「ルッツの行く道」 (Ruttsu no Iku Michi)
“The Path Ahead of Lutz”

For people you spend most of your life around, it’s pretty amazing how most families in the real world suffer from communication issues. Lutz is no exception to this rule, with his parents behaving obstinately about his dream to become a merchant.

It’s easy to view them as the villains here. We know first hand that Lutz is an extremely capable boy, who’s genuinely been recognised by Benno and benefited massively from picking up on Myne’s other world sensibilities and knowledge. Not to mention how distinguished Benno is within the merchant community, and how he has taken a shine to our boy. That said, I can totally see that Lutz’s parents had his best interest at heart. First off, most parents won’t advocate for their child to gamble and become a businessman or art major. Those are high risk career paths that often don’t promise much return. You have to be really lucky to strike gold – or have start-up capital to work with (tl;dr – Bank of Mum and Dad). It’s much easier and safer to enter his father’s industry – where connections and inherited knowledge guarantee a decent life.

Secondly, while we viewers know he’s a good guy, they know nothing about Benno. As far as they know, this kind of progression is too good to be true. Lutz has only been working with Benno for a few months. His business could be a scam looking to exploit naive hopefuls like Lutz, or worse still, he could be a pedophile looking to groom Lutz. I know standards vary between time periods and societies. But if I had a young kid, I’d be extremely cautious if a non-blood related adult begins showing them questionable amounts of interest. If my kid pushed me away because they adored a pedophile and couldn’t see the abuse for what it was, that’d bring on indescribable hopelessness and despair. If, for whatever reason, your society didn’t have a police that could be called against this individual exploiting your child, wouldn’t you also try to desperately take matters into your own hands? As I see it, they are responsible parents who were truly concerned for Lutz. Problem being they communicated it really poorly and ended up antagonising Lutz. But I mean, that’s the same with most families. Kids and parents get angry at each other and fail to properly convey their thoughts and feelings.

So while Lutz felt like he was held back, for reasons I find understandable, I reckoned the onus was on him to properly communicate everything with his parents. Yeah he’s only a kid, and his parents always showed skepticism and disdain towards merchants – probably because his father had a bad experience dealing with one. But by avoiding the issue altogether, and never explaining anything, Lutz allowed the situation to spiral out of control. No one’s a mind reader, and if his parents don’t know anything, they can only operate off assumptions. Thankfully, here’s where the priest’s level-headed pragmatism shines through.

At times, it’s easy to view Ferdinand as being complicit with the church’s machinations in hindering Myne or putting her down. But he really does have Myne’s best interest at heart. He might meme about how he only wanted to fix his calculator. Yet it’s abundantly clear he cares about Myne – in his own meritocratic and spartan way. If you always recklessly dive into every problem without considering the most practical way to approach things, eventually, it will result in a massive mistake that causes way more damage. If Myne had gone head first into the original plan of signing over Lutz to be adopted by Benno, that would have destroyed his family. Fortunately, patience prevailed and a catastrophe was averted. That’s something I really like about this series. Even though Myne brings over knowledge and experience from her previous life in modern Earth’s society, she’s demonstrated clear shortcomings with regards to common sense and naivety – which her peers help to balance out. Hopefully everyone’s learned something here, and people can forgive Ferdinand for his harsh attitude in the previous episode.

Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. As always, thanks for reading this post and see you all next week!

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  1. One of the most powerful episodes yet, hit me hard this one.

    Agree with everything you said. The only thing I can really fault Lutz’s family for in the end, is when the brothers and his mother made a huge scene at the company and not apologizing for that at all in the end…
    Oh man, that part had me facepalming. That stunt would have no effect, other than antagonize Lutz even more, potentially sour his relationship with the other workers there and possibly even ruin the boy’s chances in the company.
    It certainly does happen in real life where companies wash their hands of people if there’s problems with the family. Clannad After Story anyone?

    Was a good showing of how desperation can make people stop thinking things through and make things even worse with their actions.

    Also, we got a tiny tinyyy hint at Ferdinand having issues with his own family, considering the look he gave Lutz and his parents when they walked away. I hope we get to see his backstory soon.

  2. Sadly, I am probably in the minority when I say that Lutz’s family’s
    behaviuor was completely over the top in this episode.

