Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious!
In Alice & Zouroku episode 7, Friends, Sana discovers she’s good at math, but other subjects make her feel frazzled. So much so that it might affect her powers! She runs into Yonaga and Asahi Hinagiri again, which makes all kinds of trouble for Shizuku Ichijou. Sanae Kashimura has to make a middle of the night rescue — is she up to the task?
What’s In This Post
Zouroku Kashimura, Sana, and Ichijo take a day trip to Yokohama. Zouroku goes off to consult with a new customer; Ichijou takes Sana sight-seeing and goes over her lessons. It seems that Sana does well with math. In fact, she has is almost on the same level as a first year high school student. She struggles with other subjects, though, and she confides that it’s because there are so many things to take into account — unlike math. The other subjects make her feel frazzled; she doesn’t understand that feeling. When they meet up with Zouroku, all seems well until Sana’s Mirror Gate pops up unexpectedly and in an error condition.
The Hinagiri sisters are on an eating trip nearby. They had planned to visit many different restaurants, but Asahi can’t get past the food stalls — especially the pork buns. As they’re talking about how long it’s been since they last went shopping, they literally run into Sana. The twins panic and bring up their Mirror Gates; they flee when they see that Ichijou’s with Sana. The two didn’t even understand why they were running! The chase escalated until Sana was riding a rocket, chasing the two as they ride a motorcycle up a chain bridge between two buildings. Sana feels frazzled that they won’t want to see her, and that causes her Mirror Gate to malfunction. She would have run into a randomly-created boulder, but Ichijou not only pulls her out of harms way, she uses her Mirror Gate to make the whole incident look like they had been filming a movie — to keep the spectators from panicking.
Zouroku and Ichijou take the girls to a restaurant. The twins are hesitant, and Sana’s still feeling frazzled that the twins didn’t want to see her. She rants that she’s feeling frazzled all the time now. Yonaga suggests she’s just angry, and Sana’s shocked that the answer might be that simple. After enjoying the food, they all take a walk, and the twins try haltingly to make up with Sana. They share that they’ve missed her terribly and that they’ve felt guilty for not telling her about the outside world while they were at the facility. At the same time, Ichijou tells Zouroku that the twins had been abused before the police put them in the custody of the facility. The twins apologize and Sana readily accepts.
That night, Sana’s sharing the events of the day with Sanae. Sana’s still frazzled, and Sanae being the calm and placid young woman she is just encourages her. Later, Sana wakes up in a terrible panic: she feels like she can’t understand anything anymore. She feels like she’s just getting weirder and that “there’s a frazzled person inside of me that isn’t me.” Sanae seems to understand that Sana’s learning so much that she’s reevaluating everything she thought she’d known. Not having gone through that before, Sana panicked. Failing to find the words to comfort Sana, Sanae instead offers to let the little one sleep with her, where they can talk all night about how Sana feels frazzled.
The next morning, the Hinagiri twins wake up to find that Sana’s sent them an e-mail. They’re elated! Sanae had helped Sana work through some of her frazzled feelings by sending the e-mail, which said that the two were Sana’s friends and that she hoped to play with them again soon.
What I Liked
The intro scene, where Sana sings as she waters the flowers, was jam-packed with adorableness. She sang about watering the flowers (including the flowers saying they were full) and she wouldn’t add “-san” to Ichijo’s name until Zouroku told her at least twice. Then we get to see Sana’s reaction to using a train ticket for the first time. She seemed so upset that Zouroku had a pass that made the turnstile beep — and her paper ticket didn’t do that!
I’m guessing that Zouroku was pitching another engagement party — but the groom didn’t look very enthused. I couldn’t tell if he just wasn’t comfortable with planning a party like that (and boy, do I know that feeling!) or if he was getting cold feet. The bride to be sure looked happy, though! I appreciated the little bit of drama between them; it made the scene memorable.
Now that the stakes are lower, I could enjoy the humor as Sana chased the Hinagiri sisters. First, Sana yells “No fair!” as they use a chain rope to escape; by the time we see Sana riding a rocket to chase them, I was laughing out loud.
I was impressed with Ichijou’s powers before. She gave me more reason to be impressed this week! Not only did she have the presence of mind to act quickly to save Sana from plowing into a boulder, she did so with a huge flying dragon-like created named Fenrir. Then she used Fenrir to punish the girls by sending them into what looked like a low-earth-orbit before simulating fireworks to make the whole thing like a movie stunt. She might be my favorite character in this series.
