The Best Episodes Directed by Akira Shimizu
#1 - Nobuna Heads for the Capital
Oda Nobuna's Ambition Season 1 - Episode 7
Kyoto, the capital city of the Ashikaga shoguns, is attacked by a group of conspirators called The Miyoshi Three; Sakihisa Konoe, Soukyuu Tsuda and Gousei Shoukakuin. Yoshiharu is stumped when he learns, unlike his timeline's history, Shogun Yoshiteru Ashikaga survived the attack at Kyoto and has fled Japan with Yoshiaki, his youngest sibling who is a girl in this timeline. Without an Ashikaga clan member, Nobuna cannot legitimately claim Kyoto but Mitsuhide suggests they make Yoshimoto the new Shogun as she is a relative of the Ashikagas. Nagamasa returns to Owari, begging Nobuna to marry him since he cannot return home until he does. After promising an alliance with no strings attached, Nobuna gives away her sister "Oichi" to be Nagamasa's bride except "Oichi" is Nobusumi who is forced to dress up as a girl.
#2 - The Showdown
Samurai Girls Season 2 - Episode 11
Muneakira and his Master Samurai are attempting to create the Samurai Bride with flashbacks intervening of their conversation after Yukimura revealed the conditions. Due to the sealing by Musashi, Muneakira is unable to continue. Inshun asks Musashi to give Muneakira the method to unseal himself after the battle and disappears while Kojiro talks to Mataemon about the flaws each Dark Samurai possesses due to improper resurrection. While Musashi goes to Yagyu Dojo for the battle, Kojiro and Mataemon attack the Chingo Stone. Jubei provokes Musashi into battle while Inshun defends the Chingo Stone. Inshun is taken down by Mataemon as the ghosts within the cemetery grow stronger due to the damage inflicted upon the Chingo Stone. As Kojiro is about to kill Charles, Gisen appears using her Devil's Eye. Kojiro and Mataemon are able to flee but as the ghosts empower Musashi, she threatens to kill herself since she can't fight fair against Jubei. Keiji appears revealing that Muneakira only needs his own ki to blow off the seal. The ghost accumulates around the yorishiro, absorbing the Dark Samurai for their powers to battle on its own. Due to Inshun being the "empty vessel", the ghosts are centering around her as Muneakira and his Master Samurai are now faced with defeating this new enemy.
#3 - Fake End
No Game No Life Season 1 - Episode 8
The siblings pay a visit to the Werebeasts' embassy in Elkia, and expose the tricks that they use to outwit their opponents. Sora bets all of Imanity's remaining territory, along with the lives of all its citizens in an all-or-nothing game against the Werebeasts. However, while awaiting an answer from them, Sora mysteriously disappears without a trace, and Shiro realizes that she is the only one who remembers him.
#4 - If you desire the illness of root rot then do not cover the drainage hole of the pot
Megalobox Season 2 - Episode 3
Joe helps Chief get ready to fight in the upcoming tournament while dealing with is own demons.
#5 - The Healer Acquires Setsuna!
Redo of Healer Season 1 - Episode 4
How far will Setsuna go for revenge? Keyarga is curious to know.
#6 - Try, Try, Try!
Hanayamata Season 1 - Episode 6
The club prepares for the Hanairo Yosakoi festival: logos, costumes, choreography, music. Meanwhile, Hana discovers a gig at the department store. They plan for the club to perform, but Sally-sensei makes two demands in exchange for permission for the out-of-school activity…
#7 - Excitement in the Woods!
Green Green Season 1 - Episode 1
A busload of girls from an all-girls school is on its way to Kanenone Gakuen for a month-long trial run of integrating the two schools. At Kanenone, Yuusuke leads the boys in preparing a welcoming party, with the Baka Trio acting as lookouts. Once the bus finally arrives, Midori leaps out, knocking Yuusuke unconscious in her excitement over finally meeting him, and declares that they will change their fate "this time".
