kai-Douji down with his fierce blows, Yamaarashi comes into sight.
The trampling giant porcupine unleashes needles at Todayama.
Even though he is in trouble, Zanki does not henshin and watches over the battle.

Todayama hurls his Retsurai into Kai-Douji and defeats him.
With the weapon in his hand, Todayama proceeds to cut off Yamaarashi's legs.
The beast finally loses its balance and falls.
As soon as the opportunity presents itself, Todayama plunges his Retsurai into it and sets his belt buckle.
With a forceful move, he snaps at the strings of his weapon.
"ONGEKIZAN RAIDENGEKISHIN!"
The pure sound reverberating from the strings eventually blows up the Makamou beast.

A beautiful victory for Todayama, as he collaspes onto the ground.
Zanki goes over to congratulate him.
However as he has not yet master the technique of de-henshining his face only, Todayama ends up in the nude.

Once "Tachibana" received the news of the successful mission, they breathe a sight of relief.
With the retirement of one Oni comes the birth of a new one.
Hibiki feels this new force.

Back at the base camp, Zanki bestows the name TODOROKI to Todayama.
Delighted by it, Todayama feels that their mentor-apprentice relationship has progressed into the next level.

To be continued...

foo - December 7, 2005 02:40 PM (GMT)
Episode 17, NERAWARERU MACHI. (The targeted street)

With all the recent Makamou exterminations with Ibuki, Akira finally gets the chance to attend school.
Asumu promptly hands her notes that he has taken for her during her absence.
From a distant, Hitomi sees them behaving like close friends and is disturbed.
Akira senses her feelings...

Meanwhile, Hibiki is testing newly developed weapons with Midori.
From his stick, he launches a bluish white flame into the shape of a blade and cuts the steel right into two.
Just as Hibiki feels the force of the new weapon, the tip of the stick breaks.
The weapon seems to have fail the test.

In addition to Makamou's increased appearances, they are also getting stronger.
With this in mind, both of them pick themselves up and continue to test out the other new weapons.

Under the company of Kasumi, Ibuki visits a boutique recommended by her.
He is at a loss and cannot decide on what to buy.
Irritated by his indecisiveness, Kasumi tries to help him out.

With the Onis taking a short break, a new Douji and Hime seize the opportunity and commence their activity... this time in the middle of a city!
They lure an office lady into an alley and turns her into the feed for their Makamou.

Akira approaches Hitomi and explains the situation to her: Asumu is under the request of Hibiki to help her with her schoolwork.
Upon hearing that, Hitomi's expression brightens up.
With their misunderstanding cleared, they become better friends.
They then appear before Asumu, displaying smiles.

Once the search for Ibuki's clothes is completed, both of them take a rest at a cafe.
Just as he is looking out at the crowd, Ibuki spots Douji and Hime wandering in the midst.
He cannot believe their presence here. The appearance of a Makamou in the city is uncomprehendable.
As soon as he releases his disk animals to investigate, he contacts Akira.
She leaves school early and with Ibuki's weapon and disks in hand, hurries to the scene.

Once he receives the news, Seijirou contacts Hibiki to join up with Ibuki.
However Douji and Hime make their move first and set their target on the humans.
The quick-witted Kasumi is able to foil their plan and let the people escape.
Ibuki then appears before the duo.

Douji and Hime turn into Kai-Douji and You-Hime respectively.
Ibuki henshins and collides with them.
Despite having problems with You-Hime's water attacks, he is able to defeat both of them.

Just as he is feeling relieved, an ominous cluster protrudes from the ground.
Makamou? Ibuki quickly readies himself.
The unknown body start attacking him, whipping its tentacles at him.
The disc animals try to protect him, but end up being easily swallowed by it.
What is this body?

To be continued...

foo - December 7, 2005 02:43 PM (GMT)
Episode 18, KUJIKENU SHIPPUU. (The crushing gale)

Ibuki fights the mysterious creature from underground.
He repells its tentacle attacks with his kicks, but the corrosive digestive fluid it emits injures his leg.
Lacking other methods of offense, Ibuki is cornered.
Keeping an eye on its underground tentacle attacks, he then moves to the back of the creature and with his Oni claws, thrusts into its tail.
Large amount of white fluids starts spraying off the creature.
Clearly in pain, it retreats into the ground.
Ibuki's claws are melted by its fluid during the attack.

Ibuki calls up Seijirou to report the situation.
He is told that the creature is the stomach of the Makamou, OONAMAZU.
It hides in Tokyo underground, and that its possible hiding places are at Gyoutoku, Hacchoubori and Shinonome.
Together with Kasumi, Ibuki leaves for Gyoutoku to begin their search for Oonamazu.
He informs Akira to join up with him at the location, while Hibiki and Midori departs for Tokyo.

Unable to find anything at Gyoutoku, Ibuki leaves for Hacchouburi and informs Akira of the change in destination.
Just as Akira is about to leave, the mysterious man in black appears in front of her.
His ominous presence is enough to disrupt her senses.
As he nears her, she gradually loses consiouness and falls to the ground.
However he pays no attention to her and goes away.

Meanwhile, Asumu goes to "Tachibana" to pass Akira his lesson notes.
The shop is crowded with customers, but neither Hinaka nor Kasumi can be found.
A customer then asks him for tea, somehow mistaking him for the shop's employee.
A bustling Hinaka then appears.
Seeing how busy she is, Asumu naturally starts to help out.

With the search at Hacchouhuri also ending in vain, Ibuki and Kasumi arrives at Shinonome.
Just he is about to enter the underground drainage facility, Kasumi suggests to him to wait for either Akira or Hibiki before proceeding.
Seeing that she is worried about Akira's sudden lack of communication with them, he cheerfully responds to her that he will do his best, and enters the facility.
She strikes at the two stones to bless for his safety...

Ibuki walks around the facility and finds the giant shadow of Oonamazu in a water tank.
As he henshins, its stomach immediately comes into sight.
It blocks all of Ibuki's attacks and retaliates.
Ibuki counterattacks with his claws, but get melted by its digestive fluid.
He screams in pain.

Then the stomach gets pounded by fireballs.
Hibiki has arrived.
He passes Ibuki's weapon to him, as Akira manages to make it to the scene as well.
Ibuki goes underwater alone to take care of Oonamazu.
Attaching his belt buckle onto his gun to form a trumpet, he blows away at the Makamou... and the giant catfish explodes.
Another difficult battle ends in victory.

With all the customers gone, both Kasumi and Asumu are left exhausted.
Hibiki and co. then return to see Asumu in "Tachibana" uniform.
When Asumu sees Akira, he immediately hands over the notes to her.
Hitomi also drops by to find the place bustling with liveliness.
As a gesture of goodwill, Seijirou entertains everyone with sweet dumplings, much to everyone's delight.

To be continued...

foo - December 7, 2005 02:46 PM (GMT)
Episode 19, KAKINARASU SENSHI. (The strumming warrior)

After receiving the initiation from Zanki, Todoroki begins his work indepenently as an Oni.
He henshins and battles Bakegani, which has been appearing one after another recently in different color; yellow, white, black...
He pierces his Retsurai into the giant crab and strums intensively.
His youthful exuberance has allow him to defeat another Bakegani.
After that, he strums his guitar and lets out a shout.
His green monkey disc animal jumps about to the beat while recording his activity.

Asumu sets out for work at "Tachibana".
Somewhere else, Kasumi accompanies Hibiki for bike practice.
As he tries to avoid a puppy, he tumbles.
His riding skills is still far from ready.
Can Hibiki make his rider debut?

At "Tachibana", Ibuki and Akira are working on the report of Oonamazu.
The more pressing issue is Akira's encounter with the mysterious man and her loss of consciousness thereafter.
The instruction from the headquater at Yoshino is to be on the alert, Seijirou informs them.
His unusually serious expression increases the tenseness in Ibuki and Akira.

Meanwhile, the mysterious man appears at a coast.
He installs a tube onto his staff, and thrusts it into the ground...

Receiving Hibiki's words of encouragement from a phonecall, Asumu begins his part time work at "Tachibana".
Just as Hinaka is guiding him, Todoroki returns.
The sight of Todoroki thrills her, and that causes him to become nervous.
She introduces Asumu to him, leading Asumu to believe that he is also an Oni.
It seems like she is not satisfied with his activity report.
As he observes them, Asumu wonders about their relationship.

At this moment, Hitomi arrives at the shop and is surprise to see her cousin.
Todoroki almost unintentionally blurts out his new job to her, causing Hinaka and Asumu to cover up for him.
However Hitomi is smart enough to see through their tricks and believes that her cousin is doing the same work as Hibiki.

Taking his vehicle (RAIJIN), Todoroki leaves for another mission.

Kasumi hears of Todoroki's request to Midori for the maintenance of his disc animals.
She wonders why his discs and equipment are in such bad condition.
Knowing of his activity nearby, the concerned Hibiki plans to pay him a visit.

The recuperated Zanki arrives at "Tachibana" and sees Asumu.
Recalling their earlier encounter at the hospital, he grins to Asumu that they must be fated.
He is an Oni too, Asumu wonders as he sees him goes in.

