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Review of Fairy gone Episode 06: Mariya and Klara Kick Butt and the Plot Engages

Quick Summary

In Fairy gone episode 6, "Fellow Traveler," the tenth anniversary of the end of the war is approaching, and the empire is rolling out a new model of artificial fairy. But that new model has a problem: Some of them randomly attack civilians. Can Mariya Noel and Free Underbar figure out why? Dorothea leadership receives another lead about the Black Fairy Tome, and Nein Aular sends an unlikely pair to investigate: Mariya and Klara Kysenaria. When they arrive, the informant wants to increase the price -- and threaten their lives. What can Klara and Mariya do against so many attackers? And if they prevail, will this turn out to be another dead end?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.  

What's in This Post

3 Favorite Moments

Moment 1

Klara was a little surprised (and maybe disappointed?) that Mariya might still get lost after studying the map. Capture from the Funimation stream.

This episode had a lot of cool little moments between Mariya and Klara. My first favorite moment, for example, showcases Klara's almost sarcastic wit. They had just arrived in Escreque (the placard said Sinquenje, whereas the translation said "Escreque, former territory of Sinquenje;" I'm kinda confused). Neither of them had ever visited this city before. Mariya made the mistake of saying, in an off-hand way, that she hoped they didn't get lost. Klara seemed taken about and asked (9:30), "You'd get lost after having seen the map?" Then she strode off. Mariya looked embarrassed, and she probably should: she's a field agent, after all! At least Klara didn't make a huge deal out of it, but she got her point across. On a side note? While Klara wore a dress that more or less blended in, Mariya's rifle box on her back was anything but inconspicuous! 

Moment 2

Have you ever seen a less impressed expression than the one Mariya is wearing in this shot? I think Buz seriously overestimated his aura of power! Capture from the Funimation stream.

Just minutes after Klara zinged Mariya for not having memorized the map, the two women meet Buz the informant (9:53). He's very large, smacks his lips, and looks at Klara in a sexually appraising way. Her expression doesn't change (she's quite the professional) and proceeds to remind him that he's already been paid and should tell them what he knows. Mariya, meanwhile, seems to have heard or sensed something behind a partition. Buz shockingly says he needs more money -- well, he says they should "sweeten the deal," and I actually did laugh out loud at Mariya's expression, which was a combination of disgust and complete unimpressed-ness. Then ole' Buz played what he thought was his trump card -- he signaled his men, hiding behind the partition Mariya had seen, and they attacked. There were five of them. Sounds like the odds were against our heroes, doesn't it? But between Mariya's rifle box and Klara's chair, four of them dropped in four seconds. And when Buz tried to draw his sidearm, Mariya and Klara pressed very sharp blades against his neck (10:45). He wisely re-holstered his weapon and decided that maybe it would be a good idea to tell them what he knew. The fight was fast; the two Dorothea agents were crisp and decisive in their moves. That's how to win a fight against superior odds!

Moment 3

Everything's a matter of perspective. Klara seems intent on finding the best way to look at things. Capture from the Funimation stream.

Mariya and Klara chased the agent they suspected of buying the Black Fairy Tome onto a train just as it was leaving the station. They split up to search both halves of the train, but for some reason, they didn't see their suspect, even though he was there. So, they settled down to wait until they reached the station. Mariya asks Klara why she joined Dorothea, and Klara relates the story of how Nein had saved her in the aftermath of the war (16:40). Unlike previous flashbacks, this felt a lot more immediate, as it directly related to the action in front of us. It was nice learning something concrete about a character -- it was a pleasant contrast to the flashbacks we've been getting at the beginning of the episodes because when this flashback was done, I felt like I knew Klara a little better. What made it really cool, though, was how Klara reacted to Mariya sharing that she'd never know her mother or father. "I guess that makes me fortunate," she said (17:25). At Mariya's startled look, Klara said, "I mean, I lost them, but I have my memories." Not only did the response make Mariya re-evaluate her perspective, it showed that Klara is trying to stay positive herself. I wish we had gotten this kind of characterization earlier! 

