WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episode 17 of Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon, "Trap of the Two Perils," now streaming on Crunchyroll, Funimation, Animelab and Hulu.
In Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon's 17th episode, "Trap of the Two Perils," Riku and the remaining Perils unite to destroy the Princesses. The trap they plan is clever and puts the Half-Demons in some serious trouble. In spite of their strong combat ability, the Princesses are not necessarily that strong in terms of strategy -- something the Perils take full advantage of in the episode.
Riku continues to be a major player in the Inuyasha sequel series, though his motivations remain unclear. In fact, a major reveal in the episode is when Kirinmaru calls Riku his "most trusted retainer." Kirinmaru thinks Riku is his friend, meanwhile, Towa and the rest of the half-demons think he's their friend. It's hard to know where Riku's loyalties truly lie, though it seems likely he's only loyal to himself. All that is clear is that he wants the rainbow pearls. He says he wants to give them to Kirinmaru, but perhaps he's planning something for himself. Time will tell, but trusting Riku seems like a mistake.
It's Riku who suggests to Konton that he team up with Totetsu. Konton plans a trap for the Princesses but needs a "keystone"-- an individual to hold the Fang magic trap together. The gluttonous Totetsu is brought in to serve this purpose and immediately works as bait for the Princesses. Riku sends them to fight Totetsu and they find him doing his usual thing, attempting to devour monks. Of course, it's all a trap, and the Princesses fall right into it.
A big moment in "Trap of the Two Perils" comes in the initial confrontation with Totetsu. Towa and Setsuna face off against the monstrous ogre while Moroha starts to creep up from behind. With her newfound strength and confidence, it's likely that she'd be able to take him down with a well-placed surprise attack. However, Towa sees her coming and gives it away, so Totetsu dodges easily. Towa, despite her natural raw ability, is still very inexperienced compared to the other Princesses -- something Setsuna chastises her for later on when they explore the trap. Towa needs to take her new life seriously if she wants to survive. Right now, she still seems to think of it almost as a game.
Up to this point in Yashahime, just about every encounter with a Demon has been resolved by the end of the episode. Even if the villain isn't fully vanquished, as we've seen with Konton, they are forced to flee. Konton's trap in Episode 17 bucks this pattern. It is clear at this point that the Princesses are very strong and defeating them in combat isn't really an option. Finding themselves outwitted and separated in the magic field, however, they are left confused and without any real options. While Towa and Setsuna ultimately do find a way out to confront Konton, they will need to work on their tactics in the future. They got lucky this time, and cannot always rely on that to get them out of tight fixes.
"Trap of the Two Perils" is altogether an exciting episode, with our heroines challenged in a way that they hadn't really been before. They will need to work on their strategy for the future, particularly if Riku is going to keep scheming in this way. And with an appearance from Kirinmaru and Sesshomaru promised for next week, they will need to have their wits about them.