Seijirou shows Zanki Todoroki's activity report.
It seems like everytime he defeats a Makamou, he would always strum his weapon, gets into random yelling and breaks into a Todoroki pose.
His actions puzzle both Seijirou and Zanki.

Meanwhile, Todoroki confronts another pair of Bakegani Douji and Hime.
They reveal their Kaij-Douji and You-Hime forms to a henshined Todoroki.
A furious battle then ends with the formers sliced up by Retsurai.
Before he can catch his breathe, a red Bakegani makes a sudden appearance and attacks him.
He is caught in its giant claw!

To be continued...

foo - December 7, 2005 02:50 PM (GMT)
Episode 20, KIYOMERU OTO. (The purifying sound)

Todoroki successfully break free from Bakegani's claw.
He counterattacks, and with one strike, manages to drive his Retsurai into the Makamou's abdomen.
"RAIDENGEKISHIN!" he yells out his attack, as he violently strikes his weapon, causing Bakegani to blow up.
The victorious Todoroki then breaks into his usual guitar-strumming antic, an action that once again puzzles both Seijirou and Zanki.

With Bakegani defeated, another new pair of Douji and Hime appear before the mysterious man.
A giant claw then appears and disappears from their backs.

On his first day of work at "Tachibana", Asumu immediately gets into an accident and breaks a plate.
In a bid to lift his spirits, Seijirou brings him down to the hideout.
He proceeds to tell Asumu about the situation with "Tachibana"; that it is actually Takeshi's branch in the Kanto region, and that both Hinaka and himself are confined here whenever Makamou appears.
And when that happens, someone needs to take care of the shop above.

Torodoki arrives at a new coast and promptly dispatches his disc animals to search for Makamou.
Zanki then makes a appearance, making Todoroki thrilled by the unexpected visit.
The purpose of his visit is to find out about his former apprentice's "strange performance" after every victorious battle.
Todoroki finds it difficult to answer Zanki, whom he has the utmost respect for.
Nonetheless he explains that as he defeats a Makamou, he senses that its evil spirit still remains.
And to eliminate this presence, he takes it upon himself to cleanse the area.

Todoroki is able to follow what Zanki has taught him, and yet able to incorporate his own way of doing things. And that strange conduct of his is just one of it.
Zanki tells him that it is not necessary to do so.
To eliminate any uneasiness in Zanki, Todoroki vows to train up his sound attack techniques.

Hibiki and Kasumi arrive to visit Todoroki and are surprised to see Zanki there.
Then a Makamou is spotted, prompting Todoroki to leave them for his mission.
Kasumi recommends that Zanki be Todoroki's supporter, a role that she is doing for Hibiki now.
Zanki ponders at her suggestion.

They receive a call from Seijirou about the new Makamou, AMIKIRI, Todoroki is facing; there is a high possibility that string-based attack is not going to be effective on it.
He wants Hibiki to hurry to the scene to assist Todoroki.

By now, Todoroki is already battling Kai-Douji and You-Hime.
He realises out that the duo is not Bakegani, whom he is more accustomed to fighting.
Just as he is getting tensed up, a giant Amikiri comes attacking.
As much as Todoroki tries to take down the winged beast, his attacks are ineffective.

Hibiki finally links up with him.
He jumps on the back of Amikiri, and with his flame-emitting sticks, severes its wings and takes the beast down.
With Hibiki falling into the sea, Zanki sees the opportunity and tosses Retsurai to Todoroki.
Todoroki catches it and executes Raidengekishin to destroy the Makamou.

Zanki then approaches Torodoki and implies to him about his decision to be his supporter from now on.
As soon as Todoroki gets the true meaning behind his words, he is filled with deep emotions and breaks into his strumming again.
Hibiki is puzzled by his antics.

To be continued...

foo - December 7, 2005 02:59 PM (GMT)
Episode 21, HIKIAU MAMONO. (The meeting monsters)

The mountains.
Douji & Hime faces the mysterious man, their heads lowered in respect.
They tell him that they have successfully raised their son, Ubume.
And that they are pleased about the gathering of this son and another daughter.
Son and daughter? Their gathering?

To prepare for more Douji & Hime's activities, Hibiki & co. analyze all their records and datas for the possible counter-measures.
However they are not able to come up with a clearly defined answer.
For the time being, all Hibiki and the Onis can do is to continue to train themselves up.

The lake.
The fully grown Ubume appears before Douji & Hime.
Ibuki & Akira show up to find the mysterious man there as well.
Without a moments delay, Ibuki goes for his gun.
But before he can anything, both he and Akira are thrown off by the mysterious man's powers.

Meanwhile, Todoroki finds his Makamou, Yamaarashi.
He promptly henshins and charges towards it.
Douji & Hime then pounce on him.
Caught by the sudden attack, Todoroki is unable to cope and is defeated.
'Take this as a lesson and do not follow us', Kaidouji tells Todoroki before leaving.

Hibiki and Asumu, who are going for an outdoor delivery, converse along the way.
He updates Asumu about Ibuki and Todoroki's Makamou pursuit at Tsumagoi and Karuizawa respectively.
Hibiki then goes off topic and starts asking about Asumu's relationship with Hitomi and Akira.
As Asumu fervently tries to deny everything, Hitomi appears before them.
They suggest she tags along to the customer's home.

When they get to the house, nobody responds to Hibiki's call.
Sensing something is wrong, he goes to the back to investigate and finds an old lady in agony from a chest pain.
Hibiki entrusts her to Asumu and runs off to find a doctor.

Upon receiving updates from both Ibuki and Zanki parties, Seijirou marks their Makamous' movements on the map.
Both Ubume and Yamaarashi are heading towards Asamayama.
It seems like something is attracting them there...

Finally Ibuki and Todoroki meet.
And as perceived, both Makamous are moving towards to the same point.
Just as they are about to stop this impending crisis, Yamaarashi's Douji & Hime and Ubume's Douji & Hime come into their sights.
Ibuki and Todoroki henshin for battle, as they try to figure out the enemy's real intention.

Meanwhile, Yamaarashi and Ubume knock into each other... before the eyes of the mysterious man.
From their groanings and movements, it seems like they are engaging in a battle.
What is going on?

To be continued...

foo - December 7, 2005 03:05 PM (GMT)
Episode 22, BAKERU MAYU. (The changing cocoon)

Ibuki and Todoroki battles the four Kai-Doujis & You-Himes of Ubume and Yamaarashi.
Todoroki throws his Retsurai and knocks one of them down, but his weapon is snatched away by You-Hime.
Ibuki and Todoroki ends up being cornered.

Akira then unleashes the disc animals to help them out.
She manages to regain Retsurai and hands it back to Todoroki.
But she has been hit by a needle in the process!

Using the Retsurai Akira retrieved for him, Todoroki goes for Kai-Douji & You-Hime, while Ibuki takes on the remaining You-Hime, and defeats her.
Akira looses her consciousness...

Meanwhile, the mysterious man witnesses the battling Ubume and Yamaarashi.
The two wounded beasts eventually fall.
He looks at the piled up bodies and seems satisfied...

With Hibiki gone to look for a doctor, Asumu puts the elderly lady down on the futon to rest.
However she is still clearly in pain.
He holds her hand gently, as if to tell her to hang in there.
On seeing his look, Hitomi does the same thing and holds her other hand.

Finally Hibiki arrives with a doctor.
It seems that her condition is not as bad as feared.
The three of them heave a sigh of relief.
Seijirou then calls Hibiki to inform him of Kasumi coming over to pick him up.
He wants him to join up with Ibuki and Todoroki.
Hibiki thanks Asumu for the help, before leaving.

On knowing of Hibiki's impending arrival, Ibuki and Todoroki dispatch disc animals to track down Ubume and Yamaarashi.
One of them finds the location where the two Makamous clashed, and discovers a giant black cocoon.
As it is about to record the event, the cocoon moves ominously...

Asumu and Hitomi return to "Tachibana".
While taking a rest, Hitomi thinks back on Asumu's earlier action with the elderly lady.
Her perspective on him seems to have changed, as she looks on at his lively interactions with the customers.

Ibuki and Todoroki discover the whereabouts of the Makamou.
However they are unable to make out the sound of the Makamou; it sounds like Ubume or Yamaarashi, yet it is not.
It is something they have never heard of.
The disc animal then leads them to the giant cocoon.

Just as they are figuring out what that is, the surface of the cocoon starts to break.
Out of it, emerges the combined form of Ubume and Yamaarashi.

Ibuki and Todoroki henshin.
Ibuki fires away at the beast and then blows off his sound attack. Ineffective.
Todoroki drives Retsurai into it, and strums off his sound attack. Ineffective.
At a lost, both of them are then caught by the beast's tail.

Finally Hibiki appears.
He henshins and cuts off its tail, freeing the two of them.
Once he knows of the ineffectiveness of their individual sound attack on it, he strategizes that all three of them combine their attack.

The three of them then get into their position, and with perfect precision, execute their sound attacks.
The combined impact hits the Makamou, causing it to react for the first time, before exploding.
Once again, the threat of Makamou has been eliminated.

