Tenten Kakumei – 11 – Can’t Throw It Away

During a lengthy meeting with the “Spirit Faithful” whose favor she must gain to be an effective queen, Princess Anisphia is praised for finally “growing up” from the carefree tomboy and dedicating herself to the kingdom. She is also treated like a heretic (for her magicology) and like a womb to be filled as soon as possible by someone of their choosing. I’m not surprised Anis has to vomit after the ordeal. But then, despite all evidence to the contrary all over her face, she looks at herself in the mirror and says “I’m perfectly fine.” Like hell, girl!

No, Anis is in a very bad emotional state, caught as she is between the responsibility now on her shoulders, the guilt of having pushed it upon Algard and all that wrought, and the fact that becoming the queen means ceasing to be who she is and who she’s always been…and even then the nobles might revolt if she puts a toe out of line. She’s wearier still when Euphie tells her she wants to meet with her, the king and queen, Ilia, and Lainie (now a maid-in-training) to tell her she now knows what it is she needs to do.

Before this meeting even began, and before I knew the true extent of who Lumi is and what that entails, I already knew it would fail. Because as much as Euphie loves Anis and wants to protect her, becoming an immortal spirit contractor who forgets all of her memories and feelings for others and becomes an ethereal husk of a person is definitely not what Anis would want! Indeed, by the time Lumi is done describing something akin to when Elrond told Arwen what would become of loving a mortal, suddenly becoming a queen doesn’t sound so bad!

Euphie is coming at this from a position of deep love and caring for Anis, but she badly miscalculates how she’d react to her requesting that the king adopt her after she enters into a spirit contract so she can take the throne instead of Anis. Nevermind losing Euphie forever; to have her birthright taken away feels, to Anis at this moment, like Euphie would be taking away the last bit of value she had. The challenges are immaterial to Anis: she is the goddamn Crown Princess, and she will be queen…or she’ll be nothing.

When Euphie offers a hand of comfort, Anis slaps it away—doing so for the very first time—and runs off in tears. She’s sulking in an alley in the pouring rain when Tilty finds her and takes her to her house to warm herself by the fire. At first Tilty goes with her usual aloof schtick but when she realizes how wounded Anis is, she too warms up, gives Anis a shoulder to cry on. She also gives her an alternative life: the two of them could travel the world plying their unique trade, free as birds. It’s sounds fun, but the bottom line is Anis can’t throw away her throne.

When Euphie arrives, Tilty gives them the room. Once again Anis slaps her hand away, and Euphie smiles softly and sadly, noting Anis has never expressed anger towards her before. Euphie worries that the nobles will never accept her. Anis tells her it doesn’t matter who accepts her, it’s her duty. She begs Euphie not to make her “somebody no one needs”, and tells her, with another face that insists otherwise, that she’s “perfectly fine.”

The two remain incredibly dedicated to one another, but neither will budge on their position. Euphie doesn’t want Anis to sacrifice herself to the throne, and Anis doesn’t want to sacrifice her so she can remain herself. However important Anis’ dream of magic is, it can’t begin to compare to Euphie’s life.

Anis is resigned to the fact neither of them will be able to convince the other with words…so she proposes a duel between them. Presumably, whoever wins will get their way…but considering both choices kind of suck, I still hope that after dueling it out these two can put their heads together and find a third way.

Tenten Kakumei – 10 – Duty and the Heart At Odds

With the big bad that was Prince Algard dispatched and MagiRevo having now fielded not one but two episodes that could have been fine finales, I was, like everyone else, wondering “what now?” At least in terms of the succession thing, this week answers that immediately: Anisphia is the successor to the throne once more. It means, among other things, she’ll eventually have to take a prince consort, despite being gay as hell.

Both Euphie and Lainie are a little unnerved not by how okay with all of this Anis is—she clearly isn’t—but how resigned she is to her new fate to ascend to a throne she had previously refused. While they are more polite and subtle in their concern, Tilty makes no effort to hide her distaste for this resignation, and almost tries to wipe that fake, sad smile of Anis’ face before storming out of the room.

That night Euphie finds Anis keeping to herself atop the castle battlements, feeling low about how things went down with Tilty. Anis soothes her bad mood by inviting Euphie on a plainclothes date into town to pick up Arc-en-Ciel, which she sent to her go-to-smith Tomas for repairs. A woman recognizes the princess, and before long she’s swarmed with adoring commoners.

Her queendom feels like a wave she’s caught in, and even if she’s able to escape, she won’t try. When asked for her unvarnished opinion by Euphie, Ilia says she knows Anis may be the only one who can unite the nobles and commoners, but the fact she’s being forced into rule may not suit her.

Ilia then shows Euphie the completely stripped down magicology lab, saying Anis likely have to abandon it forever to be “a ruler for all”. And it probably won’t be the only precious thing she casts aside for the sake of duty and country.

The thought of Anis never having a genuine smile once she assumes the throne and does her royal duty is unbearable to Euphie, who goes to Tilty for help, knowing she also objects. Tilty gets Euphie to be completely honest by saying she doesn’t want Anis to be queen, even if it’s her duty to support her with everything she has. Tilty tells Euphie there’s nothing wrong or right about those feelings; they should inform which path she takes.

Euphie marches into her father’s office and declares her objection to Anis taking the throne. When asked why, it’s because the throne is somewhere Anis will never be able to smile. She knows that smile can’t be traded for the lives of everyone in the kingdom, but she still doesn’t want to automatically accept her ascension as the only possible outcome.

Euphie clarifies that at its core this isn’t about duty or sympathy, but simply her love for Anisphia, which makes protecting her smile a hell of a lot more important than it would be to just anyone. Grantz tells her as Duke Magenta he cannot accept her position, leaving unsaid the fact he likely feels more sympathetic to her in his capacity as her dad.

Grantz reminisces on how Anis’ father Orphanse was just as much a wild child as his daughter, and “threw away his dream of happiness” to ascend to the throne and put down the rebellion, just as Grantz supported him with all his strength. His story is interrupted by the arrival of several magical spirits, which then float out the window and surround a mysterious blonde lady in the courtyard.

Grantz introduces Euphie to Miss Lumi, a spirit contractor. Spirit contracts establish authority as a member of the royal family, which means those who enter into spirit contracts can start new royal dynasties. Just as Euphie is considering this as an option to keep Anis off the throne, she learns that not only did her father consider but ultimately choose not to do that way back when, but that Lumi is here specifically to stop Euphie from doing it.

