The Road of Aspiration arrives; a town festival in which lanterns are lit, wishes and confessions made, and even tears shed. Potte doesn’t remember the last two times she went, but the last time was when her father was still alive. He promised they’d go again but he got too busy, and then passed away before the promise could be kept. While damning rain dominates the day, things clear up just in time, and Potte enjoys the festival with her friends and the rest of the town.
An event Potte hasn’t experienced since her father was still alive is an able test of her relationship with the grief she holds inside. Grief isn’t an enemy to be overcome, but a part of you. Even the birthday of a dearly departed friend or relation can cause a surge of emotions and memories. The festival is a good way both to take stock in one’s life thus far and organize and express one’s dreams for the future.
As far as festival episodes go, this was very laid-back and breezy, reflecting the tone of the series as a whole thus far. And while Potte definitely misses her dad on a day like this, she seems quite resolved to smile every time her loss comes up, and not cry. Reconnecting with her friends, living in beautiful moments and snapping them with film all help her maintain. Because the day after the festival, after the futures are wished for, the work begins to reach them.
Going camping in ordinary school uniforms? That’s just weird. But anyway, this turns out not to be a throwaway camping episode, but the start of a major challenge that will determine which three of the class of esquires gets to take on missions first. However, that turns out to be a conceit, as the mission cannot be carried out without teamwork and rock-solid strategy.
It also requires Rin’s superhuman strength, which is starting to cause heads to be scratched. When he senses Shiemi is in danger, he even spews a few blue flames that catch Bon’s attention. Rin really needs to learn to relax. He also should find a good time to explain exactly what he is, in conditions he can control. Bon and Co. will either understand or they won’t…but if he continues to keep it a secret and the powers come out right in front of all, there will surely be…issues. Friends will feel betrayed. They may even attack him; he is the son of Satan, after all.
I love it when everyone on the show is working together to make something happen that couldn’t happen if they worked alone, and this episode is another good example (though this time, Shiemi is only useful as bait). By episode’s end, two esquires are still on their own; one has lit their fireworks, signaling they retire, Rin’s about to be eaten by a giant moth, and everyone is watching. Mustn’t…summon…blue flames…Rating: 3