    I don’t know if it’s just a bad Anime adaptation of difficult source material,
    or what but the episode didn’t flow right. We’re not provided with enough
    context as to why Lutz’s father hit him other than calling Lutz a fool. Why?
    Couldn’t be the apprenticeship, ’cause his family should have already known.
    So a sentence or two before the hit would have helped. Even after watching
    the episode, I’m still not 100% sure what the exact trigger was…

    But I think I kinda see the points they wanted to show in this episode:
    The blue robe authority (which Myne has although she doesn’t really realize it /
    learned about just yet), the “conflict” between Lutz and his family about his
    (career) choice, and Myne’s rush to solve it without having all of the pieces.

    I still don’t see why Lutz had to apoligise although this is probably tied more
    to the Japanese culture than anything else (your seniors are always right).
    Also, no one apologized to Turi for kinda using her to find Lutz’s place of
    employment under questionable pretenses to see if he’s “okay.”

    Ferdinand is pragmatic and I really get that about his personality and the
    Anime does a good job of portraying that.

    Also, who took care of her retainers / orphans during her absence? Are they
    self-sufficient already?

    But anyway, I hope the series returns to its story telling roots again, maybe
    this is because of the Crazy Chinese Bat Flu (official WHO designation)
    goings on and the staffing is different, but it seems that there’s things missing
    in the story telling.

    I’m so happy to that this hasn’t been delayed (feverishly knocking on wood)…

  3. Honestly, I was disappointed.
    The original story in the novel developed in a very different way. Everyone agreed that Lutz’s parents were at fault for behaving like fucking morons, and they were chastised quite harshly. The guys who make the anime apparently didn’t like that, perhaps because it wouldn’t sit well with the conservative lobby, and turned it into some kind of “daddy is always right” baloney… even tho anyone with a lick of sense can see that Lutz’s parents are to blame because they don’t behave like responsible adults at all — and are incapable of having a simple talk with their little boy without yelling threats and hurling abuse at him.

    1. This episode really bugged me especially the resolution. I don’t fully buy that resolution. I don’t like the message I feel it is telling. Going to assume it was done better in the light novel

  4. I haven’t posted a comment on the Internet in long while. I hardly ever think my opinions matter that much. But I find it interesting how different people can look at this episode.

    The episode starts with Lutz being tossed onto the floor by his father. WIth tears in his eyes he says he’s leaving, because his family doesn’t understand him and his father yells back at him to do what he wants. Lutz runs out of the house unstopped.
    This doesn’t look like family trying to keep child away from a dangerous adult. It does however look like abuse.
    The sad reality is, children that run away from homes are easy pray for strangers expoiting them. And that is a sad reality of the world we live in. But I can’t well explain how upset it makes me to have the angry man from the beginning of the episode who let his son run away in the middle of the night, heartbroken and misunderstood, be told he’s right, cause he just knows in his heart how to treat his child.
    What Lutz’s father says in the temple after long darn time of pouting and acting like angry toddler and having his wife translate for him, was that he trusts Lutz to do what he wants to do,cause he’s a strong boy and he will be a good merchant yadda, yadda.
    So why he wouldn’t let Lutz go for a day trip to different town? According to Benno, he couldn’t get permision from Lutz’s parents to take him. Was it becuase they supported his work as apprentice, but the trip to different town was too dangerous? I mean, maybe…
    But his father yells ‘do what you want’ when Lutz leaves in the middle of the night in tears.
    It doesn’t look like a caring family.

    I think Benno also only offered to adopt Lutz to make his life easier after he became staying-in apprentice and had to live in the attic of the store. So i don’t know how much his family had reason to think he is showing too much interest in the boy. Now I do understand that they know about Benno way less then the audience, but isn’t it their foult at this point? Lutz have not been hiding his apprenticeship. He’s been fighting for his family approval since first season. He had to argue openly with his mom, he explained his reasonning for wanting to be a merchand which she seemed to accept in the end. If at this point, months afterthat, his family doesn’t even know where he works, it’s their foult. Mayne was very surprised when Lutz’s brothers didn’t even know where is Benno’s store and rightfully so.
    By the way, their behaviour when they came to talk to Lutz at his workplace and disturbed customers shows that they still have no respect from Lutz’s work. He could’ve been fired for that.

    So for me the anime did horrible job with this story. Shown angry father figure who is too proud to both listen and to explain what he means as someone right in the end, cause he’s the father and so he knows best and it’s a fault of seven years old for not being able to read his mind, that there was any trouble at all.

    Eastern Katt

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