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Translations: Gintama 507 (2)
yeah that part about the story, the romance angle between adult and kid-who-looks-adult served its comedic purposes, the hijinks and plot devices. But I now understand why the author had to kill outarou. Because that's what all it was for- initially comedy, and perhaps the battle to serve as an introduction to the whole gray world. Through the battle we were able to see that there were many clans besides the crows, and many other sorceresses, and it opened up the story into many different directions after that- he just had to get rid of outarou because that was also a bit iffy, romance between ran and an adult.
So I guess the mangaka played it well.
Comedic purposes, that's a good view of all the thing about Ran and Outaru. Reading back again the previous chapter, the last left panel of this page is the most important there; even after the kiss Ran keeps being a little girl and she behave just like a little girl; for her the kiss doesn't have the same meaning than for adults. From that view it's funny scene. I haven't see it that way.
In fact, Ran still keep being able to turn herself to her adult mode. So likely the author will exploit that angle once more, given that is an important premise of the story.
I just read up to chapter 40 today. Ran has really transformed, even in child mode.
now, the thing about the insects, manga says it's gone forever. So I guess we'll have a different arc this time around... guesses, anyone?