Previously, Yoh fought against Faust VIII for his second shaman match. However, Yoh unwisely wasted his furyoku after getting angry at Faust dissecting Manta open.
I was a tad disappointed with how the episode left out some of the more graphic scenes because in the manga, they were very effective at portraying Faust as a legitimate threat. The fight wasn't exactly impressive either, but the artstyle and drawings remained very high quality.
The episode adapted Chapters 47 - 53 from the manga. Unlike the last two episodes which featured intense fights, this one focused more on Yoh and Manta's character development and internal struggle.
For Manta, he's being pressured by his dad to study abroad in America and eventually take over the company. His father tells him to stay away from Yoh and when Manta protests, his dad smacks him in the face.
For Yoh, he feels guilty for not protecting his friend. As a way to keep Manta out of harm's way, he coldly distances himself and tells him that they're not friends anymore. Of course, Manta does not take this well.
Manta shocked at Yoh telling him to get lost.
The episode juggles between Yoh and Manta's plotlines. Yoh has gone back to his home in Izumo to train. His grandfather, Yohmei Asakura, has him walk through the Netherworld cave to increase his furyoku. The cave robs the five senses. For Yoh to survive and make it to the other side, he needs to rely on his sixth sense, his spirit.
Meanwhile, Manta is about to take a flight to the US. However, he runs off because he couldn't tolerate the strict life his parents expected from him. He coincidentally runs into Ryu who was also about to fly to the US to become a sushi chef. But after listening to Manta, Ryu decides to help him out and find Yoh. Throughout their trip, Ryu gives Manta words of encouragement to be himself and that Yoh still considers him his friend.
Ryu gives Manta some words of encouragement as they trek their way to Izumo.
Meanwhile, the episode introduces a new character, Tamao, a divinator who lives with the Asakura family. Her divination predicts that Yoh will meet a tall and a short man, and calamity will follow. She tries to warn Yoh's grandfather about it, but he didn't believe her, so she confronts Manta and Ryu herself.
Yohmei Asakura skeptical of Tamao's divination.
Anna intervenes in time to stop Tamao from hurting Manta and clears up the situation. The three plus Ryu go on to wait at the exit of the Netherworld where Yoh finally appears. They all return to his home to have dinner where Yoh recounts his experience in the Netherworld and reconciles with Manta.
Yoh comes out of the exit of the Netherworld with the laidback attitude, as usual.
Yoh and Manta reconciling.
As a last test, Yohmei attacks Yoh with his shikigami to which the latter successfully neutralizes. Yoh's Oversoul has received an immense upgrade to the point that Amidamaru can even talk to him while in the Oversoul state.
Yoh surprised at the evolution of his Oversoul.
The episode concludes with Ren, revealing his true motives of becoming Shaman King: to destroy his own family to end its cycle of revenge and hatred.
This was a pretty nice breather after two major fights, and the episode did a good job developing Yoh and Manta.
I already read the part in the manga where Yoh pushed Manta away, but the voice acting really made the scene more harsh. The same applied to the anime's depiction of Manta's father. I felt that the anime surprisingly did a great job making him feel more intimidating despite his short screentime. In the manga, Manta's dad's face looked a bit cartoony, but the higher contrast and angular features of his face in the anime (combined with the voice acting) provided a more serious appearance.
It's pretty cool seeing Ryu evolving into a sort of a big brother figure for Manta. At the beginning, Ryu was a delinquent and was rough around the edges. However, ever since the Tokageroh incident, he has mellowed out and not only respects Yoh, but also Manta. Overall, it was pretty heartwarming seeing Ryu helping Manta out to rekindle his friendship with Yoh.
Tamao's debut was pretty solid. The fact that she's extremely shy and only communicated with Yohmei with her kokkuri board was cute. And it was nice seeing her overcoming that shyness to defend Yoh even though her divination came out wrong. That said, it was pretty funny when Anna shut her down by calling her a fan of Yoh.
The rest of the episode was decent. There wasn't much that stood out to me in a bad way.
One comment I would like to make, however, is the anime's inconsistency on what's "appropriate" and "not appropriate". Apparently, last week, it was not appropriate to show Manta's belly dissected open and Faust ripping out his femur to get a replacement. However, this week, it is appropriate to show Tamao's spirits, Ponchi and Conchi, literally restraining Manta with their testicles and peeing on him. No, I am absolutely not joking when I said that.
This was apparently wasn't "appropriate" and was omitted from the anime.
But apparently, this is fine. Told you I wasn't joking.