Eva’s First Impression
Yay! My most anticipated title of the season is finally here and they did such a lovely job with the first episode! Meet Anne Halford, a 15 years old girl who decides after the passing of her mother, it’s time for her to upon her journey to Lewiston to follow her mother’s footsteps of earning the title as a Silver Sugar Master. But in order to do so she needs a Warrior Fairy to help her safely reach her destination, and there she meets and purchases the beautiful but sharp-tongued Challe Fen Challe.
And I must say I absolutely adore Anne’s characters. She’s a tough little cookie who won’t stand for injustice when she sees it, and she is the type who is able to brush people off when necessary. Before she left there was a village boy Jonas had proposed to her and such, but I love the way she just shrugs him off because she has zero interest in him. Anne has her eyes on the prize, and marriage, much less love, is the furthest thing from her mind. Also who the hell proposes to a girl they supposedly like and call them a scrawny scarecrow in the same breath? Anne was bright enough to leave him in this dust, though the main reason for it is that she doesn’t want to be pitied by others. Either way, the guy isn’t worth her time at all. Unfortunately for her, it seems a lot of people perceive her as a scarecrow, because the next thing she knows when she goes to purchase a Warrior Fairy, Challe Fen Challe ends up calling her the exact same thing, to the point it’s now a nickname he refers to her as. Though I suppose I can see why they call her that?? Sorta? (Not really.) But if she’s supposed to look like a scarecrow, then she’s is the prettiest one I’ve ever seen, haha, but I digress.
What I really like about Anne’s characterization is how she is fully aware of her own hypocrisies. We know that in her heart, she loves fairies and wishes to become friends with them because Anne’s mother believes that Sugar Artisans should respect fairies and be friends with them because it’s thanks to them that they are able to create beautiful confections with Silver Sugar because it’s considered sacred food. It’s said to expand a fairy’s lifespan, and brings good fortune to Humans. That’s why Anne won’t stand idle when she sees a fairy being abused, as as the labour one that was almost killed by the Fairy Hunter who was violently lashing out at it after it attempted to take back its wing. She was the only one to intervene in order to save the fairy. And in same instance, we witnessed the duality and double-standards of how Humans will more likely stand up for a fellow Human, while doing and saying nothing to help a tiny fairy from being violently attacked.
And yet at the same time, we see how her desperation to meet the closing deadline for the upcoming Sugar Confectionery Exhibition for the chance to earn the title of a Silver Sugar Master as enough to push her morale compass aside by doing the unthinkable, of purchasing a Warrior Fairy (Challe Fen Challe) to serve as an escort for her journey. And we see her constantly battling herself when she was trying to justify the purpose, and for the sake of both her own conscious and attempt to build ‘genuine’ trust with Challe. That’s why she continued to reiterate that she will return his wing once they arrive to their destination.
But Anne’s hopes and promises means nothing to Challe, and I really appreciated that he didn’t sugarcoat how naive and ignorant of her to go on about wanting to to be friends while she holds his life in her hands. Frankly this is a very good point that is more often than not glossed over whenever the Master/Slave trope is utilized. After-all, Challe has been alive for a long time, and after being captured and abused by Humans it’s only an understatement why he doesn’t trust her and isn’t interesting in forming a relationship.
However it had been made known that Challe has actively sabotaged his chances of being purchased by someone by making himself as off-putting as possible when they first meet him. But with Anne, he saw an opportunity in her, as a fool who he could handle and went as far as to outright order her to buy him. But at the same time, it’s because he regards her as a foolish and naive girl, that he not only stubbornly refuses to help her when she asks for it, but he is also actively testing her, using various tactics, though mostly flirtatious means to see what presses her buttons. And to Anne’s credit, she has been doing a good job brushing him off altogether, up until he badmouthed her mother and she wanted to slap him for it, but managed to hold back.
You’d wonder why he’d bother actively looking to stir up trouble, but I think of it more like he’s attempting to prove a point of the hypocrisy. Even when she didn’t want to order him to protect them from the bandits, he kept on goading her to give him an order with his wing, but ultimately settled for her saying she’d punch him if he didn’t defend them. Needless to say, he also sees her as an easy opportunity to gain freedom, as he didn’t waste the opportunity to try and reclaim his wing while she was asleep. Of course we know he can vastly overpower her, and honestly probably kill her faster than she could even touch the wing, but he’d rather patiently bid his time for the next opportunity than take any further risks.
That being said, in all seriousness a Warrior Fairy is nothing to sneeze at. Challe showed us exactly just how dangerous he actually he. It’s one thing to hear he killed three fairy hunters, but it’s another to watch him cut the horses’ legs and kill the hoard of bandits that had come after them. It’s the dark and gritty side of the series that I think most people don’t expect when coming into this haha. I remember the first time when I read this part I was like, “OH SHIT.” And we’ll see more of that next time on the Bloody Highway.
Overall I think think was a solid premiere for Sugar Apple Fairy Tale. I really love the colors and style they decided to go with for the art direction. Honestly I’m quite glad that it’s J.C. Staff who are doing the adaption. Not only am I a huge fan of the art direction (and goodness they made Challe breathtaking), but I’ve always appreciated the way J.C. Staff handles the dark scenes, namely the bloody ones, as we saw today after Challe slew the bandits. They also did a good job with laying down the gist of things by simplifying the explanations, tweaking the prologue to hit to bird with one stone as opposed to cutting content, which I think was largely for the better.
However they did leave out a big lore tidbit during the prologue, which was the fact that Humans had once been enslaved by Fairies when they were neither intelligent or powerful. While the fairies had lived unchanging and blissfully in peace, Humans evolved, obtained intelligence and became powerful, and soon realized they didn’t have to work for the fairies. That was when the Humans staged a rebellion and the tide of power was flipped on its head.
That said as a fan of the series, of course I am going to recommend reading the novel! The first volume was released by Yenpress back in October 2022, and the second volume will be out in just two weeks! So once we’re done with volume 1 content, that means unless I dive into Volume 2 I’ll be going in completely blind from there on out– I wonder if I can really hold back or not… I really love this series after-all, I don’t know if I can wait till April hahaha… though on the other-hand, volume 3 will be out on April 18, 2023… so I could binge it… Well knowing me and my love for this title, I’ll probably dive into it because I’ve already reread Volume 1 and the manga adaption too many times hahahahaha!
As the series is actually 17 volumes long (which may surprise people), since this is only confirmed to have 12 episodes (so far), we’ll only be seeing a small chunk the story be adapted. That’s why even long before it premiered, I was already hoping this will be popular enough to get more seasons in the future, but what can I do? I can’t help but be greedy for more! Anyhow, I’m already looking forward to the next episode, until next time!
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