I was wondering when some when the monologues and speeches were going to show show up in this ninja anime. It's to be expected from any battle series, but now I'm wondering when the series is going to pick up the pace!
Seriously, it's as if the production company went ahead and said, "Ah! We haven't used enough speeches and monologues in this anime yet and this is a big problem." Problem No. Irregular Yes. How many battle, especially ninja based anime do you know that don't use monologues and speeches between characters to progress their development and improve their strength. Anyway, this episode spaced out 3 great works of poetry:
1. The opening sequence with Saizo's inner monologue about a shinobi's role as a tool
2. Ana's confrontation of Isanami
3. Sasuke's confrontation of Saizo (with some action of course).
I'm still not sure as to how the story hasn't progressed at a much faster pace. Since this anime is meant to be 12 episodes long, I assumed the progression would be at a much more intense speed since the Yukimitsu Sanada's purpose is to gather 10 Braves, of which he has currently gathered 7 (confirmed through this episode that Isanami is indeed a "Brave").
The episode itself is another setting for a future grand battle between the warlords Sanada and Date. It did seem to make Isanami's rescue seemed half-assed but when you consider the amount of episodes the anime has, not covering this in one episode would have been detrimental to the story itself. Throw in a great woman-to-woman chat between Isanami and Ana and you'll find yourself forgiving the anime for it's rather absurd pacing, even if the pep talk was one of those "you make me sick by acting so weak when your strong and should be fighting as a true warrior" types.
Besides Isanami's confirmation as a Brave, it seemed like a pretty obvious move to make Yuri a Brave since he has his own "attachment" to Saizo (luckily different from Isanami's but something tells me the level of love might be the same), making it even easier for his recruitment by Sanada. I do get the feeling that keeping Yuri was for the sole purpose of increasing the humour of the series, since at this current point in time most of it comes from Saizo's interactions with Isanami.
The episodes ending was a little generic for my taste: Sasuke does manage to quite literally beat some sense into Saizo, which also allows his relationship with Isanami to go back to normal (it was a difficult few hours/ a day for her) and we yet again witness the rather cool powers of Rokuro and his right eye. Though it isn't actually revealed to us what him and Sanada are keeping secret, it seems that the story is taking a "fight against destiny" turn, reminiscent of the early days of Naruto.
Overall the episode was quite good; it was nice to get a break from Saizo's constant fighting in order to focus on the other characters because recently it did feel like it was just a series of Saizo's losses with no interesting developments. I'm guessing from the preview of the next episode and after watching this episode, the series is still building up the story until the last battle which I assume will be epic. It was also nice to get the setting of the story from Date's point of view, since it will help set up the final battle as well. Based on the preview of the next episode, we will see another Brave being recruited and of course a return to Saizo's action scenes.