Kaizoku Oujo Episode 9

With Kaizoku Oujo hitting episode nine, I was wondering how the show would handle the “turning point” before its big finale. I needn’t have worried though; it was executed flawlessly just like everything else in this magnificent show.

This episode is very neatly separated into two distinct halves. The first half looks at Abel’s backstory with Helena, and the second half consists mostly of a conversation between Fena and Yukimaru as they unlock the clues in Fena’s memories on how to get to Eden.

While I have usually posed a few questions about Abel each episode, I honestly didn’t think we needed part of an episode dedicated to his backstory. I mean the dude’s pretty twisted, I didn’t think I needed to know why. But you know what? I was wrong and I’m not afraid to admit it. I feel a lot more “familiar” with Abel’s character, if you will, now that I know how his decline into obsession began.

So Abel is a prince. It’s not explicitly mentioned (I think), but my understanding based on a line of Abel’s dialogue is that his father is the king. However Abel has no friends, no companions, and seems to spend his days alone doing whatever he feels like doing. As a child that appears to be practising his art skills.

He finds Helena in the middle of a hedge maze one day, singing while slowly spinning her dress about her. If one looks closely they can notice that the rose petals floating about her are actually levitating, not just blowing in a breeze. They fall to the ground as soon as Helena stops dancing. It may seem like an innocent detail but if Fena is supposed to be a witch, then maybe some kind of innate power was gifted to her by her mother?

This is the first time we hear what I’m guessing is Helena’s theme, and it’s a beautiful, lighthearted flute melody. There are lyrics too, but of course my Japanese is of the most basic so I have no idea what is being said. If there is a soundtrack that gets released, and I hope to heaven there will be, I pray that this song makes the cut too.  (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧

Helena is gorgeous and Fena looks very, very similar to her mother at that age. They have the same facial features and the only difference between the two that I notice is that Helena is very lithe and graceful. Though Fena had a very different upbringing compared to Helena so that’d explain why. If you looked up “feminine” in the anime dictionary, Helena’s picture would be next to the definition. Plus there’s the obvious detail that Helena’s hair is blonde while Fena’s is white.

Helena and Abel introduce themselves to each other and become fast friends. Abel, who has never had a friend in his life, quickly attaches himself to Helena. The two go everywhere together and it appears like they get to enjoy each other’s company for a few years. However, a man in a dark suit can eventually be seen watching the friends from the shadows. It’s Franz, Fena’s father.

Fast forward a bit and one day Abel goes to visit Helena as usual. However when he arrives, Franz is already there with Helena. She has her hand resting on her stomach. Immediately we know, even if Abel doesn’t yet, that Helena is pregnant. When Abel tries to get Helena’s attention, Franz quickly whisks her away. She can’t even say goodbye to Abel.

After that day, Abel doesn’t see Helena for a long time. At least the duration of her pregnancy, plus I think a little time afterwards. (We see in one of Fena’s memories her mother speaking to her as an infant, so I don’t think Helena was forced to abandon her child immediately after birthing her.)

Helena’s sudden absence leaves a large, gaping hole in Abel’s life. His one and only friend has left him without even a goodbye, he has no idea where she is and if she will ever return. He eventually learns from gossip that after getting pregnant, Franz and Helena got married and ran off somewhere. So now they’re both fugitives because Helena is carrying the king’s child. But if Helena is ever found, she will be executed; Abel’s friendship with her can never again be what it once was. His loneliness intensifies despite his life continuing on without Helena by his side.

Some time later, after Abel has entered the army and ascended to a position of power, Helena returns.  Abel finds her locked up in prison, dressed only in a drab dress and with her flowing hair shorn short. He pleads for her to tell him why she vanished, saying only that he wanted her near him so he would never be alone again.

After speaking with Helena and later watching her execution (she was burned alive on a stake as the gossip predicted), something in Abel snaps. The kindhearted part of him which loved Helena broke, and what was left of his psyche became twisted. His only goal became to find Helena’s child so he could make his way to Eden and see Helena again.