I’m torn. I want to see a kingdom ruled by a Queen Anisphia, but I don’t want her to abandon Euphie, nor her magicology studies. She could place Euphie in the role of Royal Magicologist, and keep her close as her mistress. With Algard creating a power vacuum, things are suddenly very complicated and have the potential to get messy. But the simple fact remains that Anis and Euphie love one another. I hope it’s enough.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Tenten Kakumei – 09 – A Warm Hand

It was always held out before him: an invitation to fun, trouble, or both. Algard never quite knew exactly what he’d get when he took that outstretched hand, but he still remembers how warm it felt in his, and that he knew no matter what, he wouldn’t be bored. And yet, a time came when that very same hand felt as cold as ice.

Now Al wields ice in bullet, spear, icicle rain, and hammer forms in order to stamp out the sister he loved so dearly. Never again can their hands touch; not while both draw breath. A fight ensues between the unstoppable force of a super-regenerating vampire against the immovable object of a magicologist blessed with dragon powers. It starts out a stalemate. Yet Al can tell Anis is holding back. He might be too?

All this time, Euphie, the one person who could turn the tables in an increasingly brutal duel, is still busy trying to keep Lainie from dying of a stolen heart. Once she’s healed enough to speak, Lainie reminds her healer that as a vampire, she needs blood to wield her own magic. Euphie prepares to cut herself, but Ilia stops her, bites through her lip, then delivers her blood to Lainie mouth-to-mouth, healing her completely.

Now Euphie is free to intervene in the sibling fight just when both it and tempers are getting well and truly out of hand. By continually healing the wounds Anis causes and throwing everything he’s got her way, Al gets Anis to a state where she thinks killing him for real is the only way to stop him. And yet, she’s still able to hold back her killing blow when she sees the look on Al’s fast-approaching face is no longer rage or resentment, but resignation and even relief that his wretched existence is about to end.

Anis doesn’t like that face one bit, while Euphie knows Anis doesn’t really want to kill her brother, but is just doing it because she thinks there’s no other choice. So she creates another option by plucking Anis out of midair and tacking her to the ground, tells her that she and her brother are acting like a couple of damn fools, and they both basically need a good long time out.

Anis’ attack did enough that Al is lying in a defeated heap on the ground. He recalls a beautiful day when he looked up and found Anis up in the sky above him, smiling on him, before reaching out with that warm hand. When the two of them broke out of the castle to go on an adventure, they encountered a monster. Anis told Al to run while she dealt with it, and he obeyed, hiding in a tree hollow.

Al idolized Anis more than anything at this time in his life. But then horrible rumors spread that Anis was trying to off his brother to consolidate power, and Anis unilaterally decided the best way to prove to everyone that she had no desire for the throne was to renounce it and bestow it on Al. Little did she know that was the last thing Al wanted.

Both the day he slapped her hand away in response to her rash decision, and every day since, he resented her for giving up a throne that was rightfully hers, while cursing a world for being so cruel to her that she felt she had to. He hated this world that rejected his sister so much, he believed destroying it and starting over was the only way.

But Al shot his shot and failed, and accepts the consequences. His only “defense” to his father the king is that he was a fool, straight up, and will accept any punishment. His father disinherits him and exiles him to the borderlands to work for the kingdom until he “turns to dust”. His mother tries to bear some responsibility, and perhaps she does, but he says his sins were his own. Rather than her being a bad mother, he should have been a better son.

Anis also feels responsible for creating the monster that was Crown Prince Algard, saying if only she’d “lived a normal life” in this world (which we know to be an isekai for her) maybe he wouldn’t have suffered so much. Of course, during their battle, she said all she could ever be was herself, so she’s being too harsh on herself here. This time, Al holds out his shackled hand, and a tearful Anis shakes it to make up one last time.

In the following days, Lord Chartreuse and his son are executed for their role in the attempted coup, while both Anis and Ilia remain bedridden. Lainie has fully recovered, and she and Euphie are the only ones up and about the day Algard is shipped off. Lainie takes the opportunity to tell Algard that she’s convinced there’s true kindness in him that she was lucky to experience, she also won’t forgive or forget what he did to her.

When Euphie approaches him, he tells her not to put up a front, even if it’s second nature so the duke’s illustrious genius daughter. He gets in some final, half-joking barbs about her fitness as a fiancée, and then she gives him a well deserved yet oddly formal slap across the face that Al accepts happily, as he was just as deplorable a fiancé.

Here the two are able to be simply a man and woman, realizing that they were always terrible for each other and it was a wonder they were engaged as long as they were. And then, Al asks Euphie, quite solemnly, to please take care of his sister.

Just as only Anis can be the next queen, even in a kingdom where nearly all the nobles condemn her as a heretic, only Euphie can be the one take care of her. With Ilia still recovering from her injuries, Euphie makes nursing Anis back to health her primary responsibility. When she hears Anis muttering in her sleep about Al and being sorry, Euphie tells her to dream happier dreams, and kisses her on the forehead.

Even if the ill effects of the dragon tattoo eventually clear, the fate of Algard will continue to weigh heavily on Anis like a ball and chain. In that regard, her and Euphie’s roles have now fully reversed: Euphie is now the freer one, with her clean conscience and strong sense of purpose. That’s why it’s absolutely crucial she stay by Anis’ side to help her climb out of the deep dark morass, just as Anis helped her. Euphie must take her warm hand in hers, and never let go.

RABUJOI WORLD HERITAGE LIST

Saving 80,000 Gold in Another World – 08 – The Messenger of Lightning

Thanks to word of mouth from the three maids, shampoo sales are booming for Mitsuha. One day a gorgeous doll-like girl aristocratic air makes a large purchase of shampoo, plushies, and other products. She thanks Mitsuha and promises to return, but Mitsuha is concerned such a well-to-do young lady has no security detail.

Sure enough, Mitsuha spots a suspicious-looking man following the girl, then grabbing her and forcing her into an alley with three others. Mitsuha puts and end to their human trafficking plot by trying out a nickname “Messenger of Lightning” and demonstrating the power of a pistol-style stun gun…and just plain-ol’ gun gun. The baddies try to flee, but are surrounded by guards in full plate armor: royal guards.

The cutie isn’t just an aristocrat, she’s the Royal Princess Sabine, and suddenly Mitsuha has the gratitude of the entire royal family. She uses this opportunity to present both the king and his chancellor Sahr with reading glasses, which are far better than the crude lenses they’ve had to use since their vision became impaired. Mitsuha assures the king she can procure whatever he wants…except women, of course.