To be continued...

foo - December 7, 2005 03:07 PM (GMT)
Episode 23, KITAERU NATSU. (The training summer)

Somewhere in the mountains, Hibiki and Todoroki are hitting on a huge drum.
They are hitting until suddenly, Hibiki stops.
He goes over to guide Todoroki on the correct way of drumming.
Todoroki tries his best to take in Hibiki's words.
Somehow he is not used to the unusually strict Hibiki.

Meanwhile, Asumu participates in the joint practise for the cheerleading and brass band clubs.
But instead of playing drums, which is his forte, he is in charge of a whistle.
Try as he might, he cannot seem to keep up, and this is picked up by the head of the brass band.
The cheerleading Hitomi witnesses the whole event and worries about him.

A new mysterious man, clad in white, appears.
He installs a tube filled with white fluid into his staff, thrusts it into the ground, and a new Douji & Hime grow out of it.
This time, they display an unusually cheerful human trait.

An elderly from Takeshi brings breakfast for Hibiki and Todoroki.
Hibiki notices Todoroki going about his meal quietly by himself, and mentions about his training.
Taking that as a criticism for not putting in an effort on the drum training, Todoroki retorts that percussion is not his speciality.
Hibiki is not going to settle with his reply.

Todoroki calls Hinaka to tell her about his problems.
It seems like he is starting to have doubts on whether he can continue the drum training with Hibiki.
Hinaka, who has gradually become Todoroki's confidant, assures him about trusting Hibiki and to persevere in what he is doing now.
Her words of encouragement concludes their phone conversation, and with a drop in his shoulders, Todoroki returns to the reality of vigorous training.

Seeing a lack of energy in Todoroki, Hibiki reprimands him.
Todoroki then questions Hibiki on why the need for him to learn percussion, when he can work more on his strings. What is the reason for him to have to learn drums?
At this point of time, Todoroki has already failed to control his emotions.
Hibiki merely gives him a vague explanation about him being a newcomer, while Hibiki himself is his senior.

They then learn of Douji & Himes' appearance in their training vicinity, and immediately rush to the scene.
Hibiki calls Kasumi, requesting her to bring the drumsticks and belt buckle that Zanki used previously.
Todoroki is taken aback upon hearing this.
It seems like Hibiki is intending to make him use the drumsticks.

Just as he is bringing along his Retsurai, Hibiki cautions him that his weapon is not going to be useful against their opponents appearing during the summer season.
What is he talking about? Todoroki is puzzled by his message.

Meanwhile, the head of brass band visits Asumu at "Tachibana".
He comes with words of encouragement regarding his earlier whistle performance, and also tries to persuade him on continuing with it.
Asumu reluctantly agrees to it.

Hibiki and Todoroki locate Douji & Hime, and give chase.
They then come face to face with the summer versions of Kai-Douji & You-Hime, who are able to skilfully evade their attacks.
Hibiki and Todoroki henshin, with the former taking on Kai-Douji and the latter on You-Hime.
Todoroki gets hit by the poison from You-Hime, before Hibiki launches his fireballs and defeats her.
He then fires away at Kai-Douji, but something arrives in time to protect him.
It slowly turns around to reveal itself to be the Makamou, DOROTABOU...

To be continued...

foo - December 7, 2005 03:10 PM (GMT)
Episode 24, MOERU KURENAI. (The burning crimson)

Hibiki comes face to face with Dorotabou.
Todoroki, who recovers from the earlier poison attack from You-Hime, picks up Retsurai and charges towards the Makamou.
Hibiki restrains him.

Unable to agree on Hibiki's action, Todoroki goes ahead and stabs Retsurai into the back of Dorotabou.
As soon as he gets into his attack position, Dorotabous's back begins to swell and from it, flies out one of its offspring!

Hibiki notices the shocked Todoroki.
At this point of time, he is only able to get his arm wrapped in flames, but nonetheless the powered-up is still enough to force Dorotabou into retreating.
He then defeats its child with his drum attack.
Hibiki disables his henshin and glances at the overawed Todoroki, who dares not to look up.

At "Tachibana", Asumu is having problems in his brass band.
Even though his brass band head wants him to work hard on his whistle, he still clings onto his interest in drums.
Then Hibiki calls up to report his status.
Hinaka keeps interrupting Seijirou's conversation with him, wanting to know about Todoroki's situation.
It seems like he is still having problems with his drum training, and that his spirits is affected by the battle with Dorotabou.
Hibiki soothes the worried Hinaka, telling her that he has to fail in order to grow.

Meanwhile, Douji performs a strange dance on a paddy field.
One by one, the hands of Dorotabou's offsprings begin to emerge...

Hibiki trains alone, obsessively.
On the other hand, Todoroki remains at the base camp until Kasumi arrives with Zanki's previously used green drumsticks.
Sensing his lack of enthusiasm with the new weapon, Kasumi lets him know of the truth that Hibiki was also put through such trainings with other sound weapons before.

Back at "Tachibana", Hinaka relates the same story to Asumu.
Being a percussion Oni, he was not convinced with the training and has also gone against his master.
Later on he reflected on its future advantages against his desire of not wanting to learn it, and realized his err in judgement.

Kasumi's message jolts Todoroki out of his problems completely and gives him the necessary motivation to carry on.
With an earnest expression, he begins training with his drumsticks.

Hinaka's message seems to have unbound Asumu's worries as well, and a smile returns to his face.

Ibuki links up with the rest at the base camp.
Hibiki, Ibuki and Todoroki vow to defeat Dorotabou with their drums.
The three of them arrive at the paddy field where a sizable number of Dorotabous have appeared.
They henshin and swoop down on them.

Hibiki then concentrates all his energies... and with flames erupting from his whole body, transforms into a red Oni.
HIBIKI KURENAI makes his appearance.

With his blazing sticks, he exhibits his power and takes down one Dorotabou after another.
Finally he executes his attack, SHAKUNETSU - SHINKU NO KATA, and destroys the mother Makamou.
At the same time, Ibuki and Todoroki see off the rest of the Dorotabous.
Another perfect victory for the trio.

To be continued...

foo - December 7, 2005 03:16 PM (GMT)
Episode 25, HASHIRU KONPEKI. (The running azure)

At an indoor swimming pool, Hibiki puts on his gear and begins to swim.
Ibuki looks on attentively with Kasumi, with a stopwatch in hand.
Once he completes his rounds, he verifies his timing with Ibuki and asks for his advice.
But when Ibuki merely gives him a light "I-think-it-is-good" reply, he suddenly changes his attitude and begins pressuring him with more questions.
Ibuki is overwhelmed by his almost threatening approach.
Only when Hibiki notices Kasumi looking at him that he recollects his composure and goes back to swimming.
Both Kasumi and Ibuki are puzzled by Hibiki's sudden delirium in swimming.

On the other hand, Asumu goes to the leisure centre swimming pool with his mother, Todoroki, Hinaka and Hitomi.
The hot-blooded Todoroki then partners Asumu in their warm-ups.
Even though they are at a family pool crowded with activities, the fact that Hibiki is training hard at another pool makes him takes his swimming seriously.
Receiving the cheers from Hinaka and Hitomi, he jumps into the pool.
He begins swimming earnestly, but in an opposite direction, making him stand out from everyone else.
And as expected, Asumu is drawn along.

Meanwhile, up on the mountains, Sabaki is in the midst of a battle with the Makamou, KAPPA.
He gets hit by a jelly-shaped substance and falls into the river.
Try as he desperately can to resist, the object seems to drain him of his strength, making him unable to fight back...

As Hibiki continues to work hard at the pool, Kasumi takes a rest.
Ibuki comments in humor on her looking good in swimwear.
Shyed by his words, she jumps into the pool.
Seijirou then contacts Ibuki: Sabaki is wounded in his battle with Kappa.
As soon as Hibiki hears about it, he rushes off alone in his bike (GAIKA), leaving behind Kasumi.
Ibuki has to soothe her anger before taking her back to "Tachibana".

Riding dashingly in his bike, Hibiki has finally gotten over his handicap with vehicles.

Back at "Tachibana", Kasumi returns to voice her displeasure about being abandoned to Seijirou.
He keeps quiet about it and merely exchanges glances with Ibuki.
Seeing their behaviour only causes Kasumi to want to find out what they are up to, causing them to make a hasty retreat into the hideout.

At the leisure centre, the gang is enjoying Ikuko's homemade lunch boxes, in particular Todoroki.
Ikuko teases about Asumu's relationship, unaware that Hitomi is blushing from it.
She then leaves the group to escape the embarassing situation.
Later on, in a shop she accidentally knocks over a pile of luggages.
Just when she is dumbfounded by what she has done, a young man appears before her.

He gives her a hand in tidying up and they start chatting, before Todoroki comes along.
'Tomizou-san!' cries the young man.
Todoroki replies by calling him TSUTOMU.
It seems like both of them know each other.

With Asumu and co. enjoying themselves at the bowl, Tsutomu runs Todoroki and Hinaka through the latest updates.
Todoroki excitedly tells him that this new job at Takeshi suits him well.
Tsutomu then strikes a Hibiki pose and leaves.
Before departing, he gives Asumu, who has been looking at him, a friendly clap on his shoulders.

