Operation Capture Baba Yaga Castle (Part 12)
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|While Maka Albarn and Soul Eater are surprised to see what Arachne Gorgon has done to augment her magic, the duel between Black☆Star and Mifune comes to a fatal conclusion.|
Outside Baba Yaga Castle
"I have no doubts," Black☆Star says to Mifune. "Walking the Path of the Warrior means I'm ready to die if it comes to it." From afar, Sid Barrett stares at this battle, silent. Mifune asks Black☆Star whether the ninja is also willing to kill if necessary. As an image of Angela Leon appears, Mifune says, "I've said good-bye to everything...Now if you truly seek to master the Way of the Warrior...you have to overcome me."
Black☆Star and Mifune arm themselves with their blades, then the samurai releases Jumbled Lineup, reminding the ninja that hesitation will prevent him from winning this duel. Mifune swings two of his blades to launch more swords through the air to slice into Black☆Star. While the blades kick up dust from the ground, Black☆Star is still standing.
Baba Yaga Castle, Spider Queen Room
In the ceiling's shadows, it sounds like wind blows through. Soul Eater, in weapon form, asks whether Arachne Gorgon's lifeless body lying on the floor means that the witch is indeed dead. But Medusa Gorgon, possessing the body of Rachel Boyd, thinks that Arachne has some plan. Medusa asks Maka Albarn whether her Soul Perception can find Arachne. Maka shudders as she hears something swirls in the room's shadows, as if the darkness is writhing.
Through his Soul Resonance with Maka, Soul too can sense this writhing, what Soul calls "a requiem of madness." The writhing grows so loud that Soul has to cover his hands over his ears, wondering for whom this song is sung. While Maka begins to sweat, Soul's eyes widen in realization: "It's being sung for us." Maka gulps and explains: "Arachne is inside this room."
Outside Baba Yaga Castle
Black☆Star is in close-range combat against Mifune, as the ninja moves quickly to dodge each of the samurai's simultaneous blade attacks. But Black☆Star has to pull back as one blade almost slices his face. He retreats back.
From afar, Mira Naigus in her weapon form asks Sid what is Black☆Star's plan. Sid explains that Black☆Star is using an irregular form of the Wakigamae Sword Stance, to counter Mifune's Infinite One-Sword style of attacks coming from all angles and directions. But Sid adds that Black☆Star is not acting as such by choice: it was by accident, because in this fight, he does not think at all but acts naturally in response to any immediate context. Sid therefore refers to Black☆Star as "a true child of the martial way." As Black☆Star rushes towards Mifune again, Sid points out how natural is the ninja's technique, because he shifts styles and directions with deft footwork to enter Mifune's blind spot to strike when he has a chance. Sid then adds that Mifune is responding with a Hasso No Kamae Sword Stance.
Black☆Star slices at Mifune, which the samurai blocks with his blade, but Tsubaki Nakatsukasa's shadow from Shadow☆Star: Zeroth Form - Masamune swings over Mifune's head. As this shadow acts like a scarf around Black☆Star's neck, he uses the shadow to slide along the ground to avoid Mifune's upper-attack and leap above the samurai to stand yards away—while the shadow slices into Mifune's right shoulder.
Despite this injury, Mifune intends to target Black☆Star's landing. As the ninja lands, blood gushes out the ninja's left hip, one of Mifune's blades flung into his body. While shocked at this attack, Black☆Star simply removes the blade and flings it aside, while Mifune stands over him. The samurai swings his blade at Black☆Star's feet, as more of the ninja's blood coats the ground. Mifune throws another blade at Black☆Star, which the ninja blocks with Tsubaki. Mifune is already in front of Black☆Star and swings.
Desperate to block, Black☆Star seems to try to leap, but instead his foot ends up blocking Mifune's blade yet is cut by this blade. Black☆Star screams as he brings down his blade against Mifune's to dislodge the edge from his foot. Extricating himself, Black☆Star slides that injured foot on the ground, spreading his blood along that ground.
Mifune brings his blade down against Black☆Star's, their foreheads almost touching as neither refuses to budge. Black☆Star then sees Mifune gripping his sword with only his right hand, while his left hand reaches for Black☆Star's fingers and tugs at them until they break with a loud snap. Tsubaki's shadow swings off of her meister to put distance between Black☆Star and Mifune, her shadow held against Mifune's blade. Black☆Star now stands away from Mifune, the fingers of his right hand broken.
Despite Black☆Star's injuries, Sid is confident. As he remembers White Star's bloodthirst, Sid tells the ninja, "Who cares if you're from the Star Clan, boy...You're you, and that's all that matters. You ain't the same as White Star...so fight!"