As the king has Sahr look more into Mitsuha’s whole deal, a third party visits Mitsuha’s store: President Nelson Adler of the Adler Trading Company. Immediately condescending to Mitsuha and throwing his weight around, he not only offers to take the store off her hands, but to take her and Sabine in, with some uncomfortable subtext to that offer.

Mitsuha asks him to return the next day, and has Sabine deliver an invite to Sahr, her new “business partner”. Sahr arrives, Mitsuha explains the hostile takeover and kidnapping attempts by Adler, and Sahr throws the book at him, warning him that any interference in Mitsuha’s shop, and Adler will be the one personally punished.

So now Mitsuha has the double-edged sword of a legit royal warrant and the fast friendship of a very cute but very spoiled princess in Sabine, who has quickly become addicted to Japanese DVDs Mitsuha has to live-dub in the isekai language. All she needs now is an actual sign for her shop—a breathtaking oversight on her part to this point!

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Tenten Kakumei – 08 – Brother’s Keeper

Laine’s life has been one ordeal after another. First she was born a commoner, hardly the most desirable station in this world. When her parents died, she was sent to an orphanage, where her unconscious power caused her to attract the adoration of some and bitter resentment of others.

Then Baron Cyan adopted her, and before she knew it she was the Crown Prince’s handpicked bride. It’s that latter part she thinks back on while looking into her tea. She saw a poor girl fall in the street and thought There but by the grace of God go I. She also remembers admiring Algard.

She admired him because he vowed that when he became king he’d demolish the walls between nobility and commoners. But now, like Euphie before her, Lainie is feeling lost and useless, and Ilia is there to give her small comforts like tea and kind words of support.

But suddenly, that pleasant moment is interrupted by one of Anis’ alarms and the lights going dark. Ilia tells Lainie that the villa has an intruder, and quickly whisks her away to the safety of the castle. I already admired the hell out of Ilia for many reasons, but add to those the fact she doubles as a bodyguard!

And she’d be an effective bodyguard against most anyone…except royalty like Prince Algard, who brutally impales her with a spear of light and then snags Lainie up like a fish on a pole. He tells Lainie he won’t apologize, nor will he seek forgiveness, before impaling her through the chest as well.

We know what he’s after: her vampire magicite. It is probably what he’s been after all this time, but Anisphila once again ruined his and Lord Chartreuse’s plans by harboring Lainie. At this point he believes he knows what must be done, but also knows he can’t do it without stealing someone else’s power.

The post-lecture gathering goes on seemingly forever, with Anis totally checked out. Then Moritz approaches her and is extremely pushy in his apologies for what went down with Euphie. Then the alarm goes off and he physically restrains her, and his friendly mask drops.

Moritz is Chartreuse’s son and Al’s buddy, and his job is to keep Anis and Euphie here while Al gets the magicite. The plan almost worked too, because Anis and Euphie took a summons that amounted to an elaborate diversion as a sincere attempt to sway some of the magical ministers.

When Moritz starts raving about Princess Anisphilia suddenly going mad, Anis says eff it and unleashes her dragon power to force him to let go of her. When a magical attack is thrown her way, Euphie is immediately there to reflect it.

Just when it looks like the two are in for a protracted fight against the guards who are swayed by Moritz’s ranting and Anis’ odd behavior, Tilty steps in and immobilizes everyone but Anis and Euphie, allowing them to fly off without delay (this time with Euphie carrying Anis). Great teamwork all around!

They arrive at the villa courtyard where Ilia and Lainie lie bleeding out. Anis assures them both they’ll be fine. Euphie starts using healing magic but isn’t sure she can save Lainie, but Anis tells her to do her best and hopefully Lainie’s vampiric body will heal itself.

That said, with the magicite now in Algard’s possession, all bets are off. While Anis had a dragon tattooed on her back, Al goes the Final Fantasy Big Bad route and just shoves the magicite straight into his chest. After a little wrenching in pain, his eyes turn red, and he looks much more like an opponent to be worried about.

More distressing than what Algard has done is why he’s done it. At the end of the day, both he and Anis have the same basic vision for the kingdom: one where everyone will be on equal ground. Except in his case that will be achieved through the wielding of the absolute power the vampire magicite provides.

A life of waiting has thoroughly curdled Al’s personality, to the point where he’s not even going to try a peaceful or bloodless path to reconciling nobility and commoners; he’s just going to kill and subjugate who he needs to until he’s satisfied a new kingdom has been born.

It goes without saying Al doesn’t believe magic should be used to make people happy. He sees his magical ability and his position as heir apparent to the throne to be nothing but curses, so of course he has no problem exacting suffering on others.

On the surface Al’s your typical deranged villain who is probably going to end up destroying himself before being beaten by our heroes. But there’s a lot more dimension to him. I still find him a pitable man (probably the last thing he’d want to hear). For someone who says they’re abandoning emotion (like his genuine affection for Lainie), he seems awfully angry!

What I can’t say is exactly how much Anisphia contributed to the creation of the present villainous monster that is Vampire Bro Prince. Al truly hates her for having so carelessly cast aside her birthright, and it could be she spent so many years buried in her magicology she neither spent enough time nor kept a close enough eye on her increasingly troubled little brother.

Now, desperate for power, Al took a shortcut and stole it from Lainie. Can we really say Anis is any better for having killed an ancient and noble dragon and taken its power? I don’t know, but at least Anis wants to make the world a better place for humans the right way, with cooperation, understanding, and rad inventions.

But at the end of the day, if Algard insists that the one with the most power wins, then she’ll indulge him by using her power—which she is confident far outstrips his shoddily stolen vampirism—to stop him. It should be one hell of a battle.

Tenten Kakumei – 07 – The Heretic’s Advocate

The writing of Tenten Kakumi is so solid I was confident I knew Euphie well enough to know that Anis bringing Lainie to the manor be a problem at all. Sure enough, after a few tense moments, Euphie makes clear to Lainie that she’s heard her circumstances, and that there’s no hard feelings. It’s such a sweet and empathetic welcome, and Lainie’s tearful relief is so pure, I gotta admit I tear’d up too! And this is before the dang OP!

As if there were any doubt, these young women have each others’ backs. That extends to Ilia and especially Tilty, who is eager to meet the girl with magicite in her body, unlike Anis, not by choice. Meeting Tilty in person (and experiencing her inherent powers) strengthens a working theory Tilty, like Anis, had already been working on.

