「新しい側仕え」 (Atarashii sobadzukae)
“New Retainers”

Watching Myne act in her capacity as a blue robed priestess, even if she benefits from experiences gained in her past life, I have to say I’m quite awestruck by her middle management abilities – where she recognises people for what they’re worth and elevates them, while sorting out their personal issues along the way. Having successfully addressed issues that plagued Fran, Delia and Gil – turning them into loyal retainers, her next set of retainers come along in Wilma and Rosina.

These two seemed to enjoy cushy lives being the retainers of a rich, young ojou-sama who had an intense appreciation of the arts. While Wilma came to realise that their treatment was rather special after returning to the orphanage, Rosina never got to grips with that reality – causing her to piss off Fran, Delia and Gil by behaving like she’s too good for menial tasks and superior to them. I can really appreciate how Myne didn’t kick Rosina to the curb when she was being stuck up. Instead, she sought to hear out every side of the story and come to a diplomatic compromise where nobody lost out. And like that, Rosina comes to accept that she will never be able to go back to her life with Lady Christina. Preferring life as a retainer compared with being sent back to the orphanage, Rosina accepts the terms, continuing to teach Myne the Harspiel while carrying out tasks that won’t risk her fingers for Myne.

To be honest, while that was resolved swiftly and satisfactorily, I wasn’t particularly interested or invested in Rosina’s problems. She came across as a spoiled and privileged finally realising her circumstance. On the other hand, Wilma’s situation has piqued my interest because it made the episode go from zero to one hundred. Firstly, she’s a nice character who I find likable. She’s had a much unluckier run through temple life compared to Rosina – having given away her virginity to a blue robed priest she trusted, only to be abandoned right afterwards. How could anyone do something so horrible to a kind and thoughtful girl like Wilma? I can’t imagine that Myne will readily fix such a deep-seated trauma. But I can see her being able to help alleviate it to some extent, acting as an emotional support for Wilma while drawing her into the fold as the talented artist who can bring her visions of children’s books to life.

I want to add that Ferdinand has a nice singing voice, and that Myne should appreciate his advice of keeping her cards hidden – especially when the high priest seems intent on destroying her. I’d like to think he wouldn’t stoop so low. But you never know if he might target Myne’s unborn sister in some way. That would be truly reprehensible beyond salvation. Regardless, it’s a risk Myne should seek to minimise at all costs by never bringing it up again. I’m also not quite sure how becoming well-versed in noble society by attaining a higher proficiency in traditional music will help Myne avoid arranged marriages – especially since she’s already discovered that the red fruit is a trump card that can mitigate her mana overload issues. But I guess there must be some additional context that’s been left unexplained in this adaptation. I’ll leave that for any helpful commenter to weigh in for further insight.

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

End Card

15 Comments

  1. Ferdinand doesn’t understand Myne, news at 11.

    I kinda don’t like Blue Priest sometimes, since a lot of their interaction is Ferd going ‘You need to get your shit together, 7-year-old child. Learn how to X!’ where X is, you know, ‘learn a new instrument’, ‘bend these problem children to your will’, or ‘take over running an orphanage.’

    Guile
    1. One thing people eventually learn (well, some people never learn) is that a “Story” is not about its subject matter, plot or its characters;

      A “Story” is a about its Author, his personal judgments, his life experiences, prejudices and biases, etc.

      So if you are mentally directing your complaints about “Ferdinand” or the “Church” or any particular “Orphanage” to subjects, as if they’re real people (or worse, superimposing your complaints on actual historical “experience”, you’re wrong; for one thing, these “elements” don’t actually exist.

      If, however, you are directing your complaints to the Author and his writing, then you’ve already graduated to a level of maturity. Not everybody does.

      As they say, the most dangerous thing in the world is a “Story”.

      So it is that a real historian/archaeologist isn’t a “Narrative writer” or a “Liberal Arts Major”, one of the reasons that these “professions” have a bad reputation for fraud and ideological malfeasance.

      Real historians/archaeologists don’t tell a “Story”.