Hibiki finally locates Kappa, and henshins for battle.
When he pulls it out from the river, he turns into Hibiki Kurenai and destroys both the parent and child Makamou.
Just as he thinks that the battle is over, a Kappa child appears.
He gives chase and is hit by the same jelly as Sabaki.
He ignores it and continues his pursuit to the river, eager to show the results of his earlier training.
However he experiences an unexpected difficult fight in the waters.
Nonetheless he still manages to blow the fleeing Kappa up.

After the battle, Hibiki tries to remove the white substance from his arms when all of a sudden, gas is released from it.
He is choked from the fumes and starts to cough violently.

Ibuki and co. worries about Hibiki, who then calls back to "Tachibana".
But all Kasumi hears is a strange voice from the other end.
That strange voice happens to be Hibiki's.
Something has happened to his voice from the gas attack.
He becomes despair and vents his irritation...

To be continued...

foo - December 7, 2005 03:22 PM (GMT)
Episode 26, KIZAMARERU HIBI. (The carving days)

A sunny summer day.
Asumu practises his drums while a relaxed Hibiki looks on.
He then suggests about the two of them performing the drum routine together at the upcoming summer festival.
Overjoyed by what he heard, Asumu accepts his offer.

Just as Asumu returns to "Tachibana", Ibuki calls to inform him that he is out buying gifts with Kasumi for the Bon festival, and that probably someone will come to help out at the shop.
Asumu wonders who the person is.

Elsewhere, Todoroki engages combat with Kai-Douji, You-Hime and Bakegani.
He goes through the usual routine of defeating the Makamou's parents, then piercing his Retsurai into its back, and smashes it to pieces with his sound attack.

Ascertaining the defeat of Bakegani, the mysterious man in white appears at a rundown temple.
He thrusts his staff into the ground to produce another Douji & Hime.
The eerie movement of Hime suggests another unknown Makamou to come.

As Asumu is polishing the glass panels in the shop, Akira appears.
It seems like she is the helper Ibuki mentioned, and this pleases him.
Suddenly Midori rushes out, a kitchen knife in her hand.
Asumu instinctively jumps back in fright.
Dubiously looking at his reaction, she then realizes the knife in her hand and explains that she is cutting a watermelon.
She then notices Akira's arrival and talks to her with joyous gesticulations, oblivious of the knife in her hand.
Needless to say, Akira is frightened by her.

Hibiki returns.
Asumu immediately relays the Todoroki's message about the "Summer Makamou" to him.
His expression changes, and he proceeds to take Hinaka to the location.
Curious about this summer Makamou, Asumu turns to Midori for the answer:
There are two kinds of Makamou: the giant ones created by the mystery man in black, and the human-sized ones by the mystery man in white.
The latter is called summer Makamou for the reason that they appear only during this season.
Akira adds that they have the special characteristic of multiplying their numbers.
And in order to counter this threat, Hibiki strengthens himself to crimson form and takes on this critical responsibility.

Riding his bike in tandem with Kasumi, Ibuki basks in the moment.
Suddenly, he senses a evil presence from somewhere but is unable to trace it.
He looks around the surrounding, and finds a couple in traditional Japanese clothings.
He stops his bike and chases after them.
Strangely enough, no matter how he tries to catch up each time, the distance between them seems to grow even further.
He dispatches three disc animals to tail them.
But even before they can hit 100m, half their bodies are melted away.
A sense of impatience begins to appear on Ibuki's face...

Back at "Tachibana", Tsutomu, whom Asumu met at the pool previously, arrives.
Learning about the absence of Hinaka from the surprised Asumu, he proceeds to look for Midori below.
He seems to know his way around the premises.
Even Akira does not do anything but only see him go down.

Hibiki and Todoroki manage to locate Douji & Hime.
They promptly arrive at the scene, and rescue some children from being attacked.
As Todoroki evacuates them, the Makamou, BAKENEKO, both parent and child, appear before Hibiki.
Without a moments delay, he henshins.
But the speed of Bakeneko is too fast for him to cope.
Knowing that crimson is needed, he breaks into his next level of transformation, and charges towards Bakeneko, Douji & Hime!

To be continued...

foo - December 7, 2005 03:29 PM (GMT)
Episode 27, TSUTAERU KIZUNA. (The conveying bond)

Hibiki Kurenai battles the Makamou, Bakeneko.
He manages to overcome their overwhelming speed and corners them.
But their cooperation enables them to counter his attacks.
Douji & Hime then join in the fight and as soon as the opportunity presents itself, they retreat.
Hibiki immediatley dispatches a disc animal after them.

At "Tachibana", Tsutomu displays delight upon meeting Midori while Asumu looks on at him.
According to Akira, he has stopped his Oni training.
Much to Asumu's relief, he was not Hibiki's apprentice.

Zanki, who has been pursuing Bakeneko after the departure of Hibiki, encounters Douji & Hime.
A fight breaks out between the three of them.
Outnumbered and unarmed, Zanki is caught in an unflavorable position.
Nonetheless he is still able to skilfully dodge their attacks and retaliates.

Hot on the pursuit of the ominous couple, Ibuki is suddenly hit by paralysis when he comes into contact of them.
The two of them lift their heads up and then their right hands over them...

As Zanki fights Douji & Hime, the mystery man in white appears.
He freezes Zanki's movement, manipulating him like a puppet.
He then holds up his right hand over his head and drops Zanki into the river.

Ibuki eventually loses sight of the couple.
He proceeds to join up with Kasumi and return to "Tachibana".
From the window of a western-style house, the ominous couple looks down at them...

Zanki returns to the base camp and wants Hibiki and Todoroki to dispatch their disc animals.
However the disc animals end up being battered by Bakeneko and unable to playback.
Hibiki then calls up Midori for the repair methods.

Tsutomu, who has heard about Asumu's mentor-apprentice relationship with Hibiki, tries to impart him some advice based on his experience.
Asumu also learns of his reason for having to give up being Oni due to his parents' opposition.
Somehow, all that remains is that bitter memories.
With no intention of becoming an Oni at present, Asumu is not able to understand his feelings.

Meanwhile, Zanki engages in a conversation with Hibiki as he repairs a disc animal.
He asks Hibiki if he has any intention of accepting an apprentice, and about Asumu.
Hibiki replies that he wants to guide him along; not meaning to be an Oni, but to be a man.
Zanki can understand and agrees to his sentiment.

Upon completing the repairs on the disc animal, they manage to finally establish Bakeneko's hideout.
Hibiki and Todoroki move out.
They henshin, with Hibiki further powering up to Kurenai form and defeat Bakeneko, one after another.
The final Bakeneko parent is then brought down with Kurenai's "Shaku Netsu Shinku no Kata".

That night, Hibiki, Asumu and the whole gang, all decked in their summer yukata, are out enjoying the fireworks.
After learning from Tsutomu about the difficulties in becoming an Oni, Asumu talks to Hibiki about it.
To which he replies that that is the reason why they are the only ones who are trained in that, before breaking into a smile.

To be continued...

foo - December 7, 2005 03:33 PM (GMT)
Episode 28, TAENU AKUI. (The dying evil)

Asumu's home.
Closing the curtain, he stands alone in his gloomy room.
In his hand is the compass from Hibiki, his source of inspiration.
Something is troubling him.

Ikuko urges him out to have breakfast.
Today, Asumu is going hiking up the mountains with Hibiki.
She tells him to hurry up, before seeing a terrible bruise on his face.
The injury is affecting his appetite as he can only tastes the food lightly.
Concerned for her son, the helpless Ikuko can only see him off the house.

Old western-style house.
A lady walks along the corridor, and into a laboratory.
Buried in the sea of lab equipment is a man.
The two of them are the ominous couple whom Ibuki encountered earlier.

The man is developing something from a clod.
It seems like he is trying to produce another pair of Musha-Douji & Yoroi-Hime, the same pair who had given Hibiki a difficult time previously.
The female half proposes that the mystery lady uses the clod.
Instantenously, a red glow emits from the eyes...

On the bus journey to the mountains, Asumu is fast asleep on the shoulder of Hibiki.
He sees the bruise on his face and feels for the pain he is suffering.
Eventually the two of them enter the mountains, located deep inside the forest that is filled with a mysterious sense of ambience.

A different forest.
With the combination of her own blood and a spider, the mystery lady in black plants her staff into the ground.
A pair of Douji & Hime emerges.
Something also starts rising from the ground...

The pair wastes no time and starts attacking people.
Hot on their heels is another Oni, EIKI.
The pair transforms into Musha-Douji & Yoroi-Hime, to which Eiki is taken aback by.
Their overwhelming powers pin him to a defensive.
Furthermore, this pair is different from the previous Musha & Yoroi version: they do not revert back to Douji & Hime.
Eiki is eventually cornered and driven off a cliff.

Upon notifying of Eiki's disappearance, Ibuki and Akira immediately begin the search, oblivious to the existence of Musha-Douji & Yoroi-Hime.

