Saiunkoku Monogatari Episode 14

Episode Title: Three Years On a Rock
Refers to: I’m assuming it’s a reference to the time Shuurei and Eigetsu must put in before they can become proper officials, or something along those lines.

Finally, Shuurei has achieved her dream. She is a court official! The initiation ceremony for those who passed the National Exam has generated much more controversy than usual this year because of who the top 3 winners were: the youngest ever winner, Eigetsu To (13 years old, breaking Kouyuu’s record of age 16); Ryuuren Ran, who hasn’t even shown up for the ceremony; and Shuurei Kou, the first ever woman to take the exam.

Apparently, Advisor Sho has been let out of confinement? Or maybe it was just for the ceremony?

However, Shuurei’s placement has some unforeseen consequences. Her male colleagues are jealous of her third place ranking, and the commoners in the city treat Shuurei like she has the plague. No one wants to interact with her anymore. Like she’s suddenly “better than them” or some BS like that??

On her way home Shuurei trips over Eigetsu, then is met by Seiran. Shuurei is reminded that now that she is an official she must be more careful about traveling around the city alone. In turn, Shuurei gives Eigetsu a lecture about sending his entire monthly salary home via a messenger. Who knows if the money will even make it home in its entirety. Also it leaves him no money for food or lodging. 

Soon enough it’s time for Shuurei and Eigetsu to start their first day of work. There are many questions as to where Shuurei will be assigned – maybe the Ministry of Finances again? Or another department entirely? Unfortunately Shuurei and Eigetsu were given a false start time, meaning they are at risk of being late for their very first day of work!! Oh no!! Thankfully Ryuuki arrives to save the day at the last possible moment.

Shuurei and the nineteen other top placements learn they are going to temporarily be assigned within the Royal Court. They will be guided by Advisor Ro, a very stern-looking older man. He tells Shuurei and the others that they are going to be assigned various physical tasks around the palace until they get their formal assignments in a couple month’s time. Shuurei’s first assignment is to scrub the toilets, whereas Eigetsu gets assigned to polish shoes. Totally a good use of their mental skills, right?  /eyeroll

As the day continues on, both Shuurei and Eigetsu are subjected to repeated incidents of abuse and harassment. Being a woman, Shuurei hears a lot of rude comments from many people, and Eigetsu is repeatedly assaulted by the people whose shoes he’s shining.

Shuurei also meets Hakumei Heiki, a young man hailed as a child prodigy and who is very embarrassed at having placed fourth behind Shuurei, who has been assigned to clean toilets. He gives her grief for not being upset at her situation, not realizing that there’s nothing she can do about it. Causing a stir about her assignment will only reflect badly and could cause the exams to be closed to women once more. Like it or not, Shuurei must grin and bear the abuse given to her so that the path will remain open to any women who want to take the National Exam later. Plus really, Hakumei should have studied harder if he’s as smart as he says he is!  >:/

In the afternoon, Shuurei and Eigetsu are to archive documents. Shuurei runs into Kouyuu and he gives her a little pep talk about fighting to where she wants to get in life. He tells her that she can receive no support from himself or Shuuei and that she must rely on her personal desire to chase her goals. Looking at the mountain of documents awaiting her and Eigetsu, Shuurei’s going to need all the determination and inner fire she can muster!

 

Thoughts

As a viewer who’s a feminist, it really pisses me off how Shuurei and Eigetsu are treated. They performed well in the exams on their own merits, but because their peers didn’t study as much or just had poor luck on the exams, our trio placed higher in the rankings. That’s not their fault and it’s so frustrating to watch Shuurei and Eigetsu be punished so harshly for it. 

The next arc coming up will allow Shuurei and Eigetsu to shine, if I’m remembering it correctly; it just sucks to have to watch them be bullied before the arc actually starts. I wish Ryuuren had stuck around because then he could have been actively supportive of Shuurei and Eigetsu, and we all know that any comments made to him would likely just roll off his back. But then again, Ryuuren’s absence means he might show up later at a time that will be beneficial for Shuurei and Eigetsu. We’ll see. 

 

Author’s Note: I apologize for this entry being a day late. Subsequent entries will continue to be released on Tuesdays. Thanks for reading!

 

 

shiawase da to ka ureshii toki wa
anata no koto wo omoidasu kara

In times of happiness or joy,
I’ll think of you

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