Thoughts

The chemistry between Mariya and Klara was just fantastic. Klara seemed comfortable helping Mariya past some rough spots. Remember Mariya's expression when they entered the decidedly seedy bar (9:41)? She was so close to running back out that Klara had to take her hand to lead her forward! Mariya, for her part, took Klara's lead, and when the time came, she did exactly what she had to do. 

And can we take a second to admire just how awesome they looked on a motorcycle? 

I don't think this is Klara's first ride on a motorcycle! Capture from the Funimation stream.

As you can tell from my three favorite moments, I really enjoyed watching Mariya and Klara in action. I appreciate strong characters, particularly strong women characters -- and especially quietly competent strong women characters! So I think it's no stretch to say that this is my favorite episode from this series so far.

This week was also the first time I had a sense that the plot was moving forward smoothly. Sure, we got the (apparently) obligatory flashback/history lesson at the beginning, but honestly? This time it felt relevant. The others might actually be important, but they felt disconnected to me. This week, the lesson played right into some of the intrigue with Ray Dawn

It's starting to look like the plot is going to focus on Dorothea chasing fragments of the Black Fairy Tome. That could work out just fine: I've always liked quest-style plots. There are a few other things that the show will have to do. In no particular order:

This show has a lot of potential, and it might be starting to realize it! Capture from the Funimation stream.d

  1. Focus the flash-backs and history lessons on things we need to know
  2. Structure the plot so that we can see the relevancy of the flashbacks; I don't mind trying to remember stuff, but I don't want to have to take notes as if this is a history test -- the kind of history test that ignores relationships and focuses only on names and dates
  3. Continue to build these characters; this episode restored a ton of goodwill I feel for the show simply because I liked the characters
  4. Ramp up the political intrigue, but in such a way that it affects the characters

This is a pretty rich world, at least as the narrative has portrayed it so far. There's a ton of potential here! I hope the show can establish its footing and let these characters shine!

What did you think of Mariya and Klara's chemistry? What were your favorite moments? Let me know in the comments!

Other Posts about This Series

8 thoughts on “Review of Fairy gone Episode 06: Mariya and Klara Kick Butt and the Plot Engages

  1. I don’t know. I liked opening info dump more than most of the rest of the episode. Both the direction and writing in this episode, worse than before, was trying way too hard to make people look cool, IMO, and it comes at the expanse of plot and character. The infornant scene was nearly pointless except for showing off the Mariya/Clara combo. Did they look cool sure. Could something like this happen? Yes. Does it make sense for this to happen? Not to me.

    If he’s an informant, he won’t want to piss off his customers. If he’s playing a double game, he’d want to be a bit more careful. And Dorothea? Why pay in advance. Actually: How pay in advance? There’s clearly no wireless transmassion. Did they mail a cheque? Shady information deals aren’t easy for any involved. There’s a good chance they were just dealing with a local moron, but if that’s the case, he’s not going to hold this position for long.

    Same thing with the Clara/Nein flashback; so buried in cool that the scene was near pointless. I learned nothing from it that I couldn’t have guessed from Clara defending Nein in that recent group scene: it’s an exercise in box ticking – so out of the szenarios I can imagine, this is what happened. It ends with Nein looking like the stereotypical prince in every highschool stage performance ever, so I can’t even take the scene seriously.

    Don’t get me wrong, I had fun watching this episode, but the show really is wasting a lot of time on making characters look cool. But if you paste characters together from stock footage, there’s little chance of them acquiring a personality in the process.

    Did I think Clara and Mariya had chemistry this episode? No, I didn’t. Nobody has much chemistry in this show. It’s just not one of this show’s strengths. There’s some potential in this show, but I’m not looking for it within characterisation. It’s the same with the final shot: that was such an overplayed villain-smirk, probably because villains need to smirk (but they can’t just maniacally cackle without giving themselves away, and that’s why it has to be more subtle, but we can’t trust our audience, so me must show a close up… and linger on it for the slow ones in the back).

    I certainly hope a rookie directed this episode.

    1. I don’t know — I think you might be a _little_ harsh. Not about the villain — yeah, he was an idiot. But I read his reaction not really as greed, but as lust. Or maybe condescension. For me, he himself made more sense than having the other guys hiding.

      I don’t really mind a show going out of its way to make characters look cool. I do like how Klara and Mariya interacted; I saw a chemistry there.

