Note: thought I lost the entire post, but the autosave got about half of it.
The answer, more or less, was given this episode. Spoilers below the fold.
It was the badge of office of the Suharan high priest, Teruya Eiko’s father, and the leader of the assassins. Who, though badly injured, made it home to his dear daughter…
…who promptly kills him and succeeds to the office and command of all the Teruya ninjas. And since she’s now High Priestess, she’s senior to Junko and the Hattori family.
All the ninjas of both families begin assembling outside the school, which is now covered in Etou’s monsters. It’s outright war now. Bouchiro and Akuto face off, and Akuto gets the short end of the stick. Etou grabs Akuto and Keina, and retreats to Peterhausen. An agent of CIM08 shows up, to “advise” Eiko… he’s more oily than the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Looks like he’s trying to manipulate Eiko, but she’s got her own game running too, with demonic agents of her own in the school grounds.
Meanwhile Bouchirou is facing off against the headmaster. The series is being rushed now, as too much exposition starts to make the show drag in what should be rip-snortin’ combat. It seems that Bouichirou and the headmaster were allies against the last Demon King, but the headmaster has figured out that Bouchirou really wants to BE the demon king and control the gods.
Junko, her sister Yuri, and their father all show up. Junko has a sword given to her by her grandmother, which per some doubletalk from Grandma, she can’t draw unless she’s doing what she really wants to do. It’s a famous sword, and Eiko wants it, so she sends the Hattori sisters ahead alone, as “volunteers” figuring she’ll get the sword after they’re killed. Yuri’s being super cocky and playing up to the cameras; also to “Brave” when he arrives.
Meanwhile, Akuto regains consciousness just as they got underground and met up with Lily. She tells Akuto in so many words that she’ll tacitly back him as long as he’s only out to change the system, not destroy it. If he goes for the latter, she’ll stop him. Akuto agrees and goes to roust Peterhausen, whose attitude about this is roughly “about damn time! Let’s do some Demon King ass-kicking!” Peterhausen manifests a throne on his back; Akuto takes a seat and they’re off.
Back above ground. Hiroishi and Junko are both conflicted, seeing the monsters as proof that they were wrong about Akuto. Each reluctantly decides to fight him. Junko is trying to hold back the impulsive and showboating Yuri, but then when Junko sees Akuto show up with Peterhausen, she flies up to attack him. (When did she learn flight?) She can’t draw the special sword, and her attacks are useless. Akuto surprises Junko by saying that he’ll keep her safe and come back to her after the battle; then he talks a bit about the system. Humans, having decided to label something “gods” has chosen to defer to them, and they’re not worthy, as they perpetuate a cruel system and order deaths at their convenience. Akuto then causes Junko to float away, presumably to safety.
Hiding in the lair, Keina and Etou talk. Keina starts asking odd questions about peace, war, and massacres. Everyone says they want peace, but only peace permits massacres — war can be fought to prevent such. So why isn’t war sometimes better than peace? (What, a backhanded swipe against the peacenik/disarmament lobby? Whodathunkit!) I’d begun to suspect that Keina is actually two personalities; when Etou questions her back, she goes into ditz mode again. I’m thinking that suspicion is looking pretty good.
Overhead, Hiroshi attacks, and actually injures Peterhausen, just as the giant carrier shows up, summoned by CIM08. Peterhausen closes on it so he can regen from its mana generator, but Eiko’s “advisor” has placed a puppet as the helmsman, and he uses it to ram Peterhausen and Akuto into the ground.
Next week, the exciting climax… and I hope a hella lot less exposition interrupting the action. Unfortunately, the pacing of the story was repeatedly thrown off by the need to engage in exposition so we can have some idea of why everyone’s fighting. It’s good to know they thought about that, but this series is starting to look like it should have been more like 18-20 episodes rather than 12 or so. The animation was also a bit shaky too; lots of speed lines and background blobs. On the other hand, the presence of a couple of censor spots and a major blackout (Eiko’s breasts, I presume) indicates that they didn’t forget the fanservice.