If nothing else, this half of the episode humanized Abel for me. He wasn’t always a warped person who became obsessed with his dead friend/love interest. He was a neglected kid, severely lonely and left to his own devices all the time. If Helena were allowed to live and the two stayed friends, maybe they would’ve gotten married and Abel could’ve become an artist. Who knows. If Helena’s death hadn’t been such a massive catalyst for him, maybe Abel wouldn’t have become the psycho he is now.

This whole flashback reveals a ton of important information. First and foremost, Franz Houtman masterminded the entire plot to create the person who would lead him to Eden. He appears to be the person who scouted Helena as the person who would be forced to get pregnant by the king and have his baby. But, maybe he fell in love with Helena and his plan changed. Maybe he didn’t want to surrender Helena’s child to the king because he came to love Fena too. Maybe Franz didn’t want the king to find Eden for one reason or another.

We don’t yet know how Helena was captured, nor do we know how Yukimaru came to be with Franz, and I don’t know if the series will reveal either of those things. We know Abel was on the Hope when Franz was killed, and Helena would’ve already been dead by then, so Helena being captured and Franz’s death must be two completely different events.

Second, if the king is Abel’s father, then my guess from my episode three post was correct: Fena and Abel are half siblings. Franz raised Fena for a few years but he was not biologically her father – the king was. If my theory turns out to be correct, it was honestly just the eyes and hair that gave it away. ^^;;

Abel being related to Fena also makes his obsession with her/Helena that much creepier. When Fena was kidnapped and held on his ship, and Abel was looking at her like he looked at Helena’s portrait, it was already an ick scene due to Abel’s position of power over Fena plus their age gap. With the incest angle that obsession is now infinitely grosser. The guy’s definitely nuts.

The back half of the episode shows Fena awkwardly trying to be in Yukimaru’s presence after his very devoted vow from the previous episode. When Yukimaru leaves to head inside, Fena remains outside and begins to sing. She doesn’t remember the words to her song though, only the melody.

However Yukimaru knows the words. And hearing him sing along to Fena’s melody gave me goosebumps, seriously. Fena’s not sure how she came to forget the words, but Yukimaru knows them because child!Fena used to sing the song often on the Hope.

The words turn out to be clues on how to get to Eden. The coordinates found in the underground cave figure into the equation too. However, it’s not until Fena remembers her mother telling her the name of the song, “Vice Versa,” that Yukimaru and Fena realize that everything in the song is reversed. The directions, the coordinates, everything. Once they have that epiphany, only then are they able to determine the real coordinates. It’s really very clever, and Yukihisa was correct about the key being hidden in Fena’s memories. It was in Yukimaru’s too, technically, since he remembered the lyrics Fena had forgotten.

The pair then rendezvous with the rest of the Goblin Knights and everyone agrees to follow the coordinates to Eden. Even Shitan.

Speaking of Shitan, with Kei not having been mentioned for a few episodes, he’s also someone else Fena and the knights will have to contend with. Maybe Yukihisa is even sailing with Kei. If Yukihisa and Kei have figured out the route to Eden, perhaps everyone will arrive at Eden at once and we’ll have a big fight. I’m a little disappointed that Kei was introduced as a potential threat and then nothing came of him, but I’m assuming that he’ll show up near the end to make up for this lapse.

With so many questions being answered, there is still some new information being introduced. We see Cody talking to someone on Abel’s ship and righting a knocked-over hourglass. The person’s name is Alba Regina. Who is this person? How do they figure into the mystery of Eden? Do they have ties to Abel and/or Fena?

Lastly, Cody’s words to a darkened room are rather ominous: “Everything is in place. Now you just have to choose.” Is he speaking to this Alba Regina? Or Fena? Which will be chosen – blue water or storm clouds?

 

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