#8 - Encounter ~fake~
Saiyuki Season 3 - Episode 4
As the youkai mob descends on the villagers, Goku goes into full asskicking mode and takes out half of them within seconds. Who the hell is this kid? they demand of each other, and then, 'better call the others!' Damn, there're more of them? says Goku; he orders Kon to get the villagers back into the cave, as far as they can go. You're gonna defend them all by yourself? the demons jeer, but Goku says he sure is, and then smashes the cliffside, sealing the villagers inside the cave. Now they're safe from you, he says, and grins at the demon army, saying he'll take them all on. The still shirtless H, G & S look around what seems to be an endless cavern full of bones and torches. Can it truly be an illusion? it looks so real...Sanzo draws and aims at the strange youkai, but he grins and says Sanzo can't do any harm with that melted gun. As soon as he says it, the shoreijuu seems to glow red-hot, and Sanzo drops it, staring at the half-puddle of metal on the cave floor. Do you see now? all three of you are in the palm of my hand, says Zakuro. They look at each other in alarm, and Zakuro adds that if they keep zoning out like this, they'll be paralyzed by snakebite. Right: at once snakes materialize from thin air, draped all over the ikkou-minus-9. Sanzo gets it: this is all psychological, he says, but mental and physical damage are linked here--so if they believe what's happening, it really does happen. He's using a hypnosis technique! Hakkai yells, don't listen to Zakuro! [heh, Hakkai --like us--must have read the manga, since the enemy youkai's name hasn't yet been given here.] --That's easier said than done, chokes Gojyo, sounding badly rattled. Zakuro grins, and announces that looking at the snakes more closely, he sees that they're actually human hands. And [eeew...] of course they are: a slithering mob of disembodied arms, crawling over the ikkou and grabbing up from the ground, hauling them down. Back up on the edge of the cliff, where they still are in rea
#9 - The Cursed Dice Game ~inevitable game~
Saiyuki Season 3 - Episode 7
As the ikkou checks into their evening's inn, the proprietor apologizes, saying that they're shorthanded and can't offer many amenities. Whatever, shrug the guys; it's still better than camping out. Track to outside view, where the moon appears an eerie shade of red and a flight of bats swooshes over the roof. Gee, could there maybe be something...strange...about this place? We get a nice look at Gojyo in the shower (rear view =), humming contentedly to himself, until the water quits running. He steps out drying his hair and griping to Hakkai. Hakkai says they can't really complain, as the room was so cheap. Room service knocks on the door and Goku charges to retrieve their food; there's no one there, and all that's on the serving cart is a tray with four pint cartons of milk and packaged sandwiches. Goku can't believe this is supposed to be dinner, but the hungry foursome eats it anyway. The shower's broken, grumbles Gojyo, and there's no TV or radio [huh? they never have TV or radio...even Hakuryu only had a radio in the OVA...], and to top it off, Sanzo's out of cigarettes. Are they really gonna stay in this dump? Hakkai diplomatically says they may as well just bear with it tonight and get an early start in the morning. Goku goes to check out the bleak lobby, hoping for a newsstand that might have cigarettes (and, with luck, snacks) but nope. Figured as much, he sighs. The innkeeper apologizes, and asks if he might be interested in this: a boxed board game. It's a lot of fun, he says, it might help with your boredom. Goku agrees the time might pass more quickly if they played, and the man gives him the game and box of playing pieces, saying there's no other game like this in the world. Goku brings the game to their room, where Hakkai asks if it's Parcheesi (as Goku did when he first saw it) and examines one of the playing pieces, which are all human figures roughly resembling Lego people. He comments that it looks odd, and it breaks into a big grin; Hak
#10 - The Man Who Came From The West ~open your eyes~
Saiyuki Season 3 - Episode 13
In a church: organ music plays as people pray and mourn a dead child who lies on the altar, blank blue eyes staring into nothingness. Such a sweet little girl, so young, they say... Behind her, a young clergyman stands up and opens his arms wide; lights spiral around the gold pendant he wears, his hands glow, and he touches the girl and quietly tells her, "open your eyes." [Um...they were open...yet now they aren't.] The girl's eyes obediently open--they've turned golden--and she sits up and walks away from the altar. A miracle! cry the people. The Bishop--a slight, handsome fellow with clear blue eyes, prematurely silver hair, and a satisfied smile--stands back and basks in the praise and acclaim of the congregation. [He won't be introduced for awhile yet, but I'll tell you now that his name is Hazel Grosse.] He glances back and smiles at a tall, American-Indian looking man who stands farther back from the altar, but the man doesn't return