「大掃除と星祭り」 (Daisouji to Hoshimatsuri)
“Cleanups and Star Festivals”
This situation with the orphanage reminds me of highschool kids/university students who go to Africa over the summer to help with community projects or teach English. Which is to say I have massive respect towards Myne for what she’s doing. Sure, she might be strict with her demands and opportunistic. ‘Those who do not work, do not eat’ – I mean these are kids for crying out loud. But overall, she’s doing what she can within the bounds of societal limits in Honzuki no Gekokujou and is doing way more to improve the situation.
She isn’t just temporarily relieving the orphan’s plight, because as she mentioned, the situation would return to a horrible state after she left. By teaching them important life skills and literacy, they’re equipped with the ability to fend for themselves in this cruel, feudalistic society. And while I’m not entirely sold on the idea of giving nice food to a select few who prove themselves, it does instill the value and sensibility of meritocracy to these kids in a society where the circumstances of one’s birth and social status determine a bit too much – if those rotten blue robed priests and allegedly awful nobles are anything to go by. It allows them to see hope and possibility, when it comes to breaking through the glass ceiling set by the situation they were born into.
On the day of the Star Festival, Myne decides to arrange a tau fruit throwing event for the orphans. While wanting the orphans to experience some semblance of normalcy, Myne inadvertently discovers that the Tau Fruit can sap her mana AND transform into the trombe fruit. There’s much to be happy about, but I felt kinda disappointed. Isn’t that just way too convenient? That all her problems with mana threatening her life, and paper being too scarce a resource to craft books, were resolved in an instant? The Tau fruit is quite literally a Deus Ex Machina from the heavens, and it somewhat stunted my enjoyment of the current arc.
But at least the intricacies of Church politics remains untouched, when it comes to being a worthy obstacle for Myne to overcome. Ferdinand, unhappy about her failure to clean up the orphans mess, sentences her to solitary confinement – and having only just recovered from a fever, she collapses. I suppose many people will be unhappy with Ferdinand here, and I think his treatment of Myne was too harsh. But in his defence, he definitely didn’t intend to make her pass out and underestimated her frailty. And he can’t be seen by the other figure of authorities in the Church as treating her with undue favouritism, since it would threaten his position and that of Myne’s – since he’s the only one who can shield her. So I hope that people will be kinder in passing judgement on him.
Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. See you all next week to find out how Myne continues furthering her multiple projects!