The truth behind the yin-yang badge. Miu and Kenichi go in search of the memories behind the pin.
Spoilers ahead. Read at your own risk.
It was obvious since E01 the yin-yang badge was important. The key was the emphasis on how it caught Miu’s attention. It doesn’t come up again until later on in the series. When it does, notice it’s Miu again who places particular attention on the pin before finally asking Kenichi about it. It was most likely to see how much he remembered about how he got it but she could’ve been trying to jog his memory too. E35, Odin also fixated on the yin-yang badge and clearly knew Kenichi. No doubt he was there to verify it really was his Kenichi. Go back to E30 when Odin appears shocked when he hears Kenichi’s name but was unsure if it was the person he knew. Many viewers likely jumped to the conclusion Odin gave Kenichi the pin.
But surprise, surprise. It was Miu who gave him the pin 10 years ago at a candy store in exchange for a cat pin. Without realizing it, they hung out in the same places as children but never met until that moment. So how does Odin fit into the picture? Follow the spinning corn stick snack.
At the tender age of six, Kenichi was friends with a nerdy little boy named Asamiya Ryuto who is none other than Odin, the First Fist of Ragnarok. It was Ryuto who gave Kenichi the cat pin after getting it out of a coin machine at the candy stall. It was at that time Kenichi gave the cat to Miu who wanted one desparately but got the yin-yang pin instead. The two friends are obviously struck by Miu’s devestating cuteness.
Kenichi goes on to remember he and Odin made a promise to become as strong as Miu after watching her beat up gangsters threatening the old lady who ran the candy stall. Not exactly the super revelation we were expecting but there’s something else going on here. It’s apparent Odin was especially impressed with Miu. A crush or admiration of her skills? When Kenichi reveals Miu is the little girl from back then, Odin is shocked then looks dejected and angry. All signs indicate a crush that just got squashed. This looks like a love triangle with Odin harboring a secret crush for Miu. Bet he’s irritated at how Kenichi always gets to know her first; as kids then years later as teens. To make it worse, he’s living and training with her too.
The episode ends with the two friends in disagreement over the meaning of battle. Kenichi asks Odin to end the meaningless fights which pisses off Odin who replies “fighting isn’t meaningless” before slipping on his gloves (fight!) with full intention of making Kenichi fulfill his “true promise”.
First, their meeting wasn’t by chance. Ryuuto was definitely expecting Kenichi at the candy stall. He verifies it himself.
“I was thinking it was about time for you to come here.” – Ryuuto
Second, it was a promise to fight. Ryuuto was there specifically to fight Kenichi that day even though he says he’s not.
“I’m so happy that you remembered our promise… Then that park is perfect. Let’s begin.” – Ryuuto
That park is perfect? Lets begin? Begin what? Building sandcastles? The only reason to go to a park is to play on swings or fight! (note Kenichi’s fight with Tsuji took place at a park) What Ryuuto means is, he’s not fighting as Odin of Ragnarok.
So what is this true promise that took 10 years to fulfill? Miu is definitely a factor given Ryuuto’s reaction to her but the key maybe his statement towards the end.
“Still a hypocritical as ever. To think you’ve learned nothing in these 10 years.” – Ryuuto
As children, the two of them possibly got into an argument about how to become stronger. Kenichi with his pacifist outlook found Ryuuto’s methods too violent. So they make a bet to meet up when they’re older to see who’s right (who is stronger).
Another point of interest:
For the first time, Kenichi release a magenta aura when Odin appears. Is that his personal aura or does it signify his fighter level? The Ryouzanpaku masters have purple auras but Sakaki is also shown radiating an orange aura (episode 1 and 34) which Akisame calls killing intent. 7th Fist, Thor, in E37 is shown with a green aura. Want to say it’s skill level but it seems more like they’re own personal auras.