And so the day comes where the Duke must meet with his mother, and to no one’s surprise, Alice comes along with him for moral support. This is the first time the Duke has seen his mother in 10 years, so it’s no wonder that he would be so nervous about it. Still, in a way he looks forward to the visit. The visit went as well as it could, with a very brief talk of the title of heir and breaking the curse, but the highlight of the episode was the Duke telling his mother about Alice and defending her. It made me cheer with joy!
Now, I don’t care that the mother has this whole “tough love” thing going on. I just don’t like her, at all. I get it, because they’re aristocrats they have to be tough because the aristocratic world can be tough. But I think you kinda cross the line when you repeatedly treat your children like trash and make them feel bad about almost everything they do, especially to your son you abandoned for 10 years without any contact and being disappointed that he, a child, never figured out how to break his curse. If you really cared about your child you would help him try to find a cure for the curse, you never would have sent him away and treated him like a monster. Oh just because she’s proud that he’s not so meek anymore I should see that she does care and I should like her? No. I know the story is going to show her tragic backstory later on with her being affected with Sharon’s death, but it’s no excuse to how she treats her kids. But that’s just me.
It was great to see the exact moment when the Duke was cursed as a child, and I feel like that grave may be some sort of clue. First of all, whose grave was that? I feel like there has to be some sort of significance to that grave and how it could tie to the witch that cursed him. I keep seeing theories that Sharon could have been the witch that cursed the Duke and that theory is really interesting and could probably make some sense. Sharon had a close relationship (romantic? platonic?) with the Duke’s grandfather. Because of social status, their relationship couldn’t continue and he probably passed away unexpectedly, or from other causes. Sharon being upset from this whole situation ended up cursing the Duke in order to punish his family, and because the curse was so powerful it left her in a coma. We see her with Daleth, the witch’s world, in her slumber. As silly as the boobs comment from the Duke was, that probably is significant too. The one thing that kind of kills the theory of Sharon being the witch is the fact that she knew that Alice really liked the Duke, so would she really go against her own daughter’s happiness? There’s also her close friendship with the Duke’s mother we learned about, so who knows. It’s such an interesting theory to think about though, and with what little information we have at the moment, it’s fun to think about.
While the Duke’s visit was very short, he still made an impression with his outburst at the dinner table. At first the whole scene was so painful as the table set up was just like when he was a kid, with everyone else on the other side of the table and him alone on the other side. You could even see on Duke’s face how he was forcing a smile. The maid setting his bowl down with a shaky hand was a really great detail as well. It was just miserable, especially with how blunt and emotionless his mother was with him about breaking the curse by spring. It was very cold and heartless. So the Duke going into a passionate outburst when she shot down his declaration of love and marriage for Alice made me so happy, especially when he said “Stop thinking only about the family and heirs and spend a little time thinking about your children!” And I’m like YES!! YOU TELL HER! It was so satisfying, and I’m glad he didn’t even bother to stay for dinner and just dipped. Viola and Walter’s reactions were hilarious too, but I love how supportive they both are of their brother (even Walter). He really has grown so much and I’m glad he didn’t just sit there and take that verbal beating from a mother who barely knows anything about him. She hasn’t done a single thing for him, but Alice has. Damn right he’s going to do whatever the hell he wants.
And it’s ironic, and I’ve mentioned this before but Viola pointed it out this episode. Even with having to live with such a horrible curse, the Duke still has more freedoms than his siblings with normal lives. It’s such a dreary family situation, so again I’m glad to see that the three siblings have gotten closer to each other.
And of course, before this episode could end, we had to get a bit more of Alice teases but our two mains declaring their love for each other. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love these two so much. Their love for each other is so genuine and heartfelt, and the episode ending with Alice saying I love you with the moonlight in the background was such a beautiful way to end the show. Just perfection.
What else can I say about this show? I enjoyed this show way more than I thought I would. I remember not being 100% on board with the show with the whole fanservice teasing thing with Alice. I didn’t exactly hate it, but if that’s what the show was going to be the whole time, then I was going to drop it quick. I’m so relieved that wasn’t the case, and the show ended up being way more sweet, adorable, and a little tragic than I thought. We had Alice’s teases in every episode but they didn’t take the bulk of the episodes, and instead the show went into the friendships the Duke makes along the way, as well as his growing romance with Alice, and giving us a chance to better know these characters from their past and with their actions and growth in the present. We got a great cast of characters, and a mystery with the curse.
There isn’t too much of a plot with this series, which may also be a bit of a negative as some episodes can feel a little aimless. I wouldn’t say there were necessarily any bad episodes, but maybe some slower ones that weren’t too funny as well. The joke of the Duke getting embarrassed by Alice’s advances did get a little old with some repeated dialogue, but that’s not too big of a disappointment. And while I didn’t really have any issues with the CG, the models could look a little weird at times.
The show still looked gorgeous in some moments, the Duke and Alice’s dance scene in the moonlight is still so memorable. Even with how simple the show can look, there were still a lot of attention to detail in character expression and body language. The cinematography was lovely at times as well with how the characters were placed in some scenes, and how some scenes were animated and their transitions. And honestly, the awkward CG made some scenes funnier, like when Cuff was really happy to see Santa.
This was such an enjoyable, you can imagine how happy I was that we immediately got the announcement for a second season! They dropped a huge reveal last episode, and we also got the Duke’s mother’s ultimatum so there’s plenty to look forward to next time. We’ll get more fun, more mystery, more speculation, and of course more of Duke and Alice’s wonderful romance. It’s always great when both characters are proactive in their romantic feelings, and we’re not stuck in the middle of the “Do they, don’t they?” thing. I’m looking forward to more of that so much. Until next time! 8/10