「種族と居場所」 (Shuzoku to Ibasho)
“Species and Belonging”
We’re jumping back in time to the moment Hawthorn’s kingdom Rimdarl was destroyed in this week’s Peach Boy Riverside. It’s also at this point where many of our heroes face a crisis in faith as they try to figure out where they can go from here after being displayed towards yet another prejudiced town.
For Sally, we’re given the point where she makes her resolve to use her journey as a campaign to end racism. While Sally’s treated most of the trip like a grand vacation, her illusion of the world around her is shattered as soon as she discovers that there is so much prejudice in the world. Between humans who are bigoted against demihumans and ogres who want nothing more than to see humanity burn, there is absolutely no reason why anyone would want to go outside.
Her conversation with Mikoto shows off much of this growth as well, given that it’s also the point where she doesn’t feel as interested in chasing after Mikoto. On top of his hypothetical where he gets a little too excited about the idea of murdering all demihumans as he explains prejudice to her, he notices that she merely invited him to join her. Rather than feeling like she needs to join him, she would rather leave the door open for others to walk the same path she is now that she’s dedicating more of her journey to helping form a world where Frau can comfortably thrive without people wanting to make her life harder.
Things won’t be so simple for Hawthorn though. After Rimdarl got wiped off the map alongside his friends, family, and fellow villagers whom he swore to protect, he’s got nothing left. His job, his home, and his responsibilities are now all gone. And because of this, he can only put on a composed face for so long as he lives off of the small bit of money he has leftover in his wallet now that he doesn’t have a paying job or villagers to protect.
Frau does much of the legwork to try to get everyone to perk up in lieu of the grim end of the Rimdarl kingdom. She helps get him to take things one step at a time and ends up forming a mild bromance with him as she cheers him up. Additionally, this is where you find out why Meki was renamed “Carrot” and why she ended up endearing to Sally as the one person who could help her avoid getting lobbed by the racism she faced.
But even the newly reformed Carrot has a hard time shaking off the past as Sumeragi ends up trying to orchestrate a Machiavellian scheme against Sally. It’s a little weird because, for all of the teasing they give us about Sumeragi having a reason for Sally to be spared, he keeps on throwing in deadly obstacles for the “bitch” he keeps talking about.
This includes having Milla possibly stop and try to murder everyone in Sally’s party as they make their way towards The Witch of the Western Forest. I suppose the next episode will be when we find out how Sally cut off a part of Milla’s horn. But if the intention is to get us on Milla’s side first, it might’ve been wise on their end to have us see the events of Episode 06 first. Because if we jumped into it chronologically, there wouldn’t be much of a reason to feel as guilty for Milla when it looks like she was already in ambush mode by the time Sally activated her peach eye. And with Sumeragi being consistently sketchy, it’s hard to look at anyone allied with him as an ogre who wouldn’t be going in for the kill the moment they cross paths with Sally.