She consults a forbidden text Anis brought from the library a while ago, one that chronicles a magician who used the lives of others to extend his life so that he could continue the ages of research needed to find the “truth” of magic. And after a procedure that “awakens” the magicite within Lainie, her eyes suddenly turn red and she sprouts fangs. That’s right, she’s a vampire…or at least the descendant of one. That’s freaking awesome!

With the eyes and fangs also comes a control over her power of persuasion she never had. Lainie is infinitely grateful to Tilty and Anis. As Euphie observes them, she wears a face of jealousy without knowing it. Tilty takes her aside and calls her out on it, asking her what she is to Anis and where she sees this going. Euphie isn’t sure, but knows it requires some serious thought, and Tilty gently warns her not to go into whatever she decides half-heartedly.

Tilty isn’t the only one who sensed something off with Euphie. That night, Anis visits her in her pajamas with the hunch that Euphie was feeling down. Euphie asks Anis why she’s so into magic, and all Anis can really say is that it’s akin to being in love; you don’t know why, you just are. Euphie says she wants to fall in love like that, and Anis takes her hand and asks if she can sleep with her tonight.

That morning, after Lainie gets her breakfast of Ilia’s blood, another side-effect of her awakening (I love how polite Lainie is in asking for it, and how understanding Ilia is) Anis receives summons she’s been expecting. It’s from the Ministry of the Arcane, insisting she give a lecture properly explaining who she intends to use the dragon materials.

To Anis’ surprise, Euphie volunteers to handle this matter, and at the lecture, we find out why. Anis is regarded as a potentially dangerous heretic, and her magicology and magical tools are considered sacrilege against the spirits and gods those in the kingdom worship, as well as the old boy network that is the ministry.

The fact she can’t actually use magic is another mark against her, but Euphie steps up and provides a passionate, full-throated endorsement not just of Anis’ broom, but of the concept for a more practical and versatile flying machine—the development of which will require dragon parts.

As a famous and established magical genius, Euphie speaks with an authority the ministry cannot challenge or throw into doubt, especially with the new knowledge that essentially exonerates her of wrongdoing in the Prince Algard affair. She also makes clear that Anis’ inventions aren’t an affront to the spirits and gods, but are in fact an expression of respect.

Anis’ talents are a gift from those very gods—like Mozart’s music—and magicology and the products it yields will make the kingdom more secure and prosperous. With her combined full-hearted defense of the princess and convincing sales pitch, Euphie wins the majority of the ministry’s hearts and minds. She also gets an impressed smirk from Tilty, and moves a grateful, blushing Anis to tears of joy.

While watching Anis and Tilty talk the other day (and inadvertently glaring at them), Euphie thought to herself “these two are incredible”. That’s true, but she is too! And now they’ve got the ministry on their side and an adorable vampire friend!

In fact, things are looking so far up that part of me worries about what Algard might have cooked up for them down the road. But really, as long as these women continue to love and support and be good to one another, I’m confident nothing can stand in their way!

Tenten Kakumei – 06 – There’s Something About Lainie

This episode wisely doesn’t attempt to top last week’s action and romance-packed dragon-slaying thriller. Instead, it does a lot of heavy lifting, plot-wise. Now that she has dragon magicite, Magical Girl Anisphia heads to Tilty Claret’s manor in order to harness it for her purposes. Euphie knows Tilty only through her reputation, which is that she’s an unstable individual who performs dangerous magic.

It’s not surprising that after supporting Anis and essentially keeping her from getting killed in that intense battle, Euphie is determined to protect Euphie from any and all threats to her person. What she doesn’t understand is that Anis considers Tilty a kindred spirit; someone just as kooky and willing to push the magical envelope as she is.

Anis presents Tilty with a proposal for implanting the dragon magicite into her body, and Tilty approves it, while Euphie is justifiably weary. But Anis doesn’t consider the dragon’s curse to be a bad thing, but rather a valuable opportunity to gain esoteric magical knowledge and power.

That venture is briefly interrupted by the king, who summons Anis to the palace where she sees that her mother the queen has returned alive and well from her travels. We don’t get a great sense of their relationship, but for all Anis’ rough edges her mom does trust her intuition and value her opinion on the matter.

The queen and king ask Anis to join them for a meeting with Lady Lainie Cyan tomorrow, in order to get to the bottom of her brother Al’s annulment. Anis agrees, but in the meantime, she has Tilty give her a totally badass giant back tattoo. I mean, as if Anis wasn’t cool enough already!

From the information she has, Anis already has a hypothesis about Lainie’s whole deal, and reveals to Ilia that her new tattoo, made with dragon magicite ink, will serve as a “countermeasure” when she meets with Lainie tomorrow. She also wants Ilia to join her.

At the royal audience, everything goes down pretty much as Anis expected. The moment Lainie opens her mouth and delcares that she didn’t have strong feelings for Al had no intention to wreck the royal wedding, everyone present immediately sympathizes with her without any further questioning.

Everyone, that is, except Anis, who uses that good old line “kimochi warui” to describe how Lainies words affect her in the same moment they charmed everyone else into siding with her. She asks to speak to Lainie one-on-one in private. When Al’s ally Lord Chartreuse protests, she stands her ground, and her parents back her—a testament to their love and trust in her.

Once Anis is alone with Lainie (with Ilia there as a kind of control) she inspects her body, and confirms it: Lainie is unknowingly using magic, because she has magicite in her heart. Specifically, the magic of fascination. It works indiscriminately, such that most people instantly like her, which often causes conflict between those people.

While perhaps not quite as gentle and caring as she is towards Euphie, Anis nevertheless treats Lainie not as someone who has done anything wrong, but as someone who has been afflicted with what amounts to be a curse. It’s a curse that has served her well socially at times, but also led to her being bullied and abused at others.

Anis relays her conclusions to her mother and father, and her mother, clearly a pragmatic sort, immediately remarks upon the great threat to the nation someone with Lainie’s power poses, especially since she’s apparently unable to control it. Anis instead says she’ll take Lainie in … before remembering she already has a pretty assistant at her villa!

Indeed, while Lainie had no knowledge of her power and meant no harm, it already has caused Prince Algard to cancel his engagement with Euphie. Does that mean that the entire incident with him publically bashing her was nothing but the result of him being “fascinated” by Lainie’s innate magical power?

Well…no, at least not entirely. Prince Algard clearly has a plan, and Lord Chartreuse informs him that Anis has discovered Lainie’s little secret, he intends to accelerate his plans. Algard is particularly villain-like in the way he looks, talks, and is lit here, speaking of Anis’ “weaknesses” he can exploit—no doubt considering Euphie to be one of them.

