This episode begins with Ran, Rui, and Midori selecting book from the school’s library with Midori complaining about have to carry Ran’s mother’s reference material, but Ran reminds poor “fragile” Midori of the time she battled a bull and won, so quit complaining. Just as they are getting ready to leave the library and head home to Rin’s cooking (Midori’s strength is renewed) Ran hears a telepathic voice and Midori comments about here we go again. So, the group puts back the books and heads off in the direction of Ran’s mysterious voice, and they soon find themselves inside the local records archive. Ran soon leads them to the source of the voice, a Haniwa (a Terracotta clay figure).
Cultural Note: The Haniwa (terracotta figure) date back to the end of the Yayoi period (500BCE-300CE) but newer dating methods have dated some pottery as much as 500 years older than previously thought. At first the Haniwa were simple in design and got much more elaborate in design as time went on. The Haniwa were thought to have been placed around the perimeter of a burial mound, and it is also thought that the spirit of the dead person would inhabit the Haniwa protecting the buried body from evil spirits and so forth.
Once Midori seems the Haniwa, she immediately begins to make fun out of Ran saying that Ran has fallen from the voices of people to animals, and now to the level of a Haniwa. As Midori is continuing to make fun out of Ran, the Haniwa speaks to both of the girls asking them to help it fulfill a promise from long ago. The Haniwa tells the girls that it’s name is Wakatakeru and they must help him take the Miko to the promised land so she can become the next queen. The Haniwa tells the girls that they must return him to the promised land so he can find the next queen to end a raging war. Ran wants to get right to it but Midori tells her how are they going to find the right place only knowing that he’s from the Yayoi period (500BCE-300CE) and he needs to be near a large ceder tree?
Besides, Midori asks Ran if she’s just going to take the Haniwa out of the building? Midori thinks to herself that she could sneak in at night and take the Haniwa, but Rui asks the attendant if they could borrow the Haniwa it for a school project, and she says yes. The next day the group takes the Haniwa to the library to do some research with no luck until Rui says they should visit the site where the Haniwa was dug up. When they get there the Haniwa tells them that he remembered the sounds of waves, so they soon locate a stone tablet near the sea talking about a Miko from the area. The tablet also mentions a large sacred tree but it says that it was cut down long ago. But they still decide to go to the tree’s former location and Ran and Midori get a vision of a very old tree from the past.
Midori soon gets a bad feeling about the whole thing and soon the group is transported to a battle occurring in the past and one of the arrows from the battle injures Rui’s leg. Midori and Ran then realize that the stuff from the past can injure them and they have to throw up a barrier to protect themselves, the Haniwa reacts to the girl’s use of power. The Haniwa tells the girls to quickly take him to the tree where he transform into his original form, and Ran and Midori have to protect themselves from another attack. During a pause in the battle, Wakatakeru declares himself to the warriors and he tells them that Ran is the Miko and must be crowned the queen. Wakatakeru brings Ran forward and declares her the queen and he asks her to use her powers to end the war. When Ran touches his hand her powers are activated and she transforms into period costume and her power envelop the area. Once Ran’s power fades the group finds themselves on top of the barren hill with the Haniwa back to a normal Haniwa, Midori says that since his promise was fulfilled his job is done.
Back at home, Rui wonders if Ran might have been related to the Miko from the past, and Midori wonders if their powers where really able to transcend time? Rin’s says that it’s too far in the past and too confusing to say for sure what really happened. Well, that’s all for this episode.
Well, this was another interesting but standard TSR episode so my review will be really short. This story followed the usual TSR formula, Ran or Midori hears a voice, then the group follows it to the source where someone from the past needs their powers to fix something that has gone wrong or to correct a injustice.
But, what I find enjoyable about this series is the good natured bickering that always occurs between Ran and Midori, and I like how Midori plays the “fragile pretty flower” card when she’s really as tough as a nail. I also like how Midori always imagines herself as a staring character in movies that exist only in her imagination. See the below pics to see Midori defeating a bull one on one, Midori as a master thief, and Midori as a magic girl.
Also, maybe it’s just me, but doesn’t the Haniwa from this episode closely resemble Gumby? Compare the two pictures below and tell me if there isn’t a near match between the Haniwa and Gumby.