The Remains of the Star Clan's Site (The Past)
Twelve-year-old Sid Barrett holds a baby in his arms, this infant reaching for Sid, a star tattooed on the infant's forearm and a spike of hair atop his head. Franken Stein is smoking a cigarette, surprised Sid would consider bringing a baby back to the Death Weapon Meister Academy. Spirit Albarn, now around eighteen years old, chastises Stein for his cruelness to leave a baby here to die. Stein explains he is not saying to leave the baby to die, only to realize Spirit's sympathy likely motivates from the fact that his child is about to be born soon. Spirit looks at the infant Black☆Star, hoping his own child can be "as happy and healthy and energetic."
Death Weapon Meister Academy (The Past)
The young child Black☆Star walks through the Academy, facing the accusations of others for the Star Clan's murder of their relatives and their greed. Sid, now a bit older, approaches Black☆Star to ask why the boy has not yet collected souls. Black☆Star answers that at least a lot of people noticed him. Sid plants his hand atop Black☆Star's head, reminding him, "You were born here at DWMA, and you were raised here at DWMA. Take pride in that." Black☆Star blushes and tells "old man" Sid to shut up.
Outside Baba Yaga Castle (The Present)
Someone says to Black☆Star that he is "not a child of the Path of the Demon." Mifune calls for Black☆Star to resume their fight because he has accepted Black☆Star as a fellow warrior and is prepared for whatever fatality may happen. Mifune suggests Black☆Star, by refusing to fight back, refuses to accept the samurai as a warrior as well. Mifune swings his blade to knock up multiple swords, as Sid realizes the samurai is no longer pursuing his Infinite One-Sword Style, instead to fight with one blade.
Inside Tsubaki's Soul
The Will of Nakatsukasa reminds Black☆Star of his vow: "to take all the regrets of the fallen upon yourself," which "means inflicting fear and defeat and resentment...and yes, even despair on the souls of those who face you in battle." The Will warns Black☆Star that the smallest divergence from the Path of the Warrior will put the ninja onto "the path to demonic rage and slaughter."
Outside Baba Yaga Castle
Black☆Star asks Tsubaki to transform into a normal katana, as he wants to fight Mifune on equal terms. Tsubaki reluctantly agrees, as she transforms into the broken fingers of her meister. Black☆Star thanks her for everything as she lowers her head in sadness.
Black☆Star announces that this fight begins as he rushes towards Mifune, swinging his katana at Mifune's blade. But Mifune slices at Black☆Star, hitting the ninja's shoulder. Black☆Star responds with a swing of his blade at Mifune's face, cutting along his forehead and below his right eye. More swings are exchanged, blood streaming off their bodies and leaving a pattern of diagonal lines of blood along the floor. Each warrior screams as they continue this ferocious battle. Despite these injuries to himself, Black☆Star reminds himself that he will master the Way of the Warrior to become a Warrior God.
Mifune lifts his blade behind his back and brings it down. Black☆Star's face loses its intensity, as the shock of this attack causes the ninja to freeze. But the pause is so short as Black☆Star already slices into Mifune below his left arm, at the same time as Mifune has sliced into Black☆Star's back. As both warriors stop moving, it is apparent who has won: Black☆Star's blade has impaled Mifune. But the battle has exhausted the ninja. Before Black☆Star's barely conscious body falls, the dying Mifune catches Black☆Star with his own left arm, complimenting the ninja's victory. Mifune lets go, allowing Black☆Star to fall to the ground.
The samurai stands, Tsubaki's blade through his chest and out his back. Mifune turns to face Baba Yaga Castle. "Angela," he says, "forgive me." Mifune sways and falls to the ground, but before he collapses, he is caught by Tsubaki, who reverts to her human form. He asks her to bring him closer to the castle, which the crying weapon agrees. Sid watches from afar as Tsubaki struggles to bring the samurai closer to his child, but Mifune's body begins to dissolve into leaves, until there is nothing left of him, no body, no soul, just leaves blowing through this ravine.
Watching Tsubaki stretch out her hands towards the leaves in shock at what has occurred, Black☆Star lies on the ground, clutching his arm, and watching the death of his opponent.
Manga and Anime Differences
- In this chapter, Mifune dies after battling Black☆Star and trying to get Tsubaki Nakatsukasa to get him close to Baba Yaga Castle to get to Angela Leon. In Episode 47, Black☆Star only badly wounds him and spares his life. He reminds him of his promise to Tsubaki to become a teacher at DWMA and even offers to reunite him with Angela; Mifune agrees. In the next episode Tsubaki holds up a wounded Mifune as she and Black☆Star locate Angela.
- Sid claims that Black☆Star was born at the Death Weapon Meister Academy. However, Stein had chastised Sid for "thinking of taking that baby with us," which suggests that Black☆Star was not born at the Academy and instead was born elsewhere, perhaps at the site of the Star Clan's destruction.
- This is the second chapter in a row in which an Arachnophobia member dies with their last words dedicated to asking for forgiveness of someone: in the previous chapter, Mosquito dies asking Arachne for forgiveness, and in this chapter, Mifune dies asking Angela for forgiveness.