WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Orient Episode 12, "Where This Road Leads," now streaming on Crunchyroll.
Since the introduction of Shiro and Nanao Inukai, those who have been following Orient have wondered whether the villainous pair have been working alone. However, with the release of the series finale, “Where This Road Leads,” it has finally been revealed that they are part of a secretive organization called the Obsidian Eight.
These characters remain cloaked in the shadows, so details of their identities, powers and goals have not yet been fully exposed, but fans were nonetheless treated to a significant amount of information that will heavily impact the plot moving forward. Although viewers learn about this group’s core plans and their relationship with the Kishin, the Obsidian Eight create more mystery than they unveil.
The Obsidian Eight is introduced shortly after Nanao is seen spending her day off shopping for treats in a village. Suddenly, a black glow emanates from her chest, and she quickly moves to a quiet area so that she can answer a magical call from her masters. A black stone, similar to the type Musashi has previously produced, protrudes out of Nanao’s body and begins to project a set of beams that show the Obsidian Eight.
It is interesting to note that there are only seven other characters, aside from Nanao herself, present within this meeting. This indicates that Nanao is a member of the Obsidian Eight, and while this might not come as a great surprise to some fans, it's somewhat peculiar considering that Nanao refers to Shiro as her master, is required to ask for time off and views herself as being much lower in status than the others in the meeting. This could suggest that there is an eighth member who is currently unknown or that there is a particular hierarchy, with Nanao at the bottom.
Although a chain of command is not directly established, it's implied by the reactions of the group when one member begins to talk. After a comrade of Shiro and Nanao’s, Seiroku, questions them about their recent encounter with the Obsidian Goddess, he begins to poke fun at Shiro for having been rejected by her and offers to take him out drinking to drown his sorrows. They begin to jokingly fight; however, shortly after, a voice calls out from the shadows and all three stop in their tracks, suggesting that this character is the leader of the organization.
He outlines that the group needs to “keep the Obsidian Goddess out of Bushi hands” and that “the compass will show the way to divine treasures.” The “compass” that this character mentions refers to the Obsidian Goddess. As of yet, it has not been made clear why Shiro, Nanao and now the Obsidian Eight are so intent on capturing this deity. However, it appears that she is the key to finding a particular object or power that can only be unlocked through her presence.
However, this is not the only duty that the Obsidian Eight purport to have, as their leader continues to explain that they must “ensure the survival of the Kishin” so they can live alongside them. This revelation explains why Nanao and Shiro were holding a Kishin after escaping their battle with Musashi in the previous episode, “What’s in a Katana,” and potentially indicates who is in control of them.
The group finally discusses how they should proceed in the future, suggesting that if they send someone who is recognizable or go in without a good plan, the Obsidian Goddess will simply get away once again. The large shadowy figure behind Nanao offers to take on the job and go undercover to capture the deity once and for all. Whether he will succeed and what other secrets are behind this organization remain to be seen. Fans will have to wait for Season 2, where the Obsidian Goddess' origins and powers, as well as the nature of this group, will likely be revealed.