So-Ra-No-Wo-To – 09
Rio has continued to act unlike herself and worries the girls. Only Filicia realizes what it stems from, and she wonders if Rio regrets hanging up on her father. On this particular stormy night, Claus arrives with a special package for Rio, but before Rio can bring herself to open it, the villagers arrive to request the girls’ help. It seems that Seiya has disappeared in the middle of this storm, so the girls and Claus form search parties. Kureha and Claus eventually find the boy trying to protect some eggplants that he was growing for Yumina. Seiya is stubborn, but Kureha is able to get through to him because she was an orphan too, and Claus lets him take some of the eggplants with him to safety. Before Kureha and Claus themselves can get to safety though, a rock-slide destroys the path, stranding them by the river. Kureha isn’t too scared because she’s with Claus, but what she doesn’t know is that he’s not the war hero she thinks he is. Noel meanwhile comes up with a plan where they use the tank to fire a wire anchor that the two can be pulled up with. This almost doesn’t work because Kureha nearly gets swept away into the river, but Claus grabs her in time, and the two are pulled to safety. Claus wants to tell Kureha the truth about himself, but he can’t bring himself to do so after she reaffirms that he’s the one she admires. In the aftermath, the weather returns to normal and Claus leaves while Kureha is still sleeping, though he has the others tell her that he’s treating the injury he got during this incident as one of the highest honor.
For the most part, this episode was pretty good. The one part I didn’t like – and got really frustrated watching – was the scene between Seiya and Kureha. As I’ve noted for other series, I abhor stubborn and bratty kid characters like that, so I was rooting for her to knock him out and just drag him to safety. The majority of the episode though was fairly well-spent developing Klaus and Kureha’s characters, which felt like an odd pairing at first, but I guess he ended up being like a father figure to her. It was nice too to see the tank being put to good use even if it still isn’t quite fully functional. More importantly, the episode had enough stuff about Rio to keep building my interest in the background story related to her. Based on the way the plot is coming together, it seems like her father might need her to help securing the cease-fire agreement or something in lieu of her sister. It makes Rio into a more important character than I had been originally expecting, and who knows what will happen with her as we come to the final stretch of episodes.