「民なき国の王女」 (Min Naki Kuni no Oujo)
“The Princess Without Subjects”
When there was a pre-amble about a princess and her lover, we all knew it was an ominous setup. I guessed wrong – thinking Mirarose was the illicit love child of a Queen and a commoner, whose biological parents were executed by the King once he found out. But the truth turned out to be a lot darker than that. At first, I was worried for Mirarose, thinking she would be no match for the dragon. However, my concerns were quickly dispelled when she proved herself to be more than capable of handling it – demonstrating incredible magic that exceeded what we’ve seen from Elaina, and perhaps from Fran too. This was when I began suspecting there was way more to Mirarose than met the eye.
Then we were hit by the truth bomb. That dragon? He was the former king. And his daughter was a powerful witch who instigated the entire situation to exact her vengeance. Mirarose was the one who fell in love with a commoner, the royal kitchen baker and became pregnant with his child. Unfortunately, the king would have none of it. He had the baker burnt to death and murdered Mirarose’s child the moment it came out of her womb. Was the king a piece of shit? Undoubtedly. What he did was absolutely unforgivable. I feel nothing but sympathy for Mirarose losing her lover and child.
But that doesn’t mean her reaction was justified in any way. Her decision to sacrifice every innocent life in the city was too much – and irrevocably evil. Sure, she wanted the King to comprehend how much pain he put her through. But the way she did it was wicked and beyond twisted. What did the innocent people in the kingdom do, to deserve having a murderous dragon set upon them? How many innocent children, women and men died just so she could satisfy her revenge? They did nothing wrong. And the ending scene was poetry in motion. Mirarose embracing insanity – pretending that her lover is still alive, as she presides over a Kingdom she turned into ashes.
This episode also continued establishing the precedent that Elaina’s not really one to intervene. To her credit, she almost stepped in when it looked like Mirarose was going to get cooked alive by the dragon. But her pragmatism and caution is understandable. And I can respect how she never pretends otherwise. While I recognise she deserves criticism for leaving people out to dry when she had the potential to change out comes, it’s much more human and realistic for any character to look out for their own interests first and foremost – before proceeding to help out others. I know this kind of character will rub many people the wrong way. I also feel aggrieved by her attitude at times. But it definitely makes for an extremely fascinating viewing experience, because there isn’t this safety net or illusion that she will always save the day using powerful magic, which would cheapen the emotional stakes.
Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. As always, thanks for reading this post – and see you all next week to see where else Elaina will travel to next.