the smile. His eyes are golden-amber. [Digression: this awkward business of the open/shut/open eyes was apparently invented just to make the point of the color-change. In the manga, which are in black-and-white, the girl's eyes are closed the entire time, and Hazel simply says "Now, child...rise." (--presumably "Talitha cumi".) [Digression II: Hazel's pendant in the manga is a six-pointed star--a Star of David--but I guess they didn't want any accusations of Jewish references, as the pendant in the anime has been redesigned to a four-pointed floral design.] --and here's the SI, driving along. Goku complains that he's hungry, Gojyo scolds him, Hakkai says they'll reach a town soon and Sanzo is silent and thoughtful. A typical morning in the Jeep...and then the road is blocked by a gang of implement-wielding, grim-looking townspeople. Do we look suspicious? asks Gojyo--but the lead villager says "Kill the youkai!" and, charging the jeep, tries to throttle Goku! He's shoved back, but the zombie-like humans, all droning "Kill
#11 - Onslaught ~intruder~
Saiyuki Season 3 - Episode 17
After the last-episode flashback: As they drive across the desert, Hakkai is amused to realize that his companions are having the same argument fast asleep that they usually have awake ("Hungry... *snore*" "Shaddap, bakazaru...*snore*" "Both of you shut up ..zzz")--but then has to wake them with a stomp on the brakes as a pack of demon assassins appear. Double-checking that these are bonafide youkai and not human zombies, Gojyo and Goku arm up and prepare with glee to kick ass, but are beaten to the kick by those spoilsports the Hazel-tachi. Gojyo shrugs that they're making his life easier and flops back in the seat, calling to "Hazel-chan" to keep up the good work; but Goku outright hates him, and Hakkai wonders just what his intentions are. Who cares, growls Sanzo; let's go. At Houtou Castle: Kougaiji is looking on with big-brotherly tenderness at a curled-up-sleeping Lirin (aww =) when Doku and Yaone arrive with news. (Man, is it good to see the Kou-tachi again or what? =)=) Something strange is going on, says Yaone; we're getting reports of our people being wiped out in large numbers. What? do we know what's happening? asks the shocked prince, but a silky voice cuts in; my my, sounds bad, says Dr. Ni. I told you never to come in here again, snarls Kou-sama, but the doctor replies that he overheard something about our dear prince's friends being killed...could someone have a grudge against demons? Kou storms up to him with fists clenched--what are you suggesting, bastard?!--but Ni just smirks and says, make sure you don't die too, ojii-sama. And goes on his way while all three glare undying hatred at his back. --Lirin-chan, undisturbed, sleeps peacefully on. In a windswept desert town, the SI has stopped at a restaurant. Gojyo and Goku's squabble over the last meat bun is interrupted when the waiter delivers a basketed bottle of wine to their table, saying "that gentleman" asked him to deliver it. --Guess who. --Hazel waves amiably, and Hakkai wonders aloud
#12 - Strategy ~checkmate~
Saiyuki Season 3 - Episode 22
After the flashback: the I-3 are attacked by another PoRY calling them "Sanzo-ikkou" and demanding the sutra, and G&G are royally ticked off by it, bashing the hapless youkai with a lot more force than is usually called for. We're not his group! ("Sanzo-ikkou ja nai!") snarls Goku, and he and Gojyo--having KO'd all the youkai--go into a stamping and yelling tantrum, while Hakkai mildly asks if they really ought to blame everything on Sanzo. We have to get there before him no matter what! insists Goku. Let's go!--but then yet another PoRY pops up from nowhere, also yelling "Sanzo" and "sutra"! G&G literally see red, roaring "We're not in his goddamn group!" as they rip into the demons, and Hakkai rolls his eyes and wonders just what Sanzo's doing right now... their angry racket is so deafening that in the Heavens it even disrupts Kanzeon and Jiroushin's shogi game, and the Merciful One Hirself snaps "Urasai!" --Meanwhile, Sanzo is sitting in a desert canyon, having a smoke, when he hears a chiming of bells. Hm? -he pauses, and the jingle comes again, echoing off the Monument Valley-like stone pillars...and then, ta-da! the foe appears. I've found you! calls down Zakuro; long time no see, Genjyo-Sanzo-houshi. He leaps down to face the monk. You should feel honored, he says, cackling with glee; I've been summoned from hell just to defeat you. --Sanzo, who we thought had killed this creep in their last meeting, takes the sight of him with admirable calm. Zakuro cackles again and holds up his string of bells. Who are you?--asks the monk. You can't have forgotten me, retorts Zakuro, and after a second Sanzo growls, "Oh, it's you, bastard." (Then a flashback to make sure we too remember the illusionist youkai--like we could forget the one who put Gojyo through such torment.) Zakuro, wasn't it? he asks. That's right: the Master of Illusions, Lord Zakuro! No man is more beautiful or elegant than I, there's no way you could forget me! crows the youkai, and Sanzo snorts tha