「叶える花と願う約束」 (Kanaeru Hana to Negau Yakusoku)
“The Wishing Flower and the Promise Request”
Continuing on from last episode, it turned out that the wolf humanoid stalking Somali and Kikila was not after human flesh like many had feared. As part of the townsguard dedicated to protecting stragglers in the underground cavern, he was merely tailing them in an attempt to ensure their safety – and even has a lengthy history of preventing Kikila from mischievously exploring the place. Despite his gruff demeanour, Muthrica is actually quite a softie around these kids, specifically when he allows Somali to continue looking for a flower that wouldn’t wilt even though he’d originally insisted that they immediately leave. As the group explored through the cavern, I was extremely impressed by the soundtrack and visuals, with the series continuing to evoke a fantastical Ghibli vibe.
Unfortunately, danger strikes at the critical moment. Guarding the flowers is a terrifying lizard monster. However, when Somali describes their wish of being together with their father forever, you could see the message got through to the lizard. A monster it might be, but it too had young children nestled on top of its head – who came out to cheep in Somali’s defence, assuaging the lizard to back off. There’s such beauty in emotional meaning that transcends language barriers like that. A parent’s love can be really special like that.
On the other hand, the golem learned an extremely valuable lesson. Sometimes, the journey can matter more than the destination. In the process of trying to rush through doing the right thing, the golem unwittingly neglects Somali’s feelings and causes her extreme distress. He absolutely broke her heart and it really hurt to watch. I won’t deny that I was tearing up during the whole scene. She did everything so that they could stay together forever, which was why she disobeyed him, and he threatened to abandon her in an attempt to discipline her. As Kikila’s father notes, a true parent shouldn’t instill fear in their children like that.
Although the stakes are undeniably high, since Somali will be left in an extremely precarious position if left to fend for themselves once the golem ceases to live, none of that actually matters if her wellbeing suffers for the sake of expediting the journey. But as soon as she became sick, the golem immediately scoured the city to find any medicine that could work, costing him everything he’d saved up from working in the restaurant. He compensates for his mistake and manages to make his love clear by declaring that there’s no replacement for Somali, which is why he’ll go to any ends for Somali’s sake. Their subsequent hug was beyond heartwarming.
But Muthrica’s skepticism of the golem’s promise to remain with Somali forever hits home the harsh reality – the golem only has a year left to live, so invariably, he will have to break his promise and all our hearts through no fault of his own. As long as that remains the case, I fail to see how there can be a happy ending. And that brings me to two conflicting states of mind. Should the series go for a happy ending, because Somali deserves it? Or should it commit to an extremely tragic route that would make the story all the more compelling? That’s a hard one for me and I remain torn, though open-minded to the ways it could play out. Anyway, that was about everything I wanted to discuss. As always, thanks for reading my post and see you next week as golem dad continues his journey with the human child!
Why not split the difference with a bittersweet ending? Somali gets to a safe place to grow up but has to lose her golem father figure thus being emotionally devastated.
That works too.