This episode picks up with the Rahzel and her group wandering in the woods, and after a brief discussion about being lost they continue on, after a while they spot a small girl who runs away from them, so they decide to follow. Rahzel gives chase to the girl but stops and screams after stumbling into a clearing that has a body hanging/staked to a tree in plain sight.
They follow the young girl into town where they discover that the girl’s father is the owner of the local hotel, so they rent some rooms and learn from the father that it’s the local custom to place the corpses in the outdoors like that (the locals call it sky burial), also Alzeid inquires if he’s seen anyone matching the description of his father’s killer. While the crew is out eating dinner in a local restaurant a group of villagers come up to them and they tell them to change their lodgings if they value their safety, they won’t tell them why, they only give them the warning.
Later the hotel owner tells them that his daughter is missing so the group goes searching for her and Rahzel kind of goes off on her own, but Alzeid follows her from behind. Rahzel finally finds the girl at the sky burial site and tells her to come home with her because it’s getting dark. The girl (Lalawel) tells Rahzel that the sky burial story is a lie and only people that died of unfortunate reasons or criminals are buried like that so the birds can take away the bad luck. After talking with the girl awhile, Rahzel convinces her to go back to the hotel together. But unknown to Rahzel a man from the town was getting ready to shoot her and Lalawel from behind, but Alzeid stops him without Rahzel’s knowledge.
Back in town Rahzel and the girl runs into Baroqueheat and are about to head back to the hotel when some local youths hit Lalawel with a stone and call her a monster, Rahzel and Baroqueheat give chase to the youths. They finally catch up to them when Rahzel stops Baroqueheat from teaching them a lesson, Rahzel wants to know why they keep calling Lalawel a monster, and Alzeid wants to know the same thing from the man that tried to ambush Rahzel and Lalawel earlier. They are told that years ago when Jean (hotel owner) was married and his wife was pregnant a thief robbed the hotel and killed Jean’s wife who hadn’t given birth yet, in accordance with the local tradition she was given a sky burial, and days later Jean came back with a little girl (Lalawel). The town’s people claim that Lalawel is the unborn baby his dead wife was carrying and that Jean is using black magic, and his hotel guests as human sacrifices to keep the girl alive. Later that evening the girl goes to talk with Rahzel and she and the girl spend the night together with Rahzel telling her a story from her youth. Well, that’s all for this episode.
With episode 5 of Hatenko Yuugi we get the start of a two episode story arc, with the group finding another adventure along the their travel path. The same basic formula is in affect here, Rahzel’s sense of adventure draws the group into another mystery, if it wasn’t for Alzeid’s and Baroqueheat’s watchfulness Rahzel probably have gotten in some real trouble by now.
One commenter stated to me that they really didn’t think that this anime is really shojo, well I have to admit that visually Hatenko Yuugi doesn’t fit the typical shojo mold but this series is 100% shojo. Rahzel isn’t drawn or portrayed in the cute manner that many shojo female characters are, but in fact she a prime example of a shojo heroine. One must remember that in the end shojo is about heart and feeling, and Rahzel fits the mold perfectly. While she’s straight forward in telling people what she thinks, she all about heart and feeling, she not just satisfied with finding and destroying the monsters, she also cares about what caused the situation to occur.
If this was a shonen story the crew would just find the monster and destroy it, job done, but Rahzel wants to no why and how this happened. Also in a shonen anime the adventures along the way are just a checklist of things to be done in order to get to the greater goal; fight villain and lose, train harder and win, fight next villain maybe win maybe lose, train harder and so on until you reach your final goal. But in a shojo adventure like Hatenko Yuugi each encounter gives the main characters a chance to learn something about their inner thoughts and motivations. A good example of this is Alzeid’s quest to find his father’s killer who we learn is a woman, he been asked at least twice, once by Rahzel and once by a child, whats he going to do when he finds her, kill her, being asked that question in such a straight forward manner has made him do a little deep thinking.
Also in typical shonen anime like DBZ one chooses their traveling companions based on things like fighting ability, drive, and motivation, and those character’s almost aways fight their battles one on one, but in shojo anime like Hatenko Yuugi people choose their companions based on the fact that they gain something other than fighting ability from being with each other, and they almost always fight as a team, they are almost always stronger as a “family” than as a individual.