Is Algard still operating under Lainie’s influence? Or is he well aware of her power and thus has a resistance to it, and is using Lainie as a useful pawn—a wife who will bring anyone and everyone to his (and his allies’) side? Also, he doesn’t seem to be in charge of this plan, but is himself a pawn of Chartreuse and others hoping to depose the king.

Be it a battle of wits or magic, I’ll put my money on Team Anisphila any day. But despite her immense intelligence, her love for her brother and the sense of security her powers lend her may be causing her to underestimate him and those using him. In other words, I believe she’ll need Euphie more than ever as things look primed to get uglier.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Tenten Kakumei – 05 – A Dragon and a Dance

Before they reach the battle zone where a dragon is causing a monster stampede and overwhelming the royal defenses, Euphie is worried. Before she hopped on the broom with her, she asked Anis what she would do with the dragon’s magicite. Anis’ answer—that she’d implant it within her body—is the primary cause of her worry. She doesn’t want Anis taking her dream to become a “real” magician too far, lest it change who she is.

But something Euphie doesn’t truly learn until this week is that Anis is in it to win it; she can’t hold back, not even an inch, in the pursuit of that dream, or it won’t happen. Anis drops in just in time to slash a giant monster in two before it kills two fighters, then chats casually with the captain of the knights and tells him and his peeps, and Euphie, to deal with the small fry and leave the dragon to her.

Euphie doesn’t like the idea of Anis going it alone, but Anis makes the very reasonable argument that she’s the only flying fighter they’ve got, and Euphie is still not experienced in aerial combat. She also pops some “magic medicine” that not only heightens her speed and stamina, but also makes her somehow even more unhinged than she usually is. Drugged Anis’ faces run the gamut between badass and, well, worrying.

When Anis finds herself surrounded by hordes of monsters, Euphie bails her out with an Explosion spell, showing Anis that not only is her magic beautiful, but also highly effective in a battle. All this commotion attracts the attention of their main target, the dragon, and once more Anis flies off on her own, confident of an easy victory.

And then her mana sword bounces off the dragon’s magical barrier. Honestly, I thought this episode would be a cakewalk for Anis, but unlike Euphie I had been completely taken in by her now apparent overconfidence in both her technology and the extent of her limits. This dragon is no slouch, and after a couple more failed strikes, Anis gets a taste of its dragon’s breath.

She’s only kept from being incinerated by her wrist-shield, but when it shatters, she’s knocked from her broom. She can’t re-summon the broom, and for a moment, thinks that this might be It for her. With the ground approaching fast at fatal speed, “Euphie” may be the last word she utters.

But Euphie spots Anis falling, and rushes to catch her. She runs faster than she ever has, and perhaps for the first time, uses her magic to turn her into a human missile. She catches Anis just in time. When Anis prepares to jump right back into the battle, a distraught Anis stops her and asks why, why is she going back in the state she’s in.

Anis simply says she’d cease to be a magician if she didn’t fight with everything she had to eliminate the thing keeping people from smiling. So Euphie, her eyes welling with tears says fine, if she has to go to keep being herself, then take her with her as well. Anis gives her a warm smile and accepts, and off they go.

With Euphie aboard, the broom is a lot faster and more maneuverable. The duo determine that hacking off the dragon’s wings will bring it down, and that means slipping around and doubling back. Euphie serves as a decoy, going straight up into the night sky and distracting the dragon, who is too late to spot Euphie bringing her sword right down on the base of its wing.

But the battle is only halfway over. The dragon may be grounded, but it still has its breath, and it prepares an immense ball of incredibly dense mana that will destroy the entire area and everyone in it…if Anis and Euphie don’t stop it. Anis removes the limiter on her sword, and the strain causes her to cough up blood, but Euphie is right there to keep her steady. When the ball of pure mana comes at them, they’ll either come out of it alive or not.

They end up surviving the full force of the dragon’s Ultima, as Anis’ unlimited mana sword cuts through it and delivers a fatal blow to the dragon. Then, as if this hasn’t been awesome enough, the dragon speaks to Anis, accepting his defeat and saying she can do what she wants with his corpse. It’s only when she says he must resent her that he decides he’ll hit her with a dragon’s curse before he dies.

What that curse will mean for Anis short or long term, we’ll have to wait and see. It and the magicite may lend her incredible power—it may even let her finally achieve her dream of becoming a real magician like Euphie—but at what physical cost? Will she still be Anisphia the Maurading Princess?

In an episode so packed even a seminal scene like Anis and Euphie’s first dance together has to take place during the end credits. Fortunately, those credits are timed so we see the best shots of these two abandoning the haughty victory party, declaring their undying affection for one another and committing to be by each others’ side forevermore, and then, yes dancing together (Euphie makes clear dancing with men feels oppressive).

We now have a strong contender for best episode of the season, if not all of 2023. It is the culmination of all the careful character work done in the previous four episodes. Truly, the emotional beats here would not have hit so hard had we not gotten to know and love these two leads.

We also got to see them at their most badass, making the impossible possible. While not ufotable-level, the battle animation still shone.  We didn’t need to see the prince show up too late, so we don’t. The only minor mark against this episode is that there’s no Ilia. There are certainly things to worry about down the road, but for now, life is good.

RABUJOI WORLD HERITAGE LIST

Tenten Kakumei – 04 – Breaking the Mold

Anisphila, clearly sleep-deprived from making Euphyllia’s new magic sword, nods off in her lap for quite some time, and thanks her for it when she awakens. Euphie is just glad to be “somewhat useful”, unaware that she’s been Anis’ magicological muse for years.

Ilia, who continues to slay in every scene she’s in, scolds Anis for leaving herself so vulnerable “to the person she likes”, then lays into the princess for stinking and having messed up hair. It’s as if Ilia isn’t a maid at all, but the big sister Anis never had.

Euphie can’t help but feel smitten by Anis, who mistakes her for having suddenly come down with a cold. Into bed Euphie goes, and Nurse Anis prepares some medicine, even patting Euphie’s head like she’s her little sister. As Anis talks spiritedly about Arc-en-Ciel, Euphie simply watches her admiringly, as a beautiful bird that flies as far as it wants. Meanwhile, Euphie feels like a bird that just can’t stop falling.

