This was another exposition-heavy episode, maybe a little fast but still had some interesting tidbits. The characters were finally able to meet up with everyone else but were shocked to learn the truth of the Sanctuary and the conditions of it.
I’m not exactly sure what to make of Echidna. First off, I think it’s pretty interesting that she looks like Emilia when I thought it was the Witch of Envy, Satella, that Emilia bears a striking resemblance to. However, she’s still very much a witch and proved it. She gave off a sly and unsettling aura, but we also saw that she could be a little silly which was pretty surprising. I’m not sure she’s much of a threat as her spirit is stuck in the Sanctuary, which is actually her graveyard, because of the Witch of Envy. She seems more like a lonely person, but I can’t really say that I trust her anyway. I’m not sure what kind of threat she poses, if she even is one. I’m not sure what she can do as just a spirit, as it looks like she doesn’t really do anything as of right now, even though she did say she was a very evil magic user. One thing that was frustrating about this scene was Subaru and him not taking advantage of all of her knowledge. I understand that he was concerned about Emilia and Otto and wanted to get back to them as soon as he could, but he could have taken this time to quickly ask her the most important questions, such as the Witch of Envy and all that. I know that we’ll probably see them have another conversation again later, but still.
One super important thing here that Echidna mentioned was that the reason why Subaru was able to enter unharmed was because he now possesses Betelgeuse’s Witch Factor inside him. And they barely go into that, and again that would have been something really great for Subaru to ask about. What the hell is the Witch Factor and what does it mean now that it’s in his body? Ugh…
Once Subaru gets sent back out, he runs into Garfiel who of course is voiced by Nobuhiko Okamoto, of course he is! After making things clear between them, he leads them to the village and to where Ram is. The Sanctuary isn’t the most sanctuary looking of places, and interestingly it’s full of those of mixed blood. They meet up with Ram and Roswall and it’s strange that Roswall refers to Echidna by name and insists on it, and not by the Witch of Greed since it makes her sound evil? He mentioned that the Mathers family has a connection with the Sanctuary/graveyard because they’re acquainted with Echidna, and I wonder how and why. Roswall has always been a weird one to me and I’m not quite sure what to make of him as well. There’s just something off and I don’t know what.
They find Roswall in a horrible state after they learned that he was rejected by the Sanctuary’s trial, which he wanted to do to let everyone leave. The reason why they never returned to the village and the mansion is because they’re all stuck there, kind of threatened really. Regular humans aren’t able to do the trial, only those of mixed blood so it’s Emilia’s job to pass the trial and break the barrier so the villagers can leave.
We don’t really know what entails in the trial until the last moment when Garfiel mentions that the person has to face their past. For some reason, Subaru was able to enter as the ruins glowed once he went after Emilia so it looks like he’s going to participate as well. After Subaru passes out like Emilia, he wakes up…in his bed, back in Japan and gets body slammed by his unusually muscular father. Was he transported there, or is this just a dream? Hmmm…..
I’m looking forward to what happens next because we don’t really know what kind of life Subaru had back in Japan, whether it was good or not. Isekai usually don’t do this often so I’m excited to see what we’ll find out about Subaru. I’m also hoping that we’ll get a peek into Emilia and how she grew up as I’m super interested in knowing that too.