「正直者の国」 (Shoujiki Mono no Kuni)
“The Land of Truth Tellers”
This was one of the episodes that reminded me of Kino’s Journey. Namely the way it starkly contrasts the episode when Kino visited the country of liars. A country without liars sounds good on paper. But as we come to find out, not everything is sunshine and rainbows. Unable to lie, the citizens either avoid speaking altogether or seek to game the system by coming up with new ways of lying to one another. So the king’s desire to banish lies fails to solve the underlying problem and makes the situation within his country worse. Not to mention he’s an asshole for readily discarding his court witch like she was a broken tool, once he discovered she’d lost her magic for his sake.
Fortunately this is where Elaina becomes involved. Although she’s pleased to discover the objective truth that she is indeed a beautiful witch, after discovering the plight of Eihamia – this land’s Court Witch who got thrown out for losing her voice and magic, she takes matters into her own hands to destroy the royal sword which is the source of the lie prevention magic. All’s well and good that she helps out her fellow witch.
But you know what troubles me? That she’s capable of going the extra mile to potentially offend a king and risk facing his armed entourage. Yet she won’t try to help siblings entrapped by a parasitical flower field, or save a sexually abused slave girl from her cruel master. Previously it had been easy to give her the benefit of the doubt, that she simply wouldn’t stick her nose in situations which put her life at risk. Or offending the sensibilities of others (the slave master) in complex situations.
Perhaps it’s a sign of her character development. That over the course of her travels, she’s gone from cold observer to intervening when values of good or morality are at stake. I certainly hope this is the case, though it remains to be seen in future episodes whether this is true. Nevertheless, she did the right thing this week and that alone is worthy of praise.
Finally, I didn’t expect Saya to re-appear so soon. Following her previous errors in judgement, Saya worked really hard to become fully fledged and accomplished – earning the moniker of Charcoal Witch. Her open adoration of Elaina was equal parts wholesome and heartwarming and unapologetically gay. And the best thing about it? We know there are absolutely no lies in her open display of love, because of the truth telling magic. Perhaps C2C are adapting in chronological order straight from the novels, but I thought it was quite early to have her return. Although a lot of time has passed within the setting, it certainly doesn’t feel that way and I wish the series better connoted this passage of time. Or simply featured Saya again further down the line.
Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. I’ve heard that we could be in for a real treat next episode, specifically that it will likely be one of the best episodes we’ll be getting from this adaptation. So look forwards to that! As always, thanks for reading this post and see you all next week!