Hatena Illusion Episode 3
Oh goodie, we were finally treated some action with the artifacts’ magic, as well as the introduction of our first antagonist!
This week’s case was to nobody’s surprise, a stolen artifact— an important one at that: Maeve’s Crest. It is a family heirloom Maeve entrusted to Kana for safekeeping before she left on her trip. The crest is a key item used in the creation of artifacts, so even though Maeve is the only one who can use it, it is still a highly desirable item. It was briefly stolen by Mariah (before being recovered by Kana and Makoto), who revealed she is in fact Maeve’s younger sister who was instructed by their family’s elder to recover it. WHELP, you got me there! I never expected her to be Kana’s aunt, and in some ways I am flabbergasted over how careless they were to neglect to inform anyone of her existence. At the very least, you would think they would tell Jeeves of all people, and provide a profile on what she looks like! No wonder she was able to just brazenly walk into the house solely under the pretense of Kotori’s ‘bodyguard’. Heck, she didn’t even change her looks! Like come on!
Mariah marks the first among the few antagonists they will be facing from here on out. We saw her make use of an artifact called the Green Generals, these roots-like monsters to attack and fend off Kana from retrieving the crest. She also introduced their side of as the Cursed Star Family, which makes you wonder a bit more about their history to be referred as such. I suspect there will be more relatives coming their way in attempt to steal the crest, if not potentially opposing parties who are seeking to get their hands on it as well. However I’d say she is probably (as she said) the softer one among them, since it seems despite her tough appearance, she does care for her sister.
The fight between them was fun to watch and I am glad the animation was better after its quality has dipped since episode 2. I am the type who isn’t bothered too much with how the overall episode looks so as long as the most important scenes are given the best treatment.
What I loved the most about the fight was that while we know Kana is still a rookie thief, she is pretty solid when it comes to combat. She held her own pretty well until Maeve used the Green Generals which made it difficult for her to fight alone. It seems Muff’s abilities are one that are typically attached to her and more fit for close combat rather than range, something we saw Makoto’s Smile Stick excel at. This is actually pretty good for them considering it will help cover each other’s weaknesses. We saw how Smile Stick’s abilities includes being able to summon an individual (in today’s event: Kana) who is out of reach into his arms, and its offensive capabilities.
And speaking of Smile Stick… I hate to say it, but its’ initial debut was… super underwhelming. It was basically some pep-talk from Jeeves to help Makoto solidify his resolve and then the artifact presented itself. There was also no name guessing, instead Jeeves just straight-up tells him wand’s true name (Airgetlám), and as part of the contract, Makoto gives it a new name. But hey, at least he rocks the dapper outfit and has some sick moves of his own. As for his convictions, Makoto dreams of becoming a magician so he can help make other’s sadness disappear and make them smile again. He was inspired by Mamoru’s performance after feeling down in the dumps of being bullied. And one of the wisdom that was shared with him is the family motto’s: the only thing that is okay to steal away is sadness, something we see Kana bring up today as well.
But while the action was cool, my favourite part of the episode was actually just Kana and Makoto taking the time to communicate with each other. (Thanks for the push from Kotori! You earned some likeability points!) Kana explained the reason why she has been acting awkward around Makoto is because it has always been difficult for her to interact with boys. So it is an understatement really why has been hard for her. Not to mention, the poor girl is still mortified that she was the only one who made the mistake in the first place.
And I loved the way Makoto’s responded to her. He showed us how considerate he can be as the first thing that comes to his mind is to help Kana feel more comfortable is suggest he will rent a place elsewhere. But like Kana, Makoto found himself needing to apologize for a mistake he made as well. Today he realized he had misinterpreted their promise of partnership from childhood. At the time, he thought Kana meant being partners in magic, not as a thief (which to be fair, he didn’t know about that role until he moved in).
Now that their misunderstandings have been cleared up, I find the way they affectionately interact with each other to be quite endearing. It was so nice to see Kana convey the faith in Makoto as a partner, and thanking him for keeping his promise. I am looking forward to seeing their feelings for each other grow because they are already a blushing mess and don’t hesitate to be be intimate with one another, such as holding hands, SO CUTE! This is the kind of fluff I live for.