She feels empty. Anis seems to sense this, and takes Euphie’s hand. Euphie asks what she should do; Anis of course says “whatever you want”. And if she doesn’t know what that is, that’s okay, they’ll take their time looking for that together. That’s when, after weaving her fingers into Euphie’s, Anis draws closer to Euphie, who starts to panic until it’s clear Anis is just touching her forehead to check for a fever. That negative space tho…

After a few moments like this, Euphie relaxes; she likes the feel of Anis’ warmth. She nods off, and when she wakes up, Anis is still there holding her hand as she sleeps, glowing in the sunlight, so bright and beautiful it makes Euphie’s chest ache.

Anis may have minced no words about her prospective romantic intentions with Euphie, but little by little Euphie is coming around to the fact that this girl is special, and makes her feel like no one else in the world ever has. That’s powerful, and I love how gently and poignantly the girls’ love is developing.

We briefly check in with Prince Algard, who is under house arrest after his little stunt. The head of the Ministry of the Arcane pays him a clandestine visit, no doubt to inform him of the appearance of the dragon in the cold open. Then we get right back to Euphyllia secretly watching Anis practice swordsmanship.

Ilia spots Euphie and tells her that the princess has taught herself most of her skills in battle, but then changes the subject to Euphie herself. As Euphie awkwardly follows Ilia as she does chores, Ilia asks her if she finds it hard to voluntarily do things outside her given role; her mold.

Euphie then states that she’d always worked towards becoming the best duke’s daughter and future queen she could be; an ideal Ilia tells her defined her self-worth. Ilia too was once fitted into a predetermined mold, and even offered to an old, rich man for marriage.

That mold was shattered by none other than Anisphila, who took her in, and demanded not to be treated like a princess, but something like equals. Ilia adds that it’s okay for Euphie to worry, because Anis will see to it she has all the time she needs to figure things out.

This lovely heart-to-heart is interrupted by Anis boisterously rushing at them with News: there’s a stampede of monsters, caused by the appearance of a dragon—and she’s going to take it down! It’s the first Euphie is hearing that Anis is not only an adventurer, but a Gold-Ranked one at that. She’s utterly stupified that a princess, even a princess like Anis, could go off and battle monsters.

And yet, Euphie remembers that Anis is a bird who can fly as far as she wants, looks at Ilia, who wordlessly tells her there’s no talking Anis out of this, and tells Anis that she accepts her flying off into danger to battle a dragon…but she’s coming too! Considering she’s a magical genius and has Arc-en-Ciel, I have no doubt she’ll be able to contribute.

Anis and Euphie unknowingly steal a march on Prince Algard, who barges into a royal council meeting and declares to his father that he’ll slay the dragon if he can get what he wants—Lainie Cyan’s hand in marriage. He tells his father and his courtiers how he’s always heard people saying “if only” his sister was a man.

Orphans can tell that after Anis and Algard got along famously as little kids, a rift grew between them when Anis discovered magicology. The resentment and bitterness have been stewing within his only son. He also knows that Anisphila could most definitely assume the throne, and perhaps do a better job than Algard—but made a conscious choice to reject it for Algard’s sake.

But while Anis’ intentions were good and loving, a part of Algard must also feel patronized by his amazing big sister. So the king isn’t going to hold him back from trying to stand on his own two feet and prove himself. The only problem is, I seriously doubt he’ll get his chance at the dragon before Anis and Euphie take care of it.

After two episodes off it’s good to have Algard back in the mix. I still hate him for what he did to Euphyllia, but I also understand why he did it. I can also understand how he wants to be with the woman he loves, not the one chosen for him. He’s an ass, but he’s also a compelling character who wants to break out of his mold.  I can’t wait to see him, Anis, and Euphie in action—either together or at cross purposes.

Tenten Kakumei – 03 – So Far From Me

It is a crying shame that such an intelligent, capable, and beautiful young woman as Euphyllia finds herself in such an existential purgatory. She’s immediately sympathetic as someone whose life has taken such a sudden, sharp turn, she’s still recovering from the whiplash. This episode focuses on the young lady and the unmoored feeling that now suffuses her days.

There’s no morning bed talk between Euphie and Anis, as the latter had flown of on her broom at dawn. She reappears during Euphie’s breakfast, setting off the house alarm system she invented, and offers Euphie a chance to ride the broom. While Anis promises not to let go, she does so, and Euphie takes to the skies full of joy and excitement. It’s only when she realizes Euphie isn’t behind her that she comes crashing down.

It’s a fitting practical symbol of Euphie’s difficulty acclimating to the sudden freedom Prince Algard’s shunning and Princess Anis’ friendship has afforded her. Ilia, the not-so-secret MVP of the show so far, assures Euphie that Anis was once even more absurd, idiotic, and insane, while at the same time calling her duty to her mistress a perk.

Ilia tells Euphie if she “doesn’t like” the current arrangement, she should say so now and save both of them. But Euphie doesn’t dislike it, she simply doesn’t quite yet understand Anis, saying she feels “so far from me.” Iwami Manaka delivers this line with such longing and vulnerability, I almost felt like Honda Tooru had entered the room.

There’s some foreboding about Euphie’s audience that day, but once it takes place I see that I had nothing to worry about. Both her father Duke Grantz and King Orphans contine to be the Best Dads. Both the prince’s and his friends (themselves sons of powerful nobles) have one version of the story, while Euphyllia has another.

Neither man questions Euphie’s version of events nor blames her for giving Lainie Cyan advise. Euphie refrains from vilifying Algard, as even in the moment she was being insulted and humiliated, she felt more righteousness than malice, like the prince was yanking against that which tied him down.

In this scene Iwami Manaka once more shows how good she is, resigned as she is to the fact the prince’s heart never had any room for her, but that fact isn’t a source of great pain. What she truly feels is nothing; numbness. While her father meant well, telling her she doesn’t have to worry about the future, and there’s “nothing for her to do” might just hurt her more than Algard did.

When she pays a visit the royal servants who had been preparing her portrait and wedding gown, Ilia mentions how bad Anisphia is at maintaining her measurements, and how it requires constant mending of her dresses. At the same time, Ilia adds that Euphie is now free of corsets and bustiers. There’s nothing to tie her down. Nothing at all.

The next morning, a totally sleep-deprived Anisphia bursts into the dining room like a bat out of hell, wearing practical work clothes. She’s extremely excited to present Euphyllia with the magical tool she promised to make. It’s a sword that allows Euphie to summon and focus all of her various magical skills. Fittingly, Anis names the sword Arc-en-Ciel.