Asumu and Hibiki busy themselves setting up their camp.
The activity seems to have perk Asumu up a bit, with the earlier gloom on his face somewhat fading away.
The injury on his face is actually from another encounter with the youth shoplifter.
Resentful of Asumu for exposing his crime, he inflicts the injury on him.
Till now, that incident still leaves him mentally and physically scarred.
Hibiki takes this opportunity to invite Asumu along for this trip, so as to join him in his search for a pair of broken drumsticks.

At "Tachibana", Kasumi and Midori try to cheer Hitomi up.
Unable to contain her concern for Asumu, she breaks into tears.

Todoroki joins up with Ibuki in the search for Eiki.
They find it odd that if the Makamou is Tsuchigumo, it is highly impossible for him to be defeated.
They then manage to find Eiki's drumsticks... and Douji & Hime.
Both of them henshin, while the latter pair transform into Musha-Douji & Yoroi-Hime.
Their ferocious attack forces the Onis into a corner...

Meanwhile, Hibiki and Asumu are climbing the mountains.
Suddenly Asumu loses his footing and slips off the slope...

To be continued...

foo - December 7, 2005 03:36 PM (GMT)
Episode 29, KAGAYAKU SHONEN. (The shining youth)

Whilst climbing the mountain with Hibiki, Asumu loses his footing and slips off the slope.
He manages to break his fall by hanging onto a large branch, and Hibiki pulls him up.

Meanwhile, Ibuki and Todoroki embroil in a difficult battle with the powered up Musha-Douji & Yoroi-Hime.
Despite their predicament, they are able to tag-team and defeat Yoroi-Hime.
Just as they are about to tackle the remaining Musha-Douji, the Makamou Tsuchigumo emerges from the ground to rescue him.
Even though this Makamou spider is not fully grown yet, it looks different from the usual Tsuchigumos.

Hibiki finds a thick branch for his broken drumstick.
He closes his eyes and prays to the wood to request for its power.

An evening shower prevents Hibiki and Asumu from preparing dinner.
Both of them stay in the tent, with Hibiki focusing on making his drumstick.
Asumu takes the opportunity to apologise for his fall earlier as he is worried that Hibiki would be mad at him for that.
In a rare display of firmness to him, Hibiki addresses his problem, telling him that life is full of ups and downs.
Even though he may have lost his hat and Asumu his cellphone in the incident, that does not mean the end of everything.
However his words of encouragement is not able to unlock Asumu's problem.

As the rain stops, Hibiki and Asumu begin preparing for dinner.
Hibiki takes this time to finally expresses his thoughts about Asumu's beating incident.
There is bound to be injuries whenever one falls down.
And each time it happens, instead of cowering from it, be strong.
Live one's life one wishes for.

Hibiki's warm words finally strike a cord in Asumu, and clear away his worries.

The next morning, both of them make their way down the mountain.

Ibuki and Todoroki encounter Douji again.
Douji powers up to Musha-Douji as the duo henshin.
Just as the outnumbered Musha-Douji is pinned, the fully grown Makamou spider makes its entrance as YOROI-TSUCHIGUMO.
It swoops down on Todoroki and bites at his leg, causing him to scream in pain.
The two of them are caught in a pinch.

When it seems like the battle has swing away from their favor, Eiki appears.
He rescues Todoroki and proceeds to defeat Musha-Douji.
With his drumsticks, he charges towards Yoroi-Tsuchigumo.
The Makamou spider makes its escape with the three Onis in pursuit.

As Asumu is folding the tent for departure, he suddenly hears Hibiki's cry to run.
Puzzled, he begins running.
He learns of the reason only when the giant Yoroi-Tsuchigumo suddenly appears before him.

Hibiki promptly henshins and rescues him.
Powering into Kurenai, he goes on to break Yoroi-Tsuchigumo's legs before seating his buckle onto it.
He executes his beating and destroys the Makamou spider.

It has been a long while since Asumu witnesses Hibiki in battle.
Looking at him, Asumu feels something in himself.

Hibiki, Asumu and co. return to "Tachibana" to the waiting Ikuko and co.
Asumu is surprised to see his mother there, and begins recounting his adventure in the mountains cheerfully.
Asumu has return to his usual self.
Looking at him, Hibiki murmurs,
'Boy, that's the first step.'

To be continued...

foo - December 7, 2005 03:46 PM (GMT)
Episode 30, KITAERU YOKAN (The training premonition)

On a certain day as Asumu makes his way home on his bicycle, he encounters a youth.
For no apparent reason the stranger challenges him to a bike race.
As soon as he calls for the race to start, he begins pedaling with all his might.
Asumu, though puzzled, is lured into the competition and steps on his pedals.
It becomes a tight race, but Asumu eventually loses out when he falls to avoid a puppy.
The youth proudly proclaims his victory and leaves, as the dumbfounded Asumu looks on.

With both Seijirou and Hinaka down with cold, the store is left to only Kasumi and Asumu.
The sudden surge in costumers means that Hibiki has to help out as well.

At the western-styled house, the mysterious male works on his new experiment.
He cuts off some hair from his other half and drops it into his utensil.
It seems like he is trying to create a new warrior, with abilites far exceeding that of Musha Douji & Yoroi Hime.

A new student arrives in Asumu's class.
He is called KIRIYA KYOUSUKE, and is the person who beats Asumu earlier in the race.
Coincidentally he is seated next to Asumu.
His behaviour is far from usual, like criticising his English teacher and bringing sushi instead of normal lunch boxes.

After class, Kyousuke goes to observe various club activities with Asumu as the guide.
He seems like a gifted person, beating everyone at the chess club, and then displaying his illustration ability at the manga club.
When Asumu tries to introduce him to the sports club, he declines, citing that in any case he will be the best.
He then unleashes a spitting remark that Asumu that he is a boring person.

Back at "Tachibana", Hibiki is embroiled in a difficult battle of another realm: entertaining the customers.
Concerned by Kyousuke's remark, Asumu looks to Hibiki for consultation.
However he is too distracted by the battle at hand to notice his words.

A Makamou, who can manipulate Oni fire, appears.
Ibuki & Akira show up to rescue the people from it.
The Makamou then makes its retreat.
This is the first time that a Makamou is attacking humans directly, and with no Douji & Hime in sight.
Ibuki & Akira are puzzled by this unusual pattern.

Kyousuke invites Asumu to his mansion.
Still troubled by his earlier comment, Asumu takes the opportunity to ask him for the reason.
His behaviour leads to Kyosuke replying with nothing but only a grin.
Then a television phone call from Kyousuke's mother comes in.
Concerned for her son, she speaks to him in an ingratiating manner, which he responds accordingly, a complete change from his usual firm demeanor.
After the phone call, Asumu learns about his family situation.
His father has passed away and his mother is working in France, leaving him alone in this mansion.

Later that night, the two of them take a walk on the street when the Makamou appears.
Asumu gets ready for it but for some reason, Kyosuke is at a loss on what to do.
On seeing the unintentional revealing of his uncouth nature, Asumu nudges at him and asks if he is athletically-challenged.
Ibuki arrives in a nick of time to shield them from the attack.
He henshins and charges towards the Makamou, but is overwhelmed by its fire attacks.

Through Akira's contact, Hibiki shows up to assist Ibuki.
He henshins and breaks into an intense fight with the enemy.
Kyousuke, who has been witnessing the incident the whole time, then leaks out an unexpected remark.
'Tha... that's my... father... !!!'

To be continued...



NOTE
Major staff changes in Hibiki TV series, effective from this episode:
Due to unsatisfactory response to the series, the main creative team, producer TAKADERA SHIGENORI and scriptwriter OOISHI SHINJI are replaced by SHIRAKURA SHINICHIROU and INOUE TOSHIKI respectively.

foo - December 7, 2005 03:49 PM (GMT)
Episode 31, KOERU CHICHI (Exceeding the father)

KASHA faces Hibiki without Douji & Hime.
In the midst of the battle he drops his drumstick, which the nearby Asumu picks up.
Overpowered by Hibiki, Kasha makes its retreat.
Hibiki disables his henshin and entrusts the pursuit to Ibuki, while he makes his way back to "Tachibana" to help out.
The entire incident leaves Kyousuke with a sudden interest to find out more about Hibiki.

Kyousuke gets to know of Asumu's address through Hitomi.
His unexpected visit surprises Asumu.
It seems like Kyousuke has an inclination to Asumu's association with Hibiki.
Kyousuke confides in Asumu that his firefighter father perished in an accident when he was young, and that his greatest regret is not being able to climb on him like any other child can.
Although Asumu shares the same predicament of not having any fatherly love, at least his did not die.
Kyousuke asks why he does not go visit his father then, to which Asumu has no answer for.

That night Asumu asks his mother about the cause of her divorce.
When he asks if it is all right for him to pay a visit to his father, she silently writes down his address for him.
Caught between his decision and concern for his mother, Asumu consults Hibiki.
Hibiki also approves of the visit, thereby resigning Asumu to his fate.

Kyousuke turns up at "Tachibana" by himself.
In front of Hibiki, he lays down a challenge to him.
It seems like he has associate Hibiki's flame with the one that killed his father.
Hibiki mildly tells this stranger to go back if he is not a customer.
Kyousuke then sits down and orders his dumpling, as he begins to observe Hibiki.