      By the same token, I can’t dispute your take on the flashback to Nein. The fight was over very quickly, and frankly, I’m tired to the who sexual assault angle. Must all males outside the heroes be such pigs? Maybe the answer’s yes, but if that’s the case, show us why!

      They need to come up with something more subtle!

      The smirk at the end? I found that if I use the “camp” filter, it was fine. Subtle? Heavens no! But not _that_ painful.

      Though all of my defense of the show will be useless if the show doesn’t get its plot in gear!

      1. *****Though all of my defense of the show will be useless if the show doesn’t get its plot in gear!****

        See, I’m pretty much the reverse here. The plot is fine. They’re on track. They mess up little things, but the big picture? Can’t complain. I’m patient and not that worried. It’s not exactly a sure thing; it might easily fall apart – but I’m fine with both the plot and narrative approach. That’s why I’m having such a problem with the make-characters-look-cool approach. That’s the approach you give a simple action show; it’s counter-productive in a slow-burn show that reveals it hands one card at a time. You need atmosphere. Plotwise, this feels a lot like a noir mystery, but style-wise this looks more like an action-action-run-run-run show. The style gives you a false impression.

        It’s like: “Yeah, we know, the plot is slow. Here’s some cool images while you’re waiting for stuff to happen.” That’s not how you do things, though. If you have a story about war and exploitation and political intrigue, you don’t frame your characters through the lense of superheroes, unless you know what you’re trying to achieve with this. Here it seems that director of Jojo and the writer of Grimgar each do their own thing without really clicking with each other. A show of two halves, where what you’re disappointed with depends on which show you’d like to watch.

        Summary: Too much fighting and posing gets in the way of the sense of tension the plot would need to keep you invested. It’s like Indiana Jones meets Where Eagles Dare and they don’t get along. You’re not going to build up the patience you need for the plot if the shows constant fights on you, but you’re not going to get any meaningful resolutions to any of the fights either, because few of them seem to matter much in the big picture. At this point, I think the problem is fundamental.

        1. “It’s like Indiana Jones meets Where Eagles Dare and they don’t get along.”

          Okay, I actually laughed out loud reading that!

          My problem with the plot is that the flashbacks set up a complex web, but the present action doesn’t seem to develop those strands.

          That makes the plot feel disjointed. So, I’ve fallen back to character as the main source of enjoyment.

          “At this point, I think the problem is fundamental.”

          You can probably tell, but I’ve been trying to not admit that! I’m hoping that the problem can be summarized as “beginnings are hard.”

          I think this episode might be the one I look back on as the one that puts us back on track. But we’ll see!

  2. If only they’d focused on making us care about the characters and their relationships first. It would have been easier to swallow all the other stuff if we felt a connection to those involved. That’s definitely why Klara’s flashback was easier to digest.
    I too am enjoying the world it’s set in and the overall look and feel of things. Hopefully the story will start to pick up a bit or at the very least reveal itself.

    1. When I first start watching a series, it’s the little things that hook me. Mariya’s expressions and tone of voice hit me just right in the first episode, so I kept coming back. She (and now Klara) are still the highlights for me, but the rest of the world is still developing.

      I’m wondering if this is the anti-Record of Grancrest War — where it usually cover three episodes’ worth of content every week, this one feels like it might have done better as a 12 episode series.

      But I’m not giving up yet!

      1. I think the biggest problem with this slow approach to developing anything is that most people will have already booted it. I still don’t feel like we’ve had a decent hook. It’s not a terrible watch but it is frustrating and it really shouldn’t be. I can’t blame those that have already dropped it one bit, that’s on the show.

        1. “I still don’t feel like we’ve had a decent hook. ”

          More true words seldom spoken!

          It took Mariya’s expression and tone of voice to hook me. And believe me, I know how atypical that is! Like Larry Brooks said in Story Engineering (and tons of other folks have said, too!) there should be a “hooking moment” that cements interest.

          The instant Zero Two came out of the water naked with a fish in her mouth? That was a hooking moment. It would be hard for me _not_ to want to know more about her!

          So far, Fairy gone hasn’t really delivered that.

          Though now I have this image of Klara in the same role… Not quite the same effect…

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