This is going to be a combined review since I have been busy with university work.
So with the addition of a small kid called Benmaru, we are now at 9/10 and it seems the story has adopted an almost fully comedic approach to the series as proven by the last 2 episodes.
The addition of a kid is a little strange and I assume is also for even more comedy to be brought to the anime. Once you face the fact that at the beginning of the anime you already know how all of the 10 warriors look like, you don't get surprised when you see them - probably has something to do with the fact that you know there are only 12 episodes - nor do you get surprised by their special skills.
The episode was a change from the norm and I must say it was nice to have an episode that didn't fully concentrate on any of the warriors but rather the Feudal Lord Sanada himself. Pretty much useless from one perspective, he is just that joke character who is meant to be taken seriously and that is what they keep on relying throughout the series and that is made more apparent because of his fight with Date. The episode itself ended up feeling like just another side-plot advancement, seemingly another attempt to increase the overall viewership of the series and if I'm being honest, Benmaru's introduction was not particularly an interesting or exciting moment much like the next presented itself to be.
So this episode was actually a better watch than the previous one. Maybe because there was slightly more generic action to keep me happy, or maybe that they had finally introduced all the 10 Braves by this point; the last being a pirate by the name of Jinpachi. Jinpachi's comic tendencies come in the form of trying to hit on Kamanosuke (well I think the joke is that he'd hit on anything that looks like a woman since, well he's a pirate) or drinking excessively. Whilst his powers are quite cool and fit the rest of the animations, in the end one would definitely consider them to be generic for a ninja - Naruto fans especially.
Again another rather gag episode from the series does keep leaving a rather unpleasant emptiness after watching; it was acceptable when they did it for a few episodes but by this point I've come to accept Brave10 as more of a gag action series, than an action series with some gag elements to it.
By the end of this episode I had completely given up predicting how the last few episodes would turn out and whether the production company was hoping to have more episodes in order to bring out better action scenes. Truth be told by the end of this episode I was considering not watching another episode unless I can truly be bothered but luckily the next episode did change that.
So this episode was finally a return back to the more serious side of the story and in my opinion, something that seems to have been greatly ignored throughout most of the series. I liked how Saizo finally asked Sanada why he set out to gather 10 warriors - probably a question that no one has bothered to think about - and with Sanada's response comes a very nice ninja-esque response; essentially a comparison of the warriors he has gathered to the various elements which darkness and light.
It wasn't so much of a surprise for Isanami to be the one affiliated with darkness, but rather these past few episodes we hadn't seen the Kushiritama act up at all and so I guess I completely forgot about her and that's why I didn't spot it straight away whilst watching the episode itself. Overall the explanation was good and finally answered a few useless but excitable questions and lead to the full description of Isanami's powers as well as the the kushiritama.
And of course something that hasn't been included in the series until is betrayal, a must for any type of ninja anime has finally reared it's head in this episode. Gotta say Ana was probably the most logical choice and when it came to the battle scene between her and Rokuro, it actually made me happy to watch something more serious. I have to say this episode is the one responsible for me continuing this series till the end.
Next episode sees the return of Hanzo (I assume from the appearance) and will probably set up another confrontation/conflict to be resolved between Ana and the rest of the Sanda Brave's.