At this time Asumu arrives at his father's residence.
However he learns from a neighbour that he is not at home.
As he is about to leave, he asks the lady about his father.
He is a very helpful person in the neighbourhood, and has helped her build a kennel for her dog before.
Asumu then sees the kennel...

Seeing Hibiki fumbling over his work at "Tachibana", Kyousuke wonders if this is the same person who battles valiantly against the monster called Makamou.
He cannot help but feels disappointed.

On the other hand Asumu pays a visit to his father's company.
There, he hears the unfortunate news of him collasping due to overwork.
Asumu immediately rushes to the hospital, only to learn of him discharging himself against the doctor's orders to attend a family gathering.
No matter what happens now, Asumu cannot leave without meeting him.
He finds out about the restaurant he is at and heads over.

Kasha appears.
As soon as he receives the news from Akira, Hibiki rushes off from the shop.
Kyousuke halts a taxi in pursuit.

Hibiki arrives at the scene of Ibuki battling the Makamou.
He henshins to Kurenai and counters Kasha's fire attacks.
And with the execution of his final move, he beats it to its death.
Kyousuke quietly looks on...

Asumu confirms the sighting of his father when he sees him having a meal happily with his new family.
When he returns to his place for the second time, he sees the kennel that his father built.
He decides to help complete it.
That is Asumu's way of exceeding his father.
On his way from in his mother's taxi, the smile on his face shows that he has layed to rest his worries.

Meanwhile a strolling Kyousuke strengthens his belief.
'Hibiki... sooner or later, you will be mine...'

To be continued...

foo - December 7, 2005 03:51 PM (GMT)
Episode 32, HAJIKERU UTA (The bursting song)

In the laboratory of the western-style house, the male & female fix their attention on an utensil boiling with thick smoke.
Before long two figures start to form from it.
The new creation of SUPER DOUJI & SUPER HIME is complete.

With the recovery of Seijirou and Hinaka from their cold and Hibiki's extermination of Kasha, normalcy returns to "Tachibana".
Concerned with the sudden non-appearance of Douji & Hime in the recent Makamou's activity, Hibiki and Todoroki set out to investigate.
Midori suddenly breaks an important annoucement: KOGURE KOUNOSUKE is coming to "Tachibana".
Seijirou is taken aback by the news, and the expressions of Hinaka and Kasumi change on hearing it.
Just who is this person?

Through their disc animals, Hibiki and Torodoki arrive at the scene of the sighting.
On seeing Kugutsu with Super Douji & Hime, they henshin.
But they are completely overpowered by the new Douji & Hime, whose abilities are nothing they have encounter before.
The battle eventually ends with the enemy's disappearance during the pursuit.

They decide to split up for the search in the forest.
Todoroki walks into a booby trap and gets his foot caught by a rope.
He gets pulled by it and ends up hanging upside down.
Someone then strikes him on the butt and calls him a novice.
Todoroki continues to hang around, confused by what just happened.

On the other hand, Hibiki is being thrown at with bamboos.
His fast reaction enables him to repel the projectiles with ease.
Suddenly a piece of beancurd flies towards him, and he catches it gently.
'Novice!' the same voice calls out.

Before the arrival of Kogure, the shop has to be tidied up.
Todoroki joins everyone in the major spring cleaning.
It is learned that Kogure is the chief of Yoshino's development office and is highly regarded for his various Oni weaponry.
A respected person, he also happens to be Midori's teacher.

Danki and SHOUKI arrive to look for Midori.
They tell her that the new weapon Kogure developed causes them the inability to henshin.
Danki deems the weapon a failure.
Then Kogure appears.

'Not sufficient training on your part, and now the fault lies with me!' he says.
Angered by their remarks, he strikes their butts, causing them to flee in terror.
With that, Hibiki and Todoroki now know the identity of the culprit from their earlier encounters.

Kogure shows the weapon, ARMED SABER, to Hibiki and co.
Even though this is his finest work, it is a pity that it seems like no Oni can handle it.
Todoroki believes that he is up for it but is pointed out about his naviety in the earlier trap incident.
Hibiki did show promise but was also caught out in the end.
Kogure turns to Seijirou and says that he spoils his Onis and begins his preaching, much to Seijirou's dismay.

As Midori is analyzing the Armed Saber, she realizes that energy it generates is far too great for a normal person to handle.
In other words, there is no way of using it even if one is well trained.
The power of the blade is just too strong.
It seems like the weapon is really a failure...

Hibiki and co. throws a welcome party for Kogure.
With extreme pride in his voice, Kogure decides to show off his singing ability.
Even though Hibiki and co. are troubled by the unexpected one-man show, they are stuck with no other choices but to listen on.
Then comes the news of the appearance of Douji & Hime.
As Kogure continues to indulge himself in his song, everyone else rushes off.

Upon the discovery of Super Douji & Hime, Ibuki henshins but is overwhelmed by their agile movement.
Hibiki and Todoroki arrive to link up with him.
Despite outnumbering their opponents, the three Onis are still pinned down by the duo.
To make matters worse, the giant Makamou, KAMAITACHI, shows up and attacks them.
Caught in a pinch, Todoroki takes out the Armed Saber that he secretly brought along, and charges towards Kamaitachi.
But the intense power from the weapon causes him to disable his henshin.
Hibiki suffers the same predicament when he gets his hand on the saber.
Super Douji then picks up the weapon.
With an eerie laughter he moves towards the helpless Hibiki...

To be continued...

foo - December 7, 2005 03:55 PM (GMT)
Episode 33, MATOU HAIBA (The armored blade)

The powers of the Armed Saber has disabled the henshins of both Todoroki and Hibiki.
And now it has fallen into the hands of Super Douji.
He fights over it with Super Hime before they eventually leave.

The Armed Saber nearly caused them their lives.
Todoroki angrily puts the blame on Kogure, despite the fact that he was the one at fault for taking it without permission.
Somehow the immense energy generated from the weapon has an adverse effect on a person's physical strength, causing it to deteriorate greatly.
According to Seijirou, Danki took an entire month just to regain it.
The stronger Makamou is already a problem, and now for one month, they cannot henshin...

Back at the western-style house, the gentleman & lady begin analysis on the Armed Saber, to the cravings of Super Douji & Hime.
Before their analysis, they have to suppress the overwhelming energy from the weapon to keep it under control.

Zanki drops by for a visit, and comes into contact with Kogure, whose audacious treatment of Todoroki's beloved mentor makes him hopping mad.
For the purpose of recovering the Armed Saber, Kogure then puts Hibiki and Todoroki through a special training: voice training - to work on the energy from within oneself.
The training then establishes Todoroki to be tone-deaf, a terrible one.

By chance, Hibiki meets up with Asumu and Kyousuke.
Kyosuke asks Hibiki what is so good about Asumu.
'There are a lot of people in this world; people who think big, people who can be respected and people you would want to meet. Once you encounter them, you will become a better person', he leaves them these words.

Zanki goes to visit Todoroki and Hibiki, who are training hard to regain their henshin abilities.
He tells Todoroki that Kogure was once an Oni, and that he was dubbed "Shippuu Hagane no Oni" (hurricane demon of steel) for the feat of exterminating 10 Makamous in a single day.
Kogure then appears and mentions that it was up to 30 Makamous, swelling with pride.
The simple-minded Todoroki cannot help but falls into a state of adoration over him.

Kamaitachi appears.
Ibuki henshins and faces the Makamou alone.
The appearance of Super Douji & Hime gradually turns the odds heavily against him.

Hibiki and Todoroki run to his aid.
'Henshin!' Kogure voices out.
The two of them finally henshin. Their training has shown its desired results.
Hibiki manages to retrieve the Armed Saber.
'Do not fear it, Hibiki! You are able to wield it now!' the doubtful Hibiki hears from Kogure.
Then an immense power emits from the Armed Saber, fusing the disk animals with him.... into ARMED HIBIKI.
The surprised Hibiki flashes the saber at Kamaitachi, and with that stroke, slices the giant beast into two.
A resounding victory.

To be continued...

foo - December 7, 2005 03:57 PM (GMT)
Episode 34, KOISURU KATSUO (The bonito in love)

With the departure of Kogure to Yoshino after the successful development of Armed Saber, "Tachibana" once again returns to its peaceful days.
And Hinaka's birthday happens to fall on this period.
Todoroki celebrates the ocassion by taking her out on a date.

He brings her to a high class restaurant, where he unintentionally spits out his wine at Hinaka after a toast.
Clearly not a drink or place that he is used to.
To make matters worse, he has trouble using the fork and knife and causes the steak to fly towards Hinaka.
In a haste to clean her up, he then pulls the table cloth and overturns everything.
The series of blunders is turning into a disaster for him.
Yet Hinaka tells him not to mind, which then leads to Todoroki taking out her present: a huge bonito.
She finally snaps, and tells him that it is better for them not to see each other for a while.

On the other hand, Asumu witnesses Hitomi handing a love letter to Kyousuke.
A shock to him.

In the desperate bid to recouncile with Hinaka, Todoroki looks to Kasumi for guidance, where yet again he inexplicably displays his blundering ways to her.
A phonecall from Hinaka then comes in to inform him of the appearance of the Makamou, UWAN.
Todoroki wants to take the opportunity to apologise to her but as she is only talking work, he is unable to do so.
And with that, he brings his personal problem to the mission.

