「坊ちゃんとアリスと魔界の一夜」 (Botchan to Arisu to Makai no Ichiya)
“The Duke, Alice, and a Night in the Witches’ World”
The saddest moment was Bocchan’s lament about the loneliness of parting from Alice for the evening. Bocchan has so many hopes for the future- to be with his family again, to have a normal romance with Alice. How close can he get to those dreams, at the mercy of a witch who seems rather capricious, setting rules for the curse at whim?
One thing is clear about Bocchan-he is quite the gentleman-making a flower garland for Alice, protecting Alice from the cold with her jacket. He is also a pure-hearted boy, with his adorable blushes at Alice’s displays, seeking to genuinely care for and respect her, rather than take advantage of her. All these, on top of his kindness, awkwardness, and other qualities make him more and more endearing with each episode.
Cuff and Zain told Bocchan to come prepared for the Witches’ Sabbath-I expected more emotional preparedness than the sack full of weapons Bocchan came out with! Seriously-how much damage could one do against a witch with physical weapons, particularly against a witch powerful enough to cast a death touch curse? Not much, I would assume. That goes to show Bocchan’s innocent determination-determined to fight the witch and break the curse with whatever tools he has.
Like Bocchan, I was expecting a Witches’ Sabbath to be darker, more intimidating, rather than the part Halloween haunted house walk-through, part school, part casual club meeting that it was. Quite surprising, but with hilarious effect- thanks to Bocchan’s susceptibility to being easily scared. True to character, Alice is non-plussed and Bocchan overreacts.
In another chuckle-worthy moment, we get to the heart of Cuff’s inner, hidden perception of Zain when she goes off script, blurting out that Bocchan and Alice are her and Zain’s kids. The need for their human-disguising robes is apparent when one of the witches makes a remark belittling Cuff’s abilities due to her being part human. Which makes me question if Cuff really is as useless as she makes herself out to be. Cuff obviously can use magic with her animal transformation, fire power, and object summoning. Her uselessness without Zain may be a psychological thing tied to the witch society’s negative views of her human blood than an actual limitation of abilities.
The death touch’s limitation of Bocchan’s abilities appears to have some convenience. Bocchan, out of consideration for Alice’s fondness for her blue flowers, controls his death touch to dry them, preserving them for her in a pretty garland. While Bocchan couldn’t lend Alice a hand when she fell into the lake previously or catch a cat for her, when running for their lives, Bocchan can, for the first time, physically protect her by withering the witches’ plant attacks. It is refreshing to see how something that is normally an inconvenience (and downright curse) to Bocchan, can sometimes come in handy in positive ways.
The shocker of the day-Bocchan’s witch is apparently dead, leaving the obvious solution to the curse (convincing the witch to reverse it) out of the question. I’m not terribly astonished they didn’t find the witch-with the show only being halfway over, I doubted they would resolve the curse so soon. That said, I didn’t expect the witch to be dead. There is a part of me that doubts she is actually dead-it seems hard to believe the curse wouldn’t break upon the witch’s death, no matter how powerful the witch in question may be. Perhaps the skull witch is hiding something and knows more than she is letting on.
If the witch is indeed truly dead, there is probably some other way of breaking it-if there wasn’t, with all of Bocchan’s hopes resting on reversing it, it would feel like a dead end. If they can’t break the curse, that still wouldn’t spell the end for the couple (although it would be a disappointment for them to be unable to physically consummate their relationship)-one of the charms of this series is how Bocchan and Alice develop their emotional connection to one another even without the physical connection.