Sana acts so much like a normal little girl that it’s sometimes hard for me to remember that she’s actually not biologically human at all. If I took the time to think about it, I’d be concerned that the writers, too, would forget — but not in this show! When Sana ranted that she was feeling frazzled and demanded the twins tell her why, Yonaga seemed perplexed and asked if Sana were just angry. The question seemed like a revelation to her! Sana’s reaction was so simple, yet it was such a huge insight into how she’s processing the world.
In light of the news that the Hinagiri twins’ father had mistreated them, it’s no wonder they had such an affection for the facility. It’s a little detail, but it’s one that made them feel even more sympathetic to me. I get it’d be hard for a father to raise daughters who had their powers. How would you teach them to control a power you couldn’t understand? How would you teach them to protect themselves while not wrecking havoc on the neighborhood? But that’s a long way from trying to hurt them in any way.
And seriously: how stupid do you have to be to try to hurt someone with those powers? Unless the powers hadn’t manifested themselves yet…
I’m just glad they’re safe now.
After Sana woke up in a panic, it was almost heart-breaking to listen to her describe how her entire view of the world was changing. She’d never experienced anything like that, and she seemed scared of losing herself. While Zouroku listened from upstairs, Sanae calmly talked Sana down and helped restore her equilibrium. I also thought it was a nice touch that Zouroku listened for a moment, saw Sanae had the situation under control, then went outside for a smoke.
What I Liked Less
Either I’ve been slacking, or the series I’ve been watching lately haven’t been making missteps that I don’t like. So, in an attempt to show I’m not going too soft on series, I’m going to find something I didn’t like about this episode.
Give me a second…
Oh! I found something! Around 21:47, the lines outlining Sana and Sanae’s face were too thick.
There! I found something I liked less. I can be savage if I want to be!
What a wonderfully subtle episode! Frankly, I hadn’t given much thought to the mental and intellectual implications of Sana not being biologically human. There are so many developmental assumptions that go into being a human that it simply never occurred to me. But this show demonstrated one of the reasons I like it so much: it’s exploring those ideas.
Sana felt frazzled for most of the episode. That’s the only way she knew to describe the feeling she experienced as learning made her re-evaluate her mental models. Of course, she didn’t put it that way. She just felt frazzled.
It was interesting how Ichijou saw one aspect of the problem, and her solution was to increase the intensity of Sana’s humanities curriculum. That’s a good idea and will help in the long run, but it’s a very adult idea in the sense that’s what a teacher would think when presented with that problem. Compare that to how the twins answered Sana. They were so comfortable with their emotions that they seemed to suggest Sana was simply angry. Sana’s reaction — a eureka moment — showed how new that idea was to her.
In the end, it took Sanae to put together an effective treatment plan. After trying and failing to explain it to Sana, Sanae decided to show her through primitive and supportive familial affection — she asked if Sana wanted to spend the night with her. The night’s not as scary if she isn’t alone. The next day, Sanae helped her send a healing e-mail to the twins.
I have two major worries at the end of this episode:
- Are Sana’s Mirror Gate errors a product of her “frazzled-ness?” Will those errors disparate as she gets a handle on her emotions? Or are errors a symptom of a longer-term problem?
- What’s this about an evil witch next episode? I am really not in the mood to welcome someone like Minnie C back to the show…
There were so many adorable moments in this episode. I think my favorite was Sana’s reaction when Yonaga suggested Sana was just feeling angry. What was your favorite moment? Let me know in the comments!
Other Posts of Interest
- Titans, Heroes, Queens, and Swords: Spring 2017 Anime Preview Part I
- Aliens, Gears, Game Creation, and Worlds in Collision: Spring 2017 Anime Preview Part II!
- Alice & Zouroku Episode 1 Review: The Red Queen Escapes
- Alice & Zouroku Episode 2 Review: Dreams of Alice
- Alice & Zouroku Episode 3 Review: Cards
- Alice & Zouroku Episode 4 Review: Something Not Human
- Alice & Zouroku Episode 5 Review: A Home to Return To
- Alice & Zouroku Episode SP Review: Looking Ahead to Part 2
- Alice & Zouroku Episode 6: The Kashimura Family
- Alice & Zouroku Episode 8: The Evil Witch
- Alice & Zouroku Episode 9: Where the Cheshire Cat Smiles
- Alice & Zouroku Episode 10: The Little Queen
- Alice & Zouroku Episode 11: The Queen and the Witch
- Alice & Zouroku Episode 12: I’m Home