He arrives at the scene to support Hibiki, but his lack of concentration causes him to drop his Retsurai at a critical moment and allows Uwan to make its retreat.
When the irritated Hibiki questions him about his mistake, he confesses to him.
However even Hibiki is unable to really comprehend his relationship problem.

Ibuki is attacked by Super Douji & Hime.
He henshins but is no match for them.
It seems like Hime, who has been behaving like an innocent child like Douji, has her true powers suddenly awaken as she is beating Ibuki.
In her eagerness to resuce Ibuki, Akira risks her life and injures her leg.

When Ibuki is sending Akira for treatment, she feels that her inability to become an Oni fast is a hindrance.
She is troubled by being just Akira.

After hearing of Todoroki's incident, Midori calls Hibiki thickheaded.
Unable to comprehend her words, he makes dinner for Asumu, whose mother is away visiting her parents.
Even though Asumu's expression shows that his cooking is obviously too salty, he does not put that to words to him.

Uwan makes another appearance.
Todoroki links up with Hibiki and Ibuki.
They henshin, with Hibiki upping to Armed Hibiki.
Just as Todoroki is about to apply the finishing blow, the string on his Retsurai snaps!
Uwan reverses the situation and attacks the dumbfounded Todoroki!

To be continued...

foo - December 7, 2005 04:00 PM (GMT)
Episode 35, MADOWAZU TENSHI (The bewildered angel)

Unable to finish off Uwan with his broken string, Todoroki is caught in a pinch.
To save him, Armed Hibiki forces his way through and crushes the Makamou with his finisher, KISHIN KAKUSEI.

Todoroki's relationship problem with Hinaka means that he has neglected maintaining his weapon, thereby causing it to reduce its current state.
No matter how he is warned, nothing seems to go into his head.

Hibiki goes to Hinaka, wanting to put in a good word for Todoroki, but she replies that the problem is not as simple as it seems.
She says that Todoroki is somewhat thickheaded and insensitive.

In the evening, Hibiki prepares the same stew as dinner for Asumu.
Despite it tasting better this time, Asumu seems dispirited.
Upon questioning him, Hibiki realizes that he is troubled by the love letter incident between Hitomi and Kyousuke.
To rid of his worries, Hibiki suggests that he devotes himself to his club activity or studies.
Obviously he is as clueless with Asumu's situation as it is with Todoroki's.
Seeing Asumu's reaction to his suggestion, he asks if he is thickheaded and insensitive.

The full-grown Uwan appears.
Hibiki arrives to link up with Todoroki and Ibuki.
Super Douji & Hime also join in, and an intense battle unfolds.
When Ibuki tries to blow into his Reppuu for the finisher, no sound comes out!?
This unexpected turn of event forces them to retreat.

This time it's Ibuki's turn...
They learn about him witnessing Kasumi getting on well with a man.
Same relationship trouble as Todoroki.
For the sake of Hibiki, the two of them seek solace in each other.

That evening, Hibiki tries out Asumu's stew.
He unintentionally spurts out that his stew is better and sweats over his remark.
But Asumu is in too good a mood to feel offended.
Apparently the "love letter" Hitomi handed over to Kyousuke is from someone else.
She is merely acting as a cupid.
Looking at the smiling Asumu, Hibiki finally begins to comprehend Todoroki and Ibuki's problems.

The enlightened Hibiki makes a suggestion to Todoroki to celebrate Hinaka's birthday again.
Encouraged by him, Todoroki decides to make his own udon for her.
Even though he may look clumsy doing it, his thought and effort is enough to move Hinaka.
He then presents her with a ring and with that, ends their rift.

Uwan and its multipled forms appear.
His misunderstanding with Kasumi resolved as well, the cheerful Ibuki links up with the other two.
Armed Hibiki, Ibuki and Todoroki defeat the three Makamou with their respective finishers.

That evening, Kyousuke looks on at the returning Akira and approaches slowly.
What is his plan?

To be continued...

foo - December 7, 2005 04:03 PM (GMT)
Episode 36, UERU SHUKI (Shuki's hunger)

Kyousuke approaches Akira.
He bluntly questions her about her Oni apprenticeship with Ibuki and her reason for wanting to become one.
Offended by his tactless behaviour, she does not answer him and merely gives him a stare as she walks away.

An incident happened in the Yoshino shrine: someone attacked the priest and maiden and stole the Oni armor.
Wearing the armor, the intruder defeated Sabaki, who was battling Makamou, NOTSUGO.
Hot on the pursuit are Zanki & Todoroki, with the former seemingly recollecting something from this incident.

In school, Kyousuke tells Akira to consider getting an education as a backup, in case her Oni career does not work out in the future.
His remark gets her concerned, and she looks to Ibuki for counsel.
The bitter memories of Akira's parents being killed by Makamou does not hurt as much now.
Nevertheless she still wants to turn that hatred into strength that she can use.
Ibuki reprimands her for having that thought.
She cannot agree with his views and hears nothing of what he says.

The Oni armor was created as a substitute during the early times when there was a lack of Onis.
A person well-trained enough is able to wear it to use the Oni powers.
So who is this person with the knowledge of the armor and also the ability to wield it?

Zanki recalls that the Makamou Sabaki fought earlier to be the same one that his mentor, SHUKI, failed to defeat 10 years back.
In fact, that is the only Makamou she has failed to put away.
After that she was forced to retire.
Now she is working as an Ikebana lecturer.

Ibuki entrusts the troubled Akira to the experienced Zanki.
Zanki agrees to his request to undertake the reponsibility.
It is then told that the real reason for Zanki to retire as an Oni is not due to his knee injury, but an old wound in the chest.
Hibiki learns of this by chance, but is forbidden to speak of it by Zanki.

Zanki, Todoroki and Akira go off for their mission.
He persuades Akira to cast away her hatred.
She cannot hide her discouragement after hearing the same thing from Zanki.
But he also adds that if that hatred is forgotten, the meaning of being an Oni will be lost.

Notsugo appears.
Todoroki henshins for battle, but it is too powerful for him.
He is thrown off, and drops his henshin device, thereby cancelling his henshin.
Finally Hibiki show up.
He becomes Armed Hibiki and confronts the Makamou, but it is proving to be a difficult adversary.

Then the Oni armor appears and takes Todoroki's henshin device.
Zanki unleashes disc animals on the person and manages to split the armor... to reveal Shuki.
An unexpected reunion of Zanki and his mentor.
She stops Zanki and henshins.
Facing the only Makamou she has never defeated, she goes on the offensive.
Notsugo's counterattack causes Akira to fall into the river!
The Onis are pinned down by this powerful opponent...

To be continued...

foo - December 7, 2005 04:05 PM (GMT)
Episode 37, YOMIGAERU IKAZUKI (The revived thunder)

Notsugo’s attack throws Akira into the river.
Entrusted to take care of her, Zanki searches for her with Todoroki and Hibiki.
Instead Shuki discovers her further up the stream at the riverbank.

Akira regains her consciousness to find Shuki with her, and learns that she is Zanki’s former mentor.
When Akira tells her that she is the apprentice of Ibuki, who is from the Oni head family, she blurts out ill words about him coming to kill her.
Once Akira learns of Shuki’s motive in becoming an Oni, she confesses to her about the demise of her parents.
Incidentally Shuki’s parents were killed by Makamou as well.
‘Do not forget the hatred… for it will make you stronger’.
Her words are the exact opposite from that of Ibuki and Zanki’s, and this strengthens Akira’s beliefs.

Eventually both of them part company, with Akira returning to Zanki.
He warns her about nearing Shuki, but Akira replies him with an emboldened look.

Shuki’s search for Notsugo leads her to Super Douji & Hime.
The moment they are about to attack her, they are suddenly stopped by the ominous couple.
Sensing the darkness in Shuki’s heart, they invite her to join them.
Her prompt refusal makes them unleash Super Douji & Hime on her.
She manages to avoid their attacks and escapes.
Douji, who is left behind, suddenly undergoes a transformation.
Gone is his childish behavior and like Hime, his true evil self finally awakes.

An order is passed down from the head family in Yoshino: carry out an Oni exorcism on Shuki, with Ibuki assigned to it.
Why the need to do so?
Zanki opens his heart and for the first time, talks about the reason for Shuki’s forced removal from Takeshi:
When she was still an Oni and Zanki’s mentor, she has a burning resentment towards Notsugo, the Makamou that murdered her parents.
Its weakness is the opening in its mouth, and that is only exposed when it opens its mouth to feed on humans.
Shuki was bent on killing it, even to the extent of sacrificing Zanki.
Fortunately Zanki was able to escape.
And the injury he sustained in that battle is the real reason for him having to retire prematurely.

Facing his first Oni exorcism, Ibuki looks to Hibiki to be his support.
Instead, the unusually stern Hibiki tells him to place more concern on the troubled Akira, who is worried about her Oni-hood.
His words eventually renew Ibuki’s determination.

