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Kagurabachi Chapter 40 Review: The Shinuchi Is Unsheathed

Kagurabachi chapter 40 is generational – there’s no other way to put it. And if it were up to me, that’s how I would describe most chapters of this manga.

The events in this chapter pick-up from where we left off previously, with Chihiro cornering Kyora.

Kyora’s fate has been sealed. However, what Chihiro failed to realize was that Kyora was a feral beast when it came to the matters of Rakuzaichi.

Finding his back pushed against the wall, the head of the Sazanami clan decided to go all out in a bid to save the floundering auction.

From the way chapter 39 ended, it was given that we were going to get a glimpse of the Shinuchi. I was thinking that Kyora would try his best to auction it off. Worst case, he would try to wield it and fail, just like Sojo did with the Datenseki.

But, I totally wasn’t expecting matters to escalate this much for sure.

First off, we got some interesting information from Shiba regarding what the Hishaku could have been plotting by putting the legendary sword up for auction.

It always seemed off to me that the Hishaku’s leader was willing to part with his most desired item. However, Shiba’s explanation suggests this was simply a strategic move.

With the Shinuchi’s original wielder alive, the sword is useless to the Hishaku. The auction serves as a means to break this stalemate by either locating the wielder themselves or creating internal conflict within the Kamunabi.

I wonder how much of this info Kyora was privy to!

Also, remember how the Shinuchi had a special box compared to the rest of the enchanted blades. Turns out that it was placed in a special protective seal by the Kamunabi in order to keep its power in check. That alone is enough to tell us what kind of world rending powers this sword has.

But that seal didn’t any good when it actually mattered. Shiba hyped it up for no reason! But then, all that information about the seal did serve a purpose.

With this development, I feel that Hokazono intended to establish the antagonists’ expertise as comparable to or even surpassing that of the Kamunabi elders, raising questions about the current power balance.

The Hishaku’s ability to break the seal, intended to take a decade, in just three years, rightly showcases their formidable sorcery skills.

Here’s the important question though. Is this level of expertise only possessed by the leader of the Hishaku, or are other members too equally formidable?

If yes, then it could spell trouble for both Chihiro and the Kamunabi.

Coming back to Kagurabachi chapter 40, Kyora succeeded in breaking the seal of the Shinuchi, thanks to the Hishaku obviously, and things just got out of hand.

As soon as the Shinuchi’s tip was unsheathed, its wielder remotely controlled it. This mirrors Chihiro’s control over the Enten, and is a sweet move by Hokazono.

Why? Because it establishes this ability as something that can be gained by all enchanted blade users with a deep enough connection to their weapon, and not just the protagonist. It’s a commendable way for laying the groundwork for what comes ahead.

However, what caught my attention was how Hokazono chose to depict the eyes of the original swordsman and Kyora in this sequence. They were both shaded black.

Combining this with the momentary doubt that flashed across Chihiro’s, it makes me feel that Kyora is under the control of Shinuchi’s wielder. Alternatively, both the wielder and Kyora could be under the sword’s influence.

After all, Kunishige did mention that the sword had the power to override its eternal contract.

Also, special mention to the aura that the Shinuchi exudes, and how well Hokazono managed to portray it. And the butterfly panel? That was simply breathtaking. Top tier art as always from the author!!

Now, keeping all of this in mind, I want to put forth an assumption based on what we have seen in the previous chapters.

The Shinuchi has been registered in Kyora’s storage space – its a property of the Rakuzaichi. And now that the swordsman activated the blade using his spirit energy, he is linked to the blade.

Similar to what Hakuri did a couple of chapters earlier, Kyora should technically be able to summon the swordsman to his space – that is if he is still in a condition to do it.

It is entirely possible that Kyora has lost his sense of self or is being controlled. But I think Hishaku could have been plotting the move to summon the user of the blade. This makes it easier for them to locate and kill the user or either recruit him to their side.

The only downside here is that – Shinuchi is uber powerful. We don’t know for sure if the Hishaku can defeat it in a direct face-off!

Another detail that’s worth noting is surrounding the word that was spoken by Shinuchi’s contracted wielder – Magatsumi. As pointed out by a popular Kagurabachi X user, this seems like the name of the sword – similar to the Enten and the Kuregumo.

While things kept seeming bleak, Kagurabachi chapter 40 ended by giving us some hope. Both Chihiro and Hakuri were at their wits’ end. However, right when things started going downhill, Hiyuki makes contact with Hakuri.

I don’t know if Hakuri has enough spirit energy left to transport her into Kyora’s space in order to help Chihiro. However, I am happy that she has atleast made it till here. It’s a cliffhanger for sure, and I really can’t wait for the next chapter.

Bachibros, we are winning!!