Hatena Illusion Episode 4
Talk about taking the winds out of the sails. Maeve has yet to return home because she took a detour to her family’s place to ‘tie up some loose ends’ (I would like to think she is giving them shit for attacking Kana), but hey at least this is good news, she isn’t missing!
Unless her family decides to hold her captive. Mamoru (briefly) returns home from his trip, tells Makoto that now he can use an artifact there nothing more to teach him, (are you freaking kidding me?) and then poofs away to his next destination. Then for the rest of the episode was about trying to figure out why Yumemi didn’t want to go to school. And that’s it. That’s the episode.
What I really didn’t like about this episode was how slow it was. Dear god, did they really have to spend an entire episode on this? I know I shouldn’t complain, especially since more often than not, shows are rushed rather than taking their time, but gosh I was bored out of my mind. And it is a real shame because I was looking forward to learning more about Yumemi. I suppose a part of the reasons why it just didn’t click with me was due to the fact Yumemi is a quiet and fairly mellow character to begin with, so I suppose it would be fair nobody should expect a ‘lively’ episode so to speak. She can be shy at times when she doesn’t now how to respond to others, such as when she was troubled how to respond to an apology. (It was really cute how she expressed forgiving the boys through the magic tricks Makoto taught her!) She is also soft-spoken— even when she’s angry, and she isn’t type to lead the conversations. She seemed perfectly content with her classmate Mami doing all the talking, or learning from Makoto how to do magic tricks. She doesn’t have a lot of confidence in interacting with others in general, such as she was troubled how to respond to an apology. But while the episode itself was a snooze-fest, it doesn’t invalidate the conflicts she faced today, of how the boys say her blonde hair is strange, and how it hurts her to be told that she and her sister (Kana) don’t look alike.
And while we are on the subject of vulnerabilities, I truly hope we will be able to see some of this from Makoto’s side sooner than later. Right now he doesn’t have a lot going on beyond being a genuinely nice guy– and I mean, he’s REALLY NICE! It is so flattering to see a character just earnestly say the sweetest things from the heart! I gushed when he complimented Kana’s hair and told how she and Yumemi are sure to be different types of beautiful women then they grow up, after she had expressed she is a bit envious of how Yumemi takes after their mother so much. But what Makoto’s character needs the most right now is some depth to break out the generic mold he is stuck in at the moment.
Finally, there was Mamoru. Honestly, I am disappointed in him. For a guy who promised to teach Makoto his ways as a magician—- and I don’t give a rats about his excuse of how his magic is dependent on the power of the artifacts, and just poofs away after telling Makoto now he needs to learn how to command the stage and stuff, way to break a promise! YOU CAN AT LEAST TEACH HIM HOW. HE DIDN’T COME TO THE MANSION TO TEACH HIMSELF, GOD. The only thing that Makoto could really take away from that conversation, was the importance of Mamoru’s role as a Magician to draw attention away from Maeve. This is something that can be applied to Makoto’s battles in the future as he determines the best way to support Kana during their retrieval missions. Of course, the biggest irony here is that as Yumemi points out, Makoto is a better ‘Magician’ than her father because he is actually practicing the traditional tricks without depending on the magical powers of the artifact. Go figure.
Then there was the animation quality. Oof… I know I said I don’t usually mind about the lower quality animation as long as they the prioritized the resource for the more important scenes, such as the artifact fight between Gaugau and Muff. That at the very least was clean and fun to watch the two duke it out because of how well it was put together! (And we talk about Gaugau for a moment, THAT BEAR IS NO JOKE. Thank god Muff has some good resilience because I was afraid for it being torn into shreds!!!!) But man, they also had some glaring mistakes, such as when they fail to match with the dialogue when they panned over a virtually empty classroom, that was alluded to have been full of students giving them super-weird looks. Unfortunately were number of messy scenes and rough frames that were hard to ignore… At least none of them were super important or significant for that matter, but still, it’s not a good look.
In all, this episode was not a great one. It leaves me feeling uncertain of how this series is going to play out, but I am relieved to see that our next antagonist Tominozawa, or as she likes to be referred to as: Tomi-Tomi, has made their appearance. It also seem at the very least Jeeves is familiar with this one, which I kind of hoping for, but at the same time not expecting them to really explain whether or not Jeeves or Emma, or even Kana and Yumemi know the faces of Maeve’s relatives. I would like it to be straightened out for once and for all. Hopefully this will also mean we will finally get to see more of Kana and Makoto working together as phantom thieves because that’s the kind of action I signed up for!