This is another subtle yet effective nod to Anis’ past life in our world, as it is a French word for rainbow. Rainbow also carries double meaning as a reflection of the many colors and kinds of magic Euphie can wield, as well as its status as an LGBT symbol. With Arc-en-CielAnis hoped to unlock Euphie’s smile, as well as to see her magic, which Anis considers more beautiful than anyone else’s.

So much great dialogue and vocal performances and nuanced facial expressions fills this episode, which is the most melancholy of the three and the closest look yet into Euphyllia’s personality and present situation. It all culminates when after Euphie’s badass demonstration, she and Anis sit under a tree together to rest.

Anis, who stayed up all night working on Arc-en-Cielnods off and rests her head on Euphie’s lap. But before she does, she says the sword and Euphie are a “perfect match” because Anis always thought she was “pretty as a rainbow”, and “so pretty it’s unfair.” It’s the first time anyone’s rested their head in her lap, and it makes Euphie cry.

She cries because she envies Anis so much for being who she is, and how badly she wants to be “even the least little bit” like her. But after harrowing days of being told she has nothing more to do, nothing to worry about, and nothing tying her down, here’s this feral princess literally weighing her down, keeping her tethered to the ground, with her. It’s something that must feel so good one could cry.

Euphie may still be overwhelmed by a personality so opposite hers, but at the end of the day, she has a good heart and kind soul just like Anis. In time she’ll surely feel more comfortable and more like she belongs. She may even find some of the Euphie she envies so rubbing off on her—and vice-versa. Freedom can be terrifying, so it’s best to have a guide.

To Your Eternity – S2 12 – Biting Down Hard

Last week gave us insight into Kai’s past and why he wants to help Fushi. This week we get the same with his other two new allies, Messar and Hylo. Turns out Messar is casual with Princess Alme because they once played that reversi-type game together as kids. Alme promised to give him anything he wanted if he beat her, but he never got to as he was shooed away as a servant’s son.

When Booze Man!Fushi rebuilds the waterwheel building, he gets offers from impressed and amazed citizens hoping he’ll rebuild their houses as well. Because both the new building and Booze Man’s house are extensions of Fushi, eventually the whole of Renril will be of Fushi as well, and thus far easier to defend from Nokkers.

Fushi finds Hylo sparring with the citizen soldiers in order to gain their trust, and Fushi can sense he’s taking and concealing a huge amount of physical punishment. Hylo tells Fushi that as a child he had his teeth pulled and was isolated from the rest of the world, with only his adoptive mother as a companion. The reason for this is that the church believed he was possessed by a demon.

Due to having complete control over his life and upbringing, the Supreme Pontiff made Hylo a holy soldier, but Hylo vowed to free himself from that charge at the nearest convenience, which is why he’s now with Fushi. One of the citizen soldiers, Cam, listens in, and is brought into the fold. He doesn’t like Fushi’s insistence that no one but him fight. The people want to fight and protect what they love.

Fushi now understands Kai and Hylo better, but what of Messar? To Fushi it looks like he just lazes around playing games. But Bon tells Fushi that Messar must have ties to the royal family, as they met and became friends at a gathering of nobles twenty years ago.

The reason Messar is so focused on playing the game (and having Kai teach him how to win) is that he remembered Alme’s promise, and decides to cash it in now. He doesn’t want the throne, he only wants the princess’s trust. So they play. For her part, Alme is happy Messar remembered the promise, and to be able to play with him again.

Messar ends up beating Alme, and she grants him her “trust”, which translates to the crown convincing the population and coordinating demolition so Fushi can rebuild at a faster pace. Still, Alme insists that real trust only comes with time and actions, not won or lost bets. To this, Messar walks up to her and blows her veil away, revealing her beautiful face, much to her chagrin.

Messar then reveals to Bon that he’ll never be king, because he and Alme are half-siblings and he’s the king’s bastard son. He’ll never tell Alme this, so Alme may continue to harbor romantic feelings, but if their brother and father die, he’s determined to be the one to protect her, hence his alliance with Fushi. Less than three months remain until the Nokker attack, but preparations are progressing smoothly.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Tenten Kakumei – 02 – A Powerful Medicine

My goodness, this was even better than the already impressive premiere! It starts so simply, in the parlor of Anisphila’s father King Orphans having some tea with Euphyllia’s father, Duke Grantz Magenta. They talk not as king and prime minister, but candidly, as friends.

Orphie complains about his daughter being a pain in the butt, but Grantz immediately ingratiates himself with me by saying quite astutely, that she wouldn’t be Princess Anisphia if she “settled down”. Throughout their chat, we are all too aware that the princess and Euphyllia are headed their way, imbuing the scene with some wonderful comic tension.

Once she does arrive, carrying Euphyllia on her back, from that point on it doesn’t matter in the slightest that the better part of half this episode is merely four people talking in a room—because everyone in that room, and everything they talk about, is so goddamn compelling.

After reporting what her brother the prince has so very publically done, and Grantz attempts to comfort his daughter (who believes she’s deserving of punishment), Anisphia makes her proposal: asking the good duke to give her her daughter, as an assistant in her magicological research…but also as a prospective lover.

Yes, Anis doesn’t really bother hiding the fact that Euphillya that, as the title says, her acquisition of an assistant is for both profit and pleasure. It’s even confirmed later that when Anis gave up her claim to the throne, she also declared (after seeing Euphyllia from afar) she wanted to marry a woman, not a man.

While delivered as comedy, Anis’ remarks carry a tinge of melancholy, as she asks her father what point there’d be in passing on her genes when she can’t use magic. Her father the king has never quite known what to do about his genius, magicless, gay AF inventor daughter, but there’s something to be said for the fact he never forced her to be anything other than what she wanted to be.

When Grantz watches this very different, roughhousing father-daughter dynamic of Anis and Orphie, he turns to Euphyllia and raises his hand to her, wondering if that was the “right way” all along. When Euphyllia recoils, he immediately withdraws his hand, then bows his head apology—a rare thing for a duke of his stature.

Euphyllia feels she’s failed her father and her family by not being a sufficiently desirable fiancée to Prince Algard. But Grantz doesn’t believe that for one second. If anything, it’s Algard who is unworthy of his beautiful magical genius of a daughter.

He rests his hand gently on her head as she tears up, telling her that she’s the most important thing in the world to him, and it’s his duty as father to ensure she lives the life she wants, even if it crosses the king’s will. Readers, I cried too!

