Chise begins her recovery at the more literally named than expected “Ant Hill” while Silky finds ways to pass a lonely winter. Read on to see what Karandi and I thought of the episode and catch up on any posts you might have missed here.
This latest episode brought back some of the feel the earlier episodes had, while avoiding a few recent trends that Karandi will likely appreciate. Though there was still very little in terms of any sort of plot progression, it was nice to see more of the magical world and get a bit more background through the slow drip that this show is accustomed to.
In addressing Chise’s health, I was glad to see the thread wasn’t resolved in the first five minutes, opting instead to continuing using it in creative ways. For example, Titania pretty much gave Elias a solution to improve Chise’s ailing state but the show illustrates something about his character when he refuses her. Not only does Elias wish to keep learning about humanity from Chise, but he wants to accept her as she accepted him. Even if this choice does shorten Chise’s lifespan, it shows how even his limited understanding helps Elias appear much more human.
Though the second half of the episode felt disjointed at first, I found myself thoroughly enjoying Silky’s tale. While she has been present throughout the series, little has been revealed about her character. Silky’s backstory further emphasizes the continuous themes of home and family being a source of warmth. These points also serve well to explain her behavior and highlights how Silky’s feelings mimic Elias’. Like her master, she fears the thought of losing human presence, so much so, that this very need for human interaction is what brings Silky to reside in Elias’ home. Her attachment to Chise feels more meaningful now, beyond Chise being a Sleigh Beggy, and her somber behavior while Chise is away makes more sense.
I do enjoy these side stories, and was happy to have an episode with a satisfying end for a change, but I’m eager to see how Chise’s worsening condition carries through the rest of the story going forward.
As Weekend noted above, the second half of the episode did feel a bit disjointed from the first. It was almost like an OVA thrown in mid-episode to fill in a character’s back story. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t enjoyable but I kind of feel that the pacing of this show, which was questionable to begin with, isn’t helped along by this sort of an aside.
However, there was a lot to enjoy in this episode. First and foremost, we finally got to go to the realm of the fairies (or at least one of them) and in addition to Oberon and Titania we met some other fairly interesting characters. We also saw Elias presented with the moral conundrum posed by Titania and I think despite Elias’ claims he does not really understand people, he is starting to form a very human connection with Chise which is influencing him.
The time difference between the fairy realm and the human world was also a nice touch and that was actually one way the story worked to integrate Silky’s back story a bit better. There was also some really stunning scenery all throughout the episode from Elias carrying a very wounded Chise through the forest in the beginning, the stairs leading down into the fairy realm, the lake, and then the snow at the end. Plus, the transformation of the house was very well animated and really fun to watch.
This show presents quite the challenge in that I really enjoy watching it, but thinking about individual episodes there’s usually as many things that aren’t quite sitting right as things the show nailed. Although, right from the start, this show has been about the ‘feels’ and it continues to mostly deliver on that every week.
That’s all we had this week, now tell us what you think. The show continues to push its emotional beats, but how is the story holding up for you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments, and be sure to check out Karandi’s blog for more from her.