Kaizoku Oujo Episode 4

Before I kick off my post, I’d like to highlight composer Yuki Kajiura who has created the music for Kaizoku Oujo. The music for this title has been so spot-on and flawless that I’d argue it almost surpasses the spectacular quality of Production I.G’s animation. Whether it’s a quiet, simmering score in the background or a melodic guitar picking flitting through a shot, there is an appropriate tune for every scene and it all fits. There’s never any music playing that doesn’t feel like it doesn’t belong. Plus of course the OP and ED themes are fantastic as well. ^_^v

With that out of the way, on to the review!

So, Fena and her samurai are traveling to Libar-Oberstein to get more information about the stone. On the way, Fena gets it into her head that she wants to be a useful member of the team instead of just the client who’s being protected. Yukimaru, naturally, just wants her to stay out of the team’s way so she doesn’t cause trouble for them like she already did.

On the bow of the ship, Fena vents to Shitan and asks Shitan to teach her how to use a bow. However when she still fails to use it with any proficiency, Shitan then takes Fena around to the different samurai and asks if they would consider teaching her their fighting skill. One by one they turn her down. As the stars sparkle in the night sky, Shitan agrees to teach Fena how to fight with a sword.

The scene between Fena and Shitan on the bow of the ship was pretty touching. Shitan doesn’t seem to open up much, but he shared with Fena that he was also determined to protect Yukimaru (whom he doesn’t name but we know that’s who he’s talking about). Because Yukimaru made him feel like he could never measure up, Shitan switched tactics and instead learned how to use a weapon that would allow him to protect Yukimaru from behind.  

There are some notable parallels between Fena and Shitan and their relationship with Yukimaru, albeit in different aspects. Yukimaru is so off in his own bubble that I wonder if he knows how Shitan feels about their friendship. I suspect Yukimaru might be aware than Fena has feelings for him, but he so consistently underestimates her and treats her like a child that maybe he just dismisses those feelings as immature.

I wonder which weapon Fena will end up learning – or perhaps she will have some special ability all her own that emerges later in the series?

Once Fena has her first swordfighting lesson with Shitan, one by one the other samurai get up early in the morning to teach Fena their weapon of choice. Although really, Makaba just stands there while Fena wails on his abdomen. xD   And Tsubaki’s not any better because he basically tells Fena to draw her sword and kill her opponent. Nothing about skills, just Defeat Your Enemy. On the more useful side of things, one of the twins shows Fena how to use a staff, and Karin tries to show Fena how to use a gun.

Yukimaru doesn’t step forward to show Fena how to use any weapons (because remember that he was against her learning to protect herself in the first place), he shows his support in other ways. I do appreciate that while Yukimaru spends some of his time with Fena being a stiffheaded jerk, he does care for her in his own way deep down. …Very deep down. But it’s there!  ^^;;

When the group finally arrives at Libar-Oberstein, they make their way to a workshop where large chunks of clear stone are being ground and polished. The craftsman doesn’t think the stone is from his village, but he is interrupted by a young woman named Arya arriving and contradicting him.

Arya offers to take Fena and the samurai to see the Burgermeister (interesting name – reminds me of the Hamburglar character from McDonalds created in the days of yore and ohgodI’mold). In exchange for the older man inspecting Fena’s stone, Arya asks Yukimaru to sharpen one of the Burgermeister’s knives for him.

The Burgermeister confirms that the stone came from their village, and says that all stones leaving the village are marked with a method known only to the craftsmen who handle the stones, but are invisible to the naked eye of an ordinary person. He asks Arya to retrieve his records book, and here’s where the episode throws the viewer a curveball. [ rubs hands together ]  Ready for this?

The stone, marked D3756, was not made in the village after all. It was brought to Libar-Oberstein from France in 1436 by a client… and the person commissioning the stone was named Joan of Arc? But here’s the twist – Joan of Arc was executed in 1431! So who was using that moniker as an alias, and why?

Yukimaru declines Arya’s invite to stay the night and the group departs Libar-Oberstein by nightfall. Later that evening Fena quietly tells Yukimaru that she’s heard the name “La Pucelle” before, but she’s not quite sure in what context.

There were two interesting love triangles proposed this episode, and while the one between Fena-Arya-Yukimaru has already theoretically died (assuming we don’t see Arya again), I am left wondering about the potential for something between Shitan and Fena. Shitan is a known womanizer so theoretically he could be toying with Fena, though his scene with Fena on the ship’s bow indicates that he does have a serious side and some emotional depth. I would’ve been a lot less likely to mention a potential triangle between Shitan-Fena-Yukimaru if Fena hadn’t gone and blabbed to Yukimaru about Shitan being “relaxed around women,” because I bet now Yukimaru’s either gonna go speak to Shitan about what happened between him and Fena and/or start watching Shitan around Fena more closely. I’m all about interpersonal romantic drama so I say bring it on!

The young boy (Abel’s servant?) notifying Abel at the end of the episode that Fena and the others had left Libar-Oberstein indicates that someone is a spy and is feeding Abel information. Is it Arya? Someone else whom we haven’t met yet?

Also, why is Abel pursuing Fena? The way he was touching the portrait of a woman he was calling “La Pucelle” (The Maid) gives me tentative cause to think that maybe he believes Fena is the reincarnation of Joan of Arc? Especially since Fena told Yukimaru that she can recall someone speaking that moniker to her when she was a child. Fena does look a lot like the woman in the portrait too. Maybe Abel had contact with Fena and her father when she was a child and Abel was the one who mentioned “La Pucelle” to Fena?

So many questions, so many mysteries, and I just want more more more of this show!!! I think I’ll have to binge it all in one sitting once the series is over just to get my full fix of how FREAKING AMAZING Kaizoku Oujo is.

 

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