      Real historians/archaeologists simply provide “addresses” for artifacts and documents of the period, for you to inspect and make your own decisions…

      …and it is this last part that many of the fake historians/archaeologists are from the Liberal Arts.

      Real historians/archaeologists (which are too few) are not “Storytellers”; they are technicians, geologists, businessmen, etc, working as archivists taking care of a database, or engineers running radiometric processes, or building enclosures and devising maintenance procedures which preserve artifacts with noble gas,

      This is why some of the best historians are actually not academics, nor do they title themselves “historians” or “archaeologists”, despite knowing more on subjects they attest to and (importantly) knowing what they don’t know and not giving airs to the contrary (something academic historians/archaeologists are famous for).

      For example, the best Naval historian I’ve ever met is trained as an Naval Engineer who can typically point out where “historians/archaeologists” are making basic mistakes that run contrary to the understanding of contemporary fluid dynamics and are counterintuitive from a logistical standpoint that has no basis in evidence of the period. The best pre-Colonial American historian I know is actually a Geologist working in the oil industry who noted years ago that some “Archaeologists” in North Carolina were faking their findings by attributing a European settlement, including pottery, tooling technology and buried foundational structures as evidence of an “Indian civilization”*. Sure enough, they were exposed more recently**, and it is horrifying to imagine what kind of damage these “Archaeologists/Historians” have already done to the site to cover their tracks – and what artifacts from a genuine find they may have destroyed. Regardless, their site is now already considered “contaminated” and “corrupt” much like any research experiment who’s data is partially destroyed/falsified for the purpose of giving

      After all, the greatest attribute any professional has isn’t his intelligence.

      It’s his integrity, his reputation.

      This is why histriography – the history of history – should be required in schools, public and private. After all, a Big Lie can be identified based on how it’s been changed throughout history, and it is the changing of the story that is often hidden (or just not taught) for the purpose of cloaking the “Storyteller” faking it.

      One of the true debasements of history being taught to children comes from the fact that many curators are “Storytellers”; they have little to no experience (or interest) in actual Physics and authentication processes (“Applied” and verifiable science, not theoretical); they’re more interested in “indoctrination” rather than letting people use their own critical thinking – because that would be “dangerous” to their ideology and their jobs.

      One of the reasons why “Native American” (“Indian” is actually the correct term of the period) have been so exaggerated from meager and often non-existent sources and archaeological evidence, are these ideological and bureaucratic reasons. The academic community and museums refuse to shift Archaeology and History student curriculum towards the hard science departments (revolving around Engineering schools, really, “Applied sciences”), instead requiring a heavy dose of Philosophy and courses built on ideological purity test requirements that have nothing to do with preservation or excavation techniques (let alone developing and financing new techniques).

      * “Civilized” and “Uncivilized” are factual and meritocratic words, not insults. So when Europeans called the New World Indians “Uncivilized”, these descriptions were simple fact; another word for “Uncivilized” is “Nomadic”, since “Civilized” entails a Settled culture requiring basic tenets like “Land ownership” and a writing system for records detailing/communicating that ownership to your peers (which prevents the inevitable disputes) – none of which the Indians developed.

      ** Yes, even the vaunted “Longhouse building” Iroquois tribes were “Uncivilized” contrary to recent historical malfeasance; their shanties weren’t permanent structures because the Mohawks and Seneca needed to move constantly after depleting the soil and fathering/hunting out the local fauna. Heck, the Sioux lived cleaner and more wholesome lives than the Iroquois (though for reasons that have nothing to do with Godliness). The Indians were inferior agriculturally to the Europeans, for many reasons, including a lack of development in tooling, carpentry, basic sciences, animal husbandry, etc, so they couldn’t work the land and develop the top soil. This is one of the reasons why the Pilgrims (“Separtists” actually) were self-sufficient and sedentary in a matter of a few years, whilst the surrounding Indian tribes were barely getting by decades after their interaction – hence, the First Indian War (Metacom’s War).

      Jerry
        1. Jerry went on a tangent, but I can clarify they’re not a bot because they’ve commented on quite a few posts in the past. If you read through what they were trying to say, their points weren’t entirely abstracted from the original comment either. tl;dr – they felt Guile had judged Ferdinand too harshly and wanted to highlight that Ferdinand is a fictitious construct and that the new world society has extremely different standards from that of Earth.

