「ポホヨラの試練」 (Pohoyora no Shiren)
“The Trial of Pohjola”
Punniness aside, it was a cozier episode compared to the recent Croix-heavy ones. Since Croix is investing more time into making angry technoskulls and eating tasty ramen, we’re back to seeing Akko hang out with Lotte and Sucy. However, the main event of Episode 16 is Akko acknowledging that she needs to be patient. It’s been 84 years, and we’re still trying to teach Akko how to have patience. It’s a lesson that she could have used much earlier to avoid getting into hot water multiple times in the series.
That, and Akko never really seems to learn from her past mistakes. There have been several instances where Akko has had to learn not to try to find an easy fix for everything, and that she would have to work hard to get on Chariot’s level. Cut to present day, and she’s still losing her patience over the lengthy process of curing Lotte’s parents of a debilitating moss virus, a slow, irate reindeer, and a yeti with an inferiority complex getting in the way of his potion skills. It’s not until she notices the yeti is upset when she tries leveling with him, and not until she’s mixing the potion up when she is able to be patient enough to get the fourth word out. Hopefully, she’ll develop further as a more patient character and this development stays with her, but with Croix’s easy magitech and Akko’s short attention span that even Ursula had to chastise her for at the end of the episode, I’m treading lightly on saying she’d be able to retain the life lesson from the fourth word.
Other than Akko, it was great to see Lotte and Sucy once again. It’s easy for the show to look past them as it ends up getting further into Chariot, Croix, Akko, and Diana’s motivations, but they were able to provide enough support for Akko to remain in the spotlight. Particularly, Lotte had a lotte to do with the plotte since it focused on her family and hometown. More is said about their struggle to sell magical items at their shop when ordinary items sell more, and adds perspective to Lotte’s goal of being able to help out by learning more about magic at the academy. The cultural tidbits were also a treat since we got to see the show’s version of Finland, hapansilakka pie, reindeer, yeti, and Santa, who shows up as a payoff to one of Sucy’s earlier jokes.
Admittedly, I was hoping we’d get another Lotte episode, but wasn’t sure if it would’ve been possible with the Words taking center stage. Because of this, I was more than excited to see her and her family get some time to shine. I’m just crossing my fingers and hoping that Akko’s able to retain her lesson of patience at a point where temptation can rear its head at any moment.