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Ayakashi Triangle - Episode 2

Ayakashi Triangle focuses on exorcist ninja Matsuri Kazamaki, as he tries to defend his childhood friend, the Ayakashi Medium Suzu Kanade, from evil spirits called ayakashi. However, during a battle to save Suzu's life, Matsuri is turned into a girl[b] after being cursed by Shirogane, the King of Ayakashi. With no apparent way to reverse the transformation, Matsuri is forced to live publicly as a girl in the foreseeable future as he and Suzu deal with both the friendly and the malicious ayakashi they encounter as well as their growing romantic feelings for each other, all while trying to break Matsuri's curse for him to return to his original masculine form.

Ayakashi Triangle - Episode 2

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The story of Ayakashi Triangle takes place in the fictional Omiko City,[Jp. 1] located in the countryside of Japan.Ch. 2 Unbeknownst to its citizens, Omiko is also populated by ayakashi,[Jp. 2][c] spirits that are invisible to most people. The few individuals able to see ayakashi are those who possess a large amount of at least one of the two energies that humans are composed of: haku,[Jp. 3] the life energy, and kon,[Jp. 4] the spiritual energy. An example of such is the Ayakashi Medium,[Jp. 5] a rare type of human who over-secretes haku, the energy from which ayakashi are entirely made of; for this reason, the Ayakashi Medium is worshiped by the majority of ayakashi as a deity-like figure.Ch. 14

Although ayakashi in general are amicable and pacific towards humans, there are malicious and wicked ayakashi that endanger their lives.Ch. 1 To counter the threat they pose as well as to protect the public from dangerous ayakashi, exist clans that consist entirely of exorcist ninja whose strengthened kon allows them to perform jutsu and other extraordinary feats.Ch. 25 These clans work directly under the Exorcist Ninja Association a secret organization founded by the government of Japan hundreds of years prior to the start of the series.Ch. 13 The Association supplies local agents across the country with knowledge about ayakashi, training to combat them, and special equipment; this last one is provided by tool shops that also doubles as regular stores for the wider community.Ch. 15

Matsuri Kazamaki and Suzu Kanade are childhood friends who share the ability to see ayakashi. While Matsuri is descendant of a line of exorcist ninja who protect people from evil ayakashi, Suzu is an Ayakashi Medium whose power draws many ayakashi to her. However, Matsuri learns Suzu's growing power will inevitably bring ayakashi to try to devour her to get more power, so he decides to protect Suzu by exorcising the evil ayakashi that approach her. Years later, on the day before the pair were to start high school, Suzu is attacked by Shirogane, the King of Ayakashi,[Jp. 6] but is saved by Matsuri. Unable to beat him, Matsuri seals away most of his powers into a scroll, but before he does, Shirogane puts a curse on Matsuri that turns him into a girl, hoping the transformation will ruin any chance he and Suzu have of becoming a couple in the future. As Suzu helps Matsuri to adjust to his new life as a girl, Shirogane plots to regain his power and devour Suzu.[6]

In 2019, mangaka Kentaro Yabuki published the one-shot manga Reo Leo[Jp. 7] in the 11th issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump on February 9, as part of the magazine's "J Romcom Festival!" for Valentine's Day celebrations.[7] This one-shot would later be used by Yabuki as a source of inspiration for him to create Ayakashi Triangle,[8] with the manga featuring a premise similar to that of Reo Leo, although there was no ayakashi in the one-shot, a significant difference that would only be shown in the manga. Reo Leo focused on a normal high school student named Fuuka[Jp. 8] and her childhood friend Reo,[Jp. 9] a martial artist boy who is magically gender-swapped into a girl by his father; Yabuki reused the characteristics of both characters, including their personalities and designs, to conceive the main protagonists of Ayakashi Triangle, Matsuri Kazamaki and Suzu Kanade.[9]

Ayakashi Triangle is notable for focusing on legendary creatures that are notable in Japanese folklore and mythology, with the aforementioned ayakashi as the central point of the series. In legends, ayakashi are yōkai that appear above the surface of some body of water, whereas in the manga, ayakashi is the collective name to refer to the variety of spirits that inhabit the world, in addition to having subspecies such as the tsukumogami, a type of ayakashi that take over inanimate objects.[23] A secondary focus in Ayakashi Triangle is Japanese culture. An exemplification of this is how some of the manga's drawings pay homage to the classic style of Japanese art.[24] Another case worthy of observation is that Matsuri is constantly seen wearing a fundoshi (in both his male and female forms), which is a traditional Japanese undergarment for adult men.[25]

