「サリーと岐路」 (Sarii to Kiro)
“Sally and a Crossroads”
Episode 03 of Peach Boy Riverside kicks things off into high gear as Sumeragi appears from behind the shadows to orchestrate his plans to have the humans and ogres in the palms of his hands. But with Sally and her friends scrounging around for money after Rimdarl was wiped off the map, Sumeragi’s measures might not be enough to not make them suspicious of his intentions.
This episode begs to question exactly how much good faith can you have on someone that has a twisted smile and duplicitous intentions. Sumeragi is terrible at lying and speaks in vague enough terms about his intentions to both the Hundred Ogre Gathering and Sally. There is no reason for anyone to trust Sumeragi when his smile widens a little too much whenever he talks about wanting to unite humans and ogres in perfect harmony.
The same can be said for Juselino, who uses her real name to pass herself off to Hawthorn as a normal girl who just so happens to want to lead him into the woods to unite with Sumeragi. She gives a diabolical grin to Hawthorn, and he just passes it off like it’s an odd quirk. When Sumeragi pops in to introduce himself as a totally normal pastor who instructs Juselino to cheer for Hawthorn, how are red flags not going off in this dude’s head that these guys are suspicious?
Sumeragi’s elevator pitch to Sally was also crazy because he just comes out the gate directly asking her for support from her peach eye as if she’d have any interest in aiding his plan for ogre/human relations after 15 seconds of knowing her. He gives her the same cryptic spiel he says to the rest of the girls and is immediately exposed by Mikoto. And still, Sumeragi acts like Sally will agree to go with him if he admits to being the same villain Mikoto is hunting under the assumption that his honesty will win her over.
It makes it all the more baffling when she is confused about whether she should join him or Mikoto. I understand that Mikoto has unhinged, genocidal tendencies. I also understand that it would be awful to date him considering that he gave Sally a cup of water and passed it off like a drink he paid for (I’m sure you shelled out the big bucks on the bread at Cheesecake Factory, my dude).
But Sumeragi made no qualms about being like “Yeah, I admit it. Evil as evil can get. Just join me, it’ll be a cool way to use your eye.” It’s ridiculous that such a ballsy and ridiculous tactic is enough to get Sally to question whether she should go against her “ride-or-die” because he’s looking more unhinged in the conversation.
Aside from these story beats, it is nice to catch up with some of the characters after Rimdarl’s destruction. The Barquend Martial Arts Tournament was a reasonable enough way to get most of the cast together, especially since everyone’s so strapped for cash that they’d be more than happy to take part in it.
There are some interesting developments with Meki as well with how she is starting to understand humans more after years of wanton human murder. It might’ve come as quickly as Hawthorn’s racism being cured after seeing Frau in action. Then again, time is of the essence and Meki being comfier around humans adds to the emotional weight that will come from her potentially coming face-to-face with Todoroki.
In true Cool-kyoushinja fashion, Todoroki is a very young-looking high ogre who had a major crush on Meki, who can go from looking like a young girl to an older woman when she dips into her powers. But Sumeragi putting him on the path of vengeance should prove to be interesting considering how Meki’s symbolic “demise” might cause Todoroki to reconsider whether she could really be dead to him or not.
If you think the time jump here was a little confusing since it jumped right to the point where Sally and Mikoto reunited, you might want to prepare for more chaos once Episode 04 airs since it’ll be a prequel episode focusing on how Mikoto met Sally. I suppose it’s done this way to make it feel like Sally needs to reflect on this as she reaches the crossroads of whether to side with Mikoto or Sumeragi.
It makes for an anime experience where you’ll need to roll with the punches and fill in the blanks for what might’ve happened between episodes, or else you’ll tear your hair out. It’s still relatively entertaining, but mostly for some of the ridiculous twists and turns that happen throughout each episode.