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Toukiden Utakata no Himitsu

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Toukiden-utakatahimitsu

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Toukiden Utakata no Himitsu (討鬼伝 ウタカタノヒミツ, roughly translated as "The Legend of Demon Slayers: Secrets of Utakata") is a free-to-read web comic adaptation of Toukiden available for viewing on Nico Nico Seiga. Registered Nico Nico users can watch each panel play in an automated timeline with sound effect accompaniments and background music from the game. It is authored by Launch Nanatsumu and illustrated by Toshiko Machida.

The comic made its debut on June 27, 2013 and was updated biweekly. It finished in six parts on August 30, 2013.

Episode 1: The Secret ShriekEdit

Ouka and Ibuki are given a job to search for a young boy. He ran away from his home during the night to kill a demon by himself, hoping to look brave for his soon-to-be-born younger sibling. While Ibuki bellyaches over the request, a spider crawls onto Ouka's hand. She uncharacteristically screams with fright, Ibuki remaining quiet about the discovery when their comrades rush in to investigate. Nagi reports the boy's rough location and shows Ouka that he is surrounded by spider-like demons.

Ouka, Ibuki, and two young recruits leave to retrieve the boy, although Ouka is still too scared to fight. After they rescue the boy, a Mifuchi attacks and reduces the nearby shrine to rubble. Ouka would've been crushed if the boy hadn't shoved her to safety. The boy is ashamed by his fear, as it prevented him from killing a single demon. Inspired by his honesty, Ouka regains her composure to protect him and defeats the giant spider demon with Ibuki's aid. The boy aspires to be a fisherman when he is returned to his mother. Ouka swears to never fear again, but her resolve soon falls apart when she is scared by the live crabs the boy had caught for her.

Episode 2: The Secret BackEdit

Fugaku, Ibuki, Nagi, and a mononofu are hunting a Kazekiri. It eludes their weapons and flees, leaving behind the ruins of a village it had destroyed. Fugaku prays to a grave and swears to avenge them, which provokes Ibuki's sarcasm. Before a fight ensues, the mononofu and Nagi decide to search another area. Fugaku and Ibuki make camp at the village and are surrounded by demons at nightfall. Once they realize that they are feasting on the souls of the departed, Ibuki tries to hold Fugaku back and endure since the Kazekiri hasn't arrived yet. Fugaku fights anyways, and the duo slay smaller demons until their target returns.

Although they bicker throughout the hunt, the duo work together to defeat the giant demon. Fugaku blocks its charge and Ibuki hops from his back to attack Kazekiri's vulnerable back. When the ladies return the following morning, the men are dead asleep. Nagi views it as a sign that they're bonding and enthusiastically writes how close the pair are in her report, which mortifies Ouka as she reads it.

Episode 3: The Secret GiftEdit

Nagi and Hatsuho have a meeting to plan their next hunt, but the bookworm is enthusiastic goes overboard in her lecture. Fed up with Nagi's explanations and feeling as though she is being treated like a child, Hatsuho bluntly says that she is annoying her. The young girl's crass remark greatly lowers Nagi's spirits, and she realizes from the villagers' commentary that she had hurt the archer's feelings. After mulling over it in her bed, Hatsuho decides to make amends. A Tenko delivers parts for her, so she uses them to have a new bow forged for her apology.

Since demons attack the village around the same time, Hatsuho hurries to the center of the conflict in the belief that a dispirited Nagi is fighting alone, using tips from her earlier lecture to speed her way through. It turns out that Nagi had the same idea as Hatsuho and was searching for her. The archer gives the young girl a new kusarigama as a present and smiles for the first time in days. With the awkwardness dispelled between them, Nagi decides to celebrate by explaining the properties of their weapons in lengthy detail. This time, Hatsuho sucks it up with feigned exuberance.

Episode 4: The Secret ComradeEdit

Hayatori, Hatsuho and two other mononofu accept a mission to exterminate a Kueyama. She asks the former shinobi to sync with his Soul and create an opening for their attack. Before he decides to act alone, Jiraiya holds a spiritual chat within him and shows Hayatori the possible outcomes of the hunt. If Hayatori charges in by himself, his attack will fail. If he doesn't rely on Jiraiya or his comrades, Hatsuho will exert herself and be devoured. Jiraiya shows these visions as a means of teaching the importance of trust to the shinobi.

Realizing that he should at least attempt to overcome the shadows of his past, Hayatori finally agrees to borrow Jiraiya's powers for the hunt. He surprises his party by agreeing with Hatsuho's order yet they swiftly slay their objective. Hatsuho asks the reasons for his change of heart on their way back to base. Jiraiya and Hayatori passively warn her of a weak board on the bridge, but she still slips into it.

Episode 5: The Secret MeetingEdit

This episode is a parody of the prologue sequence of the game, in which the souls of devoured heroes (mitama) submit mononofu within Utakata Village to their harsh test of courage in the world of dreams. Small references to each soul's common perception in folklore or history are made throughout the comic, but the souls generally agree that none of their candidates seem worthy enough (the named characters within the game either failed it or were too distracted playing with the other souls to try).

Their disturbances within the dream world becomes powerful enough to generate a collective fabrication of reality, or Utakata Village's dream as Shikimi lazily explains. The souls explore the duplicate village and experience the honest lives and hopes of its residents, happy to see some facets of peace left within Nakatsu Kuni. The priestess sends them back to their rightful place once it is dawn, and the mononofu vaguely recount their strange dreams in the morning. Ibuki, Nagi, and Hayatori are humorously still reeling in ecstasy from their respective soul dreams.

Final Episode: Utakata's SecretEdit

Kikka wants to be useful to her sister and comrades, trying to do small chores around the village. Ibuki stops her and casually gives her the "important task" of circling the shrine grounds as a patrol. While Kikka does so, she notices a doppleganger of herself and decides to follow it. The mononofu meanwhile investigate strange ghost sightings —which normally wouldn't be possible with Kikka's barrier— and slay the demons which managed to break past a gap in the barrier. As Kikka approaches her duo self, it confronts her with her anxieties about being helpless and reasons that barrier's small collapse can give her purpose again.

Inspired by her knowledge of the mononofus' previous adventures, Kikka bravely absorbs the darkness within her heart and reconstructs the gap. Her spiritual double was generated by a Mizuchime; the priestess pushes the giant demon from outside the barrier before she collapses in exhaustion. The souls commend her courage and assure her that a brave warrior will soon come to the village. The male protagonist slays the Mizuchime himself and is introduced to the villagers the next day. After Kikka explains her story and the reasons for her cold to her overly concerned sister, Ouka expresses her pride in her sibling's actions before returning to her job of greeting the protagonist.

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