          Sometimes I do feel like it’s useful to view fiction in a similar way that you’d view history. While Winston Churchill was racist and Nazi sympathising if not for British interests, we judge him in other ways for his greatness and accept his shortcomings were more or less the standard across his time. And I believe that Jerry’s suggesting within Bookworm’s society, the norms are so wildly different from Earth’s that it would be pointless to impose our moral values as humans in an enlightened society upon fictional constructs in a society that’s clearly less developed than ours.

          1. Enjoy “Honzuki no Gekokujou” for what it is;

            That is, “For what it says about its Author and his world”.

            ….not about what it says about its subject matter and the God’s world, the “Real World”.

            Too many people let the former encroach on the latter, subconsciously and not.

            I recently got into a discussion with an urbanite about Singapore’s industry, and petrochemicals in particular (Dragon ships, LNG, ethane cracking, resins and plastics, etc).

            Well actually, I tried to discuss that, but this “adult” was engaging me in “Middle East” politics. His experience amounted to college, I’m guessing “mass media”, and a sanitized vacation to Abu Dhabi that was so superficial, he didn’t learn that that his hosts don’t use our calendar (hence why his relative placement of their holidays around his trip’s date was “wrong”).

            So what was his main talking point to fall back on when talking about the “Middle East”?

            Avatar.

            A Hollywood Movie. Heard of it. Never seen it (and I’ve even less interest to see it now).

            Oh, and he’s a Middleschool Social studies teacher in a county next to mine. At least that part of his story checked out. Of course, THAT was the part of his story to check out; it was too horrifying to NOT be true – that this caricature is actually teaching young and impressionable minds that are not much older than my own kids.

            Jerry
  2. Felt like Myne applied what she learned from Ferdinand last episode when he listened to all parties over Lutz’s guardianship.

    Wait, we already know the next kid is a girl?!?

    tsirrus
  3. I too thought the Rosina part wasn’t particularly interesting and was given enough time to conclude it satisfactorily, but nothing more than that really. The other stuff though:

    – The Wilma bombshell. Did not expect that the anime would actually tackle this subject, it’s gonna be very interesting to see how they handle this.

    – A big blow to the Myne x Lutz ship with the reveal that people with the Devouring, or just high mana in general, need a partner with comparable mana to be able to have kids.
    That’s not gonna be a fun conversation to have if they become a couple in the future…

    All in all a big episode. Can’t wait for next week!

    NinjaSyao
      1. It was worth pointing out imo since nobody else did, and considering the age of some characters I’ve got a strong feeling this series will have a timeskip at some point.

        That’s why I said “if they become a couple in the future”, note the if and future part. Please read next time before making a comment that literally adds nothing.

        NinjaSyao
    1. Since no one else in the comments clarified this, I’d just like to say that Crunchyroll mistranslated that part at the end about Wilma. She did NOT go through with the flower offering–yes, she was tricked by a blue robe to go to one, but she was saved before the deed was done. The explanation in the anime was shortened compared to the LN but it still made it clear that she was not raped. Obviously, it was still a horrifically traumatic experience for Wilma that continues to affect her, but still. CR flat out got the nuance of that scene wrong, and seeing so many viewers having the wrong idea of what happened has been pretty painful to read throughout the week..

      Btw, Muse Asia also simulcasts Honzuki in English and judging from their handling of this scene, their translation is much more accurate:

      https://m.imgur.com/a/zP7AFii

      Elia
  4. Pingback: Honzuki no Gekokujou – 21 – Random Curiosity | Steamedworld News

  5. Am I the only one who’s less less dark foreshadowing from Wilma’s almost-rape than from Myne’s Mother being pregnant? Considering the high infant mortality of pre-modern times and the fact that kids before baptismal age aren’t really considered full persons (makes it easier to take the loss if you have that mindset), I get the feeling that either the Mother loses the baby soon before or after birth, or almost does so with Myne somehow involved saving the day.

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