After “Anis” and “Euphie” take their leave for the evening, Grantz and the king agree that Anisphia’s proposal has merit. What’s so great about Anis is that she’s not just an untethered ball of chaos. The chaos is controlled, and she’s actually quite sharp, both in how Euphyllia will benefit her research and how best to sell it to the brass.

Grantz, who is still speaking to the king as a friend, even brings up the possibility of Euphyllia still having a viable path to queendom should she stick with Anisphia. King Orphans may think his daughter on the throne would be a “nightmare”, but Grantz seems a lot more optimistic and progressive on the matter.

He also proves the more emotionally intelligent of the two dads. Anis would make an excellent queen precisely because she doesn’t want the power. But like his Euphie, she should be allowed to pursue happiness however she sees fit. Regardless, they are both treasures of the kingdom.

Anis and Euphie swap one parlor for another as they have some tea courtesy of both Anis’ maid Ilia and one of Anis’ inventions, the Thermal Pot. It uses a fire spirit stone in a manner Euphyllia would never of thought of.

Euphie also gets some sage advice from Ilia about there being “no stopping” Miss Anis at this point; the best thing to do is think of oneself as having been “bewitched by a demon” and submitting. Sure enough, Anis gathers Euphie in a princess carry and heads to her workshop.

There, Euphie is in awe of all the wondrous magical tools Anis has created, and her mind is suddenly opened by the possibilities and potential of magic she had never considered, as she’d always taken the existence of spirits and magic for granted. Anis tells Euphie that it’s a good thing, she focused on becoming as “OP” as she currently is.

Anis also lets Euphie in on a little secret: she envies magic users…a little bit. Euphie considers all that she’s seen that Anis is capable of, and sees a world in which magicology is a discipline distributed to the masses to give them more freedom. Rather than fear the loss of the royal family’s and nobility’s affinity for magic-as-authority, Euphie sees Anis’ efforts as a “medicine” for the kingdom.

Even if Anis would rather simple toil and tinker in her workshop, Euphie may have the vision and ambition to spread Anis’ gifts far and wide, curing a kingdom she deems to be ill—and judging from that soiree full of frilly milquetoasts from which she was rescued, she’s not half-wrong!

That night, Anis insists on having a sleepover with Euphie, lending her some pajamas (Euphie insists Anis withdraw while she changes) then playfully beckoning for Euphie to join her in bed before promising she won’t try anything. Ilia is right: there is no stopping Anis!

But Anis is true to her word, and the two just talk as they lie beside one another. She hopes that in time Euphie will see not only the appeal of magicology, but her as well. Euphie declares that Anis is just as crazy as the rumors say … but also even more mysterious. When Euphie asks “Just … what are you?”, it’s clear that she, an established genius, can tell there’s something unique about Anis.

One of this series’ many notable qualities is the fact it doesn’t shove Anis’ orgins in our face via inner monologue or flashes to her past. Instead, it’s apparent from the nature of her inventions that she’s from our own modern world. Euphie may not know the specifics, but she understands on a fundamental level that Anis is special.

That’s why she asks Anis why she, someone so clearly capable of living more freely than anyone else, helped the likes of her. Again, Anis is totally honest: she savied Euphie partly because she liked her, and saw the benefits in her becoming her assistant. But it was also because Anis deems her “perfect.” For Prince Algard that perfection was a flaw, but for Euphie it’s a gift.

Anis continues, saying people like her can laugh on their own and do what they want, but at that soiree, she could tell Euphie wasn’t able to do either, and so used her freedom to reach out to someone who needed it. After all, magicians (and by extension magicologists) should use their magic to make others smile. Anis aims to make Euphie smile, and together they’ll make the kingdom smile.

I’m rootin’ for all of it! This episode was so full of sweet and poignant moments between child and parent and between our two leading ladies (the yuru vibes are strong), but it was also funny as hell. Peeps, we’ve got a live one here!

To Your Eternity – S2 11 – New Pieces On the Board

Fushi arrives in Renril with Eko, Kahaku, and Horse to survey and make preparations to protect it from the Nokkers, who will attack in less than half a year. It’s the biggest settlement yet he’s visited, and Eko clearly gets a kick out of the size, complexity, and vibrance of the place. Fushi, who was looking very inhuman last week when he became one with the vines, feels a lot more human now that he’s in the big city.

Back in Uralis, Bon has his brother Torta ask the elite soldiers assembled a series of questions intended to give them an honorable out from what may be a one-way trip. Only one walks out, but not because he doesn’t intend to join Bon’s cause. On the contrary, the soldier later reveals himself to be an acquaintence: Kai Renald Roulle. He, along with the former Church of Bennett soldier Hylo Rich, accompany Bon to Renril.

The third ally, Messar, they meet in the city. The triad have loyalty, apostasy, and cunning, and Bon believes that not only are they worthy of his and Fushi’s trust, but are the best people to make into the new batch of Immortals. Fushi is upset to hear that the allies Bon gathered are still human, as he has always found using people’s bodies distasteful.

Even so, Bon believes this is the only way to win the battle before them. They all appear before Renril’s Princess Alme, and Fushi, who is in a bad mood, doesn’t mince words about her fate should she refuse their help. Alme doesn’t challenge Fushi’s assertions, but ask that rather be handed the things they need—the trust and cooperation of the people, the castle, the entire city—that they go out and obtain those things for themselves.

Fushi remains skeptical and bitter towards Bon—their first fight, if you will—and the ever-smitten Kahaku even offers to re-take his place as Fushi’s eternal companion in Bon’s place. Fushi is in a hurry, but Messar tells him not to cross the princess, and that there’s a proper way to do things in Renril.

Kai can tell Fushi is restless, so he invites him to play a Reversi-type game with him. While they play, Kai regales Fushi with the details of his background, in which their city was attacked by Nokkers, but he, his father and grandmother all survived.

Kai joined Bon’s army, and eventually his remaining family members passed, but he remained determined to live a life of purpose as long as he could. That’s why he finds the promise of Fushi’s abilities so attractive. If Fushi acquired him, he could live, and serve, forever. Fushi has lost many vessels, but Kai, Hylo, and Messar are offering themselves willingly as new pieces on the game board.

Thanks to Eko, who is very sensitive to change, Fushi notices a collapsed water wheel building on the edge of town, and sees his first opportunity to gain the trust of the citizens of Renril. He restores the building in a single day, and also builds Booze Man’s house behind it, to serve as a base of operations. With the people in awe of his feats, winning over the castle and princess can’t be far behind.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

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