Man… I hate to say it, but this episode was terribly underwhelming. Initially I wasn’t really sure if I was overthinking it at first, but the more I thought about it, I realized one of the main reasons why this episode felt so blah was because of the way they were blatantly cutting corners with the animation. There were a number of scenes where they had deliberately framed it so that you either couldn’t see the character’s entire face, mouth, or had them outside of the shot or taken from afar. It also didn’t help that there were a number of recycled frames too, making it feel deadpan, flat and utterly boring.
The next thing (and I suspect this probably bothered a lot of people), was the way Jonas had stolen Mythril’s wing, and ordered Anne to send Challe away. This came across as somewhat less abruptly in the novel because there was a previous build up that could have explained Jonas’s reasoning until we finally heard why he did it in the first place. Nevertheless, it still made me go, “WHAT ON EARTH IS GOING ON?!?!”, though for different reasons. But at least it made it somewhat exciting because the story suddenly got really chaotic. Though I can understand if that sort of thing might not click for some people. It was really a 50/50 for me, and honestly the anime didn’t really make it anymore convincing.
Nevertheless, the whole reason why Jonas’ resorted to such means was because he felt the only way he could be released from the Duke’s custody, was to shoo Challe away so that he can use Anne to effectively ‘replace’ him. Go figure, because just earlier both Mythril and Challe had advised Anne to give up and leave Philax because they believed what the Duke wants in unattainable. And lo and behold, it turns out, William had no intention of releasing either Jonas or Anne until one of them successfully created the sugar confection that meets his criteria. He even went as far to say he would resort to chaining them down to prevent them from running away. However unlike Jonas (though the guy has already been beaten up once, so it’s an understatement why eh wants to leave), Anne’s still committed to creating the piece he so desires. Despite how her circumstances has evolved, the brief moment she had seen the sparkle in his eyes is enough to keep her going.
At the very least, she has figured out the one important detail she had overlooked before was that the fairy in the painting has both of her wings, indicating that she was there upon her free will. (How she missed this, I have no idea…) This further highlights the reason why William has no fairies working in the palace, and treats the ones who accompany the Artisans as actual guests. But for whatever reason (as I cannot disclose what that is without spoiling you haha, but you probably already figured it out), the fairy is no longer there.
However whether she has time to pull it off is another issue altogether. The most pressing concern at the moment (one which she is unaware of), is that the Earl of Downing is coming to Philax to take out the Duke Alburn after failing to uphold his duties. Hugh had even turned up in hopes to bring him back to Lewiston with him to avoid this whole mess, but it was pretty obvious that he royally messed up by failing to read the room. Seriously… The Duke is obviously depressed, he doesn’t want to get out of bed, and then Hugh has the audacity to go, ‘Hey! What about Christina?’ Bruh, if she were around, maybe he wouldn’t be in this state? Or maybe you would have already seen her already? It’s that kind of thoughtlessness that made me roll my eyes.
As for Challe, well uh… he didn’t oppose her demand to leave, and simply did as he was told. That said, the poor guy was already confused as heck about why she had suddenly cried. We all know it was not his fault, all he did was answer her question about Liz, and the tears came about from her own insecurity due to constantly comparing herself to a woman who has long since passed. Now he has found himself tagging along with Hugh who had shown up to speak to William. It appears they have committed to cutting out that one little conflict, which I think was the right move– provided they stick to it as I just don’t see the point of plugging it in at the last minute.
Overall, it’s unfortunate to say this was a lacklustre episode this week, which is a shame really because this part of the arc certainly came off as a bit more exciting in the novel. We’ll have to see how they go about wrapping up this arc, as I feel like they will make it a lot more uh.. cheesy as they seemed to be dead set on so far. It will be interesting to see what I think of the next arc as I won’t have any of the original material to compare it to this time round.