Initially I felt like nothing much happened this episode, but upon further reflecting, I realized some significant things did indeed happen.
The first was that I honestly didn’t expect Shitan to band together with the other knights the way that he did. I honestly expected the remaining knights to bow to Shitan and return to Goblin Island without Fena. I was heartened to see Karin and the others decide to join Yukimaru without Shitan, and then moved when Makaba made his speech. I thought it was a really nice touch and a good way to remind Shitan that he, Yukimaru, and now Fena are all part of the same “circle.” And people in their circle are supposed to look out for each other. They’re all friends, allies, and comrades; how could they leave one of their own behind?
Of course, if Kei finds the knights not heading back to Goblin Island nor at the coordinates Shitan gave Yukihisa, I imagine there’s going to be hell to pay from his Kei’s sword. Maybe we’ll get that battle between Yukimaru and Kei yet – or maybe Kei and Shitan?
In the last episode, I felt like Abel was somewhat of an unknown, mysterious, alluring figure to Fena. Yes he’d hired the pirates to kidnap her but he thought he was doing it for her own good (keeping her safe from the Goblin Knights). Also, Fena was up in his personal space a couple of times too and she was blushing, so I thought that maybe Abel would be successful in swaying Fena over to seeing his side of the situation by showing her kindness and impressing her with his charm (and swishy hair).
Thankfully that seems to have gone down the drain as Abel has revealed glimpses of his obsession with Helena to Fena, and Fena seems to be fleetingly aware that Abel may have some evil motives in regards to keeping her with him. It sounds almost like Abel thinks he can revive or somehow connect with Helena through Fena?
The second important revelation means we now know that Abel is continuing his fixation on Fena’s mother because he loved Helena and desperately wants to know if she loved him back. Abel’s confused by the fact that Helena took Fena and fled, and that right there should be explanation enough but noooo, this big bad villain has the emotional maturity of a peanut. If Abel had an obsession with Helena even when Fena was little, maybe he tried to kill Franz in order to bring Helena and Fena back to him?
Anyways, now that Fena’s seen Abel both fire on Yukimaru (who somehow wasn’t aware of Abel’s presence) and order his death, I’m hopeful that Fena’s going to have nothing further to do with the creep.
Continuing with this “Abel is a dirty rotten bastard theme,” as we saw, Yukimaru remembered what I’d already started to suspect – Abel was part of the crew that boarded and slaughtered everyone on the Hope! We saw blue coats (British soldiers) and shadows of what looked to be pirates, so maybe Grace O’Malley’s crew of female pirates were part of that event too. Regardless of whether it’s as a result of Fena’s memories or Yukimaru’s, Abel will not be someone the Goblin Knights want to be near going into the back half of the series.
With Abel ordering the firing of the Wellington gun from on board his ship, the female pirates are presumed dead after their ship explodes and sinks. However only some bodies from the crew are shown (some of the lesser important female pirates), so I suspect that Grace and a few of her sisters somehow survived the Rumble Rose’s sinking. Time will tell if I’m correct in that guess or not. If they’re still alive, maybe Grace and her surviving sisters will return to help Fena and the Goblin Knights near the end of the series?
The episode also has our first flashback to the first younger Yukimaru we see outside of the sinking of the Hope. The flashback comes to Yukimaru as he is rowing through the dead bodies from the Rumble Rose floating in the water. He thinks Fena might have still been on board the ship and is starting to panic that she’s dead. In the flashback Yukimaru remembers practicing swordfighting with Kei, who naturally was overcoming the younger and traumatized child!Yukimaru. Kei tells Yukimaru that he’s losing because he’s weak of heart and slowed down by fear, so he teaches Yukimaru how to cut through his fear when he’s scared.
The aforementioned flashback is brief but it helps give an insight to Kei’s relationship with Yukimaru as well as give a bit more insight into Yukimaru’s personality. Yukimaru The Stoic Knight is usually calm and steady as he moves through the world, except when it comes to Fena. But as soon as Fena enters the picture, Yukimaru feels fear because he loves Fena and wants to protect her. So Yukimaru must remember his training in order to maintain his focus without succumbing to panic.
The fight scene on board Abel’s ship was a neat parallel to the sinking of the Hope. Once more Fena was in danger and once more Yukimaru was the one who saved her. Although what’s with people telling Fena to “run” while she’s on a ship – where’s she gonna run to?? ^^;;
The Goblin Knights and Fena manage to escape Abel’s ship but now they are in a very vulnerable position. Fena looks to be unconscious (from shock is my guess) and Yukimaru is extremely injured. I’m assuming he won’t die because there’s five episodes left to go so goddammit he better live to have a happy ending with Fena. But now the knights have to focus on saving Yukimaru’s life and then either running from or turning to meet Kei. While the other knights are very capable fighters, I would say Yukimaru’s definitely the most skilled fighter of the bunch and with him down the others likely wouldn’t stand a chance against Kei.
One more thought: Fena’s memories were triggered this episode by seeing the remains of the Rumble Rose burning in the water (another parallel to the sinking of the Hope). Fena didn’t seem to remember Abel but she remembered the British soldiers fighting under his command. When Fena regains consciousness, will the “witch” inside her come to life now that Fena’s remembered more of her past? Maybe she’ll hear the soul of Joan of Arc calling to her again? Or have some other psychic/supernatural ability come to life? I mean Abel seems convinced that Fena’s somehow going to let him see or speak to Helena again, so what could be locked inside her memories that Fena herself doesn’t even remember? Maybe Fena will remember more about Eden? So many questions as always!
OH one more thing – with Abel having more lines in this episode and his voice now sounding familiar to me, I went looking at Kaizoku Oujo’s character list and found another awesome tie to Final Fantasy: Abel’s Japanese seiyuu is Toshiyuki Morikawa, who plays Sephiroth in both the Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts series! So we have the Japanese seiyuu for both Cloud and Sephiroth voicing characters in this kickass anime (Shitan and Abel, respectively). That’s so cool! ^_^V
Ooo maybe next week we’ll get some kind of tender scene between Fena and Yukimaru as they’re both recovering? A fangirl can dream~