Hatena Illusion Episode 2
Oof, Kana’s mission failed spectacularly…
This week focused on explaining to us about Maeve’s background, what the Artifacts are, how they came to be, and why they are out to retrieve them! So let’s not waste any time and dig right into it!
What are these mysterious Artifacts? They are magic items created through a secret technique that has been passed down through Maeve’s family for generations. Each one of them has their own unique power. To wield an artifact, one must be able to distinguish it, and guess its true name. Once they do so, they will need to form a contract to activate it, and sometimes the payment for that isn’t a good one. We also learned that using it raises the wielder’s temperature, which can take a toll on the body when its overused. Kana described the experience as if having a fever. We were able to witness Kana use her artifact’s powers a couple of times today, and it has proven to be quite versatile.
I really like that there’s a cost to using the artifact’s powers. It forces the user to be sensible about how and when they use it, as opposed to spamming its powers. What I found also interesting is how there can be a bond between the Artifact and the user. We saw this throughout much of the episode between Kana and Muff, (as she calls him). It appears to indicate they can also potentially have a personality as well. So considering the pact is made between them, it seems some artifacts can be more than just an ‘magical item’, and be closer to the likes of a ‘familiar’ of a sorts.
But Maeve wasn’t always a Master Thief from the start. There was a time when many of her family’s artifacts were stolen and scattered around the world, which as result ended up falling into the hands of powerful individuals. Then once the secret of their existence began to spread, wealthy individuals offered large sums of money to create an artifact that would benefit them. Once that happened, Maeve made the decision to leave her family and flee to Japan where there she began her new life mission of taking back the artifacts from those who are abusing its powers to hurt others and for crimes. When she takes away an artifact, she replaces it with an identical item, just without its magic.
Kana claims that nobody notices the difference, but I beg to differ. If they were using the artifact’s powers for whatever purpose, they would surely know that it’s not the same piece the next time they use it…. unless they were to fall under the assumption it suddenly stopped working or broke. Who knows. Perhaps once we actually see them switch it will become more clear why that is.
As interesting as it was to learn more about the artifacts, the info-dump made the episode was a bit of a snooze-fest, but at least it never felt overwhelming to the point I was having a hard time following what they were saying. Besides establishing the plot’s objective, we were introduced to two affiliated with the Kikyouin Family, Kokori and her bodyguard. They are in on the Houshisato’s family secrets, and play a part of backing them up.
Kokori’s bodyguard comes off as super shady to me, so I wonder if she might turn out to be Maeve’s rival as a Master Thief of a sorts. She leaves me with the impression that she wants an artifact for herself (or for all we know, she might already have one in her possession). High chance she would be the one to get one before Kokori.
Frankly, I am not a huge fan of Kokori’s character. I’m not sure what it is, maybe she just isn’t my type of character and I will need time for her to grow on me… She certainly didn’t leave a positive impression when goes to Kana’s place to in attempt to fullfill the bargain of if she could claim one for herself, and turns their place upside down. Geez, does she really have to make such a big mess? (Actually I am more surprised she didn’t set off any of those traps Emma alluded to last week. Actually I think that would have helped spice up the episode). I wonder if she will ever be able to claim one, considering the conditions in place for her to do so is quite a tricky one. She needs to identify the artifact, guess its name and form a contract with it.
However on the flip-side of things, this turns our attention Makoto’s position. Following up to what was revealed to us last week, Yumemi confirmed it was definitely made by their mother. Now that we know more about how an artifact works, and that Makoto didn’t know anything about them until now, it points to despite having it in his hands, he has yet to distinguish it himself, identify its name, and form a contract with it.
Bearing that in mind, we saw today how Kana is a complete novice when it comes to attempting theft. Her mission to ‘break-in’ to Makoto’s room failed almost immediately after the start. In-fact, I welcome her failure. A lot of the times in the Phantom Thief story lines, the protagonist already knows some if not all the ins and outs of how to pull off a clean theft. I think it’s great that we are being presented an opportunity to witness both Kana’s and Makoto’s growth into their respective roles. However, I am curious to see how this series will be paced out. It appear Makoto will be learning any magic tricks from his mentor until he returns from his trip. How long that will be is the biggest question pressing my mind. I have also considered a scenario where Mamoru’s trip overseas end up being longed than initially planned. Either way, I hope we will be able to see them actively start training sooner than later.
And lastly, speaking of which: Makoto’s lessons as a “butler-in-training” isn’t exactly playing out the way he thought it would with Jeeves telling him there’s nothing for him to do, just go to bed. It makes me wonder if we are actually going to see him do any butler duties at all.
Oh and as for Emma who assigned him the job in the first place, turns out she’s also a student who is two grades above them. I really should have seen that coming.