Zanki reunites with Shuki.
He does not want to lose her from the Oni exorcism and pleads for her to return the henshin device.
She refuses, her urge to kill Notsugo still as evident.

Akira then shows up, and wants to be Shuki’s apprentice.
Shuki tells Akira to follow her.
Zanki tries to prevent that from happening but Akira, despite hesitant, attaches herself to Shuki.

Ibuki appears before Shuki and Akira.
Finally the time has come to fight a comrade Oni… but suddenly Notsugo comes attacking.
It catches Akira with its thread and is planning on eating her.
Despite the screams of Akira, Shuki sees this as the golden opportunity to kill it.
She aims at Akira and the Makamou.

Then Zanki makes his appearance.
He sends Shuki flying and successfully rescues Akira.
But this time, Shuki is caught by Notsugo.
‘Now! Do it!’ Shuki cries to Zanki.
Seeing his former apprentice hesitating, Shuki uses her weapon and unleashes a blow at Notsugo.

With Notsugo clearly weakened by the strike, Zanki thrusts his RETSUZAN into it and slaps on his buckle.
He executes his RAIDEN ZANSHIN and blows it up.

In exchange for Notsugo’s life, Shuki sacrifices hers.
As she nears her last breathe, Zanki places flowers to conceal her body.
‘I do not want anyone to see my face when I’m dead’.
With that, a teacher’s last request is fulfilled by her pupil…

To be continued…

foo - December 7, 2005 04:07 PM (GMT)
Episode 38, YABURERU ONGEKI (The defeated sound)

Asumu practises his whistle on the rooftop.
However the words of Kyousuke about wanting to become Hibiki’s apprentice keeps running in his head, distracting his concentration.
Only when Hitomi calls out to him that he manages to shake off his bewilderment.
He then cheerfully announces to her that he is going to work hard in his club activities.
Just then the brass band head appears and notifies him about the lack of vacancy for him for the training camp.
Dejected by the news, Asumu invites Hitomi to “Tachibana”.

When they arrive, they find Kyousuke there.
He tells Midori about Asumu’s earlier dejection with the brass band.
Midori, a former band member herself, suggests to them about forming their own training camp.

Super Douji & Hime strikes once again.
Hibiki arrives to deal with them.
The appearance of the Makamou, YOBUKO, prompts him to switch to Armed mode.
He then unleashes his Kishin Kakusei, but the attack bounces off Yobuko, who then swoops down on Hibiki…

The participants for Midori’s training camp eventually consist of Asumu and Hitomi… and the outsider, Kyosuke.
As the three of them begin their lesson, Ibuki, who is searching for Akira, appears.
Ever since the Shuki incident, she has not return to Zanki.

Immersed in a difficult battle, Hibiki executes his drum attacks but to no avail.
Reinforcement in the form of Ibuki and Todoroki proves short-lived as well.
Their sound attacks are useless against Yobuko.
Left with no other choice, they make their retreat.

Despite undergoing Midori’s intense training, Asumu is still unable to focus due to Kyousuke’s earlier words.
Disgusted with himself for that, he is about to give up and go home when Hibiki shows up.
Just by looking at Asumu’s facial expression, Hibiki is able to sense something is wrong.

At “Tachibana”, Ibuki reports to Kasumi and Hinaka about Akira.
He cannot understand why she does not voice out her problems.
Kasumi speaks for her, knowing that Ibuki has never handle such relationship issues before.

Asumu asks Hibiki about what he does when he is not able to play the drums well.
Hibiki replies that at times like this, he returns to nature.
To return to his innocence, Asumu immediately goes to the forest, closes his eyes and listens carefully…

Ibuki looks for Zanki about Akira.
As soon as he tells Zanki that he is not fit to be a mentor, the angered Zanki beats him up.
‘Are you not already a mentor?’ Zanki shouts at him.
Todoroki quietly looks on.

Zanki is hit by a sudden pain in the chest.
His earlier henshin is taking its toll on him.
Then Todoroki appears, where he learns of Zanki’s desperate fight to hide his pain.
It seems like a mistake to restore him to active duty, in spite of Todoroki’s desire to fight alongside him again.
How long more do you want to depend on me!
The angry Zanki sees no worth in beating him up over it, and leaves.
Todoroki, left behind, sobs.

As Midori and Hibiki check on the Armed Saber, Yobuko shows up.
Hibiki tells her to flee and henshins.
But Asumu is caught by Super Douji & Hime.
The fighting Midori is no match to them.
Both Midori and Asumu are taken away.

Wanting to save them but overwhelmed by Yobuko, Hibiki is at his wits end.
Gradually, he loses his consciousness from the attacks…

To be continued…

foo - December 7, 2005 04:10 PM (GMT)
Episode 39, HAJIMARU KIMI (Begin from you)

Asumu and Midori are taken away by Super Douji & Hime.
The sound immune Yobuko defeats Hibiki.
As Hibiki disables his henshin and collapses, Kyousuke finds him.

The captured Asumu and Midori are spun up in thread and hung upside-down in a cave.
They are to become feed for Makamou.
Asumu tries to bite off the thread holding Midori.

Back at “Tachibana”, Hibiki remains unconscious.
Danki and co. goes in search of Midori.
But without any lead to begin with, Seijirou and Kasumi are at a lost.

Asumu finally gnaws through Midori’s thread.
They then manage to escape into a nearby forest.
Relieved over their escape, Midori recalls about Kyousuke becoming Hibiki’s apprentice, and asks Asumu if that is alright with him.
Seeing that he is having trouble clarifying his point, she diverts and begins to talk about an incident where Hibiki came to her aid.
‘I am trained so you do not have to fight’, Hibiki told her as he was protecting her.
An earlier incident where he was unable to protect a child from being bullied made him change this way.
With a little courage, people can change.
Moved by Hibiki’s action, she became a part of Takeshi and has been a supporter ever since.
‘A little courage…’ Asumu seems to get Midori’s point.

‘There’s no worth in hitting you.’
Hit by Zanki’s words, Todoroki drowns himself in sorrow in red-bean soup.
Seijirou throws words of encouragement at him, mentioning that the lion throws its own offspring into valleys for it to grow independent.
The muddleheaded Todoroki misunderstands his words and thinks of himself as the lion.
Nonetheless it has its desirable effect, as he snaps out of his worries and rushes out to the scene of Yobuko’s appearance.

Todoroki henshins and charges towards Yobuko, fighting spirit in abundance.
As expected, his attacks prove to be ineffective.
But that only serves to make him strike even harder.
‘I do not want to be defeated’, cries Todoroki as he is being beaten up.
Ibuki then shows up, before seeing Todoroki falls off the building.
Ibuki is overwhelmed by the attacks of Yobuko as well…

In the heavy rain, the injured Ibuki pulls himself out of a wrecked car.
He disables his henshin and right before him, Akira appears.
‘Without you by my side, I become aware for the first time… about my insignificance’, the miserable-looking Ibuki tells Akira.
Ibuki proceeds to pour out his thoughts to the silent Akira.
He has been too selfish with his views, and will let her make her own decision on becoming an Oni.
On hearing that, Akira’s usual cheerfulness gradually returns…

Meanwhile the immobilized Todoroki disables his henshin to see Zanki before him.
As he approaches the pitiful-looking Todoroki, he tells his mentor in an unusually stern tone: ‘I am not that weak’.
Under the heavy rain, Todoroki begins to tear, followed by Zanki.
‘Zanki san… until now… until now… thank you truly for everything.’
The sound of the rain seems to become that of Todoroki’s tears, as Zanki listens on...

At “Tachibana”, Kyousuke chances upon a henshin tuning fork.
He experiments with it and gets knocked out.
When he regains consciousness, he is greeted by Hibiki’s gentle smile.
Kyousuke wants to exceed his father by becoming an Oni, but Hibiki tells him that being an Oni is a duty and is not fit for everyone.
Hibiki then learns of Asumu and Midori’s escape.
With no strategy against Yobuko, Hibiki leaves to rescue them.
‘What’s the point of going to a fight that you will lose?’ Kyousuke asks.
‘No, there is. Because there are people waiting for me’, Hibiki smiles as he departs.

As Asumu and Midori make their escape in their car, Super Douji & Hime spring their attack.
Just as they are about to be captured again, from the mist emerges Hibiki.
He henshins and requests Midori to find the source of Yobuko’s sound barrier as he is fighting it.

After listening to Midori’s explanation, Asumu does his best to help out.
But try as he might, he cannot find anything.
In the meantime, Hibiki is being by run down by Yobuko.
Is there nothing he can do!
Just then he remembers Hibiki’s words about closing his eyes and calming himself to feel for the natural sound.
Asumu goes quiet…

He suddenly opens his eyes, and sees a ripple in the pool.
That is where Yobuko is emitting its barrier.
He immediately informs Hibiki, who then uses the opportunity to break the source.
With the barrier gone, he transforms to Armed Hibiki and destroys the Makamou in one slash.

Hibiki finally defeats the formidable enemy.
He disables his henshin and smiles at the approaching Asumu.
‘Thank you, Asumu.’
For the first time, Hibiki calls him by his name…
And with that, adds to the sense of delight and satisfaction he has never felt before.

To be continued…




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