Holy s***, is what I thought. This is one extremely sad and depressing episode. The episode itself wasn’t long at all, but the stories/arcs the episode told were extremely sad.
The first arc that was told, showed Elaina flying over a field of flowers where she encounters a girl tending to them. Handing a bouquet to Elaina, the girl asks her to hand it off to another individual so that they too could enjoy the flowers like she was. Seeing this as harmless Elaina agrees and takes the bouquet to the city she was going to visit where she was forcibly stopped by one of the guards because of the bouquet she was carrying. We quickly find out why, flowers cause ‘normal’ individuals to become attracted to where the flowers bloom and once they arrive to the flower field, the flowers consume the individual.
Later on, we see Elaina writing in her journal as she recalled the events of the day, there she was thinking back to one of the stories she had read when she was younger. Elaina recalled something similar to what one of the older guards told her about the flowers, wanting to see whether or not it was real, the next day Elaina flew back to the flower field; where she met the girl who had given her the bouquet of flowers. Surely enough, there she was in the same place where Elaina had found her, consumed by the flowers she adored. Standing at the girl’s consumed body was the guard who had stopped Elaina, who so happened to be her brother, also being consumed by the flowers. His final resting place was with her sister, someone who he had lost but now found thanks to Elaina and the bouquet the flowers were wrapped in, which coincidently had belonged to the guard’s sister.
Seeing the guard being slowly consumed by the flowers that had consumed his sister, was honestly extremely saddening. Especially since Elaina watched helplessly as it all happened.
The second arc was also extremely depressing, as Elaina flew away from the traumatic first arc, she is once again stopped by a boy named Emil who was collecting happiness in a bottle for a girl who she liked named Nino. I won’t go into too much detail, but long story sort, she’s a slave who was bought by the Emil’s father to take care of the home because his wife had left him, and he needed someone to take care of them because he didn’t care enough to. Emil however, didn’t catch on that Nino was their slave, but seeing her sad was something that Emil didn’t like seeing, hence the ‘happiness in the bottle’. Signs from Emil’s father, show utter disregard for basic duties and I assume he also abuses Nino for not ‘properly’ preforming her duties as their slave — which again is fucking stupid. Thank god I do not have to see Emil’s father again, but I also feel terrible for Nino, stripped from her family and sold into slavery where she assumed to be abused by Emil’s father.
At the end of the arc, Emil reveals Nino his ‘happiness in a bottle’ showing her that there is happiness in this world and that you shouldn’t be sad. Which again is a valiant effort by him, as he didn’t like seeing her sad. However, like Elaina had done before, once she set off on her journey from the town where she had met Emil and company, she’s once again recalling another story. A story where a bedridden wife’s husband wanted his wife to experience the same sites he had seen on his journeys, who also like Emil, wanted to show her that there is something beautiful outside these confines.
“The things we think we do for the sake of others aren’t always what’s best for them”. At the end of the story that Elaina is recalling, the story ends with the bedridden wife committing suicide because while her husband did something that he thought we be best for his wife, all he did was show her sights that she could never experience, views she could never personally see because she was bedridden. This ending alone, also implies that Nino too had committed suicide because even though Emil wanted to show her that there is happiness in this world. Ultimately, Nino would never experience that happiness, that love of her parents, the enjoyment of her favourite pastime, the ability to experience all the things a teen would be able to experience because she’s a slave abused by her slaveowner. Since Emil doesn’t fully understand that Nino is their slave, I think he will continue to capture ‘happiness in a bottle’ for Nino to experience that happiness, happiness she’ll never have. He’ll continue to try to do good, even though all this good will kill Nino.
Which again, is extremely sad and depressing.
This episode really struck the feels for me. When you’re expecting a Adventure, Magic, and Fantasy but you’re forced to witness two parts that I consider to be traumatic in the literal sense, it really pulls at your emotions. Overall despite the traumatic experiences, this episode was extremely well done, the stories told were sad and made the viewer (me) feel every emotion. It connected with me.