The series' main theme is about sexual orientation, and how the romantic attraction that one person feels for another is unrelated to their sex or gender. In Ayakashi Triangle, this is addressed mainly in the interactions between Matsuri and Suzu; the latter's behavior in the manga strongly reflects that of someone who is uncertain of their sexual preferences, as Suzu constantly questions herself in several chapters of the series if it is acceptable for her to pursue a relationship with Matsuri, regardless of whether or not they are of the same sex.[28][22] Also, Matsuri is forced to examine his romantic interest for the same sex, a situation analogous to that of a person who suddenly realizes that they have feelings for someone of the same gender. The above theme coincides with Yabuki's statement in July 2020 that he plans to include various "relationship triangles" in the manga that go beyond just romance.[29]

A vomic (voice comic) adaptation of Ayakashi Triangle started to be released on November 20, 2020, with episodes uploaded to Jump Comics' official YouTube channel.[56][57] The vomic shows the manga images appearing on screen as voice actors, music and sound effects are heard. It stars both Hiromu Mineta and Yūki Kyōka as Matsuri Kazamaki (Mineta voices the character in his male form and Kyōka voices his female form), Saya Aizawa as Suzu Kanade, and both Mitsuteru Nagato and Hikaru Fujikura as Shirogane (Nagato voices Shirogane in his standard cat form while Fujikura voices his ayakashi form), among other voice actors.[56][58]

On January 23, it was announced that the series would be on a hiatus following the airing of episode 5 due to production delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.[63] On February 27, it was announced that episodes 5 and 6 would air on March 7 and 14 respectively, but stated that it will announce details for episode 7 and beyond at a future date.[64]

Reviewing the first two chapters of Ayakashi Triangle, Shawn Hacaga of The Fandom Post called the story "decent" but "nothing special". Apart from strongly praising Yabuki's art as "gorgeous" and "fantastic", Hacaga also said it was fun nonetheless and admitted to being surprised by the gender-swap at the end of the first chapter.[70][71] Reviewing for UT Daily Beacon, Connor Holt gave the manga a rating of 3 out of 5, saying that Ayakashi Triangle is average when viewed as an ecchi manga, but fails when viewed as a romantic comedy. Holt also commented on how he prefers for the manga to continue in this direction and that it helps to differentiate Ayakashi Triangle from other series in Weekly Shōnen Jump.[72] In another review, Holt complimented on how Yabuki has managed a perfect balancing act between the manga's love triangle narrative, battle elements and ecchi overtones, saying it "gives readers an actual reason to read this manga and enjoy it as it comes into its own".[73]

Last month, it was reported that COVID-19 would be delaying broadcast of the series starting from episode 5. According to a recent Twitter post, we will be getting two more episodes and some bonus content for the month of March.

According to the official announcement, episode 5 will air on March 6, followed by episode 6 on March 13. On March 20, we'll get an episode 1-6 recap episode, followed by a "special program" on March 27. At the moment, we have no details on what this "special program" will entail.

Not much of the story or main plot was introduced in this first episode, so, while it is too soon to judge if the adaptation will follow this thought-provoking route, or if too much is expected from it, it is also still too soon to be getting to a verdict regarding the overall quality of the anime. It will be necessary to watch some more episodes to determine if Ayakashi Triangle will stand out as a good new anime series, or if this will only add to the generic anime that serves as fanservice more than storytelling, and as full of controversies as its source material.

Shirogane, who had been stalking Matsuri and Suzu, summons a servant to steal the scroll where Matsuri had sealed his power from the ninja exorcist, however, he ends up trying to devour Suzu by himself, and Matsuri comes to her rescue. Had he told his friend the truth about her being an ayakashi medium from the very beginning, he could have led her to have agency, but that would not have served the purpose of the anime, which is to have him storming everything with his blows, which are good and well animated, spurring into action, saving the damsel in distress and providing even more moments for fanservice. In this save, the two girls almost kiss.

The final moments of the episode are even more full of surprises and the closure is amazing, the mythology is expanding, and the cliffhanger makes the future of the story look good! Do not get fooled by the slow burn in the first half, and be prepared for more fun and interesting stuff to come next week. Ayakashi Triangle has become better than expected within the course of a single episode! Now, more fun and action and stuff to come with Shirogane looking so cute like a pet cat. 041b061a72


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