OP: 「リテラチュア」 (Literature ) by Reina Ueda
「魔法使いの国」 (Mahoutsukai no Kuni)
“The Land of Mages”
Those who were expecting something akin to Kino’s Journey and Mushishi will definitely be pleased. Majo no Tabitabi is indeed about the journeys of a witch across different civilizations and societies, as well as her encounters with all sorts of different people. And it continues to deliver. In this episode, Elaina visits the land of Mages and expects to receive preferential treatment – since Witches belong to the highest social caste and are highly revered. However, she loses her witch’s brooch that Fran bestowed upon her. So she spends her time in the city lodging at a shabby inn, and decides to take a young witch aspirant named Saya who’s struggling to pass the preliminary exams under her wings – who she bumped into earlier upon first arriving in the city.
Seeing the role of teacher and student reversed helped highlight Elaina’s growth as a person. Yeah, she can be pretty full of herself if her monologues are anything to go by. However, she is truly well-intentioned and is sincerely happy to take up the role of mentor – and help her mentee succeed. Not to mention proud of Saya’s successes when she masters concepts she was originally struggling with. Unfortunately, after spending an episode bonding together, we’re hit by the harsh reality. Elaina wasn’t being a masterful teacher. Saya had faked her lack of proficiency this entire time. And she actually stole Elaina’s brooch in the first place. Her motive? She felt lonely and wanted someone to stay with her.
Although the motive seems questionable, in how anything could have worked out in the long run because the ruse was always going to come apart, the pains of loneliness are extremely understandable. Just about anyone can relate to that feeling. But would I steal my friend or girlfriend’s stuff to make them stay at my house? No. As Elaina says, relationships are predicated on trust. And for Saya to dishonestly withhold the brooch is unhealthy – and no proper way to go about business. It was wrong, no matter the justifications. Well, I suppose stealing to save someone’s life is justifiable, but you get what I’m saying and that wasn’t the situation we had at hand. Anyway, it was rather magnanimous of Elaina to instantly forgive Saya for her transgressions. I definitely wouldn’t have the heart to forgive and forget – let alone still hold the perpetrator in high regard to the point of leaving behind a keepsake memorabilia.
But all’s well that ends well. The brooch is returned, Elaina continues her journeys and Saya goes on to pass her exams – stating her dream in a news interview of travelling after qualifying as a witch so that she could meet her beloved Elaina once again. Human relationships sure are complex. Saya might have lied to establish a connection with Elaina. And deeply wronged her in the process. But that doesn’t meant their feelings weren’t beautiful and genuine. It doesn’t mean they can’t be friends.
If every week will consist of a bitesize snapshot of Elaina’s travels to distant lands, the different people she meets as well as the way in which they impact each other’s lives, I’ll certainly be tuning in for the rest of the season. Especially if they keep approaching each story with new interesting scenarios that help explore the characterisations of Elaina as well as folks she encounters. Mind you, the jagged chins still bother me. But seeing how that’s the only nitpick I have with Majo no Tabitabi, this series has gotten off to a fantastic start – and I really look forwards to what the future episodes will hold.
ED: 「灰色のサーガ」 (Haiiro no Saga) by ChouCho