「フラウと吸血鬼」 (Furau to Kyuuketsuki)
“Frau and the Vampire”
Episode 05 of Peach Boy Riverside takes some time out of Sally’s road trip as they encounter a town that is being plagued by vampire attacks. But when the villagers of the town are aggressively racist to Frau, it begs to question whether any of these humans are worth saving and why Sally is more willing to cape for even the worst humans on the planet.
One of the more interesting topics explored in this episode was how Meki, now known as Carrot, has to come to terms with having new friends who are entirely sympathetic to humans, no matter how egregious they may be. With her unfamiliarity with the petty and meaningless prejudice of the human world, Meki’s immediate reaction is to reel in horror on Frau’s behalf. To be honest, it’s hard to blame Meki for being disgusted enough by the racism Frau faces that she’d root for the vampire.
While it’s surprising that Meki would think highly enough of Sally to think she would use her powers against humans, there isn’t much of a reason for Sally to help out any of the humans she’s come across aside from taking it upon herself to hunt whichever ogres are attacking the town she’s currently hanging out at. There wasn’t much of a vote of confidence for Sally to make life easier for Frau or stand up for her when she’s in too deep to upset any of the humans around her. With all of the humans she wants to save and all the ogres she’s willing to hunt in the process, the only thing she can do in response to Frau’s discrimination is grumble to herself.
Sally makes for an interesting heroine mostly because she doesn’t have a good grasp of her peach eye. She could prove to be a ticking time bomb if her peach eye ends up triggering around a point where she would end up seeing repulsive people in the same light as a dangerous ogre, especially with how it flashed for a moment in response to her octopus trauma. Sally might not be as willing to attack humans to defend Frau, but the temper she has towards the mistreatment Frau faces or seeing Frau being killed by Kyuketsuki might start channeling itself into other situations where Frau is antagonized.
Meki is also proving to be interesting because of how her emotional state keeps wavering with her interactions with Frau and Sally. Her disgust with Frau’s treatment would turn out to be the catalyst to drive her to the brink where she could question her role as a former ogre. It’s understandable that, in a moment of weakness, she would end up requesting Kyuketsuki to kill all of the town’s humans, even if they’ve both lumped Sally in with the rest of them due to her disinterest in attacking those who have mistreated Frau. She might have retracted this hatred after seeing Frau and Sally risk their lives in their fight with Kyuketsuki, but I can see it coming back in full circle once it comes to her attention that Sally killed off Sett and is chummy with the man who stole her horn.
It is too bad that Frau ended up being such a tragic character. On top of the sad reality, she has to endure by putting up with so much hatred, she can only find comfort in the companionship of a tolerant woman who wants to save everyone who has been racist to her. Frau’s method of merely coping with the prejudice she’s had to endure as she relies on Sally for comfort in a cruel human-centric world that treats her like garbage is actually pretty upsetting.
The fact that death is a revolving door for her and angels such as Atla warn her that her mind and body can’t handle being regularly murdered and revived is even worse. It would make Frau’s existence come off like it was merely there to serve Sally as it pushes her to end racism against demihumans.
Where she not only has to rely on Sally to have any kind of autonomy but she is also placed in the position of becoming a martyr after a few more sacrifices like this one so that Sally can advocate for the one demihuman that other humans tolerate who happens to be conveniently out of the picture. If the story is going to solve the world’s prejudice, it’d be more poignant and special if they didn’t treat Frau like she needed to be willing to give up her entire being if it meant devoting herself to the one human that was kind to her.
What an interesting episode, and I understand that because of this racism exists it makes it hard to protect the townsfolk. But lets recognize what the folks are dealing with, threat in town, ogres who can potentially arrive and kill everyone anytime. The townsfolk are so uneasy by the whole ordeal they don’t know how to respond without terror. But I believe what Frau did when the seller disrespected her was the right move. Don’t respond to disrespect with aggression, you won’t get what you want and even if you do it won’t be as great as you had hoped it would be.
Also if you have the strength to save one town of people you are obligated to save them all. Don’t go cherry picking just because some people are nicer, otherwise the savior is no better than the racists.
My two cents: “Peter, with great power comes great responsibility.” – Ben Parker
Caught up with the series, but even watching it in chronological order the pacing is a bit jarring with the jump from the 2nd to the 3rd episode. I had to seriously check if I had missed an episode inbetween.
Frau is adorable, will continue to watch.
ngl, to me, this is the best episode despite the obvious writing flaws in it especially when it’s the obvious (sometimes problematic) shonen trope of one revealing his past before his permanent death & the other get resurrected (once again) that may remind you of One Piece or Dragon Ball’s beginning arcs.
The only difference is the execution behind these tropes means well for Mr Vampire revealing his past before his final breath was to emphasize to Meki/Carrot that no matter how calm you are hiding your Oni nature, it’s no point for repressing it will lead an Oni to kill without hesitation. After killing his human loved one, he just kept “wandering” and didn’t out effort in repressing his Oni nature. Sure that doesn’t mean we should like him for that nor we should agree that reason is justifiable; instead we should feel sorry that him and some other Oni who are resisting from being the usual maniacal race and that he means well telling Meki/Carrot that losing her horns & Oni eye means that she don’t have to suffer the consequences of concealing her Oni nature too much amongst her companions of other race.
Regardless of whether she wants to feel relieved hearing this from him, Meki/Carrot has got a lot of growing up to do. And when I mean that, her decision-making in wanting to retaliate on what racist humans have done to Frau in this town shows that it’s a temporary solution because who knows how many towns are feeling the same way as this town; not to mention, there’ll be a radical racist human who will use the “You see?! They kill humans without mercy! And you say you want to co-exist with them?!” excuse if Meki/Carrot’s retaliation methods were to come true. Nevertheless, I doubt she’s not the only Oni who thinks “eye for an eye” belief is justified.
I’m still sticking to watching this series to the end despite the non-chronological order making some of our minds jumbled up & the pacing somewhat off even if you watch in chronological episode order. PeachSide has a lot of potential in telling a cautionary tale of reckless decision-making & selfless determination that may lead to something worse than one’s own death.
Sally still needs a proper character development because from what I’ve seen her so far, she’s stiff under the stereotypical archtype writing of her character. I hope she’s not written as a badly-written heroine in this series because the Knight Leader is enough to fill this spot. Yes, he’s written under the “Too Dumb to Live” trope too much (reference to ep 3’s 2nd half) that it’s obvious he’s a blank-slate/one-dimensional character. Tbh, so far he does nothing that makes him contribute to the plot other than being a plot device.
It has been m ost interesting episode.
It showed difficulty of living in bigoted society – are you gonna fight them all or slowly convince by example? At which point the tolerance turns into being indifferent to discrimination? For me it would be someone actually attacking Frau. I guess if some townsfol do that, Sally will snap…
Another thing surprised me: Frau is something more than harefolk, and is acquaintaince with angel dealing with fresh arrivals to heaven, who promptly revives her.
We will probably find more of her story in future…
Meki/carrot is another interesting person hjere, her strong convictions about justice might make her vulnerable to dark side, but fortunately loss of the horn and eye will probably lead to bit of humility…
Finally vampire antagonist here was interesting too: a world-weary vampire who once foound and killed a true love in human world and who probably was seeking death all the time subconsciously…