At last! Has it finally been a week?
Episode 6 of My Happy Marriage picks up with where we had left off in Episode 5. Kudo and Koji end up in hot pursuit for Miyo, with Koji imploring Kudo to return to the Saimori household. He is convinced that the family have cooped her up in there as part of their scheme, in conjunction with the elder Tatsuishi, to have her renounce her engagement with Kudo and to set up Kaya as his bride-to-be instead.
Kudo ends up demonstrating his powers early on, as he uses a lighting bolt to strike down the front gates. His flourish of power, though, is not unwarranted. Miyo HAS been kept up in the store-room, and Kaya and her step-mother have been torturing her, demanding that she verbally state that she will turn down her engagement with Kudo in exchange for keeping her newly-made kimono in as much as one piece as possible.
As Kudo begins his search through the grounds, he is confronted with the elder Tatsuishi, who orders him to stand down. Kudo refuses. Tatsuishi ends up summoning a large gust of wind with the help of Miyo’s father, but are easily defeated by Kudo. Koji foreshadows that Kudo has been named the greatest spiritual power user of their time, and the difference in power cannot be overstated. After easily defeating both elder me, Kudo continues his search with little to go on.
Having no experience with the books, I will say that one complaint that I had was the pacing in the latter third of the episode. As Kudo continues to search for Miyo in the vast household, Tatsuishi gets up for a second time to exact revenge – only, he graduates from using wind powers to a jet of flame. Kudo reflects that this signifies the older man’s desperation, and sure enough, the wooden estate begins to catch on flames. With a single bolt of lightning, Kudo knocks Tatsuishi unconscious for good, though, I note, he does not choose to use the nearby pond of water to douse the fires. Why this could not have been merged with the earlier wind scene (or why there couldn’t be less cutting back and forth between Miyo and Kudo, the former of whom’s scenes feel a bit repetitive in this episode) is unclear to me.
Kudo and Kouji eventually find Miyo in the store-room, with Kaya’s hands encircled around her and attempting to strangle her for one last, good measure. Caught red-handed, Kaya’s mother realizes that her home is up in smoke and embers. Kaya complains two more times to Kudo about how she is convinced that she is the better partner for Kudo – to which he replies that he has had enough with her, and will refuse any grounds to wed her, come heaven and earth. Miyo recovers in the Kudo household, with which the episode ends on the couple acknowledging that she belongs there, now and always.
Overall, the episode neatly ties up the anticipation and drama that we had built up in the last one. Resolving the immediate issues at hand reaffirms our belief that Kudo and Miyo are deeply in love, and that this attachment (thankfully) does not seem to hinge on Kudo’s belief that Miyo has any significant spiritual power. We also get a glimpse at the wider world and what is largely the more significant antagonistic force coming down the line, as the curtains rise on an emperor who is hell-bent on preventing Kudo having access to another bloodline with a history of significant spiritual powers. While I had issues with its pacing, and it feels like it is padding somewhat at various times, it still manages to continue on the strengths of the series as a whole, and the animation remains stellar.