「坊ちゃんと秘密の魔法」 (Botchan to Himitsu no Mahō)
“The Duke, Alice, and a Song for Two”
This is the episode of unmasking-we see Mother’s face for the first time and as a bonus, Daleth removes her mask. (I was almost expecting there to be some sort of twist, like Daleth turning out to be Alice’s mother).
The fear I had that Mother would turn out to be a stickler for marriage for the family name rather than love is quite valid-sending Viola into tears. Viola goes into teenage rebellion after Mother forces the prospect of a marriage (and long-skirt) bound future. I can’t blame Viola for storming off-it isn’t fair to force someone into wearing something or marrying someone they aren’t comfortable with. I know Viola is head over heels for Rob, but given their extreme age difference, I wouldn’t hold out hope for that relationship (and I would be disturbed if it did work out). Regardless, I would not put up with such a forced lifestyle and neither does Viola. This seriously does not bode well for Alice and Bocchan’s future together. Alice sees it, but I don’t think Bocchan does- yet.
As good as it would be for Bocchan and Alice’s relationship to have Mother stay out of the picture, I think she is starting to catch on that Bocchan’s mansion is becoming less of an exile and more of a party. I can’t really get mad at Walter for spilling the beans- a mother’s anger can be intimidating, especially for a child with a second-born complex like Walter and who is trying to please her. I feel bad for Bocchan-he so desperately wants to return to his home, imagining being together with a happy family again. However, he doesn’t realize the chains of propriety and family name that Mother would wrap around him and which are a constant burden to Walter and Viola.
I had a hunch that Viola would start wearing skirts more if Rob complimented her on her adult attire. Sure enough, Rob-smooth talker that he is- unwittingly convinces her to wear what her mother told her to. It was adorable how Alice has Bocchan wrapped around her finger and Viola successfully uses that to her advantage for a girls-only sleepover.
It is hilarious and frustrating that Viola gives Cuff a lecture about not showing up unannounced when that “surprise tactic” is Viola’s specialty. In their not-so-subtle ways, Viola and Cuff make the already obvious, even more obvious, in regards to their love interests. Alice is the only one who stays calm during their attempt at love talk (or more, avoidance). Her love for Bocchan, while not spoken, is certainly clear in her actions. This time- not in harassment, but blushes in a very cute moment when she overhears Bocchan telling Zain that he can be the only one to confess love to her.
Another thing of interest is the diary dated from the time of Bocchan’s curse, which Viola gives to Alice. The diary holds extra value for Alice, being written by her deceased mother. Curiously, Alice mentions the diary’s detail of white-robed witches arriving to Rob but not Bocchan. Perhaps she didn’t want Bocchan to hear that and put himself in danger by rushing to Daleth for details. Daleth definitely does not want Bocchan to come rushing to her-issuing a “friendly” warning via Zain. Fortunately, Zain has a handy revival magic that he can use in times like these.
Previously, I knew Daleth had to be hiding something with how vague she was about Bocchan’s curse and now that she uses Cuff as a threat to get Zain to dispose of evidence, it is definite that she has something to conceal. The question is-what? On top of that, it appears that Alice’s mother is somehow involved with this. But why? Earlier, there were hints from Daleth and Alice that her mother may have been involved with the witches. Clearly something is going on that involves deep dark secrets from the past. With everyone involved-Daleth, Mother, the dead witch, I have to wonder if Bocchan will wish he hadn’t unearthed the past.
It appears as if we are starting to get to the heart of the story with finally showing some promise with progress on the curse. The problem is-there is only one episode to go and with the reveal of Daleth possessing Alice’s mother’s coffin on top of Daleth trying to destroy evidence of the curse, I don’t know how or if they will neatly resolve it for the finale.