In Somali and the Forest Spirit episode 2, “Edible Herbs and the Oni’s Dwelling,” Golem and Somali were having breakfast when some horned rabbits visited them. Golem invited the furry creatures to join them, and all went well until one of the rabbits decided it wanted to eat Somali’s honey mushroom. When she objected, it tried to escape, and Somali raced after it. Unfortunately, she tripped and fell, and her left knee hit some stones. Golem found that the wound was deeper than he’d thought, and he noted they were out of medicines. That’s when Shizuno, an oni, introduced himself and offered to help. Golem had sensed the oni tracking them. Can he trust Shizuno now? Or does the oni have nefarious plans for Somali — and the Golem himself?
Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.
Best Moment in the Show
Thinking back to when Somali hurt her knee beside the river, Golem realized he never wanted to see her in that state again. He wanted to learn enough about medicine to heal her quickly — before she cried. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
For being emotionless, Golem is an interesting character. He earned this week’s Best in Show moment not because he started to show any emotions, but because he didn’t — and because of what that just might mean for the show.
While Somali helped Yabashira clean the house and wash the clothes, Shizuno taught Golem how to make basic medicines (at Golem’s request). Golem was an excellent student. He absorbed everything the herbalist taught him. Shizuno was so impressed that he asked Golem why he was so interested in learning about medicine (14:39).
After trying to argue it was more efficient, Golem finally came clean. He said that when Somali had fallen in the forest, her injured knee hurt so much she cried. “The muscles in her face distorted,” he said (15:21), “and moisture filled her eyes. Somehow, that expression disrupted my thoughts.”
He placed his hand where his heart would have been (he said in this episode that Golems don’t have hearts — not sure if that was meant figuratively or literally) and said that part of him because agitated. He said that he never wanted to see Somali look like that again.
How could you look at that face and not want to help her feel better? Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Now, part of me wanted to interpret that moment as Golem’s developing emotions. He’s starting to love Somali! What other explanation could there be?
That alone earned it the Best in Show moment.
But another part of me dared to hope it meant something a little different. What if Golem’s not developing emotions? What if the love he’s feeling is a different kind? I think if we try to define love as only an emotional thing, we’re missing out on a lot. We’re missing out on the implications of love also being an act of will. Independent of emotion, what if Golem decides he will love Somali and keep her safe — not because of a feeling, but because of a conviction that it’s what he should do?
To me, that’s an alluring idea. I’d love to see this show make such an unusual statement about love. I won’t be disappointed if Golem develops mere emotions — that’s still interesting! But I’ll be elated if the show goes beyond that idea.
What did you think of the oni? What was your Best in Show moment? Let me know in the comments!
Other Posts about This Series
Other Anime Sites
- Reddit: Somali to Mori no Kamisama – Episode 2 Discussion
- I Drink and Watch Anime: Somali and The Forest Spirit is also sweet (Episode 2)
- The Otaku Author: Somali and the Forest Spirit (Episode 2) – Edible Herbs and the Oni’s Dwelling
This Site (Crow’s World of Anime!)
- Somali and the Forest Spirit Episode 1: Journeying Parent and Child
- Somali and the Forest Spirit Episode 2: Edible Herbs and the Oni’s Dwelling
- Somali and the Forest Spirit Episode 3: The Sea at the Bottom of the Cave
- Somali and the Forest Spirit Episode 4: The Wishing Flower and the Promise Request
- Somali and the Forest Spirit Episode 5: The Wandering Birds
- Somali and the Forest Spirit Episode 6: Dying Flowers Look Up at the Birds
- Somali and the Forest Spirit Episode 7: The Footsteps that Stalk the Witches
- Somali and the Forest Spirit Episode 8: Meetings and Bonds Paid For
- Somali and the Forest Spirit Episode 9: Memories of Minor Days
- Somali and the Forest Spirit Episode 10: The Infant Child and the Green Fortress
- Somali and the Forest Spirit Episode 11: Those Who Protect and Those Who Threaten
- Somali and the Forest